Saturday, November 1, 2014

There's no hiding place, "Vow-makers" - YouGov poll confirms Scotland wants that 'Devo SUPER Max' thing you solemnly promised

The full datasets from the YouGov poll are now out, and they reveal a treasure-trove of information from supplementary questions.  Most significantly, the exercise that Panelbase undertook a few weeks ago has been repeated, with respondents asked to say whether they think each of a range of administrative/legislative powers should remain reserved to Westminster or be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.  In broad terms, the results are identical to Panelbase, with a clear desire for maximum devolution (or "Devo SUPER Max" as was so memorably promised by the No campaign's official representative in the TV debate at the Hydro).  By a margin of 67% to 25%, voters want income tax powers to be devolved to Edinburgh, by 67% to 24% they want other taxes like corporation tax to be devolved, by an astonishing 71% to 22% they want working age benefits such as Jobseekers' Allowance to be devolved, by 47% to 45% they want the state pension to be devolved, by 60% to 33% they want the minimum wage to be devolved, by 60% to 32% they want health and safety regulations, consumer protection and competition law to be devolved, by an eye-popping 86% to 8% they want the running of Scottish elections to be devolved, and by 50% to 40% they want laws relating to abortion, embryo research and medicine to be devolved.

The only exception is that there is very narrow support - by 45% to 43% - for "broadcasting regulation and the BBC" to remain reserved to Westminster.  That contradicts the Panelbase finding, and in my view it's somewhat misleading due to the question wording.  By specifically bringing the "British Broadcasting Corporation" into it, some respondents are likely to be puzzled as to how a Britain-wide organisation based in London can be devolved to Scotland.  My strong guess is that if the question had simply asked about broadcasting regulation, there would have been a similar result to the Panelbase poll, with a narrow majority in favour of devolving the powers to the Scottish Parliament.  Having said that, the fact that the result is essentially level-pegging even when respondents are confronted with the sacred cow of the BBC is quite telling.

The other key finding from the poll is nothing short of devastating for Jim Murphy and the Labour party.  Voters are asked how they would vote in the 2016 Holyrood elections on the hypothetical basis that Nicola Sturgeon is the SNP leader and Jim Murphy is the Labour leader - and the answer is no different to the headline Holyrood results, with the SNP maintaining a whopping 18% lead.  Normally when a party is looking to be saved by a "king over the water" (such as Michael Heseltine in 1990), hypothetical "named leader" polls produce radically different results, so quite plainly voters do not regard Murphy as the game-changer that London bubble journalists have convinced themselves he is.  And it can't really be credibly argued that voters will be more impressed by Murphy when they see more of him - he's barely been off the bloody television for months.  By contrast, the SNP lead is reduced (albeit only to 13%) when voters are pointlessly asked to imagine that Gordon Brown is the Labour leader, although even then the SNP vote isn't affected - Labour's extra support is drawn from other parties.

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This is the first Poll of Polls update we've had that has included two full-scale Scottish polls (from Ipsos-Mori and YouGov respectively), so it's the most credible one so far.  It also factors in five Scottish subsamples from GB-wide polls - four from YouGov and one from Populus.

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :

SNP 45.8% (-1.4)
Labour 25.6% (+1.2)
Conservatives 13.8% (+0.9)
Liberal Democrats 5.0% (-1.1)
Greens 4.7% (-0.4)
UKIP 4.1% (+1.0)

(The Poll of Polls uses the Scottish subsamples from all GB-wide polls that have been conducted entirely within the last seven days and for which datasets have been provided, and also all full-scale Scottish polls that have been conducted at least partly within the last seven days. Full-scale polls are given ten times the weighting of subsamples.)


  1. In fairness I don't think many are heralding Jim Murphy as a game changer, there's just a widespread belief in Westminster that he's the most credible candidate and can at least put up a fight. That might be wrong, but he did have a good referendum campaign (whatever the views of posters on here), he has served in the government, he is pretty tough and there is no question he is independent of Miliband, which is important right now. It's a hell of a gig to take right now and I don't think he stands much of a chance against the SNP surge, at least until the new powers are devolved and things settle down (which will take years, if they ever do). Part of his problem is that until the powers are devolved there is virtually no reason for anyone in Scotland to vote for any party other than the SNP. And then when they are granted, the SNP will, rightly, reap the reward for having won them. Only if the SNP hopelessly mishandles the negotiations (which I can't see happening, given that all they have to do is ask for a bit or a lot more than they are being offered (depending on the generosity of the offer) and not be ostensibly to blame for any delay) will the other parties get a look in before Holyrood 2016. Thereafter what they do with the powers will gradually become more important. Electorates don't really do gratitude, so the honeymoon will wear off, but it will be a long wait for Labour.

    Separately, James, your last post was totally out of order. Cameron was not acting undemocratically or arrogantly; he was directly citing what Salmond had said during the campaign. There was polling evidence during the campaign that the vast majority of Scots believed the referendum should settle the matter for a very long time; I can't remember the numbers now but I think it was a very clear majority for 10 years plus, and a narrower majority split between 15/20+ years and longer. It's no surprise that a poll now has a small majority in favour, and not significant given that the new constitutional settlement is not yet in place. Only one vote mattered. Until the next time.

    1. "Cameron was not acting undemocratically or arrogantly; he was directly citing what Salmond had said during the campaign."

      That statement is intellectual dishonesty at its most cynical, and it does you no credit. You know perfectly well that when Salmond made his comment, he was simply making the obvious point that the Holyrood parliamentary arithmetic MIGHT not work out again for a referendum. That's entirely different from you and Cameron twisting those words into an expression of London Imperialism, and a statement that any further exercise of Scotland's right to self-determination is forbidden Cos We Say So.

      "There was polling evidence during the campaign that the vast majority of Scots believed the referendum should settle the matter for a very long time; I can't remember the numbers now but I think it was a very clear majority for 10 years plus, and a narrower majority split between 15/20+ years and longer"

      Sorry mate, but that's well and truly out of the window now - according to the new Ipsos-Mori poll, a comfortable majority want a second referendum within the next five years. In a democracy, it's what the people think that matters, not what David Cameron thinks. Is the UK a democracy? You tell me.

    2. "but he did have a good referendum campaign (whatever the views of posters on here), he has served in the government, he is pretty tough and there is no question he is independent of Miliband, which is important right now. "


      Comedy Gold. Wonderfully out of touch as usual. Giving the London Labour branch a run for their money with head in the sand nonsense like that. Tories falling over themselves to praise and protect the Eggman and they still don't get it.

    3. Mick, which part is wrong? He served in Government: fact. He is independent of Miliband - plenty of evidence of mutual dislike. He had a good campaign - widely created as such by his own side and neutrals; your view on this is hardly objective. He is pretty tough; it takes balls to go out on the street and campaign like he did. Most of his Westminster colleagues merely dabbled. By all means engage in the arguments.

    4. "widely created as such by his own side and neutrals"

      Which "neutrals" thought that Jim Murphy had a good campaign? Are you talking about people in the London media again?

      "it takes balls to go out on the street"

      Yes, it must have been utterly terrifying to face an audience of seven Labour activists on a daily basis.

    5. James

      "Asked if he could pledge not to bring back another referendum if the Yes campaign does not win on Thursday, he said: "That's my view. My view is this is a once in a generation, perhaps even a once in a lifetime, opportunity for Scotland." That is pretty bloody unequivocal. It is absolutely fair of Cameron to refer to what Salmond said.

      Of course, if the Scottish people demand another referendum, there will be another referendum, and the result will be respected. But it is only sensible to wait for the dust to settle; it would not be democratic to ask the same question repeatedly, and take the one time you get the answer you like and use it as justification for a permanent change of this magnitude. Whether it comes back in 2 years, or 5, or 10, or 20 our never is impossible to say; we are in very febrile times, teetering on the verge of rejecting politics as usual, despite the prosperity it has brought us, and embracing an exciting new future. But whilst emotions are still running high and the new settlement is pending, it would be very dangerous to think that a couple of opinion polls matter at all when weighed against the clear result of a referendum that had huge popular engagement and tested the feeling of the whole country.

    6. He was demoted in Government. FACT. Miliband doesn't like him because of Murphy's ledaership ambitions and the Eggman and wee Dougie;s whisper campaign's against little Ed, BUT Miliband self-evidently still calls the shot. Or did you not have a clue that Murphy's "root and branch reform" was simply ignored by little Ed and Labour. Something that's just TOUCH relevant since the westminster MP Murphy is promising to reform SLAB yet again after that farce and his involvement in Falkirk.

      It's also blatantly obvious the Eggman is little Ed and London Labour's candidate. Something even the dimmest in SLAB have figured out by now as it is very far from subtle.

      You would have been accurate if you had said "but he did have a good referendum campaign in the view of the westminster bubble media, press and the No parties." The reality is of course very different and Wings already covered what we in scotland already knew and the 2016 polling proves.

      He's tough as an eggshell since you missed the obvious yet again. As for the fact that nobody else could be arsed to stand on a crate shouting at a dozen guys and a dug, that's an indictment of the incredibly dire state of Labour NOT an ringing endorsement of Murphy.

      Perhaps the complete meltdown in the London Labour branch has also passed you by but that and the recent polling earthquake, the polling on Murphy James just highlighted and little Ed's comically low ratings tends to verify and back up everything I have said.

      Like I said, it's hardly gone unnoticed that some of the most gushing praise for Murphy has come from westminster bubble pundits, tories and ultra-Blairite headbangers like "no-brainer" McTernan.

      By all means though, bring on the Eggman!

      I know what the result will be and it's hugely unlikely to be anything other than ferocious infighting, utter confusion, platitudes, inaction and more of the same in policy terms.

      If the westminster bubble twits seriously think that's what 'scotish' Labour (or indeed little Ed) needs then it only proves precisely why they are in this comical state in the first place.

    7. Crikey - a whole army of strawmen. I am well aware of the dire state Labour are in on both sides of the border, indeed not surprised by it and have been predicting for four years that Ed's manifest unfitness for Government and the incredible - I would say unprecedented - weakness of the shadow cabinet would ultimately undermine Labour. The question has always been whether the Conservatives could do enough to retain their 2010 support, and at the moment it looks like they will fall short, but it is still too early to say. The Miliband paradox is that his weakness could end up fatally wounding Cameron in Rochester, and thereby securing victory as the Tories splinter. Given the storm clouds I can see gathering this is all very bad news, but it is little wonder that voters in England and Scotland are attracted to the alternatives.

      If the only people who think Murphy did not have a good campaign are yes supporters like you who struggle to say anything positive about anyone not in their tribe, then I don't think that really matters. He had a good campaign in the eyes of those who praise Sturgeon and Salmond for their performance, like me (albeit my praise for Salmond is qualified by my belief that his arrogance in not taking legitimate concerns about currency and the EU seriously undermined the yes campaign). He has sensible Tories saying warm things about him; that's a sign he did well, because politics is usually tribal.

      You make a big thing of the fact Ed ignored Murphy's "root and branch" reform proposal - doesn't that rather demonstrate my point that he is seen as independent from Ed? It may well be that Ed views him as a necessary evil compared to the other candidates, but they are hardly close and Murphy is not by any means a Westminster placeman.

      The polling James refers to on Murphy is interesting, but doesn't undermine what I have said. Indeed I have said elsewhere on this thread that I don't except he would have much impact, even if he wins. Conditions could hardly be better for the SNP now. But none of that changes the fact he's a decent candidate and will put up a fight.

    8. "The Miliband paradox is that his weakness could end up fatally wounding Cameron in Rochester"


      Pitiful as little Ed is it's a just a wee bit of a stretch to blame the kippers and the incompetent fop's continuing John Major impersonation on little Ed. Rochester is a farce ENTIRELY of Cameron's making so he'd better get ready to eat the massive bowl of excrement his own side are going to serve him when they re-enter headless chicken mode. No amount of amusing spin will prevent that.

      "If the only people who think Murphy did not have a good campaign are yes supporters like you"

      Yes, yes, he's a latter day political colossus and we're all just too blinkered to see that whereas the tories, Labour and the westminster bubble media know best. Bit fucking odd the Eggman was demoted by little Ed then, wasn't it? Somewhat perplexing that the polling does not change a jot with Murphy in charge despite the laughably obsequious praise the Eggman has been getting for weeks, is it not?

      I'm not making the "root and branch reform" a big thing. It was a big thing. It was the desperate response from little Ed and London Labour to a complete meltdown of SLAB in 2011. Which little Ed and London then completely ignored. And that seriously doesn't sound just a touch relevant right now to your ears? Riiiiight.

      You think BROWN is close to the Blairites or little Ed even though he was wheeled out to lie through his teeth? Nope.

      "and Murphy is not by any means a Westminster placeman."

      LOL Of course he is. He's a westminster MP Little Ed demoted him before and completely ignored his root and branch reform so where on earth you get this ridiculous idea that Murphy will call the shots god only knows. If Murphy looks like he's going to 'do a Lamont' at any point in the future little Ed would boot him out on his arse so fast the Eggman would be scrambled. Point is that little Ed doesn't need to because we know how Murphy views westminster as he has the massive expenses to back it up. He is the very last person to stop SLAB from being the London Labour branch office. He is THEIR candidate. We all KNOW he is.

      Some tories just admire the Eggman's Blairite right-wing views while some tories just want to see utter chaos unleashed in Labour with a restart of he Brown Blair wars, but none of that will change the fact that the ludicrous hype and spin around Murphy is simply not merited by the facts. If he really was a political 'giant' he not only wouldn't have been demoted from a Labour shadow cabinet of third raters but he would have been front and centre from the start of the Indyref instead of hilariously being feted and praised by the westminster bubble media because he was hit by an Egg.

      As I said though, bring him on. I will be delighted if London Labour get their man as they have only made things worse every single time they impose one of their 'quick fixes' on the hapless SLAB. Falkirk came AFTER Murphy's pointless "root and branch" reform as the Eggman well knows because he was right in the thick of it.

    9. Holy Jesus, Flockers. How can you be so brazen as to call what Salmond said "pretty bloody unequivocal" when you've just directly quoted one of the ways in which he carefully qualified what he was saying? "It's my view." He said that every time, to the best of my knowledge without exception. It was a personal view, and one that he made abundantly clear could not bind his successors or the people of Scotland. He went on to expand on that personal view by explaining that, although a referendum might be a once in a generation event, there were other potential routes to independence.

      For David Cameron to attempt to use those words out of context as an excuse to hold the Scottish people hostage is, self-evidently, arrogant, imperialistic and profoundly anti-democratic.

      The view that Nicola Sturgeon has set out differs from Salmond's in two key respects - she thinks that a referendum is the only route to independence, and she thinks the timing of that referendum will be determined by circumstances, not necessarily by the length of time since the last referendum. Others in Scotland may take a different view, and if the UK is a democracy it is not for David Cameron to second-guess that.

      "Of course, if the Scottish people demand another referendum, there will be another referendum, and the result will be respected."

      Excellent - I look forward to you writing to your local Tory MP to demand that the power to hold constitutional referenda at any time is unambiguously and permanently transferred to the Scottish Parliament. Better a sinner that repenteth and all that.

  2. Lets be clear about this folks!

    There will NEVER be another referendum on independence.

    Thats a given.

    Only reason Cameron give us one in the first place was because he thought that we would only get circa 30% of the vote, as the polls were indicating at the time.

    However, as the polls got up to nearer 45%, london panicked, and offered the Scots “major new powers.”

    The Scots, for reasons most of us fail to comprehend, voted for the status quo, thus giving up the right to becoming the 15th wealthiest country on the planet!


    And if you poor deluded souls think for one nanosecond that “significant new powers” will be given to our “pretendy parliament” (controlling not one ha”penny of our own resources), then you definitely need to be looked at by a psychiatrist!!

    We are now well and truly “back in our little box” and no amount of shouting “we wiz robbed” will alter the fact that london will continue to shaft us for evermore.

    The fact the SNP have quadrupled their membership is neither here nor there, from a london viewpoint. All it means, locally, is that SLAB will die a painful death at the ballot boxes here, to the SNP’s advantage.

    The only way ANY progress will happen is if Scotland decides to grow a backbone and go down the Irish route of freedom.

    General Post Office, Glasgow, anyone??

    1. Nigel : Let's try and get back to reality. In all probability there will be another referendum. If London tried to thwart one, the SNP could simply seek a specific mandate for independence at a Holyrood or Westminster election. Other than abolishing democracy altogether, there's no way that Scotland can be stopped from expressing its view.

  3. Aye Flockers, with the SNP leading comfortably in both genders, across all age groups and social classes, Labour it seems are completely fecked. If the SNP win in Scotland in 2015, the demographic deficit will be extended to all 3-4 major UK parties (I include UKIP as the new force in British politics); Scotland will never be getting the government it voted for potentially.

    Interestingly, it was the demise of the Tory vote in Scotland that led to the Scottish parliament. The demise of the Liberal vote that led to the referendum. Now we have the demise of the Labour vote it seems.

    If Scotland doesn't vote unionist, how can the union survive at all, other than devo maxed? Even then, the point of it would come into question soon enough.

    The iref has been a setback for indy supporters, but so far is looking like having been a disaster for unionists. Time will tell of course.

  4. Ironically, SS, Scotland could get exactly the government it wants if it delivers a thumping majority of SNP seats, but only if the SNP can swallow its pride and go into a coalition with whichever is the largest party.

    I agree that the Indyref has been a disaster for the unionists. The pledge was, as I said at the time, a truly appalling political mistake. As to who will lose, we'll have to wait to see. There's a wonderful scene in Charlie Wilson's War in which Philip Seymour Hoffman tells Tom Hanks a story, in which every piece of good news turns out to be bad, and every piece of bad news turns out to be good. The Union's victory six weeks ago is rapidly turning pyrrhic; but the consequences of independence (if it results) would be very, very tough for Scotland, at least in the short term.


  5. "Ironically, SS, Scotland could get exactly the government it wants if it delivers a thumping majority of SNP seats, but only if the SNP can swallow its pride and go into a coalition with whichever is the largest party."

    Well, that's creative - are you seriously arguing that a Tory-led government would be "exactly the government Scotland wants"? As for the swallowing of pride, you might want to double-check who it was that frustrated the progressive alliance after the 2010 election.

  6. Well, yougov gives 96% of SNP 2015 voters for independence. So, if UK Labour or the Tories back Scottish indy, then a coalition is possible I suppose.

  7. A majority of SNP MPs + the majority of the popular vote + a hung Westminster parliament = DevoSuperMax OR a disrupted useless difunctional Westminster. If the Brits don't accept it and call a new GE within 6 months to a year then the same will happen again. With DevoMax we can build the case for indy and hold an unofficial referendum and if it's YES then we declare UDI. Salmond and Sturgeon have/had every right to talk of once-in-a-generation but they can't speak for a whole people desiring independence.