Thursday, March 4, 2021

Yes retains a substantial lead with 53% backing in latest Savanta ComRes poll - although the fieldwork preceded the 50-50 Survation poll

When we talk about the extraordinary run of Yes-majority polls that was finally broken (hopefully only a temporary blip) by a 50-50 Survation poll at the weekend, we'll now have to say it was twenty-three in a row rather than twenty-two, because it turns out that Savanta ComRes ran another independence poll just before Survation.  It was commissioned by ITV.

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Savanta ComRes / ITV, 18th-22nd February 2021)

Yes 53% (-)
No 47% (-)

So no change at all from the previous ComRes poll for the Scotsman, which was conducted around two weeks earlier.  That suggests the position stabilised after the 4% drop for Yes in that previous poll, and lends more weight to my suspicion that the 1% drop in the Survation poll (from 51% to 50%) was merely margin of error noise, in spite of the hysterical reporting in both the Sunday Mail and the Express.  However, neither Survation nor ComRes will have captured the impact of the evidence given to the Holyrood inquiry by Alex Salmond and then Nicola Sturgeon.

ComRes also conducted parallel polls for ITV in other countries of the UK.  The most startling finding of all is in Wales...

Should Wales be an independent country? (Exact question to be confirmed)

Yes 39%
No 61%

That appears to be an all-time high for Welsh independence.  It's difficult to make an exact comparison, because most previous polls on the subject were conducted by YouGov, but nevertheless it's a remarkable finding if you bear in mind that support for independence was literally in single figures until a few years ago.

I've been fascinated by the burgeoning indy movement in Wales because it's hard to see what the destination is.  An outright majority for Welsh independence would appear to be almost impossible for demographic reasons - there are a large number of English people in Wales who have no affinity at all with the country (that partly explains Wales voting for Brexit, and UKIP winning seats in the last devolved election), and some specific regions of Wales are very thoroughly Anglicised in a way that simply isn't the case in Scotland.  Perhaps independence supporters might eventually find themselves negotiating from a position of strength for a 'grand compromise' of maximum devolution.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland there is 43% support for a united Ireland.  The ITV article doesn't make clear whether that's with Don't Knows stripped out - but if it is, that means 57% are opposed, which would be mildly disappointing in the light of recent polls from other firms.  Who'd have thought that Welsh independence would one day become almost as popular as a united Ireland?

I'm currently crowdfunding to run another Scot Goes Pop poll at some point before Holyrood election day - if you'd like to donate, click HERE to find out more.  


  1. Should Wales be an independent country? (Exact question to be confirmed)
    Yes 39%
    No 61%

    Gee whiz

    1. A huge reason folk want independence is because they want free of the British state. That’s why people in Wales might easily reach a majority for independence. For many of us this us nothing to do with nationalism but it is to do with creating borders to protect democracy

    2. Not borders to keep people out, but borders to keep powerful anti-democratic forces at bay

  2. The Wales indy figures are a pleasant sign of the demise of English overlordship of these islands.
    The Welsh language drives the feeling of Welsh nationhood whilst here in Scotland there is continued discrimination against the Scots language which unlike Gaelic goes largely unsupported.
    Remember too that in 2014 there was a clear majority for YES among Scots speakers yet there is no equivalent Scots body to Commhun na Gaelic.
    The cross party group on Scots was abandoned some years ago.
    Wales thankfully doesn't suffer as badly as we do from the Scottish cringe, which is why I hae a bit chuckle when Bojo calls the SNP the Scottish "Nationalist" Party.
    They're anything but Nationalist.