Should Scotland be an independent country? (Panelbase, 30th June-3rd July 2020):
Yes 54% (n/c)
No 46% (n/c)
This is the moment for unionists to stop deluding themselves that it's some kind of fluke that Yes are in the lead. You don't get 54% twice in a row by coincidence. This is also the third poll in a row to show a pro-indy majority, and the fourth in a row to show Yes on 50% or higher. I would imagine that those still in denial will cling to the fact that all of the recent polls were conducted by the same firm. But the reality is that YouGov and Survation polls in January were pretty much bang in line with what a Panelbase poll showed at the same time, so there's no particular reason to suspect that other firms would be painting a different picture now. Of course in an ideal world we'd have polls from a wider range of firms just to be sure, but I very much doubt that would prove to be any sort of get-out-of-jail-free card for the unionists. It should also be noted that the new Panelbase poll was not, unlike the last three, commissioned by a pro-indy client, so that nonsensical excuse for a low No vote can't be used in this case either.
If you think the independence numbers are extraordinary, wait until you see the party political voting intention numbers...
Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:
SNP 55% (+2)
Conservatives 20% (-1)
Labour 15% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)
Greens 3% (n/c)
Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:
SNP 50% (+2)
Conservatives 18% (-1)
Labour 15% (-1)
Greens 8% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-2)
Seats projection: SNP 74, Conservatives 24, Labour 17, Greens 9, Liberal Democrats 5
This means pro-independence parties would have 64% of the seats at Holyrood - I'm struggling to remember ever seeing such a high projected total.
The SNP have been riding at an exceptionally high level of support in recent months, but this takes it to a whole new plane - they haven't been as high as 55% on the constituency ballot or 50% on the list in any poll from any firm since the 2016 election. Part of the explanation seems to be the space that has opened up as a result of collapsing support for the Conservative Party. A substantial drop for the Tories was reported in the previous Panelbase poll (commissioned by Scot Goes Pop), and they've now slipped a touch further. It's hard not to conclude that the change of political weather can be mostly explained by Boris Johnson's catastrophic mishandling of the pandemic, and by Nicola Sturgeon's assured response to the crisis. Respondents were asked to express approval or disapproval for various leaders' performance - Ms Sturgeon has a positive net rating of +60, and Mr Johnson has a negative net rating of -39. That yawning chasm pretty much says it all.
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Just to avoid it getting lost - a couple of hours ago I posted an analysis of the pros and cons of Alex Salmond fronting a new pro-indy party. You can read it HERE.