I've finally had a chance to catch up with the independence numbers from the Social Attitudes Survey that caused so much excitement a couple of days ago. What strikes me most is that the survey seems to exist in a slightly different universe from the more conventional polling we're used to seeing. We thought we knew that 2020 was (by far) the high watermark for independence support to date, and that 2021 was a step backwards, but this new survey suggests that support actually reached a fresh peak in 2021 - albeit there was no Social Attitudes Survey in 2020 itself for obvious reasons, so it's possible an even bigger number was missed during the gap. Nevertheless, an outright majority for independence on a multi-option question is a startling finding given the pattern of polls in 2021. It could perhaps be more easily explained if the fieldwork had been conducted at the start of the year, because the unbroken sequence of Yes majority polls carried on into January 2021 (as I remember extremely well, because I commissioned a Survation poll myself that month which showed Yes on 51%). But in fact the Social Attitudes Survey was conducted in the autumn, and was thus contemporaneous with a series of eight polls in a row which showed a No lead, albeit mostly a fairly modest No lead.
2021 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey constitutional preferences (with changes from 2019):
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