Should Scotland be an independent country? (Ipsos-Mori/STV)
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Make that fourteen/fifteen in a row: Ipsos-Mori shows yet another huge majority for Scottish independence
Should Scotland be an independent country? (Ipsos-Mori/STV)
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Just before Tony Blair invaded Iraq, something which he had plainly already made up his mind to do, he sent out junior ministers to claim they were making a "last push for peace". It was the ultimate Orwellian linguistic trick - framing the warmongering government as peace-lovers, and the anti-war resistance to the government as the obstacle to peace. I was reminded of that episode the other day when Alyn Smith started his rather brazen crusade against "factionalism" within the SNP - which was really a pitch for people to vote for his own diehard faction in the name of anti-factionalism. And yet we know that one or two souls were naive enough to be impressed by his words and to take them at face value. So the question was whether enough people would be hoodwinked to change the trajectory of the SNP's internal elections over the weekend. Judging by Mr Smith's own result, his gambit failed.
Policy Development Convener Election (first preferences):
But in a sense this outcome poses a dilemma for one or two of the rebels too - having won the party back to some extent, won't it be harder to justify sabotaging the party next May by splitting the vote on the list?
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Pretty shocking, but sadly predictable, headline from a colonial broadcaster intent on politicising a pandemic. It is of course based on a quite appalling interview by Andrew Marr who treated pandemic deaths as a colonial league contest with England the winners. Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/9QPyQ3YzJ7— MSM_Monitor (@msm_monitor) November 29, 2020
The Tories' priority in the middle of a pandemic? Dragging us out of the single market and customs union, against our clearly expressed democratic will, in just ONE MONTH from now. Why don't the mainstream media hammer Ross on this brazen hypocrisy?https://t.co/tEdJBNTY23— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 29, 2020
Voting for @theSNP #NEC continues today. Please vote for me #1 as Elected Member to improve party governance & policy making. I will put preparations for #Independence front & centre. I’m speaking in the #indy debate at #SNPConference2020 later this morning pic.twitter.com/Syycp87P18— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) November 29, 2020
POLL: Should all SNP members have the right to vote in internal elections (such as NEC elections), or should the franchise continue to be restricted to conference delegates?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 29, 2020
At some point the usual suspects are going to have make their peace with the idea of sharing the SNP with self-ID sceptics. You can't purge or silence people like Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine, and trying to paint them as allies of the 'far right' just looks downright daft.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 28, 2020
Earlier today members of @theSNP joined with members of other parties to publicise a letter containing a defamatory statement about me. I would like to know who organised the letter so I can seek redress. Now this new account https://t.co/UrKipWDXA3— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) November 28, 2020
Is retweeting the defamatory material. I would like to know the identity of the organisers of this account & the letter are so I can contact them for redress. Please let me know if you can help. Thank you— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) November 28, 2020
I note you’ve removed the defamatory reference of me in the letter. It’s a sad state of affairs that many prominent political party members such as @agcolehamilton signed upto such defamatory comment. I am still waiting on an apology and a donation to a charity of my choice. https://t.co/MG8B3bWFx0— Christopher McEleny (@ChrisMcEleny) November 28, 2020
What a shame Alyn didn’t read my speech before commenting. I supplied a copy to the party in advance. It would be a little surprising if a senior lawyer was advocating an “illegal” referendum. Time to get our ducks in a row. https://t.co/Sl6bkUA4lM— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) November 29, 2020
📣 Today, @theSNP members have an opportunity to elect an NEC that will unite the party behind an independence campaign led by the grassroots. The power to #MakeChangeHappen is in your hands. Here's the team we're backing: https://t.co/LPZeeDcqDt— SNP Common Weal Group (@SNP_CWG) November 28, 2020
If I was an SNP member this is the slate I’d back. As a Yes supporter the direction & vitality of the SNP matters too. Fringe events - even online - cost around £6k, pricing out grassroots voices. Cmon SNP members - have courage to democratise your party. https://t.co/e1PeML4XwW— Lesley Riddoch (@LesleyRiddoch) November 28, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Well, let's be accurate, shall we? After the SNP announced her resignation, she questioned whether she had really done that, and the allegations of antisemitism were contested, to put it mildly.https://t.co/TvN9qbaPft— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 28, 2020
David Paisley instantly blocked me after I tweeted this. As you can see, there was nothing abusive or inaccurate about it, so I think that says rather a lot about him. The self-styled "anti-factionalists" (ahem) are over-reaching themselves. https://t.co/POQR2DEZLe— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 28, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
I didn't think it was the end of the world when the SNP reversed policy on NATO a few years ago. I'd much prefer to be out of NATO, but if the centre of gravity of Scottish public opinion is in favour of membership, it may be unwise to go against that. However...— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 24, 2020
...one thing that always bothered me was Alyn Smith's speech in favour of the change, in which he claimed that opposition to NATO made us look "a bit odd" in the eyes of other European countries. His tone of voice suggested we looked like weirdos.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 24, 2020
That was obviously a bogus point when you consider that a number of highly valued EU member states are outside NATO, and always have been - Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Austria.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 24, 2020
But look at it also in the context of the current trans debate. It would be unthinkable for Alyn Smith to lecture individuals on how they look 'odd' and should try to conform more, use the 'right' bathroom, etc, etc. Why shouldn't countries forge their own distinct paths too?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 24, 2020
When the BBC responded to the Panelbase poll last week, they claimed they had covered the power-grab "regularly" on GMS, Gaelic News, The Nine and Reporting Scotland. What's missing from that list? The network news, for starters. Did that even occur to them?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
It was the BBC's own decision to repeatedly reject a Scottish Six. The onus is therefore on the BBC to provide a network news that properly serves Scottish viewers, who are entitled to hear about major stories of great importance to them.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 24, 2020
Monday, November 23, 2020
The SNP's defence submission is a 'modernisation' too far: it's time to reaffirm the long-standing commitment to *unilateral* nuclear disarmament
Here lies problem with by passing @theSNP members in creating policy. The Clyde will dry up before SNP members abandon our support for unilateral nuclear disarmament in favour of a New Labour multilateral policy.— Christopher McEleny (@ChrisMcEleny) November 23, 2020
Defence policy is set by SNP party members, not by British MP’s. pic.twitter.com/EJfLBrpCZt
Did you read the submission? pic.twitter.com/Fbab6ZWp9S— Roddy (@roddymcglynn) November 23, 2020
Here is the relevant sentence, which in fact has been paraphrased accurately - "If we are to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, it is imperative that HM Government and its international partners commit wholeheartedly to multilateral nuclear disarmament."— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
It is plainly inconsistent with the SNP's longstanding belief in *unilateral* nuclear disarmament to call upon the UK Government to commit to multilateral disarmament, which implies *the retention of nuclear weapons* for as long as other countries are unwilling to disarm.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
It's pretty obvious that a couple of high-profile SNP Westminster parliamentarians honestly think they are "modernising" party policy with an increasingly full-throated commitment to NATO, but multilateral disarmament is not the hill to die on.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
If they can't bring themselves to retract that sentence, they should at least 'clarify' that they are calling for the UK to disarm unilaterally.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
I also have concerns about the way that paper bangs on at such length about Russian interference - those sections could have been written by David Leask himself. Are the SNP defence team preoccupied with the things they really ought to be preoccupied with?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
Read the report Marcus.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
"If we are to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, it is imperative that HM Government and its international partners commit wholeheartedly to *multilateral* nuclear disarmament."
That's not a commitment to "scrapping Trident". It's a policy that gives the UK government our blessing to retain Trident until such time as France or China are interested in disarming: in other words, sometime never.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
Marcus we can control our own words and call upon them to do what we actually want them to do. I want them to disarm without condition. What do you want them to do?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 23, 2020
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Boris Johnson didn't just say that devolution is a "disaster" - he also said it was Tony Blair's biggest "mistake", which implies it should never even have happened. So "mistake" is the word to emphasise for as long as Johnson - and the Tories - remain in power.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 19, 2020
How are the SNP failing to respect the results of two referendums?— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 19, 2020
1997 devolution referendum: SNP respecting it, Tories trashing it.
2014 independence referendum: Scotland didn't become an independent country.
2016 EU referendum: Scotland voted Remain.
What's your point?
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll: Scottish public think Nicola Sturgeon has outperformed her fellow world leaders in her handling of the pandemic
Remember that the Scottish people were fearful about the future of devolution even *before* Boris Johnson called it a "disaster"
Translation: "Devolution is great but not when the Jocks elect the wrong government, which is every single time."https://t.co/pXhj0i67Yv— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 16, 2020
2014: Faster, safer, better change. Strongest devolved parliament in the world. Entrenched constitutionally. Only in exceptional circumstances. Settled will. Respected partner. We love you.— David Halliday (@DavidJFHalliday) November 17, 2020
If you think devolution has been a disaster because the people of Scotland keep electing the government they do, it means you think the people of another country are better suited to deciding what is best for Scotland.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 17, 2020
I don't know if it's just me, but the longer this farce of his leadership goes on, the more he looks and sounds like a pretendy student politician.https://t.co/ctBN8ZI4nE— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 17, 2020
I keep sharing this clause of the IMB around in the hope that people will read it and see that it spells the end of devolution. Criminal that the media has not covered this more. pic.twitter.com/rnviysY5Ub— Ian Sutherland (@Sutheia) November 17, 2020
Alex Massie in the Spectator: "Speaking to his northern English MPs last night, Johnson declared that devolution has been 'a disaster north of the border' and was the biggest mistake Tony Blair ever made. The implication, quite obviously, is that in a better ordered world the Scottish parliament should be abolished."
There's such an opportunity now for the SNP to convince voters that the Scottish Parliament is under real threat if we don't win independence soon. It's hardly going to seem implausible that a Prime Minister who thinks devolution is a "disaster" might abolish devolution.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 17, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020
Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll: Staggering three-quarters of voters think the BBC have failed to make the public aware of how the Internal Market Bill will reduce the Scottish Parliament's powers
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll suggests strong backing for a Plan B: Almost two-thirds of voters want the Scottish Government to take decisive action to circumvent Westminster's attempts to 'veto' an independence referendum
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll: More than three-quarters of voters expect the Tories to take more powers away from the Scottish Parliament or abolish it completely - and if that happens, almost 70% will be "more likely" to support independence
Last night's results from the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll suggested that voters think the removal of powers from the Scottish Parliament that is currently underway is in breach of "The Vow" that was so pivotal to the No side in winning the 2014 indyref. But what of the future? Do voters have confidence that the UK Government will nobly draw a line after the current power-grab and leave Holyrood in peace after that? Unsurprisingly, the answer is no.
If Scotland does not become an independent country over the next ten years, and if the Conservatives remain in power at Westminster, which of the following three outcomes do you think is most likely?
The UK Conservative government will substantially increase the Scottish Parliament's powers: 23%
The UK Conservative government will substantially reduce the Scottish Parliament's powers: 55%
The UK Government will abolish the Scottish Parliament altogether: 22%
TOTAL REDUCE/ABOLISH: 77%
What ought to be of greatest concern to unionist strategists is that the fears over the future of devolution very much extend to the coalition of support that delivered the No vote in 2014, presumably including many voters who were swayed by the bogus assurances that the Scottish Parliament was permanent and would become much more powerful. 74% of Labour voters, 77% of Liberal Democrat voters, 67% of No voters from 2014, and 59% of people who are currently minded to vote No again, expect that Holyrood will be diminished or abolished over the coming decade.
To me, this speaks to the strategic blunder that the Conservatives made in abandoning the so-called "respect agenda" under Ruth Davidson's leadership. Having spent years trying to convince voters that Tory rule was not a threat to the Scottish Parliament, they suddenly noticed that devolution - or at least devolution under SNP control - was unpopular with a militant core of unionist support, and that it was therefore possible to win a few extra Tory seats by reverting to the old anti-devo or devo-sceptic posture. But they've lost sight of the fact that the militant core of unionism is only a minority of the Scottish population, and that the pro-devolution majority are listening to the rhetoric as well.
More likely: 69%
Less likely: 31%
Once again, it's not just the Yes die-hards who are saying they would be more likely to back independence in that scenario - so are 71% of Labour voters, 59% of Liberal Democrat voters, 50% of people who voted No six years ago, 32% of those who would currently vote No, and even 27% of Conservative voters.
Put these results together, and what have you got? Voters believe the UK Government is likely to follow a course of action - either abolition of Holyrood or a further significant power-grab - that would clearly make a bigger Yes majority much more attainable. That expectation may be all that is really needed, if Yes campaigners can constantly remind voters of the ongoing threat to devolution and point to the power-grab in the Internal Market Bill as an example of what may be yet to come.
Friday, November 13, 2020
Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll: Two-thirds of voters say the Internal Market BIll breaches The Vow - and demand a referendum on whether the Westminster power-grab should go ahead
You might remember that when I first floated the idea of crowdfunding another poll, my plan was to test public reactions to the Westminster power-grab that is currently underway due to the Internal Market Bill. As it turned out, Progress Scotland had only just conducted a poll that covered the Internal Market Bill extensively, and so at that point I expected to move on to other topics instead. However, the questions asked in the Progress Scotland poll effectively tested reactions to what people already knew about the Internal Market Bill, which obviously in most cases won't have been very much, because the mainstream media haven't exactly been falling over themselves to keep the public informed about the power-grab. The respondents who did have a view were mostly hostile to the Bill, but there were an awful lot of people who just didn't know. I came to the conclusion that there would be value in posing a question that briefly summarises the effect of the Bill on the devolution settlement, thus allowing us to see how people react when they're actually in the know. I also decided to ask about the democratic principle of whether the Scottish people should get to decide in a referendum whether or not powers are removed from the Scottish Parliament - which seems to me important given that those powers are currently there because of the landslide in favour of the devolution settlement recorded in the 1997 referendum.
The UK Government is currently seeking to pass the Internal Market Bill. The House of Lords Constitution Committee has stated that the Bill would change the current powers of the Scottish Parliament by allowing the UK Government to override laws passed in Edinburgh, by imposing new restrictions on the Scottish Government in relation to goods and services, and by removing powers from the Scottish Government on state aid. Do you think these reductions in the Scottish Parliament's powers should only take effect if the Scottish people agree to them in a referendum?
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll: History made again as the pro-independence vote rises to 56% - the highest ever in a Panelbase poll, and in any online poll conducted by a BPC-affiliated firm
I seem to have set expectations sky-high with my video teaser this morning, so I hope you're all happy with this outcome - Yes have hit 56% in our latest exclusive Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, and that's an all-time high in Panelbase polling.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Just a quick update on my earlier post about the inexplicable fact that the betting markets were still implying that Donald Trump had a 5% chance of winning an election he's already lost. I would have expected common sense to kick in at some point, but incredibly it's gone the other way - at the time of writing, Trump is now implied to have around a 9% chance of winning. Which begs the question, who on earth is placing these obviously doomed bets on Trump, and why are they doing it?
Someone suggested on Twitter that it might simply be that people who successfully bet on Biden are closing out their position, which effectively counts as bets on Trump. That's technically a possibility, but it doesn't really make sense, because any such phenomenon will have been balanced out (perhaps more than balanced out) by people who placed pre-election bets on Trump and now think it's Christmas because they were somehow able to retrieve some of their stake by cashing out long after the election result was known.
It must be that there are an awful lot of true believers out there who actually accept the fairy-tales about industrial-scale fraud and who think the Supreme Court will overturn the election results in three, four or five states and that Trump will be inaugurated for a second term in January. When people are behaving as irrationally as that on betting markets, there's a golden opportunity to cash in. To pretty much remove any risk, the thing to do would be to place a lay bet against Trump (as opposed to a positive bet for Biden), and that will cover any unlikely scenario in which something happens to Biden. All you'd need is for Trump not to be declared winner of the election, which he won't be, and you'll have locked in a 9% profit. I'm still not tempted to do it, simply because a huge stake would be required to get a half-decent return. But this is just about the closest thing you'll ever see to free money.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Since 2014, it's rarely been feasible to apply the same method, because there usually haven't been enough independence polls from a broad enough range of pollsters. But for obvious reasons, the last few weeks have seen a flurry of polls, and they've come from no fewer than six different firms - two of which (Savanta ComRes and JL Partners) had never polled on independence before. Here's what the average of the most recent poll of each of the six shows...
SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
Should Scotland be an independent country?
Monday, November 9, 2020
Why don't the media hold the Tories accountable for *their* past statements on when and how a second independence referendum can be held?
If anyone even vaguely mentioned the *possibility* of ending free movement between Scotland and England, let alone waved flags about it and had a party, the Tories would call it "ugly, twisted, bitter, grudge and grievance fuelled small-minded separatism".https://t.co/7CQmrCRBX5— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 9, 2020
"Dark cloud over BBC journalism, says Michael Grade."— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 9, 2020
These people look at the BBC's antics in the indyref and say "no problem there, we're proud of that", but some incomprehensible rubbish about royal bank statements in 1995 is apparently the end of civilisation as we know it.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Incredibly, the current odds on the Betfair exchange imply Trump has an approximately 5% chance of winning an election he's already lost. Punters have consistently overestimated his chances for months, but this is getting ridiculous.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 8, 2020
What's the odds on a Biden win? Worth a punt— Tam Jardine (@Tam__Jardine) November 8, 2020
Roughly 1/20. It's practically free money at this stage, but I'm not tempted. It would take a huge stake to get a decent return, and the money would potentially be tied up for weeks, depending on how long the legal challenges drag on.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) November 8, 2020
Still- even if it took 6 months 5% return is really good. As you say- free money.— Tam Jardine (@Tam__Jardine) November 8, 2020
Significantly better than most savings accounts :)— Col Total Manscaping (@colken16) November 8, 2020