Scot Goes Pop commissioned three full-scale polls on independence during 2021, two from Panelbase and one from Survation - but in total there were no fewer than fifty-three independence polls over the course of the year, across all polling firms and all clients. I was surprised to find it was as many as that, although of course a lot of them were clustered during the Holyrood election campaign. They've been a lot thinner on the ground since then.
But what were the average showings for Yes and No over the year? The answer may surprise you, in view of the media's frantic efforts to convince us that No has opened up a clear lead. In fact, 2021 can be split into several distinct polling phases. The early part of the year marked the tail-end of the historic sequence of unbroken Yes leads, which had stretched all the way back to June 2020. From February until the Holyrood election in May, there was a lot of fluctuation between Yes leads and No leads, implying that the true state of affairs was fairly even. From the election until the late autumn, No was mostly in the lead, but the advantage was fairly modest. And then right at the end of the year, there was a possible change in the weather with two 50%+ polls for Yes.
When you bear all of that in mind, what you're about to see will be less surprising. I've calculated the raw average using the figures before Don't Knows are stripped out.
Should Scotland be an independent country? (Average of all 2021 polls)
If Don't Knows are then removed and the figures rounded to the nearest whole number, you end up with exactly -
So not quite as good as 2020, but still a superb platform from which to start a referendum - if we could just get around to calling one...
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2021 was another epic year for Scot Goes Pop: we commissioned three full-scale opinion polls, and produced fourteen podcasts with well-known guests such as Alex Salmond, Chris McEleny and Yvonne Ridley. If you'd like more of the same in 2022, donations are still very much welcome for the ongoing fundraiser. Direct donations can be made via Paypal. My Paypal email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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