Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll: By overwhelming 3-1 margin, Scottish voters say they would be "more safe" if the UK Government's decision-making powers about the lockdown were transferred to the Scottish Government

It's fair to suggest that the Scottish Government has been on something of a 'journey' (as Davina McCall always used to say about Big Brother contestants) over the course of the pandemic.  To begin with, Edinburgh was so much in lockstep with London that Nicola Sturgeon was practically functioning as the Secretary of State for Scotland, with her role being as little more than a (very eloquent) spokesperson for the 'herd immunity' policy that had essentially been decided in Westminster.  Devolution must have looked like a pretty fiction to the public at that point.  But as the horrific consequences of herd immunity became clear, the Scottish Government swung in completely the opposite direction, and demonstrated to the public just how extensive its legal powers are, and how effective they can be in keeping citizens safe.  I'd argue that Scotland has 'felt' more like a self-governing country over the last few weeks than it has done at any time since (at least) the Jacobite rising of 1745-6.

But of course there are limits to the Scottish Government's powers, and the public have also been given a vivid life-and-death demonstration of what those limits are and what practical effect they have.  In the past, voters may only have had the dimmest of ideas of what it would mean for them if the Scottish Parliament had "more powers", but they're now in an excellent position to judge what the impact would be if, for example, Holyrood had control over borders.  I decided to use our crowdfunded Panelbase poll to find out exactly what they think.

Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll (1st-5th June 2020):

Some decisions about the lockdown in Scotland, such as whether to keep schools and shops closed, are the responsibility of the Scottish Government.  Other decisions, such as whether to introduce airport checks and border controls, are the responsibility of the UK Government.  Do you think people in Scotland would be more safe or less safe if the UK Government's decision-making powers relating to the lockdown were transferred to the Scottish Government?

More safe: 58%
Less safe: 21%

That result would have been truly staggering until a couple of days ago, but of course it's bang in line with the roughly 3-1 majorities who are now "less convinced" that Scotland is safer if it remains part of the UK, and "more confident" that Scotland will be well-governed if it becomes an independent country.

The pandemic really does seem to have had a transformative effect on underlying attitudes towards constitutional matters.  To see the full extent of that, take a look at some of the surprising groups who feel that the Scottish public would be "more safe" if all decision-making powers relating to the lockdown were transferred to the Scottish Government -

2014 No voters:

More safe: 46%
Less safe: 28%

2019 Labour voters:

More safe: 59%
Less safe: 24%

2019 Liberal Democrat voters:

More safe: 41%
Less safe: 24%

2016 Leave voters:

More safe: 49%
Less safe: 29%

And now we come to what, in my opinion, is the most extraordinary detail from this entire poll.  Conservative voters can normally be relied upon to be absolutely scathing towards any suggestion that Scottish self-rule might be preferable to being run from London, but on this occasion they're evenly divided -

2019 Conservative voters:

More safe: 35%
Less safe: 38%

Perhaps there's nothing quite like a threat to the safety of one's family and friends to help shake off deep-rooted political prejudices.

When you look at these figures, it can be no surprise at all that there is now a pro-independence majority - indeed, perhaps the only puzzling point is that the Yes vote has only risen by 2%.  But it's not hard to see how it could rise further unless the UK parties are able to swiftly restore faith in London rule.

*  *  *

There's one more result to come from the poll, and if you'd like to be the first to know about it, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.  You can also read my piece in The National about last night's 'Plan B' poll results HERE.

*  *  *

You may have seen that Stuart Campbell embarked on yet another angry rant today, this time about the Scot Goes Pop poll.  I had actually already responded to his central accusation before he even posted the article, because he turned up on the comments section here late last night and made the same point (with a fair bit of abusive swearing and playground name-calling chucked in for good measure).  You can read my reply HERE. The only thing I'd add to it is that I really don't know whether to laugh or cry at the glorious irony of his claim that I have written "abusive diatribes" about him. Anyone can see for themselves that the posts he's referring to are scrupulously non-abusive. I'm more than content for the contrast between those posts and Stuart's own legendarily abusive posting style (especially on social media) to speak for itself. He similarly claimed that an iScot article I wrote a few months ago about the Wings Party was "abusive" - but rather undermined that claim by posting a screenshot of the entire article, which helpfully demonstrated there wasn't a single abusive comment in it. He really does make himself look a bit silly with this sort of nonsense.


  1. How anyone, let alone 21%, could defy reality to the point of believing we're in any way worse off with the Scottish Government largely in charge of health measures over CV-19, is beyond me. But one imagines it's a political judgement rather than a pragmatic one, and likely reveals the true extent of diehard opposition to independence.

    The remainder are clearly all to play for. We just need - in due course, but while memories are still fresh - to have some kind of plebiscite to harvest the crop that has clearly been planted..

  2. I took part in a Yougov poll yesterday. I think it was a UK poll but with a few specific Scottish questions. However the Independence question wasn't the 2014 Question but it was framed as Remaining or Leaving the UK.

    1. Hmmm, the twisters just can't help twisting. Wonder who has paid for that one? (SiU again maybe...?)

    2. Someone sent me screenshots of that poll. I've seen that wording many times before, and yet the results rarely seem to be published, so it might be for internal testing, or it might be private polling for an anti-indy party or organisation.

  3. Wings Over NigeriaJune 9, 2020 at 11:16 PM

    Och Aye the Noo, Fellow Scotlands!

    It has come to our attention that we currently hold in our bank account an abundance of independence referendums (equivalent to the value one independent Scotland in 2020).

    We understand that these were transferred to us in error by one Bute House Holdings Ltd at some time over the past several years but that they rightfully belong to you.

    Unfortunately popular public figures in your area, including Oor Wullie, Katie Morag, and the Old Man of Storr all want to claim these referendums for themselves and will shortly be successful in doing so with the help of their loyal supporters if you do not respond in a timely manner.

    So now you understand the gravity of the situation. On order to redeem these referendums and facilitate immediate transfer back to you the rightful owner, please waste no time with dilly or dally. Send us at once credit card details, firstborn son and list vote for 2021 election. Do as we say and do not delay and these referendums can be yours as soon as 7 May 2021!

    With Best See You Afters to Nessie,
    Wings Over Nigeria

  4. Jonathan, I've deleted your comment because I don't want people to be misled. Airport checks were introduced by a decision of the UK government. Implementation of that decision is not the same thing as the decision-making power itself.

  5. I gave reading Wings many months ago. I suspect I'm not alone.

  6. Hugely informative poll James.
    Will be harder for the SG to play the "squeamish public" card next May.
    Many folk previously against independence are looking anew at Scotland's impotence in the so-called Union.
    As Scottish self-confidence grows, belief in the UK is tanking.
    Your poll shows just what a huge opportunity we have coming in just a few short months.
    PS don't let the abusive trolls get you down. Mair pouer tae yer elbuck/pen.

  7. Stuart Campbell, Nigel Farage, George Galloway, No difference

  8. One point (of many) we need to keep in mind.

    As the FM say on Monday, she's not engaging in traditional party politics to focus on the pandemic (despite goading from press and the Scottish Tories in particular).

    But that won't last forever. When that comes, the FM will be able to let rip on the inadequacies of the tories in Westminster that's she's had to work against in the last few months. But that will be different from normal because it will be backed up with evidence (e.g. increased excess deaths in England), and that COVID-19 is something that has in one way or another affected literally everyone.

    The FM has built up a lot of goodwill in her handling of the virus, when she is able to make political capital out of it, that will be the true test of any further uptick (or otherwise) in polling

  9. Ditto ramstam and for similar posts.

  10. There's nothing about Independence on Wings and has'nt been for over 6 months, all that site is now is a personal hate obsession by the author towards the FM and indeed anything SNP, so an Independence site it is not especially since the author of that site states he would rather vote for a *Murder kittens party* which if there were such a thing in Scotland I would remind him he couldn't vote for it because he has no vote in Scotland, funnily enough just like Farage and Galloway who don't live in Scotland either, but like those other two Campbell is very fond of telling people in Scotland who not to vote for, and the reason? well he says he has a secret that makes the SNP and the FM bad

    Now there's another funnily enough, because that's what all the Unionists say too

    1. He made the 'murder kittens party' remark about the Greens, not the SNP.

      There are Unionists, government or otherwise, obviously employed in causing as much discord as possible on, and between, Indy blogs.
      The war is on.

    2. What happened to the man who used to decimate the BritNats but is now attempting to decimate our chances of getting our independence? He says or implies that ''he has a secret that makes the SNP and the FM bad.'' I reckon that we'll find out that Campbell is the one who has a secret. One that'll explain how he's behaving now. More so since the Met Police trawled through his computers. One that'll be exposed eventually and make him one of the most despised men in the UK.

    3. The Met seized all my computers in August 2017, so they're certainly taking their fucking time trawling through them for this "secret", especially as they gave them back that November. What a nest of toxic little anonymous tinfoil nutjobs this blog has turned into.

    4. Yes, I'm sure we're all impressed by the measured, thoughtful BTL comments on Wings, and the total lack of conspiracy theorism there.

      Stay classy, Stuart.

    5. Lovely stuff, James. You delete a mild bit of snark pointing out your comedy hypocrisy, but foul mad ranting anonymous defamation like the above is just dandy. You're a super fella.

    6. "Mild bit of snark"

      Yeah, whatever. I think you spend such an enormous percentage of your life doling out abuse that you barely even register what you're doing sometimes.

      And "hypocrisy"? Nice try. There is no comparison between the ludicrously leading and vague question you asked about the Wings party (with which the word "consider" was only one of several problems I identified) and the question I asked about Plan B, which used the word "consider" appropriately.

      You know that. And, to coin a phrase, "all that matters to me is that you *know*".

    7. Mr Campbell you complained about being accused of being homophobic to the point of taking a case to court and yet you are letting others use your site, stirring them up to the point of making allegations against the FM of Scotland, such as being a Westminster agent, a lesbian and so on. What a nasty little hypocrite.

  11. WOS has been anti SNP for some time, coinciding with the political ambitions of Campbell. It has a following of what can only be described as mouth frothing acolytes, who question nothing he says, no matter how bizarre the postings and contorted the thinking. It's only benefit is in hopefully containing an element of the independence movement that does more harm than good to the cause of independence. If you post on the site asking for a credible plan for bringing about a referendum whose result that will be internationally recognised and legally enforceable, the most you will get is generalised nonsense about repealing the act of Union. Leaving aside the fact that there are two acts of union and that neither of them contain a termination clause, and that the current legal/political position is the consequence of three hundred years of legal and political development, neither Campbell nor any of his followers actually have a credible plan.That site and it's author are fortunately becoming less and less relevant. Meanwhile SNP continue to improve their poll ratings, and whilst Polls are no guarantee of anything they are for the present all we have to go on. What has to be acknowledged is that a man who lives in England, votes as I understand it for the Liberals, cannot vote in any Scottish election and has not expressed the intention to come and live in Scotland, can persuade his followers to part with money on a regular basis to undermine the very cause they claim to support. That is an achievement.

    1. "and has not expressed the intention to come and live in Scotland"

      I've said I'll come and live in Scotland as soon it was independent since the first day of Wings, you lying coward. And I've never, ever, not one single time, advocated "repealing the Act Of Union", because that's an idiotic plan. You're all complete fucking zoomers.

    2. Genuine question, but why only after independence? I'd understand if it was for work purposes, but I was under the impression Wings was your work, and has been for many years, i.e. your job is 'Scottish'.

      It doesn't appear to be due to friends / family reasons, as you state you plan to up sticks and head north in the case of indy, so such ties can't be that significant.

      I'm assuming it's because you just like living in England, and prefer it to Scotland? Bath does look nice and the weather's a lot better I suppose.

      It's a genuine question; I've always wondered because you get such stick for it. I guessed it was something like me and France.

      My wife is French and moving there at some point is an option for me because after Scotland, I love it as a country and feel very much at home there. It's likely I will get my French citizenship at some point.

    3. Another question I've answered numerous times in print: because I couldn't bear to live in the most gutless country on the planet.

    4. If where they live (or intends to live), and a reference to repealing the act of union are the only thing they've remarked upon, we can assume the rest of the analysis at 1:07pm anon is correct.

    5. Thanks for the prompt response.

      But TBH, that is the sort of thing unionists say about Scotland.

      'Gutless...chicken...subsidy junkies'.

      Of course it could apply to some Scots voters, but only a small minority.

      Not Yes voters obviously. Nor the main bulk of unionists who are British and just like the union. Nor those that have weighed up the options and for their own 'practical/logic' reasons have opted for the union still, no matter if their reasoning is debatable. Nope, 'Gutless' could only apply in the case of those tempted by Yes, but 'too scared' to vote for it.

      So at most it would be a small group of swing voters who you could class in that way, but then is it right to call potential Yes voters with genuine concerns / worries 'gutless'? Is that how you get them on side?

      So I disagree, Scotland/Scots is/are not gutless, and I doubt calling concerned potential Yes voters this is a vote winner. IMO anyway.

    6. Oh and a minor note. England is more 'gutless' than Scotland. It's terrified of independence from us; hence refusing a Section 30, and campaigning so hard for the union last time (rather than just staying out of it like the EU and brexit).

      So, you are living in a 'gutless' country by your won logic.

    7. I know of no other recognised country on Earth whose people have actively refused their own independence in a free vote. You've had your answer.

    8. The English government just chickened out of independence from Scotland and that was a manifesto commitment that the English voted for. So if you don't like living in 'gutless' countries, you might move e.g. to Ireland. I'm proud of my Irish passport / heritage for that reason.

      Scotland may have voted narrowly for the union, but it didn't 'chicken out' like England is trying with no Section 30. People in Scotland freely chose the UK.

      And lots of folks in Scotland don't identify as Scottish, but in a large part or wholly British. Many are English and British. These people are not 'gutless' because for them Britain is their country as much or more than Scotland is. We can't demand they see Scotland as their country, although a good few have done so.

      Studies show that of those who were born in Scotland, a majority voted Yes in 2014. Same for those who 'identify' first and foremost as Scottish.

      So you are just plain wrong in saying Scotland is gutless, at least if by that you mean Scots; i.e. people who first and foremost identify as that. They in majority support and voted for independence. Yet you call them cowards.

      The posters that use that kind of language on here are unionists. Hence you get a frosty reception.

      Personally, I'm very proud of those that voted Yes, including those from across the UK who live here and did so. I'm not going to call the Scots that wanted to but were scared to 'cowards' because I hope to get them to Yes next time, and insulting them isn't going to help.

      Maybe some food for thought anyway.

    9. "because I couldn't bear to live in the most gutless country on the planet."

      But that sounds like you truly hate Scotland. I mean, Scotland as it actually is rather than as you'd prefer it to be. So much so that you prefer life in a country where the Tories have total power, rather than one in which power is at least divided between the Tories and a centre-left party.

      You're also contemptuous towards the Gaelic language, and there must be a question mark over whether you'd prioritise independence over defeating self-ID, which appears to be your number one passion these days.

    10. Incidentally, just on a point of information, there are several other nations that have turned down independence in a free vote. Off the top of my head: Puerto Rico, New Caledonia, Bermuda, and Quebec.

    11. In response to the person whose comment I've just deleted: yes, Quebec is recognised as a nation, and indeed has been specifically recognised as a nation by a motion passed by the Parliament of Canada -


      On your other points: I make no apology, no apology whatever, for enforcing the moderation policy of my own website. Feel free to take your attitude problem elsewhere.

  12. Yeah, Stuart Campbell says, Ooh! Yer found out ya bampot, now away back and ask George Galloway what's yer next move
    James Kelly should just block you for turning up abusing him on his blog, anybody disagrees on your own blog they get nothing but filthy mouthed abuse
    You're a bigot and a troublemaker and are no help to the cause of Independence whatsoever, because you turned more people off the idea than you ever brought to it because of the filth that pours out of your mouth

    1. Stuart Campbell is talking a load of mince as usual. He left Scotland long before the Scots had a vote. Happy to take money however from the gutless Scots (probably well over £1 million) and saving his bacon when it goes tits up for him by keeping his distance. Happy to run down the only political party that can get us our independence as he lets dozens of BritNat politicians and journalists get away Scot free. In fact he seeks out the BritNat media now to make his SNPBaad points. He's a bloody conman and sadly for him more and more people can see it.

  13. Safer, stronger thegither etc.


    Coronavirus: UK economy could be worst hit among leading nations, says OECD

  14. I am the individual who posted the comment at 1.07. This is my only further post in relation to your response. If you have posted on your site in the past that you intend to live in Scotland then I happily apologise and unreservedly withdraw that remark. On the matter of repeal of the acts of union, I did not attribute that to you but to the postings on your site, by which I meant postings from your followers, not you. I also want to withdraw the reference to mouth frothers. It lowered the tone of my comment. It reflects my frustration at the damage I feel is being caused to the prospects for independence and gives the MSN ammunition to portray those seeking independence as abusive scotnats. The tone of your response does not help in this respect. I continue to be disappointed by your postings and the wealth of nonsensical Braveheart style comments that appear on your website. If you or any of those who post on your website has a plan which will bring about a referendum with the characteristics I refer to in my previous post, then please let us all know about it.Until then the remainder of my post reflects my opinion that your website is damaging to the prospects of Scottish Independence and I think it reasonable that I question your aims and motivations accordingly.

    1. A good proportion of those posting BTL on Wings will be 77th Brigade or similar. The comments never used to be so bad. Many are like a caricature of an Indy supporter as copied from a British instruction manual.

    2. It's so bad now that anyone popping their head in there can see it. That's what he wanted of course to rid himself of genuine supporters as he replaced them with Unionists. The last few genuine supporters are being attacked by the Unionists and Campbell himself in an attempt to discredit and gag them too. You won't see him correct people stating that the way forward is to repeal the Treaty of the Union as they are complaining about the SNP and that's top of his agenda. Time for him to shut the site down as it's basically become detrimental to Scotland becoming independent.

  15. Sadly, Stu Campbell makes himself look considerably worse than a bit silly. It is a shame to see someone who used to be such an excellent journalist fall to that level.

  16. Back in the day when WOS was pro independence I donated money to RevStu/WOS/Blue Book fund. I didn't know it was so he could have a "nest egg salted away".
    This from btl WOS today -

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    10 June, 2020 at 2:49 pm
    “But who here can honestly say that they’d save a big chunk of their wages each month in case of a rainy day”

    Me. I do. I’ve never been paid even half as much as an MP but I’ve still got a little nest-egg salted away that would last me significantly longer than the five months it took Sweeney to claim UC after getting the boot. Largely because both Labour and the Tories have dismantled the welfare system so brutally that I know it couldn’t be relied on if I was unemployed again. I was there for a while years ago, when it was considerably more generous and less draconian than it is now, and it was borderline impossible to live on then.

    1. The welfare state is paid for by the working taxpayer. It is not for skivers who deprive the legitimate disabled.

  17. The latest from Campbell is unbelievable. Running an article on Paul Sweeney MP's financial affairs and then onto, surprise, surprise, the SNPs. Nobody on there got the chutzpah to ask him to outline how much he's taken in from the gutless Scots year after year and what he's done with it other than ensuring that he has a little nest egg salted away.

    His latest, ''I still don’t like JK Rowling, for reasons I set out earlier this week. I certainly never in a million years imagined I’d ever find myself in a position where I respected her 50 times more than I do Nicola Sturgeon'' should be a wake up call for even the most dimwitted of followers. He's run down JKR on numerous occasions previously. Can't they see what's going on. Then again maybe it's all about money for him. Hoping that JKR will give him a bung?

  18. "I couldn't bear to live in the most gutless country on the planet"

    That's a real mask-off moment!

    FWIW, I couldn't bear to live in Bath... but I have managed to retain my twitter account.

  19. Cardinal John Henry NewmanJune 10, 2020 at 9:02 PM

    You are a good friend Skier.