Should Scotland be an independent country? (Panelbase / Sunday Times, 12th-16th December 2022)
Yes 52% (+3)
No 48% (-3)
So at least part of my guess from a few days ago turned out to be correct - the voting intention questions from the Panelbase poll that's been in the field were indeed commissioned by the Sunday Times. I think, as it turns out, the trans and gender related questions were also for the Sunday Times (I had initially thought it might be Stuart Campbell), but presumably the questions about Alba were for another client - possibly Alba itself. Anyway, what matters most is that the independence results are broadly in line with what we've been seeing from every other firm since the UK Supreme Court ruled that Scotland is a prisoner in a non-voluntary union. Once again, there's a clear Yes majority.
As soon as I mentioned this poll on Twitter, someone replied to say they were actually disappointed, because they had been hoping that Yes would now push on to 60%. That gave me a sense of déjà vu from the last Yes surge a couple of years ago, and I'd suggest it offers an insight into where parts of the independence movement, including people very close to the top of the SNP, have been going wrong for years. There are twin assumptions: a) that once independence support starts rising, it ought to be expected to keep rising, and b) that 60% is both attainable and necessary. Neither assumption is true. We might eventually see 60% Yes support in the odd isolated poll, but I don't expect it to ever happen on a sustained basis. But luckily, in a democracy, 50% + 1 is enough.
Ian McGeechan (a staunch unionist like so many rugby people) used to say when he was Scotland coach that you don't need to "beat" bigger countries like England or South Africa - you just need to contrive a way to be one or two points ahead when the referee blows the final whistle. It doesn't matter if the other team has been ahead for most of the game and has dominated territory and possession. I think that's how it will be for the independence campaign - we'll squeeze out a tightly fought 52% or 53% victory at the crucial moment, and we won't need to worry about whether that lead would have been sustained.
That path to independence can hardly be further removed from the belief of the likes of Andrew Wilson that it'll just fall into our laps after we patiently wait for a "settled will" of 60% to be established. My view is that if we're overly squeamish about winning independence by a narrow margin among a divided electorate, then we'll never reach our goal. The good news is that history strongly suggests that a consensus that independence is a good thing will quickly develop after independence has actually happened. Very few countries or territories that were previously ruled by London want to turn the clock back. There's the odd exception like Hong Kong - but it's no coincidence that Hong Kong is also one of the few former colonies that are not actually independent. Nostalgia for colonial rule in Hong Kong is really just a proxy for a desire to restore personal liberties and the rule of law.
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The YES majority has little to do with the Brit SC ruling : it's coincidence and is due to the Scots rejecting the failed right-wing zealotry of Westminster's ranked and privilged. I never had faith in the covid anomely; I do expect this to be real - nothing fosters revolution like cold and hunger (Eat-orHeat).ReplyDelete
I simply don't believe in that degree of coincidence. The surge has been too sudden and substantial. There may well be other contributory factors, but the Supreme Court ruling is central to what is happening.Delete
I see that but we live in our bubble where the SC ruling was news; most peole don't. But Eat-or-Heat affects everyone in a context where Truss cost every tax payer £65 Billion trying to make rich people richer. Thus, I suspect we're now in a permanent YES majority situation.Delete
The surge seems sudden because there was a dearth of Scotland polling during a very volatile period. Only one public poll between 10th October and 24th November.Delete
Ipsos produced that poll before Truss' resignation(while her mini-budget implosion was playing out) which showed a 7% Yes lead. A more recent Ipsos poll, after the SC ruling, shows a 11% lead.
Depending how accurate you consider Ipsos to be, the Yes majority may have been achieved before Lord Reed sat down and bumped it up a bit more.
The problem with that theory is that the 7-point Yes lead with Ipsos prior to Truss' resignation looks like it was caused by an Ipsos house effect. It was a very rare Ipsos online poll, it used a non-standard question, and the last comparable poll in February produced an identical Yes lead at a time when all other firms were showing either a No lead or a dead heat.Delete
And if independence support should ever consistently show 60% leads when can confidently predict the usual fearties [many in the SNP] bleating about the need for 70% leads. These gutless wonders sicken me.ReplyDelete
The big question for Scotland is how likely the losing side will give up. Unionists like to paint nationalists as fanatics for refusing to FOAD after 2014, but I suspect if the result went closely the other way, it would not be orderly. We would have serious civil disturbance, fuelled by moral, practical and financial assistance from the rest of the UK. The best ways to avoid that are rUK acceptance of the result, which would cut unionist outrage off at the knees, or an overwhelming mandate in favour of independence, which would render unionist opinion irrelevant. 50%+1 is a democratic mandate, but we need to be prepared for the madness that would follow.ReplyDelete
I see 57%+ with a good campaign, maybe even 59%, but can the SNP contrive a passionate, winning campaign - last time was boring, boring, boring. Sturgeon's burnt out, so we need a commanding voice - I think Angus Robertson has the juice - I don't see anyone else who can speak to middle Scotland.ReplyDelete
From a strategic point of view, Angus Robertson might be even more over-cautious than Nicola Sturgeon. Kate Forbes is an unknown quantity on indy strategy, but I live in hope she might be a bit more radical than the current leadership. And I don't see why she wouldn't appeal to middle Scotland. An authentic Highland accent transcends the class divisions of the central belt.Delete
Young methinks - someone older, reassuring but able to state what's what.Delete
Stevie - I would like to state what's what about Robertson but James quite rightly would not publish it.Delete
None of them are perfect but my point is really that as far as a campaign leader is concerned, I don't see one... but if not AR then perhaps Lesley Riddoch, or (gasp) Tommy Shepherd.Delete
Thanks again, James, for publishing the facts and following that up with an analysis that is absolutely on the button. The time for polite timidity is long past if our country is ever to survive.ReplyDelete
But but but Irish Skiers ski jump graph says if we just wait long enough we will eventually get up to 80% yes and all will be well and easy. Just keep on waiting and waiting and waiting oh and some more waiting.ReplyDelete
Nasty WGD poster Dr Jim says we must learn to be patient.
The same WGD posters who assured us every week for years that the SNP would deliver Indyref2. Skier even said the Indyref2 bill was oven ready and would need little parliamentary time to implement. Oven ready - or was that Johnston? - both liars anyway.
Personally instead of calling people like me unionists they should be apologising for backing losers and misleading people.
Ally McCoist says in his role commenting on the world cup final that Scotland could never make a final. NEVER being the word to reflect on. Croatia, a smaller country than Scotland was in the final of the last World Cup but Scotland could never achieve this according to McCoist. Now McCoist is an intelligent person so how can he not see how silly that comment is. The reason is that he is a good example of the colonised mind.ReplyDelete
I gather unionists are walking away from the importance of polls - note A Tompkins from an earlier post here. Would months of "Yes" polls change things anywhere? Years of "Yes" polls? I'd like to think yes. I'd also like to think it would put pressure where it's needed on both sides of the issue.ReplyDelete
How is this affecting the 2022 poll of polls?ReplyDelete