Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Analysis of yesterday's Survation poll: the fifteenth or sixteenth in a row to show a pro-independence majority

Apologies for not covering this yesterday, but I'm sure most of you are already up to speed with it.  A new Survation poll is the fifteenth in a row (or arguably sixteenth in a row depending on definition) to show a majority for independence.

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 52% (-2)
No 48% (+2)

Three of the last four polling firms to report have now shown a small recent decrease in Yes support - so that might be significant, but it could still be happening by chance.  The exception was of course the Panelbase poll for this blog in November showing Yes climbing to an all-time high of 56%.  

Westminster voting intention:

SNP 51% (-1)
Labour 21% (+1)
Conservatives 20% (+2)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-2)

The changes here don't appear to be of any great significance, as they just revert to the numbers in the last-but-one Survation poll.  Labour's second place seems to be a Survation 'house effect' - it's been seen in all of the last three Survation polls, but not in polls from other firms.

Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:

SNP 53% (-1)
Labour 20% (+2)
Conservatives 20% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-2)
Greens 1% (+1)

Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:

SNP 41% (-2)
Labour 20% (+1)
Conservatives 18% (+1)
Greens 10% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 7% (n/c)

As I always point out, the list numbers from Survation polls need to be taken with a pinch of salt, because respondents seem to be influenced by the way the question is posed.  Some pro-indy voters seem to be left with the impression that they're being asked for a second preference, thus leading to a (possible) understatement of the SNP and overstatement of the Greens.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Another huge SNP lead. Lib Dems very disappointing. They need a clear and unique message on the constitution in order to stay relevant.

    Have the Greens promised another referendum in their manifesto intentions yet?

    On Independence polling, do you know what the % are with the don’t knows added in?

    1. Yes 44%, No 42%. I don't know the answer to your question about the Greens, but I would be amazed if they don't do that.

    2. Would be suicidal for the Greens not to commit to iref2/indy.

  2. Nice. Other smaller parties such as SSP, Solidarity and ISP remain on less than 1%. Brexit and UKIP have 1% too.

    1. None of the smaller parties have any deep roots, some operate in an echo chamber not known to over 90% of the electorate.

    2. Skier - why so much glee about independence parties not doing well in polls. You said the same in the last article BTL. You really just are a party person - a classic ex Labour Party person. The party is my life stuff. You would have loved the Soviet Union or even China today - perhaps there are some vacancies for Rock bashers in Shanghai. A real party man like you would climb up the party ranks.

    3. I think a total of 52% for pro-indy parties is good and said so, hence 'nice'.

      However, it shows how easily the Yes vote could be split. If say 3% of SNP / green voters moved to ISP, another 3% went to the SSP and another 3% to solidarity, that would be 12% of Yes votes not yielding seats.

      And please stop stalking me.

    4. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ the stalker asking not to be stalked.

      Apologise for all the misrepresentations and lies you have posted with regards to me and my posts and promise to never do it again. Oh and never call me a Unionist or a Britnat again. You may have gathered I really really do not like people doing this.

      It's your choice - you have been out of order from when I first posted here.

    5. You responded to my post; not the other way around.

      I'm not aware that I've called you a unionist or britnat troll; I believe I've just pointed out when you say things that they do, making you sound like one, which you seem to do quite a lot.

      This includes insulting people ('idiot, fanboy, transfan, woke, suffering from early onset dementia, troll...'). Maybe if you stopped throwing insults around, folk wouldn't think you were a unionist.

      I don't as a rule insult you as you do me, I just point out flaws in your arguments or when you say something that sounds very unionist.

      If you are an independence supporter, then try to act like one and quit it with the insults. People can disagree passionately and debate without calling each other names.

    6. But you are a unionist and a britnat

    7. Callachan, based on what you have posted in the past you are a blood and soil Nationalist who wants only people born in Scotland of the right stock to be able to vote in an independence referendum. Some people would think that makes you a racist.

    8. Ok Skier you just can't help lie can you. You have been insulting me and calling me a Unionist just like your sidekick Callachan has just done. I don't take kindly to it.

      PS the guy backing you up Callachan has some dodgy blood and soil Nationalist opinions - keeping good company there Skier.

      People like you, Callachan and now the idiot Juteman cannot stand someone who asks questions you cannot answer so your response is lies, misrepresentation and the tired you are a Unionist, which even that insult is do out of date - stuck in 2014 with your old analysis of the situation.

    9. Skier - I gave you an opportunity to have a fresh start but what do you do - lie lie lie again - don't say I didn't make this gesture but knowing your capacity to lie like Trump you probably will.

  3. James, You say you'd be amazed if the Greens didn't include a commitment to an Indy referendum in their manifesto.
    I pretty much agree.
    My problem is I'm not so confident that the SNP will give a similar promise that isn't ambiguous in some way.
    The new NEC need to put the pressure on.
    The SNP will likely win big in May.
    But it has to mean more than another term in office.

    1. The reason I asked James the question is because I’ll be writing to the UK Government suggesting they require nothing less than a majority of votes going to a party, or parties, that have a clear manifesto commitment to hold another independence referendum before they engage with one (something that didn’t happen in the 2016 elections).

      With the loss of the UK being at stake, I don’t think that is an unreasonable requirement from the perspective of the UK as a whole.

    2. Ramstam - "the new NEC need to put the pressure on." Spot on - if not them then who else can. A clear unambiguous statement in the manifesto. None of this politicians woolly words. No get out clauses. A clear statement of the success criteria for the people of Scotland to deliver a mandate. I would prefer a mandate for actual independence but if it has to be a referendum then at least make it clear and watertight.

      None of this a substantial majority stuff.

      None of this a resounding majority stuff.

      Crystal clear statements.

    3. So you're going to urge them to set aside the basic principles of parliamentary democracy? Boris Johnson didn't win a majority of votes for his manifesto commitments - should he be blocked from implementing them?

    4. Union 2.0

      You see that type of post just sums up the Britnat double standards. Did Cameron get a majority of the votes in 2015 to then get a mandate for his EU referendum no he bloody well didn't and that cost us our European citizenship.

      Double standards and moving the goalposts typical Britnat behaviour.

    5. Union 2.0

      " a clear manifesto commitment " you say. The trouble with that is that you Britnats think Johnston should decide if it is clear or not and he will always say unclear. Just like he continually lies about once in a generation.

    6. Union 2.0

      The No vote did not recieve a majority of those eligible to vote in Scotland in 2014. I believe it was just shy of 50%. By your logic they didn't win Indy 14 as a majority of Scots didn't vote No !

    7. Just a minute - we’re talking about the loss of statehood here, not just a parliamentary election that can be voted on again in 4/5 years.

      Would you not expect the UK to be sure that’s what the will of most Scots is before going through a divorce & ceasing to exist? You wouldn’t expect them to happily say ‘well most Scots didn’t vote for parties promising a referendum but let’s have one anyway’ and then take a needless risk.

      There are parallels all over the world. That’s why you don’t see a world with 500 UN states. Canada - clear majority needed. Spain - ‘indissoluble union’. Montenegro - 55% threshold.

      I’m not saying never again, I’m saying it should be clear that’s what the majority of the population wants. If not, there’s nothing to stop the Scottish Govt from holding a referendum without agreement anyway. They could have done that in this parliament.

    8. We have lost the benefits of being in the EU even though Scotland voted strongly in favour of staying, because England and Wales decided to leave. That can't be voted for again in 4/5 years.
      If you can't be bothered to vote you have no say in the proceedings as far as I am concerned.

    9. "the loss of statehood" is presumably some sort of code for "the gaining of statehood". If Westminster aren't happy with the way the Holyrood voting system translates votes into seats, why did they choose snd impose that system in the first place?

    10. Yes sorry the loss and gaining of statehood.

      All I’m saying is a state would want to do all it could to keep it in existence, and if it ever broke apart it wouldn’t want any regrets & think ‘did they really want that referendum’. If there’s a grey area then we would expect it to defend itself.

      That system was made by a particular government in the 90s as a compromise between FPTP and complete PR . I can see the next Labour UK govt (possibly with SNP support) giving huge constitutional reform.

      Anyway first things first, if May produces a clear and indisputable mandate for another independence referendum then that should happen.

    11. Would you not expect the UK to be sure that’s what the will of most Scots is before going through a divorce & ceasing to exist? You wouldn’t expect them to happily say ‘well most Scots didn’t vote for parties promising a referendum but let’s have one anyway’ and then take a needless risk.

      What's the risk? If voters don't want independence, they won't vote for it in a referendum. What scenario are you envisaging in which a referendum delivers a result for independence despite the electorate opposing it?

    12. Just to be clear, if Yes parties get a majority of seats, this can pretty much only happen because they got a majority of votes which exceeded the threshold in that region.

      So a majority of seats means a majority of valid (for seat allocation) votes.

      In 2016, Yes parties above the threshold got 50.6% of votes and so got a majority (53.5% of seats). Almost perfect PR nationally, and the small deviation is mainly just related to the fact seats are not allocated nationally, but regionally.

      Of course if unionist parties achieve the same, they will get a majority of seats.

      The regional threshold level of course could be debated, but 5% is really small as it's not even national; hence e.g. Margo could get elected herself.

    13. Union 2.0

      You conveniently ignore my point about Cameron and his less than 50% vote to get a mandate to take us out othe EU. The EU is a Union is it not and you call yourself Union 2.0 so presumably you agree the UK is a Union. So both are mandates to take us out of a UNION not a unitary state.

      Or are you now going to argue that your union is not a Union but an Englush dictatorship.

    14. The thing about British Nationalists is that when it suits them they want to appear as promoting this nice union (family of nations) called the UK but when it doesn't suit them their true feelings come out - Britain is a unitary state they say - hence they are Britnats supporting an English dictatorship.

    15. Union 2.0

      " There are parallels all over the world" you say. But unfortunately the examples you quote above are not parallels. So I suggest you go away and try harder to find one but I don't think you will.

    16. Would you not expect the UK to be sure that’s what the will of most Scots is before going through a divorce & ceasing to exist? You wouldn’t expect them to happily say ‘well most Scots didn’t vote for parties promising a referendum but let’s have one anyway’ and then take a needless risk.

      Erm, the idea of the referendum is for the government to make sure of what the public wants. That's exactly what it's for; so that they don't make a particular decision without clear public backing.

      And if parties always had to have a majority of total votes to implement policies, the country would grind to a halt, especially under multi-party PR with a 5% threshold. It would mean we'd have to start counting votes below the threshold and seeking clarification on the policy position of ever single minnow that stood across the country. Which is particularly nuts if these didn't count towards seats.

      It also means MSPs couldn't change their minds, but must rigidly adhere to manifesto commitments, even if these were disastrous in retrospect. Likewise, they couldn't create responsive policy as we 'could not be sure that's what the public wants'. And MSPs couldn't leave a party or diverge from the party line. What if England started sacrificing Scots first born - could Tory MSPs not change their minds and back iref2 or it should not happen because pro-Yes parties didn't get 50% a few years ago?

      This is madness. No, I think it's best we stick with the rule of MSPs voting for a policy makes it happen. For major constitutional changes, referendums 'to make sure' is sensible.

    17. ‘What's the risk?’

      As I see it it’s about timing. If a referendum were held right now you might see a 52% yes vote. If it were held, for example, in a month’s time when the UK vaccine takes effect, you might see a 49% yes. As James often points out, there are key strategic decisions to be made by a pro Indy Scottish government (sooner or later, with or without UK agreement, the question itself etc).

      ‘ So a majority of seats means a majority of valid (for seat allocation) votes.’

      There wasn’t a majority of votes, valid or otherwise, for pro Indy parties in 2011 but we still had a referendum (I think the Greens at the time were not pro Indy).

      ‘ You conveniently ignore my point about Cameron and his less than 50% vote to get a mandate to take us out othe EU.’

      Sorry. I don’t believe Cameron had the mandate to have an EU referendum either. That said, membership of an international organisation isn’t the same thing as the break up of our country/countries (however you see it.

      I call myself Union 2.0 because I’m a supporter of Full Fiscal Autonomy and will vote for any party that puts that in their manifesto.

      I’m not anti-English. I believe England should have its own parliament too.

      ‘ But unfortunately the examples you quote above are not parallels.’

      I was making the point that nation states around the world like to continue their existence if at all possible, and many wouldn’t have allowed IndyRef1, at least in its simple majority franchise. Give the UK credit for that at least.

    18. 1) I was making the point there are countries in the world that wouldn’t have allowed indyref1 so easily, or at all 2) Cameron did not an EU mandate in my opinion. 3) any referendum is a risk and timing is everything. 4) I call myself that because I support Full Fiscal Autonomy and would vote for any party supporting that.

    19. To try to answer quickly

      - the risk is losing with the wrong timing. If we had a ref now it might be 52% yes, if we had one in a month’s time with the UK vaccine out it might be 52% no.

      - I’m sure in 2011 there was a majority for the SNP (the only pro Indy party in parliament then) on 44% of the vote.

      - I don’t believe Cameron had the mandate for an EU ref on just 37% of the vote (although membership of an international organisation isn’t the same thing as our country).

      - on the parrallels, I was making the point that nation states tend to put up a fight before splitting up, the UK govt in 2011 agreeing to a simple majority of those voting wouldn’t have happened in many other countries.

      - I call myself that name because I believe in FFA in a revamped union with an English parliament too and shared defence etc

    20. Union 2.0 confirms what I said - namely when it comes down to it they say there is no union just a unitary state - their country - they are British Nationalists. They are not unionists they only kid on they are unionists and people who call them unionists only assists in this deception. They are British Nationalists. We need to be clear about who our enemy are and how they see themselves.

    21. Union 2.0 - when was the Treaty of Union 1707 terminated? Surprise surprise it hasn't been. So as much as you would like think you are in a unitary state that is effectively an English dictatorship legally you are in a Union. Now that may come as a disappointment to you British nationalists but that is a fact.

  4. Ramstam - " it has to mean more than another term in office." If it does just amount to that then surely the most blind of the blind will see that the SNP leadership have settled in to being the Party of devolution and not the Party of independence. The gradualists will have turned in to devolutionists - a bit like the Labour Party but with a Thistle on top.

    1. Prediction. After May5 will be a new world. The defeat for Unionism will be monumental.
      The younger generation won't tug the forelock to British rule like previous generations.
      The BritNat parties have no leadership. For them the game is up and they know it.
      There next move is likely to be driven by desperation, and may not be strictly democratic.

    2. Ramstam - the first part of your prediction sounds good. The last few words " may not be strictly democratic" not so much.

  5. When I read Grizebard and Yesindyre2 on WGD saying how sorry they are that SS is getting a beating on SGP I just can't get rid of that picture of the two old grumpy muppets siiting up in the balcony slagging everybody off out of my mind. They think they are smart but they really really are just muppets.

    1. Give it a rest, You come over as needing professional help. Stick to discussing politics not posters on any site.

    2. Unknown - have I pointed out previously that you are a useless troll. Yes I think I have. I guess that is me repeating myself again.

  6. Poppycock

    " As unionists(Britnats)seem to be able to understand the system perfectly well, ..." you provide no real definitive evidence for this statement there could well be people voting for a second Britnat party and the numbers turn out that way. So your assertion is far from concrete. Your comment seems more likely to be linked to the old British/English supremacy mindset which when you look at Johnson and his government is easily shown to be misplaced.

  7. Uniรณn 2.0

    Just to be clear. If the SNP and the Greens put a referendum front and centre in their manifestos, and glean more than 50% of the vote, and a formal request for a section 30 order is denied, you'll be "writing to the UK Government", expressing your disgust at their lack of respect for the democratic will of the Scottish people?

  8. Love your blog James, but the troll 'independence for Scotland' is ruining the comments btl with his constant attacks on Skier.
    Mission accomplished for the 77th brigade.

    1. Juteman, Skier trolls me. He stops I stop. So stuff your 77th comment you tosser.

  9. Very interesting:

    Poll shows Scottish independence support surging to record levels as SNP set for majority https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/poll-shows-scottish-independence-support-surging-joint-record-levels-snp-set-majority-3070791

  10. Yet another Independence poll - 58% Yes with ComRes.


    Scottish parliament voting intention(s):

    SNP: 55%
    CON: 20%
    LAB: 16%
    LDEM: 6%

    SNP: 42%
    CON: 20%
    LAB: 17%
    GRN: 12%
    LDEM: 7%

    via @SavantaComRes

  11. For our resident troll, whose troll comment I intercepted: no, there is no contradiction between pointing out that the Survation list question leads some respondents to wrongly think they're being asked for a second preference, and pointing out that the effect is only really seen on the pro-indy side. There's a much more clear-cut 1-2, large party-small party preference pattern on the Yes side. If the same confusion is occurring on the unionist side it's presumably cancelling itself out for the most part.