Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pro-independence campaign surge to 48% in spectacular new Panelbase poll

The Sunday Herald have just tweeted the results of this weekend's new Panelbase poll (with Don't Knows excluded).  It shows the Yes vote at an all-time record high for the firm -

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 48% (+2)
No 52% (-2)

I say an all-time high, but of course that's only the case if we exclude the Panelbase poll late last summer which put Yes in an outright lead.  The legitimacy of that poll was later called into doubt due to an unusual question sequence (a little like last month's ICM poll).  Because this new poll was supposedly commissioned by Yes Scotland before being passed on to the Sunday Herald, we'll just have to be slightly cautious until we get firm confirmation that the referendum question was asked first.  But my guess is that it probably was - it was certainly asked first in the two Panelbase polls commissioned by the SNP and Yes Scotland respectively earlier this year.

Assuming that the methodology for this poll does indeed turn out to be sound, what does it mean?  Well, the most obvious thing to say is that two regular referendum pollsters (Panelbase and Survation) have both shown Yes at an all-time high within the space of a few days.  That could be coincidence but it's unlikely.  Oddly enough, my heart sank when I initially saw the Survation datasets, because there were a couple of unusual patterns which made it somewhat more likely that the swing to Yes might have been an illusion caused by random sampling variation.  But the fact that Panelbase have independently found exactly the same trend sets my mind to rest on that score to some extent (although obviously it's still possible that ICM might show something different later tonight).

Oh, and it's probably also worth making the small point that if Survation and Panelbase are getting their methodology right, it's now clear that the Yes campaign have every chance of winning this referendum, and Scotland could well be on the brink of becoming an independent country.  Even if the more No-friendly pollsters are closer to the mark, there does now appear to be renewed momentum towards Yes, so the somewhat larger No leads reported by the likes of YouGov can't be regarded as in any way safe.

This is the third poll to be published during the campaign that can be called a 'statistical tie', meaning that if the standard margin of error is to believed, there is a greater than 5% chance that the side that appears to be behind is actually in the lead.  The previous two were the aforementioned controversial Panelbase poll last summer, and the ICM poll published on Easter Sunday.

The new ICM poll is now out - details of that, plus a landmark Poll of Polls update, can be found in a fresh post here.


  1. So another week of smears and insinuations in the offing.

  2. The reason I was sure the narrowing was real and still continuing was the obvious blind panic now rampant in the No campaign as they double down on the negativity. Exactly as I predicted they would months ago. Negativity and attacks that will be just as effective as they were in 2007, 2011 or as they were against the kippers only a scant few weeks ago.

    Remember, in the case of the kippers there was even absolute PROOF of their candidates racist and lunatic views. Yet still the media shrieking backfired.

    Quite a stark contrast to the complete and utter desperation that has seen the astonishing spectacle of the No campaign and unionist media scrambling about for random tweets from a few internet nobodies to try and smear an entire campaign.

    They cannot stoop any lower than that and their feeble and pitiful smears and attacks were obviously never going to work in the first place. That hysteria and negativity will be even more toxic to the No campaign in the final few weeks, just as it was in 2011.

    Just think for a second about that 48% who have seen days or relentless villification, attacks and smears aimed their way because they support an independent scotland. You think they're all going to change their minds just to please the unionist media? LOL No chance! They also all have family, friends and work colleagues, a great many of whom will obviously be undecideds.

    Does anyone seriously think all those friends, family and colleagues of Yes supporters will believe the demonisation bullshit in the papers? Or is just a bit more likely that they will believe their own first-hand experience of what Yes supporters are really like? A first-hand knowledge that will inevitably cause them to even further mistrust the westminster liars and their media attack-dogs.

  3. Mick Pork

    You are spot on. With the STV local election voting it has produced many local councillors who will be working in their communities.

  4. Indeed Macria. The fact of the matter is we've already seen this happen in 2011 when the unionist media was full of negativity and it simply backfired.

    You put your finger on the heart of the matter with "community". As if an out of touch twit like Cameron or even little Ed could possibly grasp that in scotland there is still a reasonably strong community spirit to be found.

    The No campaign have been so focused on smears, negativity these often ludicrous celebrity /political endorsements for No that it has somehow totally escaped them that for years now the Yes campaign has been quietly and consistently organising and holding town-hall meetings up and down the land. Some of them only got a couple of dozen folk but numbers like 200, 300 and even 400 are getting pretty commonplace now. They certainly aren't all Yes supporters either and are polite and good natured two-way discussions with the audience. I cannot stress enough the multiplier effect those meetings have. It only takes some of those attending to come away impressed to spread the word and keep the ground campaign growing. Which it is.

    In social media too the No campaign has pretty much conceded they will never match the enthusiasm for Yes. Why do you think they use CyberNat as a term of abuse if not to signify their hatred and fear of the tech-savvy campaigners who keep pointing out their many lies.

    Which leaves the old media of the press and TV.

    Well they can have the press since the public regards the tabloids and their ilk with pretty much universal contempt and distrust. (far more to come on that soon LOL)

    As for TV, I have no fears AT ALL of watching the big debates featuring Sturgeon, Salmond, Canavan or any other Yes spokesman put up against the westminster rejects and assorted third raters that No has to rely on. The humbling of Carmichael and others at the hands of Sturgeon was not a one off, nor will Lamont impress any more than her predecessor Iain Gray did when trying to persuade scots on prime time.

    It's also very funny to see tories falling back on the exact same failed spin that SLAB used when the polls kept narrowing in 2011. That the women's vote would save them and there was nothing to worry about. You didn't hear them saying that much after the landslide though, did you?

    That's because the women's vote simply took longer to decide than the male one. When it came down to the final weeks and days of the vote they did decide and were a BIG reason there was a landslide and not just a narrow win.

    Now we have the appalling bloodbath in Iraq reigniting. Scots know perfectly well that Iraq was supported by Cameron and little Ed. A support that will make it crystal clear to everyone in scotland just how 'better together' we would be with westminster warmongers in charge of scotland in 2015.

  5. Thanks for the post.

    Pardon me, but statistics is not my forte. I don't appreciate how the 5%/95% confidence level you sort of talked about tells us much more than usual.

    However, it seems interesting that Yes and No are close enough in this poll to be within the (typical) 3% error bars.

  6. "Pardon me, but statistics is not my forte. I don't appreciate how the 5%/95% confidence level you sort of talked about tells us much more than usual."

    It's purely a psychological threshold - in America (at least in some quarters), a poll like this wouldn't be reported as a No lead at all, but as a "statistical tie", because there is a greater than 5% chance that Yes are actually in the lead due to the margin of error.