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.
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
Should Scotland be an independent country? (Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll)
Yes 56% (+1)
No 44% (-1)
(Before Don't Knows are excluded, the figures are Yes 51%, No 40%. The fieldwork was conducted between the 5th and 11th of November, and 1020 respondents were interviewed. Percentage changes are measured from the most recent Panelbase poll, which was commissioned by Business for Scotland in August.)
It's been obvious from social media, and also from one or two posters on the comments section of this blog, that unionists have been frantically looking for some signs of hope that the Yes majority might be narrowing slightly as the autumn wears on, and as they've continued chipping away at Nicola Sturgeon over her handling of the pandemic. They certainly won't find any such hope in this poll. Technically a 1% increase isn't statistically significant and might potentially be explained by margin of error 'noise', but anything outside a polling firm's normal range ought to make us sit up and take notice, however small the movement needed to get there. This is the eighth Panelbase poll in this calendar year, and the sequence of results for Yes is 52-49-50-52-54-54-55-56. That does not look like a Yes vote that has started to drift downwards after peaking in the summer. Quite the reverse. And it also shouldn't be forgotten that until relatively recently Panelbase were actually on the No-friendly end of the spectrum, and for several years regularly showed the Yes vote hovering in the lowly 43-45% range. We've come a long, long way since then.
This is a landmark poll in quite a few ways -
* It's the highest ever Yes vote in a Panelbase poll.
* It's the highest ever Yes vote in a poll conducted online by any British Polling Council-affiliated firm.
* It's the joint-highest ever Yes vote in any sort of credible online poll (it's only equalled by the recent JL Partners poll).
* It's the joint second-highest Yes vote in any credible poll conducted by any firm (only surpassed by last month's famous Ipsos-Mori poll, which of course was conducted by telephone).
Drilling into the details, we see a now-familiar pattern. Yes command the support of a very impressive 42% of people who voted Labour in 2019, and 28% of people who voted Liberal Democrat - the latter can probably be explained by the impossibility of Scotland rejoining the EU if it remains part of the UK. Almost one-quarter (23%) of No voters from the 2014 referendum are now in the Yes column, whereas only 8% of Yes voters have moved in the opposite direction. And the gender gap of days gone by has essentially vanished - 56% of men and 55% of women support independence.
We also have voting intention numbers for both Westminster and Holyrood. The SNP remain in an utterly commanding position, although understandably the figures don't quite match the almost absurd heights that were recorded when Panelbase last asked these questions for the Sunday Times in the early summer.
Scottish voting intentions for Westminster:
SNP 50% (-3)
Conservatives 21% (n/c)
Labour 20% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 5% (-1)
Greens 2% (n/a)
Westminster seats projection (with changes from 2019): SNP 56 (+8), Conservatives 2 (-4), Labour 1 (n/c), Liberal Democrats 0 (-4)
Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:
SNP 53% (-2)
Conservatives 21% (+1)
Labour 18% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 5% (-1)
Greens 3% (n/c)
Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:
SNP 46% (-4)
Conservatives 20% (+2)
Labour 17% (+2)
Greens 8% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)
Scottish Parliament seats projection (with changes from 2016): SNP 71 (+8), Conservatives 25 (-6), Labour 19 (-5), Greens 9 (+3), Liberal Democrats 5 (n/c)
So in contrast to the recent Survation poll, the Tories are clinging on to second place, but it's reasonable to suggest they're now in some danger of ceding their position as the largest opposition party next May.
A few days ago, you might have seen a rather amusing meltdown from several hard-core unionists on Twitter, who had taken this poll and were angrily brandishing screenshots of the 'shockingly biased' supplementary questions (most of which were written by me, but Panelbase also added on a few questions for a different client). I'm totally comfortable with the wording of those questions, which you'll be seeing over the coming days, but for now what I'd say is this: regardless of your opinion of those questions, it makes literally no difference whatsoever to the credibility of the headline Yes/No results, because Panelbase - like all reputable pollsters - always ask the main voting intention questions before any of the other questions. So respondents cannot be skewed or influenced in any way.
You may have seen that, just by chance, YouGov conducted an independence poll with almost identical fieldwork dates, and showed a slightly different result, with the Yes vote dipping a little from 53% to 51%. The fact that we have two polls conducted at the same time, with both showing minor margin of error changes in different directions, suggests to me that the situation on the ground has remained pretty steady since Yes reached its new high watermark during the summer. So as enjoyable as it is watching the likes of Andrew Bowie 'celebrating' a poll showing a Yes majority, they're probably barking up the wrong tree.
There are plenty more results to come from the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll - if you'd like to be the first to hear about them, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.
Posted by James Kelly at 4:15 PM