I literally can't even force myself to watch the now-notorious clip from the Jeremy Vine Show, in which Princess Diana's former butler, a former Page 3 girl and a tabloid rentagob were invited to speak about Scotland via a direct video link from the 1860s. However, I've read the transcript provided by The National, and apart from the fact that Paul Burrell still doesn't seem to understand the difference between independence and devolution, what leapt out at me was this piece of nonsense from Carole Malone, which went uncorrected by the programme's hosts -
"Every time they do a poll it says that the figures now for staying within the union are higher than they were at the time of the referendum."
What is it about opinion polling that makes people feel entirely comfortable in making something up that they would like to think is true, go on television and present it as fact, and then have it go completely unchallenged? And yes, Fiona Bruce, I'm looking at you. In this case, Carole Malone's claim is not only untrue, it's the opposite of the truth. There have (inexplicably) been only four polls this year that have asked the standard independence question, and every single one of them has shown that support for independence is now significantly higher than the 44.7% recorded in the 2014 referendum. Here they are...
Panelbase, April 2019: Yes 47%, No 53%
YouGov, April 2019: Yes 49%, No 51%
Panelbase, May 2019: Yes 48%, No 52%
Panelbase, June 2019: Yes 49%, No 51%
If you look at the list of polls on Wikipedia, you'd get the false impression that there was also a fifth independence poll this year conducted by Survation using a "non-standard question", which supposedly showed a much bigger No lead. In fact, that wasn't an independence poll at all - it was a propaganda poll commissioned by Scotland in Union which asked respondents about whether they wanted Scotland to "leave the UK", rather than whether they wanted Scotland to become an independent country. "Leaving the UK" covers a wide range of possibilities of which independence is only one. Others include becoming part of another existing state, or becoming a self-governing dependency like Jersey. However, even if you include the Survation poll as an independence poll (and you shouldn't), it would still be the case that four out of five polls this year have shown Yes support at higher than 45%. So Malone's claim is completely untrue no matter which way you look at it.
Incidentally, it's not even the case that Malone's claim used to be true but no longer is. Although support for independence appears to have increased markedly over the last nine months or so, a clear majority of polls conducted over the entire period between September 2014 and now have shown Yes at 45% or higher.
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I've been meaning to mention that I was interviewed down the phone on IndyLive Radio last week. You can listen to the show on catch-up HERE - the bit with me starts at just after the 2 hour mark.
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2019 Scot Goes Pop Fundraiser: This is Day 27 of the fundraiser, and so far £8020 has been raised. That's 95% of the way towards the target figure of £8500. A million thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and I'm also extremely grateful to all the people who have left a kind comment with their donation. You can visit the fundraising page HERE.