Saturday, July 4, 2015

For one day only : introducing the Scot Goes Pop Hellenic Poll of Polls

I can't totally vouch for the accuracy of these figures, because it's difficult to find an exhaustive list of opinion polls for tomorrow's crucial referendum in Greece, but as a far as I can see an average of all the polls conducted entirely since July 1st produces the following numbers...

Between the options of YES and NO on the institutions proposal, which one would you choose?

Yes 44.3%
No 44.1%

In other words, it's far, far, far too close to call. The bookies' expectation (and therefore by automatic extension Neil Lovatt's expectation) that Yes will win is probably based on two main factors - the theory that voters tend to break for the more conservative option when it comes to the crunch, and also the modest momentum that Yes has enjoyed over the course of the ultra-truncated campaign. We'll soon discover whether that reasoning proves well-founded.

However, you don't actually have to wait on tenterhooks for the result, because PB's David Herdson has, in his trademark unassuming style, told us what will DEFINITELY HAPPEN regardless of whether it's a Yes vote or a No vote -

"The act of a snap referendum was, however, perhaps predictable as the equivalent of a student sit-in or protest march, which is the kind of politics Syriza is familiar with: the belief that a demonstration of solidarity and causing enough of a fuss will force opponents to grant concessions.

Those tactics work rarely enough in the workplace or the university, never mind the conference chambers of government, which is why Syriza has signed its own government’s death warrant."

David goes on to congratulate himself on being a pro-austerity Tory, and therefore right about absolutely everything. It would save a great deal of time if the rest of us would just grow up and accept that.

Still, I'd just like to gently say that I'm not sure David's logic is entirely solid on this particular occasion. He assumes that a Yes vote will lead immediately to the Greek government's resignation. Will it? Quite possibly, but I'm not 100% convinced. He also assumes that the centre-right New Democracy would win any subsequent general election, and that's where I'm much more confident he's going astray. Greece has a barking mad electoral system, which effectively turns PR into a winner-takes-all affair. Syriza could easily win a fresh general election on a substantial minority vote similar to that won by Cameron's "One Nation" Conservatives in this country, and after a tight referendum I think that would be the most likely outcome. Why would a significant chunk of the 45%+ of voters who had just voted No to austerity in a referendum suddenly start to vote for pro-austerity parties at a general election? That's the only way Syriza could lose (as long as the party itself doesn't fracture, which may be a risk).

* * *

RevStu is rightly proud of a new Panelbase poll which shows that Wings Over Scotland is now the third most popular source of political content in Scotland, with 10% of the population reporting that they visit the site at least once a week for that specific purpose. However, just to inject a small note of caution, this is one of those rare occasions where we can say with confidence that an online poll is likely to have produced a slightly misleading result, because we know that politically-committed people who use the internet a great deal are over-represented in volunteer online polling panels. We'd really need a telephone poll to get a more accurate result - my guess is that it would still show the alternative media doing extremely well, but not quite reaching the giddy heights suggested by Panelbase.

For example, the poll suggests that NewsShaft is visited by 2% of the population for political content every week - that would imply that they get well over 100,000 unique visitors per week (I say 'well over' because any Scottish political site also gets visitors from outside Scotland). I don't know what their actual figures are, but I would guess that they're probably a bit lower than that.

Incidentally, Scot Goes Pop had 12,500 unique readers on Tuesday of this week. That's far and away the most it's ever had in a single day - I think the previous record high was somewhere between 6000 and 7000. It came completely out of the blue, and was plainly caused by the outrage over the cheers at Westminster after the huge 56-3 Scottish majority in favour of Home Rule was overturned by English MPs.


  1. Comres UK poll Scotland subsample:

    50% SNP
    28% Con
    13% Lab
    4% Lib
    3% Green
    2% UKIP

    Small subsample (70) but another suggestion that Labour might do worse than the Tories next May.

    Given this possibility, you might wonder why Dave wants to exude Tory voters from having a say in Westminster. After all, EVEL applies to Mundell too.

    1. Obvious caveats first 1) small sample size and 2) no constituency / list details (if it was even asked)

      Bunging these numbers into Scotland votes gives

      SNP 72 ( 9 on the list )
      Red Tories 16 ( all on the list )
      Blue Tories 37 ( 29 on the list )
      Yellow Tories 3 ( 1 on the list )
      SGP 1 ( it's a list seat )

    2. Sorry, to make clear it was a Westminster VI poll. Just a sample as noted so big potential errors, but might be a straw in the wind for general tendencies ahead of next May.

    3. Hi Scottish_Skier,

      Oh yes, massive margin of error with such limited data; but if it is remotely accurate it's not good news for the unionists.

    4. Forgot to put in previous post that YouGov have had my VI twice in the last three days so hopefully there will be more data available sooner than later.

    5. Small subsample (70) but another suggestion that Labour might do worse than the Tories next May.

      I guess a lot of folk want this to happen just because it'd be funny, but I don't see how it's possible. Labour beat the Tories by almost 10% in May, and Tories are much less likely to vote in Scottish Parliament elections. They did quite a bit worse in 2011 than in 2010.

    6. The unionist vote could be coalescing around the Tories since they are the one with unionist in their official name? But most likely is that it's a small subs ample issue.

  2. Are SNP supporters slowly waking up to the fact that the EU is a fundamentally undemocratic institution which, whilst professing to foster harmony between European nations, is actually causing the exact opposite? (It might have been thought that the bullying of Ireland over the Lisbon Treaty a fear years ago was an early clue).

    It was just a few years that the SNP leadership was calling for an independent Scotland to cast away the shackles of the pound sterling and join the Euro. We don't hear so much about that now......

    Of course it was not just the SNP that got this massively wrong. Blair, the BBC, the CBI and much of the liberal commentariat were all adamant that it was part of our 'destiny' to join the Euro and there were the usual scare stories about how the economy would collapse if we did not join. Those who rasied perfectly rational economic objections to the concept of a single currency were routinely dismissed as xenophobes, reactionaries, etc.

    The Euro was always a poltical project rather than an economic one. How else can you explain the fact that Germany and Greece share a currency when the two countries are so different economically and culturally.

    Having one interest rate for so many different countries at different stages of the economic cycle without full fiscal union is a receipe for disaster and if Greece leaves the Euro attention will turn to Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.

    The fact that there will not be full fiscal union since German, Dutch and Finnish taxpayers will not support fiscal transfers to Greece just show that all the talk of European harmony and us all being European citizens together is just meaningless.

    1. Erm, about lot of SNP supporters support an iScotland outside the EU. However, Scotland has to be independent before it can choose to leave the EU. At least for now it gives us some degree of protection from Tory/Labour extreme right politics.

      Personally, I'm 'In' as long as Scotland remains in the UK, but could be persuaded to 'Out' for an iScotland. Greece is so far not the EU's finest hour, but it's more a problem with the Euro rather than the EU itself.

      Also, it was just a few years ago that Britain was lining up to join the Euro. We don't hear so much about that now, but I remember the ERM debacle / Black Wednesday. Then there was Blair and his plans to join if the UK met the '5 economic tests'. I remember the u-turn when Gordon Brown admitted that they had been wrong to think of joining and it was better to keep the £ for now.

    2. Oh, and our MEPs are not 'second class' like our UK MPs are about to be. They are also classed as 'democratically legitimate' unlike our MPs.

    3. And of course Scotland could e.g. hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union. In the UK though, Scotland would never be given a comparable position because its MPs are not legitimate. England decides what level of devo Scotland can have, it's budget etc, while England also decides on English devolution, budget etc.

      Shows you how all this talk of 'UK harmony' and us 'all being UK citizens' is such rubbish.

    4. For me a political union implies mutual benefit. If there is a participant not benefitting then the word Union is simply a cynical euphamism to make what is actually happening sound acceptable.

      Union to Centralisation to Disenfranchisement to Extortion to Subservience. Same old story all over history.

      With Scotland-England, and with much of the EU, the benefits are demonstrably not mutual.

    5. Anecdotally, I definitely notice a new antipathy towards the EU from left-wing types who had previously tended to be Europhiles, while Eurosceptic right-wingers are remaining Eurosceptic. I'd be very surprised if the crisis didn't produce a boost for No in the Brexitref.

    6. Hmm. In that block of countries surrounding Germany, the Euro isn't an issue. Greece faked its way in in the first place. It was argued at the time that property booms would ensue in peripheral economies as there were less investment opportunities industrially. So the situation witnessed was predicted.

      Anyway, in all this bathwater the baby is being missed. Why are Europe's taxpayers on the hook for unpaid debts which were originally owed to private banks?

      Imagine the fun you could have with a Platinum credit card. The bank loves it because it gets its 3% on all you purchase. Your creditors ( in Germany and France and Italy ) love it because you are buying cars and boats and champagne on the card. The owners of the banks and winemakers and manufacturers love it because they are making money. And if you roll over the debt, great - there's interest to collect too. This scam is especially kind to the bank is it not?

      But one day the interest is overwhelming and you cannot pay it any more. But fortunately you can rely on the government ( s ) to take all that debt off the PRIVATE bank's hands and transfer it to the taxpayers.

      So now the newspapers can niggle all the workers about the "lazy" borrower. They can demand he be chucked in debtors prison, that he be put on a porridge diet. Because he has run up a huge debt for you taxpayers, and your kids will have to pay for that.

      So who was it that thought it was a good idea to transfer the private debts to everyone else's taxpayers in the first place? And what schools did they go to?

    7. I don't think that anyone could deny that the EU is in serious need of democratic reforms. But on balance I'd say better in than out.

      If I understand the issues properly then Greece's current problems stem from political fudging to bring them into the Euro when they didn't technically qualify and the ECB being able to ignore the EU parliament.

  3. I'm seriously confused now about Europe. :-(

  4. A referendum campaign that lasts only a week... oh, how I could only dream of such things!

  5. I wonder what the Sunday Times panelbase Y/N result looked like. Must have been the one people reported completing which had the iref question, and which Wings added some questions to. Sunday Times has printed an 'English people (who work for the Sunday Times at least) are anti-Scottish' article based on it, which might give an indicator as to how it felt about the VI results.

    1. I'd be very surprised if the Y47/N53 figures were actually accurate. It would be as if nothing post-general election has swayed Scots towards independence in any way.

    2. Ah yes, I see them now.

      Probably a little higher / more 50/50. After all, panelbase consistently underestimated SNP support / overestimated Labour support ahead of the GE by a few points. Was the general pattern for online polls whilst the telephone and face to face slightly overestimated; the final result lying in between the two.

  6. Frankly, I'd be very careful with the public polling in Greece. There's been a leak of the ND (pro-austerity arch-conservatives, formerly one of the two main governing parties) referendum strategy paper

    which more or less directly states they'll fabricate polling to push a “yes” narrative.

    We'll see. I'm hoping hard for a “no”.

  7. I think Yes will win, Syriza will resign, and we'll be back to square one. Greece will be in chaos, there will be fresh elections, the right wing will get back into power and start co-operating with the ECB. Firstly, because as you've pointed out, people tend to go for the more consevative option when pushed to a crunch. Secondly, because Greeks reckon that it will make no difference anyway, except that if they vote No, many will figure a Grexit is more likely than not, and they don't want to abandon the only safety line they have. Thirdly, because they will figure that they can easily get another Greek government - of whatever stripe, it won't matter, because nothing will change anyway - but if they vote No, and a Grexit happens, then getting back into the euro or the EU will be impossible.

    The real crisis is for the EU, as it has failed miserably to sort out the crisis. It has failed to show leadership or principle or accept any degree of culpability. Why on earth did they let Greece join the euro in the first place? It was well known that it was corrupt. Extra scrutiny was needed, but they failed to provide that.

    Greece is very important geo-politically for the EU, being the farthest point east and closest to the chaotic and war-torn Middle East, a vital Nato member, yet the EU persists in taking a technocratic view of the crisis as being a banking and fiscal one. It seems incapable of thinking in a broader view.

  8. There is a failure of the entire European project in this Greek crisis, regardless of the outcome, and we in Scotland should take warning. If we become independent we should stay out of the euro, join EFTA as Norway has done, and start a new currency that is pegged to the pound sterling, the Norwegian kroner and the US dollar. The kroner is pegged to a range of such currencies anyway.

    1. Exactly. New currency and EFTA. Why 'Yes' didnt sell that plan instead of the fatal dead end we went down I will never know. Lesson learnt for indyref2.

  9. If you are in EFTA you have all the trading rights and obligations, the free movement of peoples and all that, plus you have to make a fonancial contribution (I think) but you don't have a say in the EU parliament. But what would it matter anyway for a small country like Scotland or Norway or Denmark if you did? EFTA would be our best bet at the present time.

  10. "PB's David Herdson has, in his trademark unassuming style, told us what will DEFINITELY HAPPEN regardless of whether it's a Yes vote or a No vote "

    Let me guess, Stormfront Lite's CCHQ spinner definitely thinks all this is a triumph for the fop?

    Since, self-evidently, nothing helps Cameron's pro-Europe Yes campaign more than a massive EU crisis fanning the flames of rampant Euroscepticism in his own party.

    Obvious really.

    As I've said before, the Cameroons bizarre head in the sand behaviour over the EU referendum really is startlingly similar to the state of complete denial Clegg's ostrich faction were famous for.

    Hasn't it even dawned on the tory twits yet that Labour will be running a fucking mile from Cameron's campaign? Sure, they are giving the excuse right now that they are concentrating on the leadership but even after it the chances of Labour enthusiastically campaigning alongside Cameron for the EU referendum are zero after the first Indyref. They will be sitting back and watching the carnage in the tory party just like everyone else.

    The vast majority of the campaigning will have to be done by Cameron himself. The lib dems have also been burned badly by being the tories yellow poodles so it's not as if they will be lining up either while there we will be arguing the case for scotland being in charge of whether scotland leaves the EU or not.

    On the bright side for the fop we do know of two westminster 'big beasts' who have already been hinting they will happily share a stage with Cameron for his pro-Europe campaign.

    Clegg and Blair.

    Yeah, that's bound to promote harmony in the tory party and bode well for Cameron's pro-Europe campaign almost as much as an EU crisis. ;-)

    Just wait till Cameron has to stand up and promote EU immigration to his incensed party. Since that is the inevitable and irrefutable conclusion of being in favour of the EU regardless of all the meaningless 'renegotiation' posturing Cameron Major is doing right now to the most gullible tories in a futile effort to pretend otherwise

  11. while we're waiting for the results of the greek referendum (OXI for me but I'm not greek ) you might enjoy this little post, in the hope that the ending is a good omen for greece