Sunday, December 8, 2019

Video: SNP on course for major gains in Scotland

Here's the third in my series of short pre-election videos, this time focusing on the two newest full-scale Scottish polls from YouGov and Panelbase.  I can neither confirm nor deny rumours that the improvement in picture quality is due to the person known in certain quarters as the "Random Totty From Freedom Square" very kindly lending me her camera for a few days.


  1. Thanks James the most accessible and sensibly presented polling analysis for Scotland available. Time for the final push to get the SNP vote out and then prepare for the Westminster, authoritarian freak show to come.

  2. So, a majority of Scots back independence in Panelbase. Again.
    But only if brexit goes ahead.

    Leaving EU ‘would fuel drive for independence’

    Conservative victory at the general election could lead to the break up of the Union, poll shows

    So even the worst pollster has a majority for indy, and likely with heavy down-weighting of Yes/SNP due to using 2017 weighting. But only if brexit occurs.

    The electorate would like some stability. If brexit is cancelled, then for a good few, indy can go on the back burner until things calm down.
    If we get Boris and Brexit, then Scots want indy asap. Polls have consistently said this again and again; even the least Yes friendly ones.

    The better the SNP do in this election, the less likely we might be to achieve independence, ironically (if it turns out they hold the balance of power in a hung parliament). Yet if they do badly, then that will hurt the indy cause too somewhat. It’s why I hate being involved in these English elections. It’s always the same shit. You have to campaign hard to be in a revolting place that utterly disgusts you.

    I have never in my life wished for a Tory victory. They are sick, racist, scum that will ruin the UK. Scotland’s exit from their shithole of a fascist brexit Britain will not be a joyous flowering of democracy. It will be a fight for survival, and possibly a bloody one against English Jackboots. So I cannot wish for them to win, and would never see the SNP enable that.

    If we end up with a hung parliament, then we will likely remain stuck in no man’s land without enough support from the electorate to go for indy. If brexit can be stopped, then stop it, will be the expectation. A majority in Holyrood 2021 seems less certain where a Tory brexit would guarantee it.

    So all I can hope for is that the SNP improve their seat count, and hopefully well. And let the gods decide what happens in England.

    1. If the Tories win and brexit goes ahead, everything will change. The union will die that day in Scotland.

      Malcolm Chisholm

      Hoping for transformed UK under Corbyn but if England votes for five more years of austerity made even worse by Johnson’s hardest of hard Brexits then the UK is finished and independence will become Scotland’s settled will just as devolution became so after 3rd Tory win in 1987.

      This is very likely the last UK election you'll be voting in. But steel yourself for the possibility of English Nazi* jackboots on the streets.

      *Note the common usage of 'Nazi' when describing fascist actions.

    2. Why do you refer to English jackboots? I don't see any evidence of any sort of England v Scotland strife of the sort you suggest. If you are saying a right wing Govt in Westminster would have jackboots, those would be walking over the English too. And if we think back to George Square unrest, the 'British loyalists' were most likely Scottish.

    3. "If Brexit goes ahead..."

      Is there any worth at all to these hypothetical questions? I recall Panelbase finding that 53% would vote for independence if Johnson became Prime Minister. We haven't seen any polls at that level since that hypothetical was realised.

    4. I describe a situation akin to Catalonia.

      If you declare democracy illegal, then you must enforce that. It's no good just saying it; you need to start beating people up, arresting them etc.

      The Catalan police would never start beating up their own people, while no court was ever going to declare the act of voting illegal, so Spanish jackboots were sent in by Madrid, and trumped up charges created.

      If the Westminster government refuses a section 30, it immediately ceases to be British and becomes English as the union is no longer by consent. To enforce no section 30 it will need to send in English jackboots because Scottish courts are just not going to declare voting illegal, and Scots police are not going to start rounding up Scots.

      And it would be an English government elected by the people of England. It's actions are their responsibility so long as they have a vote, just as the actions of Holyrood rest on our shoulders.

    5. "Is there any worth at all to these hypothetical questions? "

      The standard 'how would you vote in an indyref held tomorrow' is of course a hypothetical question. There is no iref tomorrow and there isn't one planned. So Y/N polling is completely hypothetical for now, even without any caveats.

      It also doesn't tell you what 'current support for independence' is as that's not what's asked. Instead, it tells you how people say they'd vote in a hypothetical iref held tomorrow. They might support independence, but would vote No 'tomorrow', but yes next month. People tend to answer what's asked; it's what pollsters want. If folks are not answering the question as asked, the polling will not be accurate as it will be interpreted in different ways.

      Given we have GE in a week, more people saying 'No' to indy 'tomorrow' isn't that surprising, particularly if they want to decide on independence based on the outcome of the election. Makes a lot of sense to say No to indy in a snap referendum right now. Better to wait a week at least.

  3. Ye're punchin' James, punchin' I tell ye! Well done mate ;-)

    1. Big Eater From PerthDecember 9, 2019 at 12:55 PM

      That's what they said about George Foreman. But how much weight did he carry?

      (I could probably invent a grill in my spare time.)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. That comment came through to my email before you deleted it. Which raises a couple of interesting questions. Is one of you pretending to be the other? Or have you both been the same person all along?

    2. Random Totty From Freedom SquareDecember 9, 2019 at 12:51 PM

      Start posting here if you'd like me to co-host the site with James and GWC on Election Night.

    3. If you do it topless, I'll tune in and donate big-time.

    4. To the anonymous person who posted to claim that GWC and I are the same person: I've deleted your comment to spare you embarrassment. And as for the idea that most people share your belief - well, I've no idea if people really are that stupid, but let's hope not, eh?

      Wings FM appeared to reveal himself to be one of our resident trolls (not GWC) by accidentally posting something on the wrong account. He hurriedly deleted it after noticing his mistake.

    5. Shutting down alternative viewpoints and differing opinions or describing and characterising them as trolling is pretty North Korean SSD, Stasi-esque thought police stuff. It's a pretty dystopian, totalitarian way to run an information sharing platform. Lets just hope an independent Scotland doesn't adopt the same model.

    6. The comment that *you* deleted was, and I quote, "Hey Scotty the Scrounger. Get Bedxit done." Yes, absolutely, that's the type of valuable "alternative viewpoint" or "differing opinion" that an independent Scotland simply can't do without. Mysterious, then, that *you* deleted it. But as you'd just blown your cover and revealed yourself to be the troll who has been relentlessly posting a variation on those words for months, perhaps it's not so mysterious, eh?

      A word of advice, mate: when you're in a hole, stop digging.

    7. Wings Forward UnitDecember 9, 2019 at 3:22 PM

      We are calling in to deny responsibility for the actions of "Wings FM" -- but we refuse to take part in the Populist politics of condemnation.

      And we think that Random T. should be given her big break.

  5. I thought Panelbase was going to be worse tbh as pollsters start applying 2017 heavy turnout filters. YouGov's sample was 43-28 so I'm hopeful the lead is over 10.

    1. There is a huge 'false recall' problem with panelbase. There recall for 2017 is far too high (+6% in the last poll where we have past V for both), while Holyrood 2016 and EUref is perfect.

      So SNP voters get down-weighted.

      The admitted in the past Westminster (2010) weighting is inaccurate in Scotland due to this mismatch, but went back to using it post 2015.

      I think there are too many people in Scotland saying 'I supported SNP' when in fact they tactically voted Labour or didn't turn out.

      This wasn't a problem in 2017 as W 2015 closely matched H 2016 for SNP.

    2. Same thing was happening ahead of 2014. 2011 recall perfect, but the same people were claiming they gave the SNP up to 40(+20)% of the vote in 2010.

      I think Scotland is the only country in the world where pollsters don't as a rule weight to past national elections, but to elections for the country next door.

  6. I trust this will be the start of regular updates on the RTfFS.

  7. "False" recall is how you undermine weighing and there's not a lot I can think of that can be done about it.

    If you want to you say, for example, you claim you voted SNP, Yes, and so on but next time will vote No and any other party. Then when the company weighs the results it shows a swing in the direction you want.

  8. That Panelbase poll looks slightly risque. But not long until we're totting up those votes.

  9. Though I would have a look at the Yougov sub-samples in 2017 and 2019 at this stage of the campaign and see if there was any difference. Usual caveats with sub-samples. It mirrors other polling firms Scottish sub samples with SNP gaining and Tories falling back a bit.


    SNP 36
    Con 30
    Lab 27
    LD 4
    Oth 2


    SNP 43
    Con 28
    LD 15
    Lab 11
    Oth 1

    Will it be 1987 when there was tactical voting to deny seats? We shall have to wait and see.

    1. From a post from last night:

      I have looked at the Opinium Scottish sub sample. Over sample of Tories but interesting check with the 2017 vote and the 2019 voting intention.

      The 2017 vote was;
      Con 32%
      SNP 30
      Lab 26
      LD 5
      UKIP 3

      now they intend to vote

      SNP 44
      Con 29
      Lab 15
      LD 11
      Oth 1


      he new Comres poll for the Sunday Telegraph Scotland subsample:

      SNP 43%
      Con 27
      Lab 16
      LD 8
      BXT 2
      Oth 3

      The gap between the top 2 is 16%. The gap in 2017 at the same stage was only 8%, 40 to 32, the Tories have fallen back despite their UK numbers furth of Scotland. The SNP has the party with the highest degree of intention to vote, that should help.

    2. I'd agree. My Yougov subsamples PoP was showing 37% SNP on average by this point. This had fallen from close to 50% at the beginning of the campaign.

      Polling was better weighted at the time too for the reasons I mention above.

      Definitely higher this time around, with SNP ~44%, and that's with potential heavy down-weighting.

  10. Slightly off topic, but we know there's been a fair bit of debate about whether the SNP are pushing independence strongly enough.

    I just saw this tweet from Sinn Fein, including core message:

    "This election will define our future for many years to come.

    Defend your future by rejecting Brexit and the toxic politics of the DUP.

    Stand up for your future by voting Sinn Féin!"

    Seems they don't explicitly mention their ultimate goal, they assume the electorate knows that.

    1. Sinn Fein know better than to say it is the English parliament where N. Ireland's future is decided.

      I absolutely don't want the SNP to make this a vote on Scottish indy for the same reasons. In 2017 that was jumped on gleefully when they lost lots of seats (but indy support was unchanged).

      This used to be a UK election and now it's all but an English EVEL election. Let's not insult our country by suggesting England's parliament is where our future should be decided.

      Indy is for our own people in our own elections to our own parliament.

      This one is about giving us maximum leverage in Westminster as long as we are in the UK.

      If you want your MP to deliver for Scotland, vote for a Scottish party, not an English one.

  11. Colonel Windbag has suggested that she could lead the Tories in Westminster at some point in the future.

    So what do I get if I score 29%?

    Eh? EH?!

    1. I saw that and thought Colonel Windbag has finally flipped. Will any of the Tories in England remember who the bumbling wee soul is? Her future ended in 2017.

  12. Any sign of tables for our mystery yougov indy poll or does it seem that just came from the earlier times survey?

  13. Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 41% (+2)
    LAB: 32% (-1)
    LDEM: 14% (+1)
    GRN: 4% (-1)
    BREX: 4% (-)

    , 04 - 06 Dec
    Chgs. w/ 29 Nov

    As with the polls yesterday just seems to be MoE churn.

    Survation out at midnight, YouGOV MRP on Tuesday.

  14. ... just to say that your Video Blog is Ace, James ... a great enhancement to your written analysis ...keep up the good work and I'll keep reading/watching ... very soon people, very soon.

  15. Labour surge has stalled it would appear.

    Britain Elects

    8h8 hours ago
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 45% (+3)
    LAB: 31% (-2)
    LDEM: 11 (-)
    BREX: 4% (+1)
    GRN: 2% (-2)

    via @Survation, 05 - 07 Dec
    Chgs. w/ 30 Nov

    A Tory win and a dark future awaits. A destroyed economy, mass unemployment, but this time with no welfare state at all to catch those who fall.

    The mass exodus of skilled workers as already begun; 100,000+ had left by the end of September. European immigration has completely collapsed as well.

    Unfortunately, while a Tory win will guarantee support for independence, we will likely see democracy brought to an end as per Tory manifesto promises to take away the right of Scots to vote.

    1. The English Tories respect English votes, but their deep racist hatred for non-English peoples means they don't respect that of Scots, e.g the 1979 overwhelming Yes for devolution.

  16. But what are the 1% swinging to the Brexit Party thinking about?

    1. Farage's plan was never to hurt the Tories by splitting their vote.

      It was always about breaking the working class vote by splitting it down the middle so the hard right of the Tories to take complete control.

      It's becoming pretty obvious to all from polling that brexit will not be remotely socialist / for the many not the few.

      And Corbyn is the one that's handed the hard right power because he deep down wanted brexit personally. The needs of the many were trumped by the desires of the few. He'll not suffer with his nice MPs salary and pension. But he can thrive on the poverty brexit creates.

    2. Shagging each other's husbands and wives, but no immigrants allowed for party etiquette reasons.

  17. Ultimately, I think it has to be considered to be a mediocre night for the SNP if they don't wind at least 4/5 out of the following 8 seats from the Tories:

    Aberdeen South;
    Ochil and South Perthshire;
    East Renfrewshire;
    Moray; and
    Ayr,Carrick and Cumnock.

    The exception to this is if they win big off the Lib Dems also.

    1. Times article today talking up Tories chances in Lanark & Hamilton East. You already know about NE Fife. Might be a mixed bag but with net gains to the SNP.

    2. I think the Tories taking Lanark & Hamilton East seems a bit fanciful. I suspect the remaining Labour vote there is likely to go SNP rather than the Tories but who knows.

      All in I think the SNP will have an ok night but really they should be targeting an overall total of 44-48 seats. It's beginning to look like they might barely break 40. It'd still be their 2nd best every Westminster result but a long way off the 50+ seats people were talking about in October/November.

  18. If the Survation poll is accurate then a 5% swing to the Tories this late is significant. It probable means Johnson will take Westminster like a rampant rabbit. If we have 5 years of Johnson with a big majority then UK society will be unrecognisable by the end and not in a good way.

    Anybody know what the Survation Scottish sub was like?

    We need a strong SNP showing more than ever given the way things are looking.

    1. I don't think there is any swing. The polls don't clearly suggest that, and we shouldn't jump on individual polls.

      However, it does look like the surge to Labour we saw has run out of steam. I think they can pull off a few % more, but the 40% of 2017 is looking pretty unlikely now.

      The gap is still uncomfortably close for Johnson, and he really needs to get well over 42% of the vote to be sure of a decent majority. That and prey Labour don't push a little higher into the upper 40's by Thursday.

      He is also likely to have to contend with unionists losing NI at Westminster level too, completing the trinity, which will have the EU/Eire eagerly demanding the full backstop of his new majority or no trade deal at all with anyone in the world, US included.

      The UK actually loses trade bargaining power with a majority government ironically. Johnson can't beg for concessions if he has a majority. He's not got the excuse of needing these to get a deal through any more. At the same time, a brexited UK has zero influence on the world stage. It's a wee minnow which will be eaten alive.

      There isn't a way forward for brexit that doesn't see the UK break up in a horrible mess.

      It's just a question of how fascist England becomes towards us Scots in its British Empire death throes.

  19. Replies
    1. no definitely wrong but what about sticking that the fuck up ya menskilt.

    2. When I put on a kilt, I can be correctly described as 'a man in a skirt'.

      But that's transphobic apparently.

  20. My Mrs read out the names of the candidates for our constituency and said guess the blue Tory. I wrongly said Ben Denton-Cardew.

    1. It's all party games round at GWC's at Christmas. WTF

  21. Big Eater From PerthDecember 9, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    As a distinguished writer and thinker I am compelled to raise my pen and warn of the advances of the sycophancy Thought Police on this site.

  22. If you support independence, you support the right of Scotland to have a referendum whether brexit happens or not.

    I can't understand those that say stopping brexit somehow cancels the right of Scots to have an indyref. That's unionist talk.

    Scotland shouldn't stop England's brexit yes, but then that's not possible as long as we are one UK. The only brexit that can be stopped is a British one.

    If brexit was stopped by Scotland/NI/Wales somehow and English folks are unhappy, they ken where the door is. Nobody is denying them a Section 30.

  23. A second 36%.

    CON: 42% (-)
    LAB: 36% (+1)
    LDEM: 12% (-1)
    BREX: 3% (-)

    via @ICMResearch, 06 - 09 Dec
    Chgs. w/ 02 Dec

    Maybe still something to the continued drop in Lib Dem share evident in some polls.