Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TNS-BMRB poll : Support for independence stands at 45% among definite voters after 'undecided leaners' are taken into account

As I said last night, the aspect of the new TNS-BMRB poll that will be of most interest to the Yes campaign (indeed, for the opposite reason it will be of equal interest to the No campaign) is the position once 'undecided leaners' are added in.  TNS-BMRB haven't collated those numbers themselves, but fortunately their datasets (unlike YouGov's) are detailed enough that it's possible to make the calculation.  First of all, here are the figures for the 72.5% of the sample who say they are certain to vote in September -

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 38.1%
No 47.3%

Excluding the hard-core of undecideds who express no leaning at all, it works out as -

Yes 44.6%
No 55.4%

If TNS had collated those numbers for publication, they would of course have been reported as Yes 45%, No 55%.  That's a strikingly small gap coming from a pollster that doesn't rely on a volunteer online panel.  However, we do have to bear in mind that most predictions for the turnout in September now exceed 72.5%, so the more meaningful figures may come from the 82% of the TNS sample who say they are either certain or very likely to vote -

Yes 37.6%
No 47.4%

With the hard-core of undecideds excluded, it's -

Yes 44.3%
No 55.7%

Those aren't too shabby either.  Admittedly the position is a touch less encouraging among the whole sample, working out at Yes 42.0%, No 58.0% after non-leaning undecideds are stripped out, but whether that actually matters is open to question, given that no-one is predicting a 100% turnout.

Having said that, Scottish Skier always points out that a particularly important figure is the percentage of the entire sample who say they are certain to turn out to vote and who currently plan to vote No - that currently stands at just 31.9%.  It rises to 35.6% when you take into account people who say they are very likely to turn out to vote, and who plan to vote No.  So much for the No campaign's theory of a year or two back that the "quiet but determined anti-independence majority" would make this a triumphal procession for them.

*  *  *

As Tom "work ethic" Harris perversely found it so "nauseating" that a decent, hard-working, law-abiding (etc, etc) couple decided to use some of their lottery winnings to help the cause of Scottish self-government that they've believed in all their lives, I wonder how he'll feel about a fabulously wealthy celebrity from South Gloucestershire donating money to the anti-independence campaign that she accrued after an Edinburgh cafe owner took pity on her and let her write stories about wizards in comfort and warmth?  As you'll probably have seen in Yes Scotland's email this afternoon, it doesn't take magic to fight back against Ms Rowling's attempts to further unbalance the playing field - you can make a small donation to the official Yes campaign by clicking here.  Other very important fundraisers running at the moment are Generation Yes, Business for Scotland and Green Yes (I'm sure there are plenty of others as well, but I struggle to keep track of them all!).


  1. What is the Yes figure in comparison to the No 31.9 & 35.6

  2. Rowling has got the tories and their labour chums in better together very excited with her donation but they don't appear to have noticed that there is nothing new at all in her largesse.

    She is a very close family friend of Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah and already donated £1 million directly to him and the labour party in 2008.

    Yet for some reason she doesn't appear too keen to lay out those simple facts today. Instead she chooses to makes blanket smears against the Yes campaign while somehow forgetting Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and others who support Yes have received verifiable death threats and had to call in the police.

    She also seems curiously at ease with stirring up hatred in the campaign with her inflammatory accusations which is very odd indeed considering she knows perfectly well where most of the hatred is coming from. The press.

    Today of all days when the jury retires to consider their verdict on Brooks and Coulson it's worth noting that she prefers to direct her ire at a few anonymous internet trolls since they obviously are the ones who matter most and not the establishment, media barons and their close friends in the Westminster government.

    The staggering irony is that despite Rowling testifying to Leveson they very real and abuse and misconduct she received at the hands of the unionist supporting press nobody in the Yes campaign was such close friends with Rebekah Brooks as Brown was.

    Brown and his wife Sarah had Brooks over for pyjama parties (as did Blair) and Brown was on extremely friendly terms with Paul Dacre of the Mail.

    So is pointing those facts out vile internet abuse? It would be passing strange if it was considering Rowling's own testimony to Judge Leveson.

    So precisely who is it that Rowling should be most angry about when she throws around accusations of abuse? The press and those who courted them so assiduously like Brown did? Or a some anonymous internet trolls who have no power whatsoever and never will?

    By all means Rowling should make her case against Independence but her tirade against a tiny fringe could have been written for her by the Labour press office or her friend Gordon. It is self-evidently designed to demonise and smear all yes supporters with with an ugly prejudice that the likes of Dacre, Brooks and Coulson would recognise immediately. That same kind of hatred has been and always will be spewed against the poor, the disabled, the vulnerable, immigrants, and LBGT people by them and their ilk.

    But I'm sure all the empty promises of jam tomorrow for the ordinary scottish public will be made good and everything is bound be fine with the likes of Clegg, Cameron, Miliband and their successors ensuring that we finally get a decent society concerned with the needs of the scottish people. Won't we??

    After all, Rowling has the proof of how her close friend Brown comported himself with his "British job for British people" and his somewhat telling abuse hurled at "that bigoted woman" to guide her in her considered assessment of just how fair and progressive any future Westminster Labour governments would be.

    Those who support Yes have been subjected to a deliberate, organised and relentless vilification at the hands of the press and their friends in the No campaign hundreds of magnitudes greater than anything a few internet trolls can ever possibly mount. The tragedy is Rowling knows this perfectly well and seems happy and even eager to join in with them. That's her choice and I hope she is content with it.

    If the No campaign seriously think the endless villification of Yes supporters will stop people campaigning in September or frighten people away from making a democratic choice then they are going to be in for the shock of their lives.

  3. Mike, If you don't blog already you should.

    A spiffing contribution.

  4. Back at the end of March / beginning of April the certain to vote No was 34%. At the same time, the definitely decided on No was just 29.9%. Status quo British folks in Devo max polls.

    Anyway, that's the lot BT are focussing on with their 'NO THANKS' campaign. It's the only group such a massively negative approach can work on.

    They're not confident so the goal is to rely on their hardcore vote, with anything else a bonus, while at the same time go as negative as possible to try and put people off the whole thing.

    If they can scrape a narrow No, job done and they can breath briefly before trying to work out what on earth to do when the SNP/pro-indy parties get another majority (2015 for UK possible and definite for 2016) and we're back to another referendum situation.

    It's fire-fighting now for the union.

    Only a 60%+ No would have bought them a good bit of time, with something like 70% killing it off. A 45% Yes would be a far bigger victory for Yes than for No, albeit a very disappointing one.

  5. Thank you kindly David. I'll leave the real blogging in the safe hands of James though I've a feeling I might just have quite a bit to say very soon. ;-)

    Just to further emphasise how lacking in a moral compass some in No appear to have, it's worth highlighting that there are now reports of mass beheadings in Iraq as that Westminster supported calamity continues to spiral out of control. I tend to think that Brown, Blair and Labour instigating the Iraq invasion and it's humanitarian catastrophe might be a bit more troubling to the scottish public than a few anonymous internet trolls. Though a few curious people may have very different priorities there as we know. It's also something that the majority of the scottish public know perfectly well would be repeated by Westminster if the opportunity arises. (there is indeed polling to back that up)

    I agree with Scottish_Skier that the No campaign are now doubling down on the negativity for much the same reasons they did in 2011 when things were starting to look rocky for them.

    It didn't work then and it won't work now. The waverers who No are targeting will still in the end have to choose who they trust when it comes to the rhetoric, particularly with the promises of jam tomorrow by panicking unionist parties. No has made a somewhat massive error there by trying to hype up their feeble proposals as DevoMax. They aren't even close to being so and come the debates the No campaign are gong to look even less trustworthy than usual because of that. That's when the yawning chasm between what DevoMax actually is and what they are supposedly promising gets calmly pointed out repeatedly and at great length. Not to mention the Westminster unionist parties amusing and extensive history of broken promises.

    It's a measure of how low they have sunk that the unionist parties haven't yet realised that their behaviour in government is going to be a tiny bit more decisive in the referendum than the behaviour of a few anonymous internet trolls.

  6. Looks like the PB tory SeanT is back on your blog James, with an even more amusing new persona than his usual Alan Partridge impersonation.



  7. I'm trying not to 'hog' James comments but the extraordinary hysteria that has afflicted some of the tory twits in the No campaign and their media chums is far too amusing not to comment on.

    Let me point out some basic political facts to those so wildly out of touch they appear to have lost all contact with reality.

    We just had a set of elections and local elections which proved beyond all doubt that the establishment parties and the media lashing out at a party was utterly counterproductive. Just as I predicted it would be six months ago. Let's not forget either that was when there was solid PROOF of kipper councillors and those standing for election having racist and outright lunatic views splashed across the media 24/7.

    Even then, the media and the tory and labour parties didn't sink so low as to attempt to use a few anonymous kipper trolls to try and smear an entire party and campaign.

    So what happened after that relentless barrage? While it's true that in scotland the SNP WON the EU elections and the kippers came a distant fourth, that's not what happened elsewhere, was it? The kippers WON in England beating labour with the tories coming an amusing third. That was their reward for all the tory CCHQ briefings to their chums in the press against the kippers.

    Just how much proof do you need that labour, the tories, the lib dems and the press and media are regarded by the public with contempt or simply ignored?

    So to point out the obvious yet again.. this is it, this is all the No campaign have.

    No positive vision for scotland at all. Just endless negativity and smears. SLAB have 2007 and 2011 as two very clear examples of just how badly that kind of campaign goes down in scotland but they still do not get it. I was expecting this. I predicted the No campaign would double down on the negativity and I fully expect it to work as well as it did for SLAB in 2011 or as well as it did against the kippers only a couple of weeks ago.

    When the referendum comes down to trust (as it must) the Westminster unionist parties are well and truly f****ed. That's the truth and that's why they are panicking.

    Yet now we have witless fools proclaiming utter doom for the Yes campaign after a scant handful of anonymous tweets and a donation from a close friend of Gordon Brown to match Rowling's first one in 2008.

    As the most amusing members of the press used to say, "you couldn't make it up!"

    So as David Cameron used to say when he signed off to his many, many texts to his very close friend Rebekah Brooks..


  8. @ Mick Pork

    Aye, that about sums it up.

  9. Mike Pork, seriously man, start up a blog. I did and I don't think I have half as much to say as you so eloquently do.

  10. I'm very flattered hugh and I shall indeed consider it. If only to keep James excellent blog focused on his forensic analysis of the polling which he does so admirably.

    Of which we shall be getting some more very soon. Polling which very clearly explains this all out assualt of negativity and smears from No as you soon shall see.

    (I hope James doesn't mind too much when I post at length and not entirely on topic)

  11. Oh Mick. At least drop us a hint regarding the 'other' stuff surrounding Brooks/Coulson.

  12. I was feeling a bit down today about the whole thing, and you've fairly cheered me up Mick. The relentless negativity is getting to me, and i'm a politics geek. Dog nose how "
    'ordinary' punters must be feeling.

  13. Feel free to post here on whatever you like, Mick! But I certainly agree with the others - your own blog would be a must-read.