Monday, September 15, 2014

Poll of Polls – a longer-term perspective

A guest post by Ivan McKee

With the frequency of polls increasing now it’s easy to get sucked into trying to draw conclusions from each poll release to try and determine what is happening on the ground. It can be more helpful to take a step back and have a look at the trends in the Poll of Polls over a longer time.

Using James’ excellent Poll of Polls methodology I have been keeping track of PoP trends both for the headline numbers and for the Male and Female data subsets. It’s worth sitting back and drawing some conclusions at this stage.

Looking back over time a few trends are perceptible and of interest to us.

1. NO lead in the Poll of Polls (data including Don’t Knows)

This was sitting at 21.6% back in September of last year, quickly dropped to fluctuate within a range of 19% (+/- 1%) from Oct through until Dec, this then broke-out to sit within the range 14.5% (+/- 1%) through the period Jan- March.

In April a further drop to a new ‘normal’ range of 11.5% (+/- 1.5%) was experienced which lasted right through until late August.

Currently the NO lead in the PoP is in free-fall. Almost every new poll is driving it lower and it is currently sitting at 3.5% after the weekend polls.  (Interestingly if you exclude the Ipsos MORI poll from early August the PoP across the other 6 pollsters shows a No lead of only 1.5%.)

2. Undecideds

The next interesting piece of data is what has happened to Don’t Knows.

Despite all the comments at the time about Don’t Knows making their minds up in the earlier part of the campaign the DK as measured by the PoP was remarkably stable at 17% (+/- 1%) from September 2013 right through until Feb 2104. It then dropped into the range 16% (+/- 1%) where it sat right through until August. Since then the DK number has been falling steadily and now sits at around 10.5%.

All of this reduction in headline DK has moved to Yes (of course there will be considerable churn under the surface with N to DK and DK to Y taking place).

This pattern continuing would see a further boost to Yes as the final DKs make up their minds.
The other interesting piece of evidence that supports this picture is the trend in the NO vote in the PoP. This was sitting at 51% in the PoP back in Sept 2013, but hasn’t been above 50% in any PoP since mid Oct 2013. Over that period it has gently drifted down and currently sits at 46.4%. Even allowing for the fact that the winning post might not be 50% (assuming not all DKs vote in the end) NO has to see a reverse in this long term trend to prevent being pipped at the post.

3. Gender Analysis

Perhaps the most interesting piece of the jigsaw. As we all know there has been a significant gap in voting intentions between the genders through the campaign. Analysing the separate Poll of Polls calculated for Male and Female voters shows the following :

• The gender gap in the PoP has closed, but not significantly. Female voters were 19% more NO than males in the autumn of 2013, that gap is now sitting at around 14%.

• The % of undecideds among female voters has always been higher than amongst males. Female DK in the PoP was at around 21% in autumn 2013 and has now fallen to around 12% (compared to male DK which has fallen from 14% to around 9% over the same period).

• The PoP for the male data set now shows Yes in the lead by 3.3%, while for females No is in the lead by 10.4%. There was a theory that the gender gap would close as we neared polling day (I believe there is some evidence that a 19% gender gap closed to a 3% gap by polling day in 2011). This may happen this time, and if it does then we are looking at a comfortable Yes victory on Thursday. It may be the case however that the gender gap persists (although at a reduced level) right through until Thursday.

• The other point to consider of course is the impact of the age demographic on the gender gap. There is a huge discrepancy between voting patterns of over 60s (very heavily No) and under 60s (Yes lead in most polls now). The fact that there are more female voters in the over 60 age cohort than males may have an impact that flows through to the overall gender gap. I haven’t quantified this but would be surprised if it is more than 2 – 3%.


  1. I demand a graph! Polls without graphs are like flowers in black & white!

  2. Great post Ivan.

    I suppose the other interesting thing to chart would be the trend in the percentage of Labour voters who are intending to vote YES and compare this with other parties over the course of the last year.

    I haven't heard a lot about what Lib Dem voters have been doing, though my impression is that Conservative and SNP have been quite stable with most of the drift to YES coming from Labour. Would love to see that mapped out however.

    The demographics both inspire and depress me. I have been out canvassing and a lot of the older generation are very firm NO voters, 1 on the YES Scotland scale with not even an interest in listening. If we are unsuccessful this time, the next time we are here again, and it will happen I am sure, this will not be the case. If NO wins this will have been the key demographic for them. It is no coincidence of course that this group is more female and takes most of its news from traditional papers as well as STV and BBC. It has the lowest engagement with social media.

  3. Anonymous: I graph James' poll of polls among other things here

  4. So hard to predict how any street will go. Here in my street of 10, I've got 4 No houses staring at me aggressively - I know it's not their fault these posters look so repellant though and they've been looking at my Yes stuff for months so I don't take it personally. I'm surrounded!

    In the next street, the street whose back gardens back on to mine, I went this evening to have "the talk" with an elderly lady who is undecided, wants to vote Yes but taken in by every scare story. Left her with the DVD of "Scotland Yet" as she was struggling a bit with the Wee Blue Book.

    During our conversation I suddenly remarked, "you're surrounded too, aren't you!" On one side, one of our Women for Independence group. Beyond her, a couple not showing a sign but I'm sure from leafleting conversations are Yes. On the other side, a long-time SNP member. Opposite, another Yes house as flamboyant as mine, long-time friends and also SNP members. And maybe she doesn't realise but over to the left there's another house where the family who just moved in two months ago have a rather discreet Yes window.

    Two quite similar streets, right next to each other, but such different voting patterns.

    By the way, I just leafleted Carlops, and noticed 7 Yes windows and no Nos out of only 45 houses total in the village. I know No voters there, but they're not showing.

  5. Excellent. You just can't beat a good graph.

    There's only one way that trend is going. Which doesn't say much for a campaign that enjoys universal media supports with such a massive advantage in spending and resources.

  6. Posters are just..posters. Useful for morale boosting, maybe, but there is no evidence whatsoever that they provide any indication as to polling outcomes.

  7. Indeed Rolfe. It's only the out of touch westmisnter bubble media and the ignorant twits who believe them who don't have a clue what's happening on the ground.

    You can be 100% certain that almost all ordinary scots know by now.

    The most incredible thing about the comical 'coverage' of the Indyref by the bubbleheads is how desperately they try to avoid what's happening on the ground or report the true picture. Be in no doubt, this is without question the biggest most amazing and diverse grass-roots political movement ever seen in scotland.

    The most hilarious thing about the unionist media 'coverage' is that there is ZERO chance of any of the westminster parties ever getting this kind of engagement from ordinary people. If this kind of grass-roots movement was seen for anything other than the Independence Referendum then the media would never stop talking about it. Instead they have not only ignored it for YEARS but only now, at the last minute as the omnipanic engulfs them, do they even acknowledge there even IS a grass-roots campaign going on. (though they still refuse to report on the scale and the inspiring nature of it)

    On the West Coast we also deal with the small pockets where the Orange Order still have some real traction. Yet even there, to our great surprise, there is no overwhelming No. In some of the most orange areas there is more No houses than Yes but it's not by a big amount. Which is quite simply staggering. These areas should be the very beating heart of the most hardcore "unionism", yet they are most definitely not.

    It's also instructive that if you ask a campaigner on the West Coast if they've had any trouble almost all will tell you that of the very little trouble they have had (shouting abuse or drunk) 95% of the time they'll tell you it's orangemen. (They're not hard to spot to be fair)

    It's the timescale of the two ground campaigns that needs stressing continually though. Only in the past couple of weeks were we starting to get some real visibility and action from (still hugely outnumbered) No leafleters and campaigners.

    The question is, where were they months ago? Where were they when the thousands of town hall meetings were starting two years ago? That is the scale of the disconnect between the reality of the grass-roots Yes campaign and the laughable spin put on it by the desperate and panicking unionist media.

    Some areas are on their fifth or sixth complete coverage of the surrounding towns with every new set of leaflets/papers. You certainly can't do that in a couple of weeks.

    The nature of just how long and just how hard some of our campaigners have worked over the years was brought home to me recently as we tackled some VERY big areas to cover with the last "two futures" leaflet.

    Remember, we aren't just talking about SNP activists. (only the westminster bubble media are stupid enough to try and peddle that bullshit) We are talking about people who have walked in off the street to help along with greens, SSP, disillusioned labour, former lib dems, the lot. Are there SNP activists in there too? Of course but they are just one part of many. The point is that those who just walked in off the street and wanted to help (who NEVER had an interest in politics before) are now incredibly impressive at leafleting and campaigning.

    They can look at a map (and some of these areas are not just huge but built like a maze) and work out the most efficient route in a matter of minutes then calmly and determinedly proceed to leaflet them so quickly you would think they had been doing it all their lives. At a stall or a Yes shop they will walk through undecideds on any topic. They are patient, cheerful and helpful even when incredibly tired.

    Whatever else happens the grassroots Yes campaign have proven they have run one of the most inspiring and engaging political campaigns ever seen. We can be justly proud of that and we will never forget it.

  8. Excellent stuff again from Ivan.

    And well done on tele today, James. You were superb, very clear and came across well.

    Hope you have managed to get a break from these poll free days.

  9. I'm sure Glasgow and Dundee are going well but I think people are overlooking Aberdeen. I really don't think the vote is going well here. If there's anyone out there thinking they've tried every door in their town then we could really use some help for a day if you're not too far away (obviously not if it's in any way at the expense of anywhere else!).

  10. Mick, I have an area which is mostly very rural. Sometimes you have to drive a couple of miles to get to two or three houses.

    I've done the lot four times, I think, with Yes newspapers and leaflets. Last time they got the poster-leaflet, the WFI leaflet and the Wee Blue Book.

    Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

  11. Interesting about Aberdeen, Anon. I've thought for a long time that Dundee, Glasgow will be Yes whilst Aberdeen, Edinburgh a No.

  12. If Aberdeenshire is a Yes that may balance out Aberdeen?

  13. I'm pretty sure Aberdeen will be a no by a very long margin and it's our third biggest city which worries me.

    Still we're obviously doing well overall but I think Aberdeen is our weakness. It's a matter of convincing people that the oil industry won't be hurt (I think it would be good for oil but Ian Wood and Bob Dudley haven't helped).

  14. Niall, I don't know what the polling shows but I'd be surprised if Aberdeenshire is much more of a yes than the city. Anyone know how the polls are up here? Is it broken down into regions?


    Interesting maps in this article.

  16. @Anon

    Perhaps you've seen the following data circulated on twitter. It's a report from Credit Suisse giving estimated declaration times for each region together with a 'Yes' rating: reproduced here

    With a highest possible pro-Yes figure of 10, Aberdeen is a 4 and Aberdeenshire a 7. Of course this could be completely off-base and I am struggling to find more info on how Credit Suisse came to these figures - can anyone help?

    Certainly the populations of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are roughly equal, and the region was very good to the SNP in 2011

  17. Niall, I'm not too sure about that map.
    It has Western Isles as a 2. I'm guessing they lumped them in with Orkney and Shetland.

    Orkney a 0. I've a pal from Orkney and he says the mood has shifted a fair bit, their council leader has come out in favour of Indy too - he's not sure if Yes can win, but he's thinking they'll get over 40%.

  18. I agree that many of the individual figures should be taken with a pinch of salt. I wonder if in some cases these figures understate Yes' strength - eg Glasgow is only a 5.

    Clackmannanshire is a 10: is this really the most pro-indy area in Scotland?

  19. Apparently the Yes Ratings are based on what calls '2012 SNP support'. Assuming he means 2011 SNP support this is likely a fairly poor proxy for likelihood of a Yes vote.

  20. Excellent analysis and article Ivan. Thank you very much. The poll numbers look like they are travelling in the right direction however I'm a little worried about the reports from Aberdeen. We should be aiming for around 45% Yes in Aberdeen to be winning nationally. Glasgow is without doubt voting Yes but we should be looking for a Yes vote in the high fifties to balance out Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

    Anecdotally, the latest scare stories seems to have galvanized those who were already Yes. I've noticed a few undecideds come out as No but I suspect they were already Noes. Worryingly I have heard of a couple of soft Yes moving to No citing the economy as the main reason.

    Yes need a big story over the next two days to get people to stop talking about the barrage of scares. That should seal the deal.


    ICM boss: a polling Waterloo is possible...we might have called it very wrong

    Tuesday 16 September 2014

    OPINION polls showing the Yes and No campaigns neck and neck could be wildly inaccurate, a leading pollster has admitted.

    From the man concerned about the '10% flatly refusing to be polled'.

  22. The numbers on that credit Suisse map are the times of declaration, surely?

  23. Skier, you should be working for a polling company.

    You think that the majority of that 10% are women?

  24. Boon still thinks there's a big Shy No lurking ...

    Mr Boon said: "In Scotland now I believe it could be true to a limited degree there is a kind of patriotism spiral of silence going on. Perhaps some people think it is unpatriotic to say they are a No voter, maybe they are inclined to silence."

  25. Where did this shy No fit in when Yes was as low as 25% and no 55% in 2013?

  26. Sorry?? But Boon is actually claiming the opinion polls could be could be "wildly inaccurate" but only in one direction and favouring the No campaign?



  27. Anyone ever come across a shy vote for the side clearly ahead in polls which has the backing of all the media?

  28. Don't buy the shy no angle, given the mass media blanket ongoing election broadcast for no.

    Also, not convinced that we need to stack up the vote numbers in Aberdeen that someone is claiming here - and other on the ground reports suggest we are doing pretty well there anyway.

    But remember, over 70 per cent of people live in the Central Belt and the majority of these in the west. Lanarkshire - even without Glasgow has about 20 per cent more people than Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire combined.

    I suspect the trolls are out trying to curb our enthusiasm (with apologies to the great Larry David). Ignore, and as Mick Pork and others would say, get out there and keep at it for the vital last days!We are winning.

  29. Saw some comments on Aberdeen, it has a population of 200k. If we get 80k that's 40%, I'd be happy with that.

    A lot of the thatcherists and greedy oil people stay in Aberdeenshire. Aberdeenshire is quite strong for a Yes vote. I think it'll be 50/50 in Aberdeenshire. It's a huge area as well, which people forget.

    This will be won on the West Coast.

  30. @Rolfe

    Superb work. This has been an incredible campaign across every part of scotland as the huge, diverse grass-roots Yes campaign have done everything in their power to make sure it reaches everywhere.

    There can be no scot who hasn't noticed it in some form as it has been so hardworking and has been building for years.

    That is why the incredible omnipanic from the No campaign is so obvious. They have relied on an out of touch unionist media all through the campaign yet when the polls just kept narrowing they simply relied on it even more.

    The astonishing last minute spectacle of out of touch westminster twits like the cowardly Cameron speaking to a tightly controlled party members only audience, well away from ordinary scots in the street, is somewhat unlikely to make undecided labour voters put all their trust in him. To say the least. Having the incompetent Cameron join little Ed and Nick Clegg in signing a 'pledg'e doesn't look like blind panic and utter desperation at all.

    I think it's a safe bet that the very first thing most scots will be asking is, if this is a serious offer why didn't you offer this laughably thin 'jam tomorrow' months ago and not after hundreds of thousands have ALREADY VOTED with their postal vote?

  31. If it is a uniform swing from 97 then we need around 48% in Aberdeen and 40% in Aberdeenshire which had a much lower Yes vote to just win this nationally.

    Is it true the declaration is now up at 1.3m signatories?

  32. @Stickers Do you have any more stats like this we should be keeping an eye on as the results come out please? Would be very handy. "We should be aiming for around 45% Yes in Aberdeen to be winning nationally. Glasgow is without doubt voting Yes but we should be looking for a Yes vote in the high fifties to balance out Aberdeen and Edinburgh."

  33. Hi David. I have a whole bunch of analysis based on 1997 and 2011 election results which gives a weighting to each local authority and the percentage required in order to achieve 50% nationally. I'm not sure the best way to publish this but I'll have a think.

    I will say though that anyone thinks we will achieve independence with 40% of the vote in Aberdeen is just plain wrong. That would be indicating a national vote of just 44% Yes.

  34. That kind of info would be great if you have it, it will make Thursday night/Friday morning a lot more interesting to watch numbers wise. Im Irish but like a lot of people here following this with a great interest but havent got the constituency knowledge like I would have in an Irish referendum. Maybe a Dropbox link or something to the data might be good.

  35. Jeremy Warner the Telegraph's economic columnists has just let the cat out of the bag:

    "Westminster must immediately abandon all this nonsense about not allowing Scotland to use the pound. On the right terms, monetary union between Scotland and the rest of the UK is perfectly feasible. Wider monetary union in Europe has manifestly failed but few would challenge its efficacy between, say, Germany and Austria. Scotland and the rest of the UK are similarly integrated, economically and contractually. Yet there has to be a price. Scotland must surrender sovereignty to keep the pound, as Europe has in keeping the euro."

  36. I'm not sure where the shy No hope is coming from either.

    Unless TNS are sending their researchers out wrapped in saltires and wearing CU Jimmy wigs, it does seem a bit unlikely that shy Nos wouldn't be able to share their No for fear of being unpatriotic.

    The last 1997 polls underestimated Yes to both questions, 2011 underestimated SNP especially on the list. Boon's own poll where they asked about "how uncomfortable" pointed to shy Yes. He seems to be wilfully wishful thinking?

  37. There is evidence "the Swing" might not be uniform of course

  38. Exactly Dalriadan, I don't think comparisons with 97 are much use as the way society viewed THAT and this question are entirely different and the media framed it in a massive differently way.

    I will stick to my guns on the 40%for Aberdeen, I think we'll make up the shortfall in other areas, 8% more is 16,000 people, if we can't make up that shortfall in strong Yes areas then we have lost. As said, the population density of the west coast will be what swings it.

    But if you ask whether I think Aberdeen will be the gate keeper for the Union, I would say it will be over by the time Aberdeen is ready to declare. It's my opinion that the Aberdeen result will largely, not matter.

  39. @James - Any confirmation yet of what polls, if any, are being announced later on tonight for publishing in tomorrows papers ?

    Is there likely to be any to be announced tomorrow night for publishing on the day of the actual vote ? Wasn't sure if there are any rules around not influencing the vote on the actual day.

    Also, it's normal in general elections for the official campaigns to not campaign the day before the vote. Is that the same for this vote i.e. will there be any official campaigning tomorrow ?

  40. Just seen on twitter that we are getting:

    Ipsos Mori
    You Gov

    Fair to say that normal rules of fair play are out the window on indyref, UKGov will stoop as low as required. Been a real eye opener.

  41. Thanks Chris. Are all those due out later on tonight ?

  42. The shy NO vote is a total myth, just about the only comfort blanket BT have left as they lie awake in bed at night stressed and panicky about Thursday. It does not exist, and what is more there is NO evidence to suggest it exists. It is as illusory as these so-called more powers. Jenny Marra was harping on about the silent NO majority in Dundee. I am in Dundee all the time and this is fantasy talk. Dundee is probably the most pro-YES city in Scotland. It is all wishful thinking mainly from Labour politicians in denial about how much of their core vote has abandoned them.

    As far as Thursday goes we have a raft of councils declaring between 2 and 3am, quite a few of which are quite hard to call, so we should have a good indication from early on of how things are looking. The real three heavyweight areas of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Fife will all come later and has been said (although I am not entirely clear why) Aberdeen will be the last major city to declare. I'd expect Aberdeen to be a narrow YES, but if we are getting to that stage and things are very close, or we are marginally behind I wouldn't expect Aberdeen to be the hero. On an amazing night for yes by the time we get to Aberdeen it would already effectively be in the bag.

    Glasgow, Fife and Edinburgh are the clinchers. I am sure Glasgow will vote yes, Edinburgh will vote no, but we need to see whether those two cancel each other out or not? Fife, where I live, is impossible to call right now. So many regional variations, home of Gordon Brown and some very traditional Labour areas such as Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy, but there is a lot of YES support here across the diversity of the region and I remain hopeful. Fife really is the biggest area in terms of electorate which is really hard to call. It is Scotland in microcosm really. I'd put a fair chunk of money on the fact that whatever way Fife goes, will be the outcome of the national result.

  43. Fantastic...we need good polls, it really matters in the last stage. As long as it stays close that is fine, it will motivate people. We don't want any signs the YES vote is going backwards, but after the amazing weekend I doubt that will happen. They burned their big scare stories last week, people are ignoring them now and listening to each other instead. The politicians role in the referendum is done now essentially. From here on in it is all about we the people.

  44. I sense something is up. The feverish of the attacks on Yes is quite astonishing.

  45. I think if all 4 polls show even a drastic (and completely unbelievable) drop or stall in the Yes vote, it will make little difference. An article released yesterday made the argument that the polls are deliberately underestimating the Yes vote:

    Whether this is true or not, I don't think a single Yes voter will be perturbed by a poor performance in tonight's polls. However, is an ICM poll not coming out this afternoon? I would have assumed that might show a favourable lead for Yes like it did last week (54%).

  46. O/T but by bro-in-law was telephoned yesterday for an IPSOS-MORI poll (Aberdeenshire)

  47. @Chris Knowles



  48. Going back out in a minute but just in case anyone is stupid enough to believe the BBC No campaign and 'crash' Griodon's spin on the funding pressure on the NHS due to Osborne's austerity cuts in scotland..

    Alistair Darling paid thousands by NHS Privatisation Company

    Labour MP Alistair Darling was paid thousands of pounds by a company heavily involved in the privatisation of the English NHS, it has emerged.

    In 2011, the Edinburgh MP who heads the anti-independence campaign Better Together, received over £10,000 for addressing a dinner organised by Cinven Limited.

    The company is a leading buyout firm, who in 2008 bought 25 private hospitals from Bupa for £1.44bn. Other UK investments include Spire Healthcare, who run private healthcare hospitals, and whose clinical director Jean-Jacques de Gorter said the use of private sector would "spiral" as a result of Conservative MP Andrew Lansley’s reform proposals.

    Mr Darling, who this week will give a speech on behalf of Better Together, is one of a string of current and former Labour MPs who have links to or have benefitted financially from companies involved in private health care.

    Others who have benefitted include Mr Darling’s former Labour cabinet colleagues Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt who were both former Health Secretaries. Hewitt was a former advisor to Cinven and landed a lucrative £55,000 role with the firm after standing down as an MP.

    When in office, Milburn received tens of thousands of pounds from several firms involved in private health care.

    The rush towards privatisation in the NHS south of the border, begun under the previous Labour Government, means that one in five patients with certain conditions are now seen by private firms.

    In 2012 a report showed that the private sector was responsible for 17% of NHS hip replacements in England, 17% of NHS hernia operations in England and were involved in thousands of other procedures

  49. BUPA is of course supporting the No campaign?

    Why would that be Gordon?

    Hmmmm? ;-)

  50. Source is journo from my twitter feed, not going back to look for a name as it's fever pitch on there at the moment

  51. @Mick Pork

    Dude, when you say things like "Going back out in a minute" I always imagine you running in your house just to type quickly some comment in this blog (that normally includes "ROFL" or something like that), and the run out again to keep on leafleting.



  52. Interesting info Anonymous September 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM


  53. "Also, it's normal in general elections for the official campaigns to not campaign the day before the vote. Is that the same for this vote i.e. will there be any official campaigning tomorrow ?"

    They campaign right up to the day itself. It is election day that no one campaigns.

  54. Betfair paying out on a no result already. Total arrogant hubris, but - they've never been wrong before on political wagers (they say).

  55. According to the bookies it's game over. The Guardian saying Betfair are starting to pay out for No bets.

    Could it be that they have access to some of the polls due to come out?

  56. "*Betfair* paying out on a no result already."

    A pretty transparent PR stunt

    But I suspect they may have had sight of the initial TNS numbers due at 5pm before they made that call.


  58. Wasn't it the Betfair markets that got the 2007 Holyrood result hopelessly wrong, even several hours after Brian Taylor first announced on TV that the SNP seemed to be slightly ahead?

    Yes, this decision could be based on inside information that we know nothing about, but don't exclude the possibility that it's just hubris. It wouldn't be the first time in history that a bookmaker has paid out early on the wrong result.

  59. It's hard to know what inside information they could possibly have access to when the votes aren't cast yet. This smells a lot like a PR stunt and nothing more.

  60. This is very very worrying.

  61. Going by their statement they are going by the betting patterns on their sportsbook, which is apparently 'never wrong'

    I doubt they have inside information on the poll at 5pm, seems like a massive PR stunt. Anyone to look at where the majority of the bets are being placed from? If it's London then that might explain things.

  62. Iain : Well, obviously there are private polls kicking around that we know nothing about, or they might have heard about polls that have yet to be published.

  63. "This is very very worrying."

    For the avoidance of doubt, I'm going to assume any comment of that sort is from a concern troll unless there is good reason to suspect otherwise. If by any chance you're genuine, posting a comment like that anonymously is not a good idea.

  64. Is there anyway betfair could have access to some of tonight's polls?

    Looks pretty dire if they are already paying out.

  65. I hear another bookie is awaiting the Ipsos poll tomorrow as they were nearly right in 2011! Seems to be a lot of nonsense going around at the moment.

  66. "Looks pretty dire if they are already paying out."

    Alternatively, it looks like a marketing stunt, very much of the sort we've seen from countless bookies over the years. Let's wait and see what the polls show for real.

  67. Sorry O/T but VERY VERY important. Many voters have not received their polling cards and probably won’t in time for the referendum. Many are saying people in places where Yes support is strong are wost hit by this scam. Please spread the word that YOU DO NOT NEED A POLLING CARD TO VOTE.

  68. Betfair/Ladbrokes etc Maybe these annonyous bets of 100sk to win a fraction didn't exist. Favours to their Establishment backers and now this announcement timed to disillusion the Independence resolve.

  69. Yes I thought about this bookie paying out. Pay out to a few no betters. Then it looks lke its a done deal. Hundreds of big no votes go on and you recoup and double your profits if its a yes. The only worry is they have somehow managed to find out the postal vote and its good for no.

  70. Seems to be an incredibly stupid decision by BetFair, with the poll of polls close and the ICM chief saying they their polling might be really wrong....I still maintain these bookies think the result will be go the way of Quebec, support for change falling.

  71. This betfair talk is absolute absolute pish. It is categorically not true. If it was true the market would still not be open and the odds certainly wouldn't be at 1.28 were they pretty much have been the last few days with no change whatsoever. There will be movement later when polls come out. If that info was already out there the odds would have began going down for NO already, back to the levels they were at for most of the campaign. This hasn't happened.

    Anyone who knows anything about Betfair or who uses the site knows this is absolute utter trash talk. People can close position and trade out any time on exchanges, to lock in a profit, or accept a loss. That is a very different thing from the market actually being settled which it categorically hasn't.

    If it was all over on the betting exchanges the board would be clear, and all that would be left would be 1.01 to lay against NO and 1.01 to back on YES, from the cheeky chaps who do that sort of thing when the result is undecided.

    Give no credence to this kind of talk. If anyone had inside info on tonight's polls the markets would be changing, and right now they are as static as they have been for days.

    Never trust the Torygraph.

  72. Betfair don't have a vote on Thursday. And going by their site, they appear to be still taking bets on the outcome???. They suddenly feeling a little over exposed? Sounds like bollox stunt. Like I said, Betfair are powerless, & have no vote. We do.

  73. If Betfair really are paying out on their non-exchange political markets then that sounds very crazy to me.

    I would be very dubious about this. I don't have an account there any more, but someone should email them to check out the position?

  74. They have an article up. Doesn't mention polls - just says it's because of the volume of trading so far overwhelmingly favouring No.

  75. Re Betfair see this:

    Video interview shows no bets all mostly from London. Paying out early is cheaper publicity than paying for advertising and it's been used as such many times before.

  76. I have sent an email to Betfair customer service to clarify the position re their non-exchange markets. They normally reply pretty quickly, so I will update this thread with their response when I get it.

  77. Yeah but that makes no sense for a bookie. If the volume of trade massively favours NO that means they stand to lose most from a NO vote. In which case they have absolutely nothing to lose from letting the result run.

    Of course given that betfair run fixed odds and an exchange, and the fixed odds are always lower, it would be easy for them to have covered all their exposure on that side of the business quite easily, especially when the odds rose last week and even still the odds on NO are much higher than they have been for most of the campaign. So if it is true there is nothing to conclude from it other than that is a marketing stunt as has been said.

    Has nothing at all to do with the final result whatsoever.

    The exchange odds are the ones to watch as a barometer for that, and as I said earlier they are absolutely static and in fact have drifted from 1.27 to 1.28 since the Torygraph took that screen grab.

  78. I've heard reports that some Tory parents in the Scottish Borders have hijacked their children's voting papers also that care home staff have manipulated vulnerable residents postal votes to vote No.

  79. They've only paid a "six-figure sum", apparently. At those levels the publicity is worth the risk to them.

  80. Keaton : Yes, that certainly puts a different complexion on it. I presume most of the money at Betfair is on the exchanges rather than the Sportsbook, and so will be unaffected by this stunt.


    I have gone to the future and I bring back with me this photo of Salmond on Thursday night commenting on this announcement by Betfair:


  82. I checked Betfair's website, they say they're paying out on their sportsbook. Does anyone here know what that means as I think it's different from the exchange (says me trying to pretend I have a clue what either of them mean! Haha). I reckon it's either a PR stunt or they're doing someone a wee favour to try and get the Yes vote to not turn out.

  83. 6 figure sum? millions?

    I smell shite :)

  84. They paid out on Rangers winning a Scottish title once with a few games to go. Celtic won it.

  85. so lemme get this straight, why are betfair's indy markets STILL OPEN?

    why doesn't everyone grab their Yes<50% bets while their hot.

    the smell of shite is overpowering.

  86. @Scott
    Hundreds of thousands.

    In contrast, the exchange market, which isn't paying out yet, contains £8.8 million.

  87. I notice IPSOS are realising 2 polls.

    The STV one (presumably 6pm news).

    Then bizarrely another one for the London Evening Standard on the 18th?

    Baffled by this, as I've never heard of an opinion poll (at least in the UK) being released WHILST people are still voting.

    So a question....

    Are there rules/laws regarding publishing Polls on polling day or merely guidelines and accepted practice ?

  88. If you are relying on betting markets to predict the result then you are absolutely DOOMED!

    Just a PR stunt and not worth all the fuss. I have a friend who has a big account at Betfair and trades 7 figures easy over the course of a football season. I texted him about it and straight away he phoned up his contact for VIP members, had a quick chat and called me back to say this was just to drum up business for the exchange market which Betfair expects to be very busy today, tomorrow and Thursday and has already more than doubled in volume over the last week. Apparently figures on the sportsbook are basically peanuts and have already been covered, so basically this is just to drum up interest in the real exchange market.

    So don't fuss over it any more. It is not a bad omen, a bad sign, it is just Betfair trying to make more money!

  89. @The Great Balds

    Not sure about the papers, but the broadcasters are not allowed to report on opinion polls from midnight on Wednesday until the end of polling on Thursday at 10pm.

    Sounds like nonsense to me. All the final polls will be out tonight or over the course of tomorrow.

  90. I'm hearing that the TNS poll is just one of attitudes in England and Wales to Scottish independence.

  91. New Survation poll coming at 10.30pm (probably the embargo will be broken earlier).

  92. @Stoat

    Yep, I hard this too. We will get a few polls this evening however. Just a case of patience and hoping for good news.

  93. Survation poll for SDM due at 10.30!

  94. I expect the polls will show a NO lead, after the huge amount of scare stories all week, plus huge media bias.

    They are trying to terrify people to vote against self-government, and unfortunately some people fall for it.

    But on the day, anything is possible.

    We could very well have a final YES Surge, when people see the ballot paper, and know they have a chance to make history.

    I still think that, deep down, no-one really wants to vote against their country's freedom.

    For that reason, I reckon a lot of swithering voters will decide to take a leap of faith !

  95. Don't say you were not warned.

    I remember Goebbels Brown telling us that he (as PM) would do anything to prevent Independence. I doubt the motives have changed now the Blue LabourTory is PM.
    If that means spending Taxes on placing bets to alter odds, rigging opinion polls or stuffing boxes full of fraudulent votes they have done such before and will do it again.

  96. Ladbrokes just shortened their Yes number. Betfair are looking for - and getting - publicity. Ignore it.

  97. Survation poll for the Daily Heil out tonight.

  98. I don't think the polls will show much change.

  99. Yeah it's a bit late for polls to swing to Yes

  100. I believe Survation now holds the distinction of being the most No-friendly pollster, so I'm not expecting much there!

  101. If/when YES loses, it's because the campaign set out at the start pissing off about a quarter of the electorate - 17% tory voters, 10% english born - with their endless socialist worker keening about thatcherite english tories grinding scotland into the sub-soil. Alex at least realised he'd better substitute "westminster" or "london" for "english" but many haven't. If you'd persuaded half those voters to go with YES you'd have won at a canter, even if it was dangling a carrot like promising an EU referendum they'd never win.

  102. I don't understand what the Betfair bookies paying out means?

    Does this mean I can go and place a bet on no winning and it will pay out right away even if it turns out that yes wins?

    If that is the case, where do I sign up?

  103. Betty : I presume they have now closed the book on No but are still taking bets on Yes. If they haven't closed the book on No, then obviously the pay-out only applies to bets that were placed before the announcement.

  104. Another concern troll repeating the BT lie that Anti-Westminster is anti-English.

    Yes would be winning at a canter if the entire media in Scotland was not foreign owned, foreign run and funded by foreigners with an agenda of opposing democracy in Scotland.

    Has there ever been a revolution that didn't start with people seizing control of the presses, radio or TV stations to get their message across?

    Are you proud to live in a country which would make North Korean state TV blush?

  105. As an aside, if Betfair want their "prediction" to come true, they're not doing themselves any favours with the promoted tweet they're using to announce the decision, which shows Cameron as the "victor" against the backdrop of a Union Jack.

  106. Wish I'd also put a no bet on at Betfair as well as my yes bet. That way I'd win money from them twice!

  107. Indeed James, these Londoners really never learn do they?

    Ach well, might mean that no voters don't bother voting.

    Can only see these things pissing off the yes vote more

  108. Perhaps not surprisingly, there are Tory donors on the Betfair board.

  109. Anonymous: There was never a plan to win over tory voters.

    One of the major reasons for the referendum even existing in the first place is because of the democratic deficit: Scotland getting tory governments it didn't vote for. Why would we imagine the tories voting against that?

    However, just to let you know, I only know 4 tories, two already voted no, one a definite yes, the fourth totally scunnered by Westminster's lies, she says she'll now stay at home. 33.3% tory yes in my own wee sample isn't bad going tbh, more than I was expecting.

    And there are plenty English Scots who are voting yes because they believe in securing a social democracy for their children's futures, not the neo-liberal hell hole on offer from London. See English Scots for Yes for more details.

  110. If Yes loses, I really don't think attempting to appeal to Labour voters rather than Tory ones is going to go down in history as one of its mistakes.

  111. Who they?

    twittprognosis/eu ‏@twittprognosis 1h
    24-hours poll: We asked people about #indyref in the last 24 hours:

    #YesScotland: Yes: 54.91%
    #BetterTogether: No: 45.09%

    Sample: 1,534

  112. And lets not forget a new Nation at peace and not sending its sons and daughters to die because of lies from Westminster politicians.

    A YES vote means fewer sons and daughters of Scotland will perish is some forsaken land because of a pack of lies.

    A YES vote means trident sails south and Scotland is less of a terrorist target.

    I only wish I could vote YES but I live south of the border, I look forward to the day when I receive my Scottish Passport though.

  113. Pantone, you're looking at it as an "either-or" though, YES should have appealed to both tory and labour voters. YES managed to get the greens on board, even though the SNPs economic plan is to sell as much oil for burning as possible, so it's not like there's no room for contradictions.

  114. Link to the twitter poll numbers;

  115. "Perhaps not surprisingly, there are Tory donors on the Betfair board."

    Unfortunately, business owners do use their political leanings to influence the vote.

    This could be the equivalent of a large donation.

  116. Apologies if already been posted, but I think this TNS poll at 5pm is the view from England and Welsh voters.

    Survation tonight though - and if anything the

  117. Anyone have any idea on this twitterprognosis that has a slew of polls and an especially good poll for YES?

    Supposodly the sample was 1,534

  118. Sportsbook? Exchange?

    Could someone please explain what these are?

  119. I realise that the following may not be entirely methodologically sound in this talented company but, worried about the No bias in the over 65 age group, I made some assumptions to help me come to a conclusion.

    The assumptions:
    a) Over 65s vote 70-30 in favour of No (worst case)
    b) 80% of over 65s vote
    c) 20% of electorate is over 65 (less of an assumption, more of a fact)
    d) 80% of under 65s vote

    The Conclusion: the arithmetic based on these assumptions means that the rest of the electorate (all groups together under 65) need to vote 55-45% Yes-No to balance the No votes of the older cohort to reach an overall 50% of the total vote.

    That wee exercise has actually boosted my confidence again. Comments from polling analysts with a more nuanced perspective appreciated!