The ever-delightful Cleggy and the Vow-Meisters have today published their latest full-scale Scottish poll from Survation. It tells a familiar tale, with respondents roughly split down the middle on whether Nicola Sturgeon should call a second independence referendum. A total of 42% think she should, and 49% think she shouldn't. Bear in mind there's a margin of error of 3%, meaning those numbers are close enough to being a statistical tie as makes no difference.
The 42% in favour of a referendum break down as follows: 23% want Ms Sturgeon to call a referendum this autumn, and 19% want her to call it later. The wording of the question on this point is deeply unsatisfactory, and I strongly suspect that most respondents will have wrongly assumed that they were being asked whether a referendum should actually take place this autumn. What Survation are really asking is whether a referendum should merely be announced this autumn, but they don't spell that out, and therefore the results on timing should be taken with a massive dose of salt. It's actually quite impressive that one-quarter of the population seemingly want a referendum to take place in as little as two or three months' time! And of course the 19% who chose the 'later than the autumn' option could mean that they think this winter or next spring would be the appropriate time - they aren't given the opportunity to specify what 'later' actually means.
Disappointingly, Survation have misrepresented their own numbers on this occasion in a much more serious way than the Daily Record have. It's quite rare for a polling company to do that, but the short Survation article on the poll is headlined "Scottish Voters Opposed to Second Independence Referendum". As you can see for yourself, that's quite simply untrue - the 42% in support of a referendum, when combined with the small number of Don't Knows, outnumber the 49% who are opposed. There is no absolute majority in either direction, and it's anyone's guess why Survation are so keen to give the false impression that there is. Maybe a mole from Tory central office has infiltrated their PR department?
The only other result to be published from the poll so far is the straight question on independence, and it shows a modest increase in the Yes vote - albeit one that can potentially be easily explained by the margin of error.
Should Scotland be an independent country? (Don't Knows excluded)
Yes 47% (+1)
No 53% (-1)
No 53% (-1)
Presumably we'll see Holyrood and/or Westminster voting intention numbers tomorrow or over the coming days.
Fundraiser: If you find Scot Goes Pop's polling coverage useful and would like to help it continue, donations can be made via the 2017 fundraiser page. The initial £7000 target was reached last summer, but one year on that money has all been used up. I know there are always lots of very worthy pro-independence causes looking for support, so I've held off for as long as I possibly could before actively seeking donations again.