Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Anniversary HAMMERBLOW for Boris Johnson as unionist propaganda poll spectacularly backfires: support for a second independence referendum has SOARED to 63%, and support for Scotland remaining in the UK has FALLEN

First things first: happy fifth anniversary of the day that Scotland's largest and fourth-largest cities voted decisively to end Westminster rule, and the day that almost half of voters throughout Scotland did the same.  Hapless anti-independence group Scotland in Union (who may or may not have finally broken their ties with Neil "Alligators" Lovatt) have decided to mark this momentous milestone by commissioning another of their comical propaganda polls, and in fairness to them have somehow succeeded once again in persuading a number of mainstream media outlets to regurgitate their press release about it almost word for word - although that says rather more about the publications concerned than about Scotland in Union's public relations skills.

The basic tactic in these propaganda polls is to ask a question that is not about independence and then to convince the media to earnestly report the results as if they were taken from a genuine independence poll - and to that extent the deception seems to work all too easily.  The Herald, for example, are reporting that the poll shows "41% of those surveyed supporting independence" - which is categorically an untrue statement.  Respondents were asked whether they wanted Scotland to "remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom", and the 41% figure actually refers to those who wanted to "leave the United Kingdom".  We have no idea whether those people wanted to leave the United Kingdom in order to become an independent country, or to become part of another existing state, or to become a crown dependency like Guernsey, or to become a freely associated state like the Cook Islands.  It is, in a nutshell, a dud question, and the results tell us absolutely nothing whatsoever about levels of support for independence.

And in fact there's an even greater problem than the fact that the question doesn't actually ask about independence.  There's also a very severe risk of accidental confusion, because the terms "Remain" and "Leave" have become so synonymous with the Brexit debate that many respondents may have taken only a cursory look at the question and assumed they were being asked whether they wanted to remain in the European Union.  (Although maybe I'm being too generous when I say "accidental confusion" - it might have been exactly what Scotland in Union were hoping would happen when they framed the question in that way.)  I also think there's a degree of uncertainty about whether voters actually understand what "the United Kingdom" is.  It's quite possible that some respondents may have assumed that "remaining in the United Kingdom" refers to the retention of the monarchy, and that they would have answered the question completely differently if they had been aware that it's possible to leave the United Kingdom and still have the Queen as Head of State.

All in all, then, the results of this poll are essentially worthless apart from the trend since the last comparable poll, and what that tells us about the declining enthusiasm in Scotland for Our Precious Union.  It's very much in line with recent polls from other firms in showing that support for the Union has dipped.

Should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?

Remain: 59% (-2)
Leave: 41% (+2)

It's also in line with other recent polls in showing a sharp increase in support for the holding of a second independence referendum - although that's obviously not the impression you'll get from reading the lightly rewritten Scotland in Union propaganda press release in the newspapers.  A grand total of 63% of respondents now want a second indyref, up six points from 57% in the last comparable poll in April.  Only 28% of respondents are opposed to a referendum, down six points from April.  In terms of timing, 42% want the referendum to take place within the next five years, up a dramatic eleven points on the 31% recorded in the April poll.  And 27% want it within the next eighteen months - almost identical to the number who don't want a referendum at all.

Some unionist politicians are beside themselves with excitement at the starkness of the difference between the results of genuine independence polls and these Remain/Leave polls, and clearly think that all they need to do to win next time is to rig the referendum question.  But they're barking up the wrong tree.  Above all else, the Electoral Commission seek in their research to avoid unclear or confusing questions, and for the reasons given earlier in this blogpost, there are at least three very obvious ways in which a Remain/Leave question would be unclear or confusing.  And the irony is that even if the Electoral Commission could somehow be coaxed into endorsing such a question, it probably wouldn't even make the difference to the final result that unionists expect.  Past history shows that the effect of different question wordings diminish as a campaign progresses, because voters become better educated about what they are being asked.

Final thought: why on earth didn't the Yes side commission their own propaganda polling to mark the anniversary?  Maybe something like "Should Scotland be a country?" or "Should Scotland be a country in the European Union?"  I think we can guess what the outcome would have been...

57 comments:

  1. You following the Israeli election?

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    1. I was earlier on, yes. It's difficult to make much sense of it - the media want a winner and a loser, but it hasn't really worked out that way.

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    2. Online follow Jeremy's Knesset Insider..very conservative but very good. For totals follow ORYX on Twitter. He does fall asleep lol!

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  2. same old, same old, James ...... lies, damned lies & Unionist lies !! ... keep shining a light on "the dark side"

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  3. Oh Dear. PANIC PANIC PANIC. You can smell it a mile away. The British nationalists barely hung on in 2014, after making big promises they could not keep, or had no intention of keeping. Since then, they have used the media to throw the kitchen sink at the Scottish independence movement, all to no avail. After 2014, support for independence stubbornly remaned at 45-48% and now looks to be on the start of the next big wave. Despite everything they threw at it continuously during the past five years, they barely dented it, and a new growth phase is poised to begin (based on demography and significantly enhanced by Brexit). All we had to do was hang on, not give up and eventually, the forces of English nationalism would destroy the union. Or destroy the reputation of the union, since it does not really exist anyway. Here we are, five years later. Five years of constant onslaught, still fighting. Another big surge starting to form, IMO. The next big wave will be unstoppable. Tsunami? You ain’t seen nothing yet

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  4. I agree - we should have commissioned a poll to coincide with the anniversary of IndyRef 1. Open goal for the Britsh nationalists - why did we leave the field open for the. Missed opportunity. Must do better.

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  5. Skimmed through it and assumed "remain" was to do with EU as it's all we hear at the moment. Desperate stuff from unionists.

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  6. Not even going to comment on this desperate propaganda poll. But will share your dismay at the lack of our own poll to mark five years. The "Yes Side" who are the Yes side now ? We're told the Scottish Independence Convention had assumed that role... Where the feck are they ???????????????

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  7. A loaded poll for Unionists

    Would you prefer to die proudly while waving a Union flag
    Would you prefer to run away like a coward while waving a Saltire

    I'd put money on huge amounts of Unionists voting for the first option.....cause they're proud and there's no way they'd touch a Saltire

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  8. Next iref poll question:

    Should Scotland Remain in the European Union as an independent country or leave?
    - Remain
    - Leave

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  9. As ever excellent analysis from James.

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  10. Brexit now hitting home increasingly hard.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-49741765

    Scotland's economy shrinks on 'Brexit uncertainty'

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  11. Oh please..... "whether those people wanted to leave the United Kingdom in order to become an independent country, or to become part of another existing state, or to become a crown dependency like Guernsey"
    THAT is beyond spin, and I'm really surprised that you wrote this. Of course "leaving the United Kingdom" means EXACTLY that, and all this talk of "Crown Dependencies" and "Associated States" is just smoke and mirrors, an effort to fufge the truth, that despite the disaster of Brexit, the worst, most right wing government in many many years an a clown as Prime Minister, the majority of people want to remain in the UK.

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    1. 63% want a referendum on independence from the UK within the next few years now. This is surging.

      They do want to 'Remain' in the union though by 6:4, as per 2016.

      You'd have to be thick as fuck to not appreciate why quickly asking Scots if they are 'Remainers' or 'Leavers' right now yields answers surprisingly close to a certain referendum held 3 years ago.

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    2. Dear goodness, Geacher, what a load of utter tripe (and I say that with great respect). If it was really true that the people of Scotland didn't want independence and that an opinion poll would prove it, why didn't Scotland in Union simply run a poll asking "Should Scotland be an independent country?" and enjoy their moment of triumph when it showed a 59% No vote? Yeah, exactly. It wouldn't have shown 59% No, would it. With Survation being a relatively Yes-friendly pollster in recent years, it might well have shown a majority Yes vote.

      "Of course "leaving the United Kingdom" means EXACTLY that"

      Quite so. Leaving the United Kingdom means leaving the United Kingdom and just that. It tells you nothing about what happens afterwards, and independence is only one of several possibilities. Do you really want me to give you chapter and verse on the territories that have transferred from one sovereign state to another, some by referendum? If a poll was to ask "Should Northern Ireland remain part of the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?", how many people do you think would infer that to be a poll about Northern Ireland independence? Hardly anyone, I would suggest, and for a good reason. Put simply, the Scotland in Union question did not ask about independence, and the results are not about independence. You don't like being told that, and I'm sorry you don't like being told that, but it happens to be true.

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    3. If the UK union was like the EU union, Scotland would be an independent country in the UK.

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    4. So are seeing any signs of the SNP moving to call themselves The Scottish Crown Dependency Party"?
      C'mon James, we all know what independence we are talking about here, what "leaving the UK" means and what "other territories" have done in the past is totally irrelevant to Scotland right here right now.
      Tell me, how many of the people in that poll do you think that indicated that they wanted to "stay in the United Kingdom" would actually vote *yes* in an independence referendum?
      None, that's how many. But you may know of many SNP/Indy supporters who want Scotland to remain in the UK rather than become an "associated state."

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  12. So the UK government's argument is that an unelected PM, who lacks a majority of MPs, should be able to shut parliament down at any time, for as long as they desire, so as to allow them to achieve personal political aims - including massive constitutional / economic changes - even if these have no mandate and/or are opposed by parliament / the people?

    We need to exit the UK, and now.

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  13. Meanwhile in Wales the Labour party are talking about putting out leaflets to the public on how to grow winter vegetables

    And still the Union Brexit loonies keep saying NAW!Independence is worse than this you'll still get food

    Well of course we will, but less and 40% more expensive and where do Mr and Mrs Average get the money to pay for that

    Recession is knocking on the door right now, by October it will be kicking it in

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  14. what was the last poll SIU results then?

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    1. Is that a serious question? I've given percentage changes from the last poll in the blogpost. It was "Remain" 61%, "Leave" 39%.

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    2. Sorry James - I was reading it in a rush (caused by slight panic). At least the trend is downwards. I think I will be more confident of independence when I see another poll of the usual sort. And I suppose as Marcia responded to me on here once before we just keep trying to convince family and friends that independence is the way forward for us. Keep pushing and we will get there in the end - I hope.

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  15. So Britain Elects just released it poll tracker:

    Westminster voting intentions:

    CON: 33% (+8)
    LAB: 25% (+1)
    LDEM: 19% (+1)
    BREX: 13% (-6)
    GRN: 4% (-2)

    On the face of it looks good for the Conservatives with Electoral Calculus giving them 349 seats. But delve a bit deeper and things look less good for them. For a start the prediction only gives the SNP 37 seats and actually has 2 seats switching from SNP to Con. Obviously this is extremely unlikely to happen, so can easily take 20 seats from that majority. Then it has the Conservatives taking a handful of seats in Pro remain pro Labour London, again not likely to happen.

    Rough guess Conservatives would get a lead of 3 or 4 at best if those were the percentages in an election.

    With no signs of their lead extending, things are looking bleak for them and all this while they are still saying that we are leaving on the 31st October...

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    1. I track things. Like nat si bum Bhoy fanny Dodgers. God bless me holy Fedder. Roger Federer another lafybhiy pape. Lick my fanny, bishop.

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  16. The hammer blow is when the Brit Scots vote to remain in the UK Union if indeed another vote is required. The Jocko Nat sis seem desperate to bring in immigrants to out vote real Scots. Unionist women need to breed at the same rate as the Irish.

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    1. A majority of Scots-born people voted for independence last time, so why would the Nat sis want to bring in immigrants to outvote them?

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    2. Go back to your mistresses and wine Jean-Claude and die soon.

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    3. Wow. I never thought I'd read a new way to demonise immigrants after what's gone on in the U.K. the last few years but there it is. How tragic and pathetic of you.

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    4. Pigswilla Clayton-BeveridgeSeptember 18, 2019 at 11:35 PM

      GWC is a spirited lady. She has views and she expresses them. Go girl. Girl Power.

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    5. "Unionist women need to breed at the same rate as the Irish" - why, you looking for some big man to come along and service you? There are websites you can use if that's what you want.

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    6. Pigswilla Clayton-BeveridgeSeptember 19, 2019 at 8:13 AM

      GWC doesn't need to pay for her men. She's a party girl.

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  17. I also like (laugh at) the avalanche of "results" which are effectively sub-samples or sub-sub-samples. Who do they think they are kidding - apart from the clueless MSM?

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    1. Bunty Billingsdale-Twist-UlloSeptember 20, 2019 at 12:41 AM

      They think there Martita Hunt, England's weightlifting champion at the 1948 Olympics. Hoorah!

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  18. But today's big news is the analysis published you-know-where that claims "The Wings Party" is likely to give the independence cause a comfortable majority in Holyrood. Courtesy of a certain Mr Barrie.

    Response to this should be interesting.

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    1. Oh God, until you mentioned that I wasn't even aware of it. I'll certainly be posting a polite reply when I have a spare moment, so place your bets please on how many times I'll be called a "c**t" this time.

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  19. Just a question of subject. Does Wings not have to have first passed the post seats before they would recieve 2nd vote seats, otherwise how would the voting system work.

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    1. No, that's not how the Holyrood electoral system works. For example the Greens have no FPTP seats but have won a number of seats on the regional lists.

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    2. They were also standing in yhe first passed the post votes.

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    3. No, not always. To begin with in 1999 they only stood on the list, and afyerwards began standing in selected constituencies.

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  20. The difference in headline figures on remain/leave are not statistically significant.

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    1. Perhaps not, but it's worth calculating the differentials with and without quotients. Not always obvious but worth the effort.

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    2. In isolation this would be true, but the poll is not alone in showing a consistent recent trend.

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    3. I'm conflicted about that. I see plus and minus but I also see No and Yes.

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  21. Labour Mp on Andrew Neil saying we need to remain in the Customs Union and admitting as a consequence that the UK cannot trade with anyone else. How progressive for the Labour Party. No doubt the Jock Nat sis, Libs, Greens etc want to be dominated by the EU. Wimps and money grabbing shit they are.

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    1. Being a customs union with the EU does not prevent the UK trading with other countries. Didn't you notice the UK already trades globally?

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    2. I only quoted what the Labour Mp replied when questioned by Andrew Neil.

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    3. For your claim about EU membership equating to being "dominated by the EU" you'd have to argue successfully that Finland, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria are not true independent countries....which is ridiculous.
      Meanwhile, Scotland's economy is almost totally controlled by Westminster and is clearly not performing as well as our independent neighbours.
      The SNP are currently out-polling Labour and the Tories combined because they are winning the arguments. GWC's infantile rantings simply illustrate this. More power to her and Boris, I say.

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    4. Muff. Cream puff. Nat si muff.

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    5. Pigswilla Clayton-BeveridgeSeptember 18, 2019 at 11:37 PM

      Which Labour MP was on Andrew Neill? Did you get it on camera? Did it look consensual?

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    6. It's never consensual with Brillo Head. But he pays well.

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  22. Stuart Campbell banging on about his Wings party again with a million statistics to back it up, and doesn't it all sound fabulous except for one thing
    He constantly bad mouths the SNP so why on earth would those voters vote for him, or maybe this, he's an obnoxious foul mouthed git who nobody actually likes, kind of a problem if you want to be a politician

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    1. Boris Johnson is a nice polite man but a bad politician with bad motives
      Stuart Campbell is not a nice man not a politician and nobody but him knows his motives

      But like Boris Johnson we know he doesn't like the SNP because he can't keep his bad mouth shut about them

      There is one more thing, who do you think he's going to ask to bankroll his hopes of sitting his backside down in Holyrood for his easy £70 grand a year because he already knows Wings Over Scotland hasn't got long to go and his income will dry up

      You pay for his life, you pay for his court cases, you pay for his self indulgencies, so of course you'll be daft enough to pay out even more for whatever scheme Stuart Farage asks you to

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  23. The Lib dems could control Scotland like any party obedient tae Der Lady Fuhrer in Berlin. We spent all those lives to get rid of the German Nat sis now THEY have won economically and the struggle against fascism is lost.

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    1. I saw a WWII veteran near to tears on TV earlier in the week talking about how tragic it was to be potentially breaking up the alliance in Europe, undoing what so many had died for (through Brexit). So, it's a shame you're using that kind of nonsense you just spouted to try and get a rise out of people.

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    2. You say the sweetest things.No wonder you have so many friends.

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    3. Up your nat si farter with a tarry brush.

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