Sunday, December 1, 2013

Polling boost for pro-independence campaign after the White Paper, as the No lead drops by 3%

It's very difficult to know whether it's worth the bother of reporting referendum polling figures from Progressive Scottish Opinion. Their track record is truly appalling - although they correctly showed an SNP lead for most of the 2007 Holyrood campaign, the figures were jumping about in a thoroughly unlikely manner from week to week, with for example the SNP ahead by twelve points one week, Labour supposedly ahead by three the next, and the SNP ahead by six the week after that. They have only attempted one independence poll so far in the referendum campaign, which produced an implausible No lead that was even in excess of the most extreme outlier of the mainstream pollsters (Ipsos-Mori). Perhaps most significantly, they don't seem to be members of the British Polling Council or to abide by their rules, which makes it very hard to understand why someone like John Curtice is giving them the time of day. At the very least, their results have to be treated with extreme caution.

Nevertheless, their latest poll is of some small interest due to it being the first one conducted since the publication of the Scottish Government's White Paper, and for what it's worth it shows the anti-independence campaign's lead dropping by 3%.

Yes 27% (-)
No 56% (-3)

And with Don't Knows stripped out (as would be customary in Westminster/Holyrood election polls) there's a bigger drop in the No lead of 4%.

Yes 33% (+2)
No 67% (-2)

Of course the raw figures for Yes and No are virtually meaningless - we know that some pollsters are much more favourable for Yes, some are much more favourable for No (this one is at the extreme end of favouring No), and some are in the middle. Until polling day, we will have absolutely no way of knowing for sure who is right and who is wrong. So the only important figure in each individual poll is the trend, and this one is very much in line with what TNS-BMRB polls have been showing recently, with the Yes vote remaining steady, and with No voters drifting back to the Don't Know camp.

The bad news, of course, is that Progressive Scottish Opinion are so unreliable that the trend is just as likely to be inaccurate as the raw figures!

1 comment:

  1. Still too far out from Polling day. One thing has happened, people are at long last starting to take an interest in the referendum. I can hear people talking in buses and cafes about it. I would liked to have sat in some of the conversations but that is taking things a bit too far.

    One person I know who was very hostile to the thought of voting Yes at the beginning of the year is getting near to voting Yes.

    All to play for yet.