I wondered after the new independence figures from YouGov whether we'd see a corresponding drop in support for the SNP, and now we're some way towards answering that question. A new Panelbase poll has been released with fieldwork dates that are identical to the ones that Britain Elects claimed for the YouGov poll (although I'm wondering if that might have been a mix-up) and show only statistically insignificant changes within the margin of error.
Scottish voting intentions (Panelbase):
SNP 39% (-1)
Conservatives 29% (+1)
Labour 21% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 10% (-1)
Seats projection: SNP 40 (+5), Conservatives 12 (-1), Liberal Democrats 5 (+1), Labour 2 (-5)
I know people's reactions to this will differ, and some will think it looks too close to the 2017 result for comfort. But it's really important to remember that Panelbase are typically the least SNP-friendly pollster, and that YouGov tend to report SNP vote shares that are a few percentage points higher. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that Panelbase are wrong or that YouGov are right, but we can't possibly know the answer to that until election night. Until then what matters is the trend, and we're entitled to a sigh of relief that there's no clear trend against the SNP in this bang-up-to-date poll. Even if Panelbase are absolutely correct, the SNP would gain Stirling from the Tories and win most of Labour's seats. The Lib Dems must also be alarmed to see their vote gradually drift closer to the 7% they received last time.
Panelbase agree with YouGov that there's been a drop in support for Yes, but the change is much more modest in the Panelbase poll. That leads me to wonder if YouGov have slightly exaggerated the trend due to the margin of error or some other factor. We'll have to wait for future polls to know for sure.
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes 47% (-2)
No 53% (+2)
In fact this means that Panelbase are saying that the recent Yes surge has not been fully reversed - if it had been, the Yes vote would be back to somewhere in the region of 43-45%.