Friday, April 30, 2021

Le Royaume-Uni, nul points: Big majority of public demand a SCOTTISH ENTRY in the Eurovision Song Contest, in bombshell for the BBC from Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll

So you've got to allow me the occasional indulgence, OK? Out of a large number of questions in the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, I asked just ONE about the Eurovision Song Contest.  Frankly, you should be praising me for my restraint, because I can think of at least two follow-up questions I could have asked.

At the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest, there will be a United Kingdom entry.  However, in 2019, Scotland and Wales both competed in the Eurovision Choir event as countries in their own right.  In future years, how would you prefer Scotland to be represented in the Eurovision Song Contest?

By a Scottish entry: 60%
By a United Kingdom entry: 40%

That's much more decisive than the slim 53-47 majority in favour of a Scottish Olympic team in the Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll in January.  I can think of a few possible explanations for the difference: a) it could simply be caused by pollsters' house effects, ie. perhaps Survation have fewer people in their panel with a strong Scottish identity, b) it may be that people have more of an emotional attachment to Team GB at the Olympics due to specific memories from the past (Torvill & Dean, Linford Christie, Steve Redgrave or whatever), or c) people might have been deterred from abandoning Team GB because larger countries tend to win more medals.  The latter worry is irrelevant to the Eurovision, where smaller countries are not disadvantaged against larger ones.  (Ireland are still the most successful country in the contest's history with seven victories, although they now have Sweden breathing down their necks with six.)

Another difference with the Olympics is that there's no rule that would prevent Scotland competing without first having to become independent - as can be seen not only from the participation of Scotland and Wales in the Eurovision Choir event, but also from Wales having twice had entries in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.  BBC Alba are believed to have toyed with the idea of a Scottish entry in Junior Eurovision but decided against it - although whether that was because of pressure from London isn't clear.  The bottom line is that it's up to the BBC - if they tell the EBU they want a Scottish entry, it would almost certainly happen.  Now that we know what licence fee payers in Scotland want, will they listen?

As I always point out, no Scot has even represented the UK since Scott Fitzgerald in 1988.  Incredibly, Cyprus and France have both been represented by Scots more recently than that.  (Karen Matheson of Capercaillie fame sang for France in 1996.)  The lack of Scottish representation deprives us of a golden opportunity to promote Scottish culture and boost tourism.

I shall now embark on the unusual task of giving you the Eurovision preferences of various demographic and political groups.  Women are significantly keener on a Scottish entry - the majority is 64-36 among female respondents, compared to a narrower 55-45 among men.  Yes voters from 2014 are overwhelmingly in favour of Scottish representation, and among current Yes supporters there's near unanimity - only 7% want to be represented by the UK.  The position isn't quite so clear-cut among No voters - 34% of people who voted against independence in 2014, and even 25% of people who would vote No in a new referendum, would like a Scottish entry.  Labour voters are close to being evenly divided (44% for Scotland, 56% for the UK), which suggests that even the rump Labour vote still includes a decent number of people who strongly identify as Scottish.

There's a big age divide - under-35s prefer Scottish representation by a majority of almost 3-1, while over-55s are split right down the middle.  And fascinatingly, there's a narrow majority among English-born respondents (53-47) for a Scottish entry.

It's worth making the point that because the Eurovision question is to some extent a proxy for Scottish/British national identity, and because 40% of respondents plumped for the British option, it may well be that certain people in the SNP are over-optimistic about the prospect of Yes support rising consistently above 60%.  The idea that we should wait for that to happen before firing the starting gun on a referendum may be tantamount to giving up on independence completely.

Now, I'm not necessarily going to claim there's a strong thematic link here, but the next two questions in the poll are about nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons were banned by an international treaty that came into force in January this year.  However, the nine countries that are currently believed to possess nuclear weapons, including the UK, have so far refused to sign the treaty. Do you think the UK should join the treaty and dismantle its nuclear weapons?

Yes: 47%
No: 33%

With Don't Knows removed -

Yes 59%
No 41%

There have been polls in the past that have purported to show support for Trident in Scotland, so this could be an early indication that the new treaty is a game-changing moment that will make it a lot easier for campaigners to make the case for disarmament.  As you'd expect, the figures for SNP and Tory voters are reverse mirror images of each other (71% of SNP voters support disarmament and 71% of Tory voters oppose it), but what's much more significant is that Labour voters break 46-37 in favour of joining the treaty and disarming.  That suggests the type of 'atomic unionism' espoused by Jackie Baillie has the potential to cost Labour a lot of votes.  Additionally, 30% of people who voted No in 2014, and 22% of people who would currently vote No, want to sign up to the nuclear ban - which highlights a possible means by which a future Yes campaign could win more converts.

The UK government argues that its nuclear weapons protect the public due to a 'deterrent' effect.  However, others argue that the presence of nuclear weapons on the Clyde puts the public in greater danger by making the area a target for nuclear attacks, and by creating a risk of serious accidents.  Do you personally feel more safe or less safe due to the presence of nuclear weapons on the Clyde?

More safe: 24%
Less safe: 42%
Makes no difference: 34%

After I saw this result, it occurred to me that some of the 34% who chose the "makes no difference" option may be people who live nowhere near the Clyde and are naive enough to think that makes them safe.  In reality, you'd probably need to be in Shetland to escape the effects of a nuclear attack on Faslane.

There's an age and gender divide on the nuclear questions as well.  Although a plurality of over-55s want rid of the UK's weapons and say they feel less safe because of them, it's a fairly tight result in each case.  And women are significantly less likely than men to think Britain should not disarm or that nuclear weapons make them safer.

*  *  *

There are still more results to come from the poll.  If you'd like to be the first to know, feel free to follow me on Twitter HERE.


  1. SNP majority was 3/4 on Betfair just a few days ago. It's out to 5/4 now and I'd say even that's poor value.

  2. STV are full members of the EBU. They should put up an entry. That would put the cat amongst the pigeons.

  3. I hate Eurovision.

    Oh and I would feel safer with Putin as PM over Johnson any day. Heck I would feel safer as a man in Scotland with Putin as FM. At least you dont get any wonky wokery from Putin

    1. Yeah! Chechnya was a mere footnote! Who cares about butchering thousands! Still better than that lot at Hollyrood! Do try thinking just a tiny bit before you unleash such jabberings

  4. Based on the dozens of posts I've read telling us how people who voluntarily don't live in Scotland should not get involved in Scottish politics I await the condimination of this with baited breath:

    1. Hmm, you’ve said this before, but I don’t recall anyone saying that Scots (self-identifying*) who live outside Scotland can’t have an opinion on Scotland’s future. The fact you don’t provide links to back up your claim suggests I may be right here?
      Lots of self-IDing Scots have had to leave Scotland for work. This, I understand, is an issue for those in the acting profession for example. To rise in that career, you will need to go and work elsewhere, if simply for practical / commuting reasons. Then there is also love / family, which can be another big consideration.
      Of course, some jobs can be done pretty much anywhere; no need to live near London’s West End or Broadway to e.g. write a blog! In fact if you wanted to blog about a country for a living for example, then spending a lot of time there might make sense. Travel writers actually visit the countries they write about, and regularly re-visit to make sure they are up to date, often spending long periods there. If you leave a country, you will become increasingly out of touch with it and start to e.g. make ridiculously incorrect predictions about it and its people, politicians included.
      But I think the main objection people might have is if someone who said self-iding was impossible, meaning overseas Scots were not Scottish#, who choose not to live in Scotland for no other reason than they just hated it (‘gutless, dangerous place where most people are truly evil’), still spent most of their working time politically campaigning here virtually (rather than just occasionally getting involved in their free time), calling self-iding / legal Scots ‘c**ts’ etc, and that right minded residents should ‘flee to lovely England while they still can’. Would certainly get people questioning motives anyway!

      *Presently, only those who habitually reside in Scotland are ‘legally’ Scottish, and if old enough, pay Scottish taxes (income, council…), may be called upon for jury duty, and, of course get a ballot paper if old enough. Scots overseas, like transgender people without a GRC, can only claim they feel(z) Scottish (national identity and gender identity being directly comparable).
      #I support self id for national and gender identities (both societal constructs), just not for biological sex (effectively immutable)

    2. What's a, "self-identifying," Scot from outside of Scotland?
      If they were not born in Scotland with a minimum of one parent also born in Scotland then they're not Scottish.

      If I moved to Lagos and declared myself to be Nigerian then I'd be howled down as a racist. So why should anyone from Lagos coming to Scotland be able to declare themselves to be Scots?

      Answer the question. You can't of course, but do your worst to come up with some excuse.

    3. Skier have a day off with your relentless anti-Salmond, anti-Stu Campbell diatribes. You're worse than the trolls who used to infest the site.

    4. Hi felix, I had a day off the other day thanks. Only one post yesterday too. I've not posted anything in relation to Wings for some time, given its low impact in the Scottish political debate. My post above was very general. Is there something you disagree with in it?

      Note it's better to debate than just attempt to silence opinions you disagree with (or call people c**ts).

  5. Glad you agree that people move for work and then decide to stay there. Wings of course moved for work and then decided he liked living there and stayed, exactly as say Alan Cummings did:
    The Perthshire-born actor makes the strange declaration to Radio Times.

    Asked whether he would ever return to live in Scotland, the pro-Scottish Independence thespian comments: “I feel like my life is in New York now. I first came over to rehearse for Cabaret on Broadway 20 years ago.

    I agree with you, if you have not lived in a country for a long period of time you may not be in touch with the people who live in the country. Does make you wonder why the SNP are having there event hosted by someone who has not lived in Scotland for a long period and therefore is out of touch, after all Scotland is a very different place than it was when he left in 2008

    1. Ok, the express. Telling. But lets discuss anyway as I note you still don't provide any proof of your earlier claim.

      Yes, wings loves England and even though, unlike Cummings, he could do his main job of 10 years here in Scotland - which might improve his rather unreliable predictive capabilities (e.g. the Tories are 100% right and the FM is definitely guilty of breaking the ministerial code!) - he much prefers life in England.

      Cummings loves the US too, and is happy to admit his American identity / nationality. He is at home there as much as Scotland and is happy to admit it. His work has taken him there and as long as he is working in acting, he's likely to remain where the work is.

      I can say I increasingly feel the same about France and may yet move there (work or retirement); through marriage and life it is close to me as a country now.

      I think we can conclude that Campbell likewise identifies at least partly as English - how could he not after 30 years - but is a little reluctant to admit it for work reasons. Might hit his income stream to talk of his new found 'Michael Gove' type Englishness. You can bet your bottom dollar that Bathgate accent isn't used in Bath circles.

      Anyway, can you provide to Cumming's Scottish politics campaign blog 'BroadwayoverScotland' so I can have a look at how out of touch he might be? I'm guessing about 58% less than Campbell. Also how abusive he is about Scots / Scotland? Thanks.

      And Cummings is in Scotland very regularly, so probably remains fairly up do date, so 58% is likely an underestimate. Has Campbell been up in the last 7 years?

    2. No that article came from the Radio Times - it was just quoted by the Express, so nothing 'telling' there.

      He has no blog but of course he has the worlds media to write his opinions for him. A simple search of Alan Cummings Scottish politics will bring them up for you.

      As for how many times has Campbell been up to Scotland that not really anyones business. You do say some creepy things, we know you smile and think of random people who don't know when you hear news and now you want private citizens to tell everyone were and when they visit somewhere and how many times they have done this over a certain period of time.

      Cummings, of course, prefers to insult the English calling them stupid.

      To be clear I don't really care if Cummings/Cox or anyone else comments about Scottish politics from other countries. Its just the fact Campbell is constantly attacked for doing so from England, whilst others get a free pass. Wish people could just be honest and admit that they don't have a problem with it if they agree with/ like the person doing it and have a problem with it if they don't like /disagree with them.

  6. Unsurprising that unionists are not mentioning this, but rather attempting to distract...

    UK and Norway fail to reach fishing deal

    The UK and Norway have failed to reach a fishing deal for this year, with the industry warning that hundreds of crew members will be left out of work.

    It means UK fleets will have no access to Norway's sub-Arctic waters, known for their cod catches.