Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Separate rooms might have been better, Darling

Just to let you know that I have a new article at the International Business Times about the errors made by Labour over the last few years that ultimately led to Alistair Darling's crushing defeat last night.  You can read the article HERE.

I know the blood-curdling title looks like very typical Scot Goes Pop fare, but believe it or not it's been considerably sexed up from the one I actually suggested!


  1. Very insightful article sir. Posted on facebook.
    Thank you

  2. The blurring of the Labour/Tory/Westminster lines became evident when a member of the audience accused Darling of privatising the post office.

    Darling denied it but, as the representative of Westminster rule versus Salmond for Scotland rule it was suddenly obvious that Darling's team had indeed privatised the post office. He will never be rid of the Tory association.

  3. I believe t was Mandelson who first mooted the P.O. sell off whilst in the Lords a few years ago

  4. A very accurate and well thought out summation of the extraordinarily deep hole Labour and Darling have dug themselves and then jumped in head-first.

    I'm reminded of the polling which showed just how damaging Darling and scottish labour's association with the tories was proving to be. That was a few months ago IIRC. After last night, Jeeeeesus! How to destroy your own parties reputation by systematically going through important policies to the scottish public and defending the tories on each and every one.

    Darling must be feeling a bit like Nick Clegg today. Same complete lack of strategic ability mixed with a massive dollop of voter repelling toxicity courtesy of cowardly Cameron and the tory party.

    Meanwhile the No campaign seems to be going for broke on the comedy front. After last night's hilarity we then get an excruciatingly badly acted and patronising PPB which is simply jawdropping.

    #PatronisingBTLady is trending away on twitter while you can almost smell the colossal PR incompetence that must surely have come from the out of touch comedy fops Cameron and Osborne. Not for the first time either.

    National Collective ‏@WeAreNational 48m

    .@robertflorence responds to @UK_Together's latest political broadcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH9TvFMYs48&feature=youtu.be … #IndyRef


  5. Interesting tactic in the new BT ad, attempting to appeal to the "long-suffering spouse of a Braveheart-watching cybernat" demographic. I thought it was teeth-grindingly patronising, but I guess I'm not the target market.

  6. Oh I think you'll find the scottish public are very adept at spotting a fake by now Keaton. They saw right through Blair's Iraq War lies in record time for a start. Darling fared no better last night either.

    This PPB positively reeks of westminster bubble Public Relations twits. They are so wildly out of touch with the real world that they utterly fail to comprehend that if your message doesn't look or sound genuine or heartfelt (and this joke of a PPB doesn't even come close) then it's hardly going to convince the huge mass of scottish voters on something as important as the future of scotland and who we trust to look after it's best interests.

  7. A fascinating comment by someone called John following John Curtice's article today on the debate (on Curtice's whatscotlandthinks website).


    John writes: Is the Yes Campaign already ahead? and then explains why he thinks so.

    Any responses to his analysis welcome!

  8. Is it true that Kellnervision(TM) are going to do a daily Referendum Poll? And will it be any more accurate than their blatantly rigged efforts so far?

  9. Can anyone tell me why there haven't been any polls for over a week (the debate snapshot excluded)? It seems a bit strange that after a flurry after the Commonwealth Games and the first debate, we now seem to have had nothing to go on for ages...

  10. As well as polls, where are the newspaper circulation figures?
    Ad what is the TV viewing audience for BBC Scotland's reporting?

  11. Interesting piece in the FT today (you have to sign up, but it's free to do so) titled "Scottish independence polls send conflicting messages". Nothing we don't know, but good to see others are realising it! http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1d9028a0-2d49-11e4-aca0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3BamWB3SR

    "The latest poll by YouGov puts support for a No vote at 57 per cent to 43 per cent for Yes when “undecideds” are excluded – a relatively safe 14-point margin. But a survey completed the same day for Panelbase put the gap at a nail-biting 52 per cent to 48 per cent.

    "And judging which result is more likely accurately to reflect the Scottish electorate is extremely difficult, given the particular challenges posed by an event as unique as a constitutional referendum.

    "An expected high turnout means many people will vote on September 18 who would not usually be seen in a voting booth – or found on the lists of the internet panels that many pollsters use to judge the electoral mood. This makes weighting samples to ensure they are politically and socially representative of the electorate even more of an art than usual.

    “There remains a chunk of voters who flatly refuse to tell us anything at all on their electoral behaviour – and it’s these [representing about 10 per cent of the total Scottish electorate] who hold the true balance of power in this campaign,” wrote Martin Boon, director of ICM Research, in The Scotsman newspaper.

    "But Mr Knox says the difference between polling companies should not be overstated. It has narrowed over time he says and the pollsters using online panels have recently clustered near 45 per cent support for Yes when undecided voters are excluded.

    “Given margins of error accepted at around 3 per cent, the four online pollsters are not really that far apart,” Mr Knox says, adding that it is likely that all the referendum surveys will start to converge as voting day draws near."

  12. That is if they actually publish anything before the referendum! Cant remember going such a long time - a week and a half - without one poll from someone....

  13. Pretty obvious that they are polling and Yes is level or in the lead they will be waiting for a rogue poll that they can publish. The MSM are quoting the current poll of polls(as of Aug 15) As 51 No 38 Yes.

  14. James, Can you please find out why there have been no meaningful polls released in 2 weeks?

  15. There remains a chunk of voters who flatly refuse to tell us anything at all on their electoral behaviour – and it’s these [representing about 10 per cent of the total Scottish electorate] who hold the true balance of power in this campaign,” wrote Martin Boon, director of ICM Research, in The Scotsman newspaper.

    Aye. So I'm not the only one to notice this.

  16. Can anyone explain why, if the polls are to be believed, the spokesperson for TNS was on the news last night stating that he thought the turnout would be in the high 60's, how can all the polls be converging on the high 70's as a 10/10 for voting yet an expert plumps for high 60's?

  17. I honestly don't think any of the pollsters have a clue what they are doing, nor do they have any idea on the turnout.

  18. Aye. So I'm not the only one to notice this.

    Must be even higher in non-self selecting polls like TNS and MORI.

    Certainly looks like that from tables.

    Scottish born / Scottish natID'ing refusing to take part. Women and older Scottish people in particular.

    When they do answer, Yes shoots up historically.

  19. Totally agree scottish_skier.

    10% is likely on the low side, very probably higher than that.

    There's also no way turnout will be comparable to scottish GE levels at the high end of 60% and the low end of 70%. This is a campaign and a level of grassroots and public engagement scotland simply has not ever seen.

    As for overstating the difference between polling companies, Mr Knox needs to have a word with YouGov's Peter Kellner. He's the one who has eccentrically bet YouGov's entire reputation on the other pollsters being totally wrong and even went so far as to commission a poll to try and discredit other polling companies figures.

    A somewhat 'bold' move considering that if his very No friendly polling turns out to be complete garbage then it's quite obviously going to get noticed. YouGov will then have very little credibility indeed for their 2015 GE polling and the scrutiny on their methodology will be intense.

  20. 10% is likely on the low side, very probably higher than that.

    If you have such a high refusal to take part rate, then you can imagine there will be a 'contradictory answers' % in those that do respond. People who say No then (oops) mark themselves as a Yes on 1-10 for example (ICM).

    Folk who say they trust the Scottish government and want them running everything then say they're, erm, voting 'No' but if you push them, 'might change their mind...'

  21. YouGov wont care,first they will very likely come into line by polling day and then claim last minute surge etc. If they don't its the UK GE and the rUK wont really care that they screwed up Scotland. That is their calculation. They will just shrug and say 'it was tricky to predict'

    That is if we EVER GET ANOTHER POLL!

    My new theory is they are waiting for the post debate bounce to fade.

  22. That's certainly a good summation of the spin they'll need to deploy Denise, but the fact of the matter is they were laughably late in getting anywhere near to picking up the true picture on the ground only three years ago as well.

    Repeatedly getting it wrong does tend to impact on just how seriously you will be taken subsequently. As we all know that failure by almost all the pollsters in 2011 is precisely why they and the rabidly unionist media are struggling to persuade anyone but the most comical britnats that we yet have the true picture from the ground.