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%


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.  

If the UK Conservative government substantially reduces the powers of the Scottish Parliament or abolishes the Scottish Parliament altogether, would you be more likely or less likely to support Scotland becoming an independent country?

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.

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There's still more to come from the poll over the coming days - if you'd like to be the first to know, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.

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You can read my piece in The National on last night's results HERE.


  1. 23% think the UK government will actually increase the powers of the Scottish Parliament. Delusional idiots.

  2. It is good that you are asking questions that the media fear to tread on.

  3. I don't understand this. If Boris can just say no, how can there be a referendum?

    Why are Major and Broon worried about this? Alistair 'fleg pillaes' Jack said there winnae be democracy in Scotland for at least an 'English determined generation'.

    So why roll out Broom for an intervention?

    Gordon Brown: Scotland needs 'time to heal' before referendum

    A referendum on Scottish independence should not be held while the country "heals" from coronavirus, former prime minister Gordon Brown has said.

    Mr Brown said the country was facing "huge problems" and should not hold a referendum.

    1. The problem is not Johnson saying no the problem is Sturgeon saying no.

      This whole referendum gold standard is just a con trick. Put a mandate for ACTUAL independence in the 2021 May election.

    2. Classic English Tory.

      'I demand Scotland is run the way I want it to be even though I don't live there!'


      'I demand the SNP do what I personally want even though I can't be bothered getting of my lazy erse and joining them so I can actually get a say in shaping policy!'

    3. Andrew Marr put Broon on the spot over Scotland (and Wales') right to decide their own future.
      He didn't answer the question!
      That is not the issue says he.
      Uncannily like May's "now is not the time".
      Remember the VOW too where he assured us even the Tories would carry it through.
      This from a coward of a man who declined to stand against the SNP in Kirkcaldy because he knew he'd lose.
      A world statesman - in his ain heid. He may be England's last hope of keeping us under London rule.

  4. Ian Blackford says Indyref2 will definately happen next year. So all you SNP members can come out of hiding and say the same - can't you?

    Pity he doesn't give a date and say when it will be made legal and of course hopefully it is a better prediction than his previous promise of "Scotland will not be taken out of the EU against its will."

    1. Why are former PMs talking worriedly about an indyref that isnae gonnae happen?

      "when it will be made legal"

      Mask slipped here a bit. We don't need England's permission.

    2. Hey Skier (Dimwit) - any referendum needs legislation to be put in place - surely even a dimwit with multiple personalities knows that - or maybe not.

      I have never said Englands permission is needed so once again you are misrepresenting me. You really are a tiresome idiot.

      So idiot when will the referendum happen - commit to a date or even a month or even a year - you cannot take up my challenge can you.

    3. SSSS - of course with all your crazy personalities a mask is something you do not need.

      Too scared to take up my challenge - when is this referendum going to happen and if it doesn't you will never ever, not one of your crazy personalities, post on any independence website again.

      Still not confident even though Blackford tells you it will happen next year - pathetic.

  5. Aye? And what's the plan tae stop them? Section30! Delusional.

  6. No referendum can be illegal.
    The voters will know in advance that voting for Yes parties instructs the Scottish Government to hold an independence referendum.
    All referendums are deemed to be consultative, but the Govt. is expected to implement the result.
    The writing is clearly on the wall for England. They're losing a huge asset in Scotland and will come to the table to cut their losses.
    Russian interference in Western elections, is small beer compared to the leverage that EnglandUK will bring to bear to head off scottish independence.
    From the overturning of the YES result in 1979 to the weaponising of the Scottish press and even the supposedly neutral ENGLISH UK Monarchy, it will only get more desperate as the election nears.
    Their soft underbelly is their lack of footsoldiers.
    We'll win big on the doorsteps.

  7. For clarity and for goodness sake some people need it

    Asking the people of Scotland to decide how they are to be governed will never be illegal in Scotland. Therefore any referendum that asks such a question will never be illegal and is not a consultative referendum but a mandatory referendum. The claim of right.

    However, legislation needs to be put in place to make a referendum happen.