Saturday, May 30, 2020
All things being equal, I'll hopefully begin my attempts to commission a poll on Monday, so if you have any brilliant suggestions for questions, now is the time to put them forward. My tentative plan is to ask the standard independence question, plus the Westminster voting intention question, and then four (or possibly five) supplementary questions. I know it may seem odd to ask for Westminster voting intentions when it's the Holyrood election we have on the horizon, but remember that Holyrood polls take up two questions (constituency ballot and list ballot), so would leave less space for supplementary questions. The main thing is that we'll get a sense of the direction of travel (if any) from a Westminster question.
Last time around, it was just after the election and the supplementary questions practically chose themselves. This time I've got lots of ideas, but it's trickier to know which are the most important topics to be asking about at this precise moment. So even if you don't have any specific suggestions for questions, feel free to give your thoughts on which general topics would be best, and why.
Click here if you'd like to donate to the crowdfunder.
Leading SAGE members make clear that the UK government have ceased to "follow the science", and are making a political choice to accept a large number of avoidable deaths
Thursday, May 28, 2020
We'll give it a whirl and see how it goes. Last time around I contacted five different polling companies, and they each quoted different prices, so even if we fall a bit short of the target figure, it may still be possible to run a poll if I shop around a bit and limit the number of questions.
Click here to go straight to the fundraising page.
Hi, my name's James Kelly, and I run the pro-independence blog Scot Goes Pop, which has a particular emphasis on opinion poll analysis. You might remember that back in January, I decided to step into the breach due to a mysterious lack of polls on independence since the general election. With your help, I commissioned a poll from Panelbase which confirmed, as we all suspected, that there had been a significant swing to Yes as a result of Brexit becoming an inevitability.
In recent days, there has been another landmark event with the potential to cause a major shift in public opinion. The revelations about the Prime Minister's chief adviser, and his subsequent refusal to resign, has led to hurt and anger among millions of people who have made considerable personal sacrifices to obey the lockdown rules since March. We already know that the Conservative lead in Britain-wide polls has fallen sharply as a result, and it's reasonable to wonder if it may have caused some No voters in Scotland to think again about independence.
A number of people have asked me to put that to the test by commissioning a second Scot Goes Pop poll on independence. If this crowdfunder is successful, that's what will happen. The new poll will ask the standard independence question 'Should Scotland be an independent country?', and will also ask for party political voting intentions to see if those have been altered by the events of recent days. There will be room for a few supplementary questions of interest to the Yes movement - I have some ideas, but I'll ask for suggestions before making a final decision.
Before you donate, bear in mind that there's no guarantee whatsoever that the poll will show a swing to Yes. Just because we may feel that's intuitively likely doesn't mean that we're right. The purpose of the exercise is to find out one way or the other - although if by any chance there is a boost for Yes, the poll could provide some useful momentum for the independence campaign as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased.
Bear in mind also that there's always a chance that an independence poll could suddenly appear in a newspaper at any time. Even if that happens, I'll take the Mastermind approach of "I've started so I'll finish". There would still be considerable value in a 'second opinion' from a further poll, and the supplementary questions would still be well worth asking.
Click here if you'd like to donate.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Stunning telephone poll finds almost TWO-THIRDS of the Scottish public want a second independence referendum
(Incidentally, Ben Page subsequently deleted his tweet, so I'm not sure if he accidentally broke his own firm's embargo.)
There's also a GB-wide YouGov poll showing a collapse in the Tory lead from fifteen points to six. Given that Keir Starmer's personal ratings suggest the public are warming to the new Labour leader in spite of his lack of charisma, I suspect the Labour resurgence south of the border could be here to stay, and may have further to run. So the big question for the SNP is whether they can hold their commanding lead in Scotland in a new environment where Labour look like credible long-term challengers for power. So far, they're managing to do so, if the Scottish subsample from the poll is to be believed -
SNP 54%, Conservatives 20%, Labour 16%, Greens 4%, Liberal Democrats 3%, Brexit Party 1%
Scottish Labour will doubtless be banking on a turnaround once the crisis subsides and Nicola Sturgeon no longer has the advantage of being a 'war leader'. But they shouldn't make any assumptions - there have been spells since the autumn of 2014 when Labour looked like serious contenders under both Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn, but the SNP have maintained some sort of lead throughout.
* * *
A few people (maybe four or five) have suggested that I should commission another opinion poll on independence soon. I was initially surprised by the idea, because of course there was a Panelbase poll on independence commissioned by Wings extremely recently. However, that was pre-Cummings, and the theory is that there may have been a boost for Yes as a result of that lovely day out in Barnard Castle. To be honest, I'm not at all sure whether it's a good idea to be attempting a crowdfunder in the middle of a pandemic when people are struggling so much, but if anyone has any strong views on the subject, feel free to leave a comment below, and I'll assess whether there's enough appetite for it. Bear in mind that there's never any way of knowing when an independence poll might suddenly pop up in a newspaper anyway.
There might well be a more optimal moment later in the year, but I've got an open mind, so let me know what you think.
* * *
This is outrageous. Think of all the distortions the BBC put out during the independence referendum, quite possibly affecting the result. No trace of regret after 6 years. But a factual statement about Cummings? They cravenly back down within HOURS.https://t.co/oer5M4JYut— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 27, 2020
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Carlaw left with nowhere to go, as new Scottish poll reveals a severe lack of confidence in London's handling of the crisis, and almost total backing for the Scottish Government's approach
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Matt Hancock hung Professor Neil Ferguson out to dry when he breached the lockdown rules. Dominic Cummings' position should now, in a rational, logical and consistent world, be utterly untenable. #CummingsResign— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 22, 2020
It's odd how Cummings has so many "friends" willing to make fools of themselves to defend him, but none to help him with childcare.— Chris Dillow (@CJFDillow) May 23, 2020
Some of the US networks long ago lost patience with Trump's lies. The BBC should stop pussy-footing around: the facts here are that Cummings *did* break the lockdown and that Hancock's and Harries' claims to the contrary are incorrect. There's no unfairness in reporting facts.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 23, 2020
Unbelievable. They are literally changing the guidance live to accommodate Cummings’s violation. In front of our eyes. Amazing.— Nesrine Malik (@NesrineMalik) May 23, 2020
Neil Kinnock once said: "I would die for my country, but I would not let my country die for me." Cummings is letting his country die for him. If the lockdown rules have to become meaningless just to get himself off the hook, that's what'll happen, no matter how many people die.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 23, 2020
It's not just the synchronised dishonesty, it's the sheer vehemence with which they said something they knew to be untrue - presumably scripted. Jenny Harries joining in was unforgivable. This is not what a functioning democracy looks like.https://t.co/iGiEc4IKCk— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 23, 2020
If it now emerges that Dominic Cummings ran around the streets of Durham licking random pensioners, Cabinet ministers will queue up tomorrow to tell us that licking pensioners was the only right and decent thing to do, and that those of us who didn't do it are morally bankrupt.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 23, 2020
STAY ALERT > LICK A PENSIONER > PROTECT YOUR KID— DevoForIndy (@DevoForIndy) May 23, 2020
I wish the government had explained to us that self-isolation could take the form of a city break. Lockdown could have been great for tourism.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 23, 2020
Re: Dominic Cummings and his corona carrying 250 mile trip. Is anyone reminded of that bit in animal farm when the rules start to get amended in the dead of night to suit the pigs and the animals are mostly too daft to notice.— Richard Nicholson (@ShowFarmBaron) May 23, 2020
March 2020: "The government has one simple instruction - you must STAY AT HOME."— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 23, 2020
May 2020: "When my adviser caught coronavirus, he didn't stay at home like some layabout. He got on his bike, and looked for childcare..."
Scottish Tory Twitter Watch (update).— Alan Ferrier (@alanferrier) May 24, 2020
Zero tweets from:
Jackson Carlaw for 38 hrs
Ruth Davidson: 40 hrs
Murdo Fraser: 41 hrs
Annie Wells: 36 hrs
Adam Tomkins: 83 hrs
Jamie Greene: 34 hours
David Duguid: 33 hours@ScotTories: 40 hrs
The extraordinary behaviour of Cabinet ministers yesterday (not to mention 'adviser' Jenny Harries) was strikingly similar to what you'd expect if a Mafia boss was pulling the strings.https://t.co/R9aLvyR2ag— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 24, 2020
Does anyone feel foolish for asking Dominic Cummings to resign now that we know he acted "legally and with integrity"? I'm surprised the Pope hasn't been in touch about sainthood, quite frankly.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 24, 2020
Is this the new Get Out Of Jail FREE CARD.— jimtlogan (@loganjimt1) May 24, 2020
“You can’t arrest me officer I was following my instincts.”
Heaven only knows why the anti-lockdown nutters have been whingeing about "house arrest" for weeks. According to the govt, we were always always able to go wherever we wanted, see whoever we wanted, do a spot of sightseeing...oh, and any rules were entirely optional anyway.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 24, 2020
I spent this weekend refining our contact tracing analysis. One of the things that’s always stood out is that for these targeted measures to work, we need public adherence to isolation/quarantine to be very high. But I fear it’s now going to be far more difficult to achieve this.— Adam Kucharski (@AdamJKucharski) May 24, 2020
The huge problem for PM Johnson is that he has driven a cart and horses through any contact tracing programme. Why will contacts contacted by SERCO call centres self-isolate for 14 days rather than 'follow their instincts'?— Anthony Costello (@globalhlthtwit) May 24, 2020
Just seen the UK government's ad on Facebook for anyone with symptoms: "Do not leave home, except to get tested." Surely it's got to be updated to say: "Follow your instincts, but do not drive further than 300 miles."— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 24, 2020
Who is really running the country?— Devi Sridhar (@devisridhar) May 24, 2020
To slightly misquote Mrs Thatcher: "Advisers decide and ministers comply."https://t.co/VRyCQSFWPp— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 24, 2020
Cummings clearly been in Downing Street all afternoon telling @BorisJohnson what to do. We are living in a state run by an unelected political adviser who has made the PM his puppet & operates above the law. Really. Quite. Frightening— Joanna Cherry QC (@joannaccherry) May 24, 2020
The Conservatives effectively lost the 1997 election in September 1992, because of Black Wednesday. They may have just lost the 2024 election. They may also have lost Scotland forever.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) May 24, 2020