Saturday, December 10, 2022

Find Out Now that a FOURTH poll in a row is reporting a pro-independence majority - and it's a big one

Thanks to Marcia for alerting me to yet another new independence poll, which shows much the same pattern as the recent ones from Redfield & Wilton and Ipsos UK.

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Find Out Now, 1st-8th December 2022)

Yes 54% (+2) 
No 46% (-2)

The percentage change required for Yes to jump to 54% may look surprisingly low in this case, but there's nothing suspicious about that - it's simply caused by the fact that Find Out Now's previous independence poll was way back in the spring of 2021, at the tail end of the prolonged good spell for Yes caused (to a large extent, anyway) by Nicola Sturgeon's popularity during the worst part of the pandemic.  So there's no particular evidence that Find Out Now are on the Yes-friendly end of the spectrum, and thus no easy way for the unionist nutters on social media to attempt to discredit the poll - although after their extraordinary behaviour over the last 48 hours, we can rest assured that they'll give it a go anyway.

Because Find Out Now do not frequently conduct full-scale polls in Scotland, I'm not very familiar with their website, and I'm not entirely sure where to look for any data tables - I presume they're not out yet.  However, I did manage to find the tables for their spring 2021 poll, which reveal it was an online poll and was weighted by past vote recall.  So presumably the new poll will be the same - which is important, because that makes it very different from the Ipsos poll, which used telephone fieldwork and was not weighted by past vote recall.  And yet the results are extremely similar.  The trolls have fastened on to the past vote issue in particular as an excuse for dismissing the Ipsos results - well, it looks like they might have to come up with something else, because past vote weighting by Find Out Now doesn't seem to be making the Yes majority go away.

We now have three polls from three different firms since the Supreme Court ruled that Scotland is a prisoner in a non-voluntary union, and all three have shown Yes majorities.   If we only had one poll to go on, it would be possible that the trend was an illusion caused by sampling variation, but that now looks incredibly unlikely.  Of course this doesn't necessarily mean that the Yes vote will hold up at its newly elevated level - we could in theory be seeing a temporary surge that will shortly subside, as we did in the early days after the Brexit referendum in 2016.  But it's nevertheless encouraging that the fieldwork dates for Find Out Now are a bit later than those for Redfield & Wilton and Ipsos (although admittedly there's some overlap with the Ipsos dates).

I pointed out the other night that there was a very real chance that the average Yes vote in all polls in 2022 would overtake the 2021 average and become the second highest Yes average in any calendar year - and also an outside chance that 2022 would join 2020 as one of only two years in which the polling average has shown an outright pro-independence majority.  Well, the latter is more than an outside chance now.  Here are the updated figures, with three weeks of the year still to go in which more Yes-majority polls might appear...

Average yearly support for independence in conventional opinion polling:

2016:  47.7%

2017:  45.3%

2018:  45.5%
2019:  47.6%

2020:  53.0%

2021:  49.6%

2022:  49.6%

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  1. Do you know the sample size? Ideally one of these companys does a massive poll

  2. Over 1000 - and 16 and 17 year olds excluded

  3. It might be nothing to do with the supreme court ruling. People in Scotland are cold and hungry, while we export our energy south, for them to sell and make record profits from. Even hardcore unionists can't deny we're a net energy exporter. Maybe this, and the Brexit dividend of higher inflation for us and bigger bonuses for bankers (with Labour clearly offering no reversal) means they're quietly packing up their Union Jacks.

    1. Don’t underestimate the delusions of some unionists. Some guy on Reddit claimed ‘whilst Scotland only has 8% of the population, 50% of the UKs deficit is Scotlands’. All I could do was laugh.

  4. I'm just wondering if some of the other big pollsters will be doing any surveys - I'm especially interested in polls next March / April after people have endured an Eat-or-Heat winter.

  5. Do you believe in democracy? Yes 54% No 46%.

  6. Is the poll over 18s living in Scotland or over 18s living in Scotland that are UK citizens?

  7. Yes it's good to interrogate statistics to get the most accurate possible idea of opinions.
    However, surely the main point is that these YES majorities have come because of our opponents deep rooted incompetence not any mass, active campaign on our side. With a sustained push, after the New Year, we can add more to our majority. I'm staying non party for now but I hear that Alba is backing the Holyrood plebiscite route. Seems right to me. That's our first target - push the SNP, careerist leadership away from the stupid Westminster election strategy.
    The 'supreme' court has helped us - thanks you hide bound, irrelevant numpties.
    Get your local groups moving and let's get on with it !

  8. It matters if the polls are based on a broader franchise than the one that would be used in a wm plebiscite.. but they won't have that plebiscite so the pointers moor anyway..

    The problem is they won't have a holyrood one either. And yes the solution is not to elect such people but to elect ones who will do the form of Alba. But 95% of the so-called independence support wont vote for them as they're as dim as the nawbags