Jeremy Corbyn said a number of puzzling things in his dire speech to the Scottish Labour conference today (he surprised even himself by saying "well done to our SNPs!"), but none more so than this...
"Regular polling since Brexit has shown a drop in support for independence."
This begs the obvious question - what regular polling? No firm has really carried out regular polling on independence since the referendum in September 2014. The only possible exception is BMG, who recently seem to have started conducting polls on independence for the Herald at vaguely regular intervals. So far, though, they've only done two polls that used the same question, and that are therefore directly comparable. For what it's worth, the most recent poll in the series showed a 3.5% increase in support for independence. That may well have been an illusion caused by sampling variation, but the only other poll we've had since then (from Panelbase) showed a very slight and statistically insignificant increase in support for Yes, rather than a decrease.
There is thus no planet on which it is possible to accurately claim that "regular polling" has shown a drop in support for independence. You could say that it's shown an increase in support, or that there hasn't been enough regular polling to draw any firm conclusions. There's no third option here.
Elsewhere, Adam Bienkov of Business Insider randomly trotted out the hoary old claim that the SNP are "the governing party in a near one-party state". The word "near" covers a multitude of sins, because -
a) Scotland is not a state.
b) Five parties are represented in the Scottish Parliament.
c) None of those parties has even a slight majority of the seats in parliament (unlike the governing party at Westminster, for example).
When these facts were pointed out to Adam, he hurriedly shifted the goalposts and insisted he had instead been referring to the SNP's total dominance of Scottish representation in the House of Commons. But that makes even less sense. The SNP are indeed a "governing party" of Scotland - albeit only a semi-autonomous government that is not permitted to hold the most important levers of power. None of the powers they do hold are derived in any way from their relative strength at Westminster, where they have just 8% of MPs and are routinely outvoted by the party which possesses an absolute majority of seats (the Conservatives).
If this is a "near one-party state" that Adam is describing, he seems to have identified the wrong party and the wrong state.
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