Should Scotland be an independent country? (JL Partners, 17th-21st September 2020)
As far as I can see this is the highest ever Yes vote in an online poll, slightly exceeding the 55% recorded in a Panelbase poll commissioned by Business for Scotland in August. I would usually add the caveat that it's difficult to find records of polls conducted in the early days of devolution, when TNS/System Three quite often reported pro-independence majorities. However, to the best of my recollection those were all face-to-face polls, and I don't think there was anything quite like this anyway.
I think there may well be something in the suspicion that has been expressed in the comments section that this was originally an internal poll - maybe for the UK government, maybe for a political party, or maybe for a very well-financed unionist organisation. The giveaway is the sheer number of supplementary questions that were asked. I can imagine a pollster self-funding a poll on independence to advertise its services, but there's no way it would go to quite these lengths. So the million dollar question is: why would a unionist client want to belatedly publicise some extremely negative results? Perhaps there's some kind of internal battle going on, and someone wants to change the narrative. The poll has been framed as reflecting very badly on Boris Johnson's leadership (and in fairness it objectively *does* reflect very badly on Boris Johnson's leadership), so that may be a little clue.
Scottish voting intentions for next UK general election:
Liberal Democrats 7%
This appears to be the SNP's best ever vote share in a Westminster poll - even in the run-up to the 2015 election they didn't exceed 54%. It's also the Tories' worst showing, and their first sub-20 showing, in a Westminster poll since last year's election. Labour, meanwhile, have equalled their lowest share since last December.
Scottish Parliament constituency voting intentions:
Liberal Democrats 8%
Scottish Parliament regional list voting intentions:
Liberal Democrats 8%
Those are obviously catastrophic results for the Tories, but it gets worse. There's also a question on public attitudes towards the Conservative party, and it brutally unmasks the extent of hatred among people who don't vote Tory. 73% have a negative view, and only 22% have a positive view - just barely above the actual current Tory vote, which is already down to the abysmally low levels John Major was receiving in the mid-to-late 90s. The whole Ruth Davidson circus might as well never have happened.