Sunday, February 23, 2014

YouGov subsample spectacular

Just as a bit of fun, I thought it might be worth mentioning the results of the 206-strong Scottish subsample from today's GB-wide YouGov poll in the Sunday Times -

Westminster voting intention :

SNP 38%

Labour 33%
Conservatives 14%
Liberal Democrats 7%

That's the first time in ages that the SNP have had a clear lead in the Scottish subsample of one of YouGov's daily polls, but it gets better still -

Do you support or oppose Scotland becoming a country independent from the rest of the United Kingdom?

Support 42%
Oppose 43%

And how likely or unlikely do you think it is that Scotland will vote to become independent in the referendum this year?

Likely (total) 41%
Unlikely (total) 48%

Economically, do you think Scotland would be financially better off or worse off if Scotland became independent?

Better off 38%
Worse off 39%
No different 11%

Economically, do you think it would be good or bad for the remainder of the United Kingdom to continue to share a currency with an independent Scotland?

Good 55%
Bad 20%

Of course, these figures are relatively meaningless - they won't have been properly weighted, and even if they had been the margin of error for such a small sample size would be a hefty 7%. All the same, though, that makes two Scottish subsamples of GB-wide polls today (the other is Vision Critical in the Sunday Express) suggesting that the referendum race is essentially tied, so it's an interesting straw in the wind.  I also have the general impression that the SNP's average vote on the YouGov daily poll has been creeping up over the last week or two - there seem to have been more polls showing them above 30% than usual.

In case anyone missed it, I made an important update at the top of the previous post to make clear that Panelbase have introduced a new and much more neutral preamble. The fact that the No lead in the new poll has only dropped by two points probably means that the preamble wasn't having as much of an impact as we feared (and may well not have been having any impact at all), but I'm still hugely relieved - it's important that we can all have confidence in the methodology, and that there is full transparency.  (UPDATE : OK, this is getting very complicated - I now realise that the new Panelbase poll was commissioned by the SNP, which means that the neutral preamble was probably used at their request, and that there must be a big danger of the subtly biased wording being reinstated in future polls for the Sunday Times.)

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