Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yes campaign bounce back to all-time high in first post-debate poll from Survation

Survation have won the race to conduct the first poll since Alex Salmond humbled Alistair Darling in Monday night's BBC debate...

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 47% (+4)
No 53% (-4)

With Don't Knows taken into account, the figures are...

Yes 42% (+5)
No 48% (-2)

The dramatic changes in this poll completely wipe out the supposed gains that the No campaign made in the last Survation poll, which caused a flurry of excitement across the anti-independence media, given that it was the first poll to be conducted since Alistair Darling's largely fictional "victory" in the first TV debate.  Yes are now back to the all-time high with Survation of 47% that they first reached in June, and held onto for the next two polls from the firm.  I expect one or two commentators will try to make the case that Salmond's success on Monday ought to have generated at least the same temporary honeymoon effect that No enjoyed after the first debate - in other words Yes shouldn't simply have returned to the status quo ante, but should instead have gone well beyond 47%.  The problem with that claim is that, as you know, I don't think there's the slightest evidence that No ever had a honeymoon after the first debate, even a fleeting one - the most likely explanation for the bounce they secured in that one individual poll is that it was an illusion caused by Survation's ongoing problems with having to upweight certain groups of respondents by an extreme amount.

Just as importantly, those problems may mean that the progress made by Yes in this poll is, in any case, even more significant than a cursory glance would suggest.  On each and every one of the three previous occasions when Yes reached 47% with Survation, there was always something to be found in the datasets that left a big question mark over whether things were really as good as they appeared.  In the first two of those polls, Yes were heavily reliant on an unusually good showing among the tiny sample of under-25s, who had been upweighted by roughly three-fold, thus hugely magnifying the effect of any potential error caused by random sampling variation.  And in the third poll, Yes had a thoroughly implausible lead in the sample from the South of Scotland electoral region, which was upweighted two-fold.  Tonight's poll is the very first time that Yes have hit 47% with Survation without there being any obvious alibi in the datasets for No.  As usual, young people and respondents from the south have been upweighted sharply, but there's nothing out of the ordinary in the results from either of those samples.  Under-25s are in fact the third most No-friendly age group in this poll out of six, while the south is the second most No-friendly region out of eight (after only the Lothians).  So there's a case to be made that the dubious results from previous Survation results are masking the fact that Yes are now at a higher level of support than ever before, and that there has indeed been at least a modest post-debate bounce that has gone beyond simply returning us to the status quo ante.  If so, we'll probably find out for sure at the weekend, because there seem to be Panelbase and YouGov polls in the works.

At an absolute minimum, we're certainly entitled to conclude that Yes are now at a higher level of support than they were during the first half of this year, because Survation consistently had them at either 44% or 45% for several months in the late winter and early spring.

As always, we have to put a health warning on Survation's headline figures, because they have once again failed to join the new orthodoxy of weighting by country of birth.  There's no way of knowing for sure whether they have too many English-born people in their sample, but as that's a problem that has been observed in the results of all of the other three online polling firms, you'd think the balance of probability is that it applies to Survation as well.  If so, the No lead in this poll should probably be a smidgeon lower.

Respondents in the poll were asked who they thought won Monday night's debate - as with the equivalent poll after the first debate, the results are virtually meaningless, because they'll have been tainted by people's exposure to media reporting of the debate, which in turn will have been influenced by the instant poll from ICM.  Once again, the person who the media reported as the winner is given a wider margin of victory in the Survation poll than in the instant poll, which is exactly what you'd expect.  However, one finding that can't be so easily dismissed is that 35% of respondents who are currently undecided say the debate has made them more likely to vote Yes, compared to just 8.5% of undecideds who say that it has made them more likely to vote No.

In the comments section below, Colin has raised an issue that I intended to cover a day or two ago (before I got sidetracked).  The gist of what he said is : "It's good that Yes are making progress, but as people are already voting by post, isn't it a problem that Yes are still behind?"  Well, that depends on our reason for being confident that Yes can win - it might be that we think they're behind but can close the gap, or it might be that we think the polls are understating them slightly and that they're already ahead or level.  Under the latter scenario, the fact that voting is underway obviously poses no problem.

But if Yes really are a few points behind right now?  It's important to keep a sense of perspective - in spite of the huge number of postal vote applications that have been made, we're still only talking about 1 in 6 of the registered electorate.  The turnout will probably be higher among postal vote applicants, which might take the figure up to 1 in 5.  For the sake of argument, let's take a very conservative estimate of where the Yes vote might be at the moment - perhaps 43%.  If the postal votes being cast right now reflect that state of play, then Yes would need the equivalent of 52% support by polling day to overturn that small disadvantage.  It's important to stress, though, that they wouldn't need 52% support in the polls, which from now on will (or at least should) ask people to give either their voting intention or how they have already voted.  So a Yes lead in any poll will still mean what it says - it's just that it'll be a touch harder to achieve the swing necessary to get there, given that a significant minority of votes are already cast in stone, and can't be changed even if some people end up regretting what they've done.

That said, it may well be that postal vote applicants are disproportionately likely to be committed voters, and that people who are undecided or open to persuasion are more likely to be planning to vote on polling day - in which case the impact of postal voting on the Yes campaign's chances of closing the gap will be very limited.

*  *  *


Swing required for 1 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 2.0%

Swing required for 2 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 3.0%

Swing required for 3 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 4.5%

Swing required for 5 out of 6 pollsters to show Yes ahead or level : 6.5%

* * *


There have been a spate of very good polls for Yes recently, and it's only really been the one bad poll from Survation a few weeks ago that has been suppressing the Yes vote in the Poll of Polls. With that factor finally removed, it's no surprise to see the No lead slump to a new all-time low. With Don't Knows taken into account, it's fallen to below 10% for only the second time, and at 9.8% is 0.1% lower than the previous record low.

MEAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 44.4% (+0.8)
No 55.6% (-0.8)

MEAN AVERAGE (not excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 38.7% (+0.9)
No 48.5% (-0.3)

MEDIAN AVERAGE (excluding Don't Knows) :

Yes 43.7% (+1.1)
No 56.3% (-1.1)

(The Poll of Polls is based on a rolling average of the most recent poll from each of the pollsters that have been active in the referendum campaign since September 2013, and that adhere to British Polling Council rules. At present, there are six - YouGov, TNS-BMRB, Survation, Panelbase, Ipsos-Mori and ICM. Whenever a new poll is published, it replaces the last poll from the same company in the sample. Changes in the Poll of Polls are generally glacial in nature due to the fact that only a small portion of the sample is updated each time.)


  1. 'Triumph' for Darling and the incompetent fop Cameron!


  2. I'm worried though - people are voting right now as we speak. It needs to be in favour of yes by now, surely?

  3. 'Blow for Salmond' as poll deficit drops from 14 points to 6!

  4. I reckon if more polls confirm Yes at those levels, then Yes will probably win in the referendum

  5. Really concerned 'Colin'?

    *stifles laughter*

  6. Average split across all polls excluding dks and non voters is Yes: 45% No: 55%. 4/6 pollsters currently predict a a Yes vote of 45% or more.

  7. Apparently there are 680 thousand postal votes - massive number. It would certainly help if the Yes vote were higher by now.

    I'd guess that postal votes will be more No than the final result because of the demographics of postal voters.

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  10. Not like you to stifle laughter Mick - barely a comment of your goes by without a hearty LOL or a ROFL at the end of it.

  11. Yes, I am concerned Mick. I want yes to be ahead and to win this referendum convincingly. Why are you mocking me for that?

  12. You know nothing about the polls and 2011 then?

    Fair enough.

    Some of us, however, do.

    1. Try looking them up, by this stage the SNP were 10 points up.

  13. Was this vote done before or after BT labelled all women voters gormless idiots?

  14. On the face of it Survation have merely moved back to the position they were in for their poll before last on 3rd August. And that 4% bounce is exactly what all the other polls showed two weeks ago, this is not at all what I expected. I thought we might see a dead heat by now. People here will presumably be looking for Panelbase to move things on a bit at the weekend.

  15. Would you care to enlighten me then? I am asking for reassurance. :)

    1. I'd summarise as follows:

      This poll suggests that if those Don't Knows who gave an answer concerning their leanings are representative of all the Don't Knows then Yes is either already ahead or as close as makes no difference to the actual outcome on September 18th.

      Given the direction of travel - the movement is all from No to Yes (and assuming we continue to respond positively to folk on the doorsteps and online) this poll points to a Yes win on Sept 18th.

  16. A truly 'great' day for the incompetent fop Cameron just keeps getting better.

    Humiliation for Cameron as CBI Chief warns of EU exit

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been left red-faced after it emerged a dinner event in Glasgow organised by the CBI has seen the head of the organisation attack the PM's plans for an In/Out EU referendum.

    Mr Cameron, who had made the trip to Scotland in order to launch an attack on independence, tonight found himself the subject of criticism by CBI President Sir Mike Rake.

    In his address to guests at the dinner, Mr Rake took aim at Mr Cameron's EU referendum, and said the uncertainty was having a negative impact on businesses and investment.

    Mr Rake said: "We accept that calling a referendum on EU membership is a constitutional issue for government, but the ambiguity has already, and is increasingly, causing real concern for business regarding their future investment. Business is in no doubt that we must retain and secure our country's global future. If we're isolated, we cannot be our best."

    Commenting on the remarks, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

    "This is a humiliation for the Prime Minister on the same day one of his MPs has defected to UKIP, exposing the deep Eurosceptic seam running through the Tory Party which is dragging the UK ever closer to the exit door of Europe.

    "For David Cameron to be lectured by one of the UK's most senior business figures about the dangers of his in-out referendum on EU membership shows just how worried companies are about the prospect of the UK being taken out of Europe.

    "For Scotland, the choice is clear – a Yes vote which will protect our place in the EU as an independent member, or a No vote which could see us dragged out of Europe against our will, shutting us off from a single market of more than 500 million people with potentially devastating consequences for jobs and investment."

    The attack by the CBI Chief comes on the same day that a Conservative MP announced he had defected to UKIP. Douglas Carswell, who is the MP for Clacton, made the announcement today saying he wanted to see "fundamental change in British politics".

    The defection to UKIP is the latest evidence of a growing anti-European sentiment south of the border.

    So just for our anonymous commentor. :-)


  17. Looks like Better Together's biggest fear is aready happening: the women are catching up with the men.

    PatronisingBTLady was l'epic fail right enough.

  18. Commentor is my real name, just like "Mick Pork" is yours ;;;)


  19. And this is from *before* PBTLady.

    [rubs hands]

  20. Yes 47% (+4)
    No 53% (-4)

    Something called momentum and something called the ground campaign.

    Anyone who actually believes the ground campaign in the final weeks is of little consequence, or that No won't be at a massive disadvantage because of their pitiful efforts thus far, simply doesn't have a clue what they are talking about.

    The Yes campaign was already one of the most formidable and dedicated examples of a grass roots movement ever seen in scotland. I assure you, it is only growing in strength with every passing day.

    Those who still don't understand that need to get off their arses and actually take the temperature on the ground because it's certainly not hard to spot.

  21. Yes 47% (+4)
    No 53% (-4)

    Something called momentum and something called the ground campaign.

    Anyone who actually believes the ground campaign in the final weeks is of little consequence, or that No won't be at a massive disadvantage because of their pitiful efforts thus far, simply doesn't have a clue what they are talking about.

    The Yes campaign was already one of the most formidable and dedicated examples of a grass roots movement ever seen in scotland. I assure you, it is only growing in strength with every passing day.

    Those who still don't understand that need to get off their arses and actually take the temperature on the ground because it's certainly not hard to spot.

  22. So Cameron is being attacked quite rightly for his stupid EU referendum. Good! With any luck there will be no EU referendum anyway as Labour look to benefit from the Con split. But why in heck should this persuade people to vote Yes? On the contrary they can look forward all the more happily to a UK Labour government.

  23. When James is less busy number crunching and analysing the poll, there's a few repeat posts on here that could do with being culled.

    Ta. :)

  24. Expat, where exactly are you an expat, Lalaland?

  25. @Expat:
    I guess it depends on whether people see a resurgent UKIP as good because it hurts the Tories, or bad because it tugs the centre of political gravity in the UK to the right. Either way, though, I'd expect the effect on the referendum to be minimal.

  26. The poll asked respondents if the debate had had an impact in their voting intention, more undecideds broke for yes than no. If you add them into the headline figures for the whole sample it narrows to Yes: 48% No: 52%

    1. I'd summarise as follows:

      This poll suggests that if those Don't Knows who gave an answer concerning their leanings are representative of all the Don't Knows then Yes is either already ahead or as close as makes no difference to the actual outcome on September 18th.

      Given the direction of travel - the movement is all from No to Yes (and assuming we continue to respond positively to folk on the doorsteps and online) this poll points to a Yes win on Sept 18th.

  27. I think we can safely conclude that the relatively No-friendly poll we got earlier this month was a margin of error thing.

  28. You must have missed Darling being utterly humiliated by Salmond and the audience over his defence over tory policies on the NHS, attacking the disabled, privatisation, the economy etc. In fact just about every tory policy that came his way Darling managed to make labour sound as if they were supporting it. What a 'splendid' idea that was.

    We've had very little problem convincing the undecided labour voters that came our way after Darling's hilarious car crash. Nor indeed have Labour for Indy. Even the scottish socialists have been doing a very good turn with thoroughly pissed off Labour voters.

    But having the incompetent tory fop Cameron lecturing scots is bound to help the Labour undecideds stay on board, right?


    As for a Tory MP defecting to UKIP. It's a massive reminder to scots just how far to the right Westminster has lurched and that in an IN/OUT EU referendum scotland would be dragged out of Europe against it's wishes.

    Good news for little Ed? No doubt he will enjoy the headlines for a while yet but the tories are still within touching distance of labour while little Ed is still a complete liability in any election campaign.

    If you think the scottish public are happy to put all their trust in little Ed to save them from the tories then you simply haven't been paying attention to his Kinnock like ratings.

  29. the tables are up already

    Some gender gap, yes is level with men but down about 10 with women. Less undecided men 8% than women 15%.

    30% of Labour 2011 in the sample voting yes. Problem for Yes is that "only" 72% of SNP 2011 are voting yes (rest split between undecided / no). If they could get that up to 85-90 then that would just about do it.

    16-24 year olds upweighted massively as per usual... it doesn't make such a big difference this time because no is only slightly ahead amongst them in this poll, whereas they were like 3:1 ahead in the last (rogue) poll.

    Most of the swing to yes is unwind of that poll, but it's still a better poll for yes than no. Hence Alan Roden downplaying it as much as possible, even though it's in his paper.

  30. It also occurs to me that some of the most amusing and petulant whining always comes on SCOTgoesPOP after I, or indeed others, have had a good laugh at the cowardly Cameron.

    Don't expect us not to comment on the No campaign and it's most notorious supporters, particularly when the overwhelmingly unionist press and media are cheerleading for No and attacking Yes almost every single day.

    However, the fact of the matter is that the reason the Yes campaign is unlike anything ever seen before in scotland (or anywhere else in the UK for that matter) is that ordinary members of the scottish public are leaving behind the apathy that blights politics and taking control of their future for themselves. This is most definitely NOT just hardcore SNP activists. Obviously we are there but most of the people who walk in off the streets to help have never bothered with political activism before or for untold years. They are clearly enjoying the participation in the future of their own country. The sense of community, history and optimism for the future that the Yes campaign gives them is something for scots to be immensely proud of.

  31. Great poll.
    Does anyone know if there's gonna be an exit poll on the night (I hope not...I wanna see the results coming in area by area...)
    PBTLady is a source of such joy to me...spoofs proliferating all over the internet...the original vid is just so damn stupid with PBTLady rubbishing her own kids and sounding like a brainless eejit...McDougal must be loving it, chortle...

  32. Vote required to deliver the Independence Referendum from the scottish parliament = A historic and huge landslide majority.

    Vote required to win the Independence Referendum = 50.1%

    Try doing the math.


  33. It was still only 45% when you really get down to it though.

  34. I am sure they would secretly like to be able to pull that ad, but they can't be seen to be publicly admitting they were wrong. Behind the scenes however they must be fuming.

    If the public really turn off the currency Plan B whining in the last three weeks then BT are doomed as their other line about the supposed £6bn black hole of a deficit from day one is not cutting it.

    Poll seems encouraging, but momentum will come when we have more heading this way and Panelbase, our most friendly pollster, must put us ahead soon. I don't believe polls can predict the result but they indicate momentum and that is what is needed in these last three weeks.

    I'd imagine there will definitely be exit polls and we usually hear from directly after the polls close at 10pm but I am sure James will have more info on this.

  35. Yeah, 45% for one party under a system specifically designed to prevent a majority.

    I'll keep saying it in case it hasn't yet got through, this is NOT just the SNP. The Greens, Labour for Indy and the scottish socialists are ALL pulling their weight.

    The scottish socialists and the likes of Tommy have been plugging away at the old labour vote relentlessly and they are thoroughly enjoying themselves. They also rejected the more 'hardcore' tactics that the have deployed before because they simply don't need them nor are they appropriate. What Green supporter wouldn't want to enthuse about an entirely new way of doing politics with renewables as a very valuable part of the campaign? Labour for Indy can scarcely believe how prophetic they now appear with Darling making their case for a reinvigorated, autonomous and distinct scottish labour party. Never forgetting those who have never been political and just want to play a part in scotland's future.

  36. I still find it curious that the polling companies claim 3.1% margin of error as their "worst case" when the result is 50/50 or thereabouts. 3% is unquestionably best case, given their claims are founded on confusing "sampling error" with cumulative error. They simply don't know what the cumulative error is in their results, this isn't necessarily a crticism as its actually not possible for them to calculate it.

    As I wrote in my piece for this site a few weeks ago, headlines would be rather less sexy if accompanied with a conservative assessment of possible cumulative error- we must be talking plus or minus at least twice the sampling error for such an emotive issue as the indyref. The pollsters' methods are being tested to destruction here, will be interesting to see how they fare in a few weeks- though I don't foresee any inquests by the British Polling Council for companies who perform badly. Of course the BPC just happen to be made up of the very companies conducting the polls so i wouldnt think they would wish to question their own usefulness in highly charged political situations, bad for business that is.

    Our politics are thus at least indirectly affected by a self regulating group of private companies, who are paid by often partisan organisations. What's wrong with that picture?

    That said, looks close to neck and neck 3 wks out, though if the result is at the outer ranges of the true margin of error, well that could result in a landslide.

  37. Hi, can I ask a question (sorry if its a silly question, new to politics). How do they get their participants and will it include representatives from groups who never usually vote etc?

  38. Encouraging, but we need a final push to get over the line.

    One thing that stands out is the high proportion of pensioners still voting NO.

    We need a last minute push appealing to the old folks:

    Please don't hold us back !!

  39. @missprobable
    The poling companies have signed up members who have agreed to participate in 'political polls' when called on.

    They haven't been asking the people who have recently become involved in the independence campaign as these folk are highly unlikely to have been signed up to participate in polls.

    I would imagine that a large proportion of the new registered voters will be Yes, simply because there is campaigning groups who have gone into the poorest areas of Scotland and encouraged the politically disenfranchised people that this referendum will make a difference to them.

    These campaigning groups claim to have signed up a lot of people who had been previous non-voters.

    These housing schemes are the hardest hit by the Tory/Lib Dem austerity measures that Labour have promised to continue, so it isn't hard to argue that they will tend to vote Yes.

    Hope this answers your question at least in part.

  40. Thanks, it has. I wonder how much that will change the result.

    I fall into that category btw, I haven't voted for a while and I know a lot of other people who will be voting for the first time in a long time.I finally have a chance to actually make a difference for my kids. Its exciting!

  41. New IndyRef poll for Scottish Daily Mail from Survation has NO lead back to what it was before the first debate.

    Nice unbiased headline from political racism. Still it gives them a break from their UKIPpery and Muslim bashing.

  42. well, Anonymous, on pb, at least some of them know something about UKIP and right wing politics.

    a rare island where some of them knew what they were talking about.

    having said that, I'm at the point where i'm goign to stop reading it. i got sick of unpleasant right wingers on guido and stopped reading that too.

  43. chalks

  44. Q16. How, if at all, has the debate changed the way
    you intend to vote in the referendum?


    More likely Y - 27.3%
    More likely N - 11.7%
    No change - 61.0%

    Massive blow for Shouty there. ;-)

  45. Curtice's PoP moves 56-44 and still includes the old Survation 57-43 as well as this new 53-47 one. With a good panelbase at the weekend we might get a single digit Curtice PoP.

    Squeaky bum time! :-)

  46. Keep in mind the No campaign is still so astonishingly witless that they keep bleating dementedly about currency even after Darling said "Of course scotland can keep the pound".

    They simply have nowhere else to go. They bet everything on this one minority issue being some kind of 'magic bullet' and still don't realise Darling blew his own foot off with it.

    Even more amusing are the out of touch tories whining because Westmisnter governance is featuring heavily in this referendum. Seriously! They somehow appear not to have noticed that this Independence Referendum is all about who the scottish public trusts with their future. A fully Independent scottish parliament or westminster.

    It is only to be expected that tory Britnat twits don't understand scotland or the scottish public since we saw ample proof of that last night with the incompetent fop Cameron's delightfully comic appearance in Glasgow.

    Slightly harder to explain is their ignorance and complete blindness to it hardly just being scotland that views westminster politics as usual with contempt. You think their might be some small reminder of that splashed across all the papers and media today? LOL

    The truth is the tory twits are even more upset than usual because one of their own MPs has again called out the out of touch public schoolboy chumocracy led by cowardly Cameron, but this one has actually jumped ship to the kippers.

    Not really very surprising they are shrieking and whining pathetically after that, is it? ;-)

  47. A remarkable and stirring response to the No campaign's jawdroppingly bad patronisingBTLady PPB on Bella.

    And a heartbreaking report from WeeGingerDug that shows just how important this referendum is to scots.

    If all the No campaign really have left to offer the scottish public is increasingly fatuous and smallminded scaremongering over economics, then they have already lost.

    Trust is at the heart of this Independence Referendum and always has been.

  48. .As James Kelly wrote on this site ' post-debate bounces are often built on candy-floss' and it seems pretty obvious that, as so often in voting, the debates changed nothing, What in fact happened was one Survation outlier (the last one not today's ) temporarily and very noisily masked a small but notable swing to Yes and a convergence of all the polls, which is exactly what we were expecting based on previous experience. Survation has always been yes friendly and has now reverted to exactly where it was during June and July.

    We are now 20 days out of the referendum poll with postal voting ongoing and incidentally I would love to know when postal voting started in the 2011 Scottish election with which, quite understandably, people here are often comparing this referendum. What we can say is that in the constituency vote as far as 28 days out in 2011 the first poll had already appeared giving the SNP a 10 point lead, 20 days out (ie today in referendum terms) You Gov had a 3 point lead for SNP and from then on it was all big leads appearing regularly (the next one chronologically 14 days out). So things are on a knife-edge and I am the first to repudiate any possible idea either side is seriously winning polling-wise but it is not quite panning out like 2011 either.

    Oh and sorry to return to a related topic but one of the many Anonymous contributors here , obviously a Yes one, gets incredibly excited by the references I have made to Rupert Murdoch and has called me a liar and various other things. He claims I am not telling the truth about what Murdoch said to the Leveson committee. Leaving completely to one side the point that what Murdoch told Leveson might be taken with a pinch of salt compared to his unsolicited tweets on the subject, here is Murdoch's statement to the committee which makes interesting reading to say the least, .

    Murdch said and these are direct quotes : "I like Mr Salmond, I am interested in Scotland because I am half-Scottish. I am interested in the writings of the Scottish Enlightenment, and intrigued by the Idea of Scottish independence. The topics we have discussed include Scotland’s economy and possible NI investments in Scotland. The Scottish Sun, the leading newspaper in Scotland, has backed Labour (2007) and SNP (2011), It is neutral on Scottish independence."

    This is exactly as I reported: Murdoch is clearly keeping his options open about a Scottish Sun switch and you can bet he is watching the polls as closely as we are, awaiting his chance and a possible Sun endorsement at the point of No's maximum vulnerability. .Another more friendly contributor here called me paranoid about this. He has a good point but I have learned where Murdoch is concerned, paranoia usually pays.

  49. My impression of Murdoch has always been that he admires people that can't be bought. It's a common characteristic of hard-nosed businessmen.

    Weak characters like Nick, Dave and Ed who can be bought he'll of course pretend to be friends with, yet at the same time has no respect for them and is instead just using them to his advantage.

    People of strong character, irrespective of whether they are morally upstanding or not themselves (and this isn't Murdoch's strong point), generally respect people who are also of strong character.

  50. When the Sun did their own poll ahead of 2011 (MORI ~11 days from the election) and saw that the SNP were heading for a win, in agreement with the emerging trend of other polls, they backed the winner.

    I see no evidence for this helping the SNP (MORI had the result already largely there) which would of course make sense. What it maybe did is encourage people to be more honest with pollsters about their intentions in subsequent polls, ergo helped the picture become clearer.

    The 2007 'Vote SNP and put Scotland's head in a noose' Sun backing is classic example of how much impact it has on the way people actually vote. None.

  51. Expat, While I agree about the usually temporary nature of post-debate bounces, I think this one has possible extra significance in that it might push Y to a panelbase poll (if one's on the way) 50%. That might have knock on psychological effects.

    I'd like to know what others think of this Survation poll's question sequence. There's an awful lot of questions on educational attainment, income etc. before it gets to the referendum question itself.

  52. In today's yougov, just 9% of the Scottish sample said the UK Labour party 'is led by people of ability'.

    56% said this applies to none of the big 3.

    This has really kicked off recently with Ed getting the trust of just 20% in Scotland now. Labour appear to be crashing in Scotland.

  53. Brian : Those are all technical questions that shouldn't affect anyone's response to the main question. (Nothing like ICM's creepy classic of "how comfortable or uncomfortable do you think you would feel if I asked you the question I'm just about to ask you?")

  54. "This has really kicked off recently with Ed getting the trust of just 20% in Scotland now. Labour appear to be crashing in Scotland"

    Me and James did say at the time Labour for Indy were delighted with Darling's bizarre and suicidal defence of almost every inept and malicious tory policy that came his way. I assure you, they still are, and so are the scottish socialists.

    Not entirely sure why you are even bothering with someone who clearly knows next to nothing about the entire Murdoch scandal. More telling is that he seems to raise it every time we laugh particularly hard at the incompetent fop Cameron. Let me just check, yes, Cameron's spindoctor, close friend and former Murdoch Editor Andy Coulson is STILL in Prison.


  55. If the no campaign is astonishingly witless, and the yes campaign so go-getting and grass-roots, what will there be left to say when yes loses this referendum? There'd be no excuses left. :-)

    474 hours till the polls open...

  56. As I still have a little while on lunchbreak I thought it would be worth stressing again that one of the most gratifying ways in which the Yes campaign has energised political activism in scotland is into charities and helping those who are vulnerable and in need.

    It's not that surprising considering there are a great many Yes activists who are working in the NHS and the care services. They are acutely aware of just how large the gap is between the rich and poor and just how much work needs to be done to alleviate suffering in all sorts of areas. Nor are they slow to point out where help is desperately needed and can be easily given.

    To that end, and since I was reminded only yesterday by such generosity of spirit, if you have a spare ten minutes or so and if you can spare it please help by donating something to a Barnardos near you or one of the other charities listed. Doesn't need to be much just what you can. They appreciate every little bit of help.

    It's truly stomach-churning that repulsive far-right racists are drooling over the child abuse issue in Rotherham and elsewhere. So the best way to repudiate them and help end the neglect and alleviate the agony that the victims feel is to support charities who deal with this issue day in day out. They have an excellent track record in helping very poor and vulnerable children who are being failed utterly by some councils and the police.

    We have also seen an incredible response on many other charity issues issues such as foodbanks where truly inspiring work is being done.

    Download The Libations spine-tingling version of Caldeonia. Profits go to foodbank charities … #indyref

    This political activism, outpouring of community spirit and generosity can and will be harnessed and built on after the referendum. Be certain of that.

  57. James, another fantastic article as per usual. However I was just wondering regarding the 10.8% undecideds in this poll. With a substantial amount of polling info showing that Undecideds, by a 2/3rd ratio, are going in favour of Yes, is there an argument that Yes could potentially be at 49% rather than 47% if the undecideds were split in this way?

  58. SayNoToSexistNoTrollsAugust 29, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    "474 hours till the polls open..."

    You are sounding a bit smug for someone who's campaign is sitting at 48.5% in the poll of polls, and on a downwards trend.

    You need 50%+ to win remember, your 48.5% ain't good enough. How on earth will you manage to turn things around to get yourself back up over the 50% mark when all the indicators show no moving downwards, yes on the up, undecideds moving to yes and the fact that women have, historically, always vote the same as men. And they are starting to catch up, woohoo.

    No wonder you lot are in full scale panic mode.

    By the way, was it you who wrote the disasterous Patronising BT Lady advert, it's got your sexist attitude all over it.

  59. A straw in the wind: voter registration in Lothian up from 615,000 at the Euro elections to 645,000 now.

  60. "With a substantial amount of polling info showing that Undecideds, by a 2/3rd ratio, are going in favour of Yes"

    As far as I'm aware, there is no substantial polling info showing that. When undecideds are pressed on which way they are most likely to vote, they normally break more favourably for Yes than voters who are already decided, but it's rarely a 2-1 margin for Yes.

  61. Ok, thanks for getting back to me regarding this James.

  62. Expat you ARE smearing liar. Condemned out of your own mouth. Murdoch says he doesn't believe in Scottish Independence. From yos own mouth and yet you still say he supports it and will order his newspapers to do the same.

    You go through any comment thread in the MSM and find hundreds of similar smearing comments aimed at linking the FM and R Murdoch.

    It's not big and it's not clever. Are your parents proud that they raised a Scotophobic propaganda merchant?

  63. Just got a reply from a friend of my wife who asked Mrs SS about some iref stuff and Mrs SS said I could help.


    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to email.

    I am, and have been for a while, one of the 'Shy Yes' and was interested to find out from you what the true story was about oil.

    I'm fed up with people implying that Scotland will be a basket case if we don't have Englad to bail us out. Anyway, as I say I'm a Shy Yes and will let people spout forth with their scare stories and nod politely but I know where my cross is going.

    Fingers crossed,

    Puts a smile on my face

  64. Anonymous wrote

    "Expat you ARE smearing liar. Condemned out of your own mouth. Murdoch says he doesn't believe in Scottish Independence. From yos own mouth."

    Sorry I don't understand this. I have quoted you Murdoch from Leveson. It is on the Leveson website not 'my own mouth' and look it up if you like. Murdoch has pondered the practicalities of independence but he most definitely has not closed the door on it. If you have evidence Murdoch has said he 'does not believe in independence', please quote it. I'd be interested. If not, then your insults don't really add anything to the subject.

  65. Murdoch has neither a vote nor any influence. This is getting a bit tedious.

    It is a poll discussion after all and I don't see any specific linkage between Murdoch and polls.

    Aye - Scots will vote based on what Murdoch thinks - right.

  66. National Opinion Poll (Populus):
    CON - 35% (+3)
    LAB - 34% (-4)
    UKIP - 13% (-2)
    LDEM - 8% (=)
    GRN - 5% (+2)

    This sort of thing is more relevant to last minute switchers.

  67. SayNoToYesViolenceAugust 29, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    sskier, isn't it muddle-headed to ascribe voting intention for scotland's long-term future to what the short-term parliament at westminster will be?

    Also, doesn't take into account labour need a lot less of the vote than tories to win, as they couldn't push their boundary changes through. As ever with first past the post it's where you vote that counts as much as what you vote, ask zero-seat UKIP :-)

  68. SayLolToToryTwatMenAugust 29, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    #voteYes and we'll get the governments we vote for, every time. #indyref


    Four weekends of #activeYes left. Lets win this and get the governments we vote for #indyref


    Man charged over online threats against Alex Salmond

    A man has appeared in court charged in connection with online threats against Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.

    Steven Thomson, 43, from Renfrew, made no plea during the hearing at Haddington Sheriff Court.

    He has been charged with threatening or abusive behaviour under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

  69. Thought you might be interested in this, James:

    Wasn't aware that this sort of polling was going on.

  70. SayNoToYesViolenceAugust 29, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Good luck with that fourth weekend of campaigning loltory :-)

    463 hours

  71. Maybe at some point in the 463 hours between now and a Yes vote, you can eggsplain to us the thinking behind your latest name change?

  72. Anon at 10.46 : That's a bizarre story, but obviously it bears no resemblance to how published polls are conducted. Online pollsters do pay respondents, but it's usually only 50p!

  73. The comedy tory twit must be talking about this unspeakable horror, James. :-)

    Mike H 1 @MikeHannity · 6h

    Westminster raise UK egg Threat Level from 'poached' to 'scrambled'. Chickens put on stand by. #indyref

    Not some minor matter like this.

    Mary Bruce ‏@Mary_de_Brus

    See all you childish Britnats claiming chucking an egg is criminal gang violence,remember this horrific act? #indyref