As you may have seen yesterday, YouGov have published their second poll of Labour members for the forthcoming leadership contest. The results are billed as "Sir Keir Starmer strengthening his lead", but the difference from the last poll is modest and can perhaps be explained by margin of error effects. The good news is that Jess Phillips and Lisa Nandy, with their Neanderthal attitudes toward Scotland, still appear to be completely out of the running.
Of most interest to us is a supplementary question that reveals more than twice as many Labour members support a second Scottish independence referendum as oppose one. Taking into account members who are open to a referendum with a view to doing a deal with the SNP, there is more than a four-to-one majority in favour of keeping the referendum option open.
Now thinking about a referendum on Scottish independence, do you think Labour should...?
Support having one: 33%
Oppose having one: 16%
Not actively support one, but be open to supporting one as part of a coalition deal with the SNP: 44%
Embarrassingly for Jess Phillips, only one-third of her own supporters share her implacable opposition to an indyref.
So the stance of the self-styled Labour "moderates" is not only rejected by the lost voters they ought to be trying to win back in Scotland, but also by their party's own membership across the UK. The intransigence of these politicians has clearly got nothing to with listening to people or with electability, which leaves just one plausible possibility - dogmatic British nationalism.
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Panelbase independence poll incoming?
Well, it's sod's law, isn't it? Just 48 hours after this blog's successful fundraiser to break the post-election drought of polls on independence, a commenter on this blog revealed that he had been polled by Panelbase on the subject. It remains to be seen whether that's a private poll or one for public consumption, but judging from the nature of the questions I could well imagine it was commissioned by the Sunday Times, in which case we might see it as early as tonight. If so, the results will be fascinating - Panelbase have in recent years been a relatively No-friendly pollster, but that'll have been at least partly due to their weighting scheme, which will presumably now have been updated to introduce weighting by recalled 2019 general election vote. If there were previously problems caused by false recall or by the high SNP abstention rate in 2017, the new weighting could potentially make a significant difference. But we'll see.
Even if there is a poll tonight or tomorrow, I'll be proceeding with my own, and it'll still ask the Yes/No question. But if mine isn't the first post-election independence poll, the supplementary questions will become more important. I already have a list of questions drawn up, but if anyone has any brilliant suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I'll mull them over.
Rest assured that I won't be asking any questions about the proposed "Wings party". Long-term readers will know that I think credible polling needs to be done on that subject, but it wouldn't be appropriate to do it in a crowdfunded poll that will have been backed by both Wings-sceptics and Wings supporters. I'll be sticking strictly to questions about independence that should be of interest to all Yes supporters. I did ponder the idea of asking for Holyrood voting intentions, but I'm inclined to think polling about independence and the rights and wrongs of an indyref is of more value at this point.