Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election (Panelbase) :
SNP 48% (+3)
Labour 27% (-2)
Conservatives 16% (+2)
Liberal Democrats 4% (n/c)
UKIP 3% (-1)
Greens 2% (n/c)
This is the fifth Panelbase poll since the independence referendum, but the first and third used weird methodologies, which probably led to the SNP lead being understated. So, assuming there hasn't been any more methodological changes, tonight's result can be most meaningfully compared to the second and fourth polls, which produced SNP leads of 17 and 16 points respectively. In theory, the big leap to a 21 point gap could just be an extreme example of margin of error "noise", but it almost certainly isn't, because it replicates what we've seen from TNS and YouGov, both of whom also recently reported the SNP lead jumping to record-breaking levels.
And this isn't merely corroboration of the trend shown by other firms. Because the fieldwork dates for tonight's poll are more recent, it also provides us with our first indication that the additional surge for the SNP hasn't gone into reverse over recent days.
Respondents were asked whether they favoured Full Fiscal Autonomy, and by an impressive margin of 53% to 33%, they said they did. This should not be remotely surprising, given that previous polls have consistently shown that voters want Devo Max - which entails Full Fiscal Autonomy and a lot more besides. However, Labour and other unionist parties have bet the ranch on the idea that people will be more scared by the sound of Full Fiscal Autonomy than they are by the sound of Devo Max. It appears that hope is largely without foundation.
My guess is that Labour will always find it a lot harder than they think to frighten people about self-government within the UK, no matter how radical the proposal being made is. After all, the anti-independence campaign repeatedly told us that they were offering "Devo SUPER Max", "near-federalism", "Home Rule" - and if they of all people claimed to be comfortable (and enthusiastic) about such a big transfer of power, why would anyone else be terrified by the prospect only a few short months later?
The independence question was also asked -
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes 49% (-2)
No 51% (+2)
There hasn't been a consistent trend in favour of either Yes or No across the polling industry in recent times - some polls have shown Yes up a bit, and others have shown No up a bit, which probably means that sampling variation is disguising a largely unchanged position. However, all of the polling firms with the exception of ICM are in agreement that the Yes vote increased by several points after the referendum, and hasn't slipped back to any significant degree since. We know that the swing to Yes is real and not an illusion caused by methodology, because the results are now being weighted by recalled referendum vote.
All firms apart from ICM also agree that the race is now a 'statistical tie' - ie. because of the standard 3% margin of error, it's impossible to tell whether Yes or No are in the lead.
Rolfe mentioned on the previous thread that she had been approached at a street stall by someone who said they work for a polling company, and who claimed that a poll showing a further increase in the SNP lead was being sat on until the start of the week. If that's true, I don't see how it can be the Panelbase poll, because that was commissioned by the Sunday Times, and has therefore been released at exactly the moment you'd expect. Maybe it's the overdue monthly Survation poll for the Record? (Mind you, it's Ipsos-Mori that have their call centre in Edinburgh, so it could just as easily be the quarterly "I'm John MacKay" poll.)
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As part of an epic journey to the theatre in Edinburgh (it was Birdsong at the King's, since you didn't ask), I somehow found myself at the Hope Over Fear rally in Glasgow by complete accident. I stayed for about five minutes and heard a little of Tommy Sheridan's speech, before I had to rush off and catch my train. Here are some pictures...
(Click to enlarge.)