As soon as I have time, I'm going to update this blogpost with full analysis of this shocking development (albeit a shocking development I had a sneaking suspicion might occur). In the meantime, here are the real results from the poll that the Sun tried to conceal. They will come as a tremendous relief to the independence movement, because they show that - far from "plummeting" - support for independence has held up remarkably well during the period of mourning for the Queen and the related wall-to-wall state propaganda from the BBC and others.
Should Scotland be an independent country?* (Deltapoll / The Sun)
* It has yet to be confirmed whether Deltapoll used the standard independence question. There are no percentage changes listed because as far as I can see there is no remotely recent Deltapoll survey about independence on which a comparison can be based.
UPDATE: My suspicions about the reporting of the poll were first aroused because The Sun quoted a Yes figure of 42% without giving any hint or trace of the corresponding No figure. If 42% had been accurate, the No figure would have been 58%, and it would have been entirely normal to simply report that. When something that would normally be there is absent, there'll generally turn out to be a reason for that, and we now know what that reason is: The Sun deceitfully wanted to give a false impression that the Yes vote had "plummeted" as a result of the Queen's death, even though the results of their poll simply didn't show that. To pull off that stunt, they gave the Yes figure from before Don't Knows had been excluded without bothering to mention that's what they were doing, and took multiple steps to ensure people would wrongly assume they were doing the opposite. They didn't give the No figure, thus allowing people to infer that it must be 58%, even though it was actually much lower than that. They suggested that the 42% figure for Yes was directly comparable to 49% for Yes in a recent poll from another firm - but in reality the latter figure was from after the exclusion of Don't Knows, not before. Thus, the comparison was a deliberate distortion intended to leave people wrongly thinking that the Yes vote had dropped 7% after the Queen's death, when in fact the actual drop for Yes from one poll to the other was a statistically insignificant 2%. (And that's leaving aside the fact that polls from different firms with different methodologies can't be directly compared anyway.)
Technically The Sun can claim that the 42% figure isn't a direct lie, even though they were undoubtedly misleading readers deliberately, and even though it's highly unusual to headline figures that don't exclude Don't Knows, especially when it's done so wildly out of context. However, what pushes the article into outright lie territory is the suggestion of a 7% drop in Yes support by excluding Don't Knows from one poll and not from the other. The Sun is affiliated to the press regulator IPSO, and is thus bound by the following code on accuracy -
"i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published."
With the best will in the world, it's impossible to see how The Sun's article doesn't constitute a breach of the requirement to avoid misleading or distorted information. The same can be said about a near-identical article about the poll on the Express website.
If you're thinking of lodging a complaint with IPSO, you can find a few pointers HERE.