Thanks to the commenter 'Alba for Independence' for pointing me in the direction of a new full-scale Scottish poll from YouGov. I was actually expecting a Survation poll, because I heard a few days ago there was one in the field, so unless that's a private poll it might still be along soon.
Should Scotland be an independent country? (YouGov / Sunday Times, 23rd-26th January 2023)
Yes 47% (-6)
No 53% (+6)
I know the scale of the swing to No looks alarming here, but I can't emphasise enough just how unusual the previous YouGov poll (showing a 53-47 lead for Yes) was. YouGov are generally on the No-friendly end of the spectrum, and if anything I'd normally regard 47% for Yes in a YouGov poll as being decent enough. Essentially this is just a reversion to the mean, and I don't buy the spin in certain quarters about Yes taking a big hit due to the trans issue. There was a Survation poll earlier in the month showing a very similar picture before the trans issue even hit the headlines, which would suggest that the change is caused more by the Supreme Court verdict fading from voters' memories. However, the bad news is that YouGov's figures also lend support to the idea that the Survation poll was more accurate than the Find Out Now poll commissioned by The National, which was conducted at around the same time but showed a big Yes lead.
Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election:
SNP 42% (-1)
Labour 29% (-)
Conservatives 15% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-)
Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:
SNP 44% (-6)
Labour 26% (+1)
Conservatives 17% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 7% (-)
Greens 2% (-)
Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:
SNP 36% (-4)
Labour 26% (+2)
Conservatives 17% (+4)
Greens 9% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-)
So very good news on the Westminster ballot where there is no statistically significant change. It's a different story in the Scottish Parliament voting intentions, and it's probably fair to say party political voting intentions are more susceptible to being affected by something like the trans story, so it's possible that may be the explanation for the drop in the SNP's Holyrood vote. The fact that the anti-self-ID Tories are the main beneficiaries is consistent with that theory. However, anyone nursing the 'hope' that Scottish politics was about to be totally upended will be very disappointed with these numbers - the SNP remain comfortably in first place and the Tories still languish in third, well behind Labour.
We also have to pay heed to the exact fieldwork dates - it looks to me as if the poll was already completed by the time that Nicola Sturgeon announced that Isla Bryson would not be held at Cornton Vale, a decision which may have repaired some of the damage. For what it's worth, there's been a more recent GB-wide poll from YouGov since then, and the Scottish subsample shows a 16-point SNP lead over Labour, with the Tories on a very low vote.
The full YouGov tables aren't out yet, but apparently Nicola Sturgeon's personal ratings have slipped very slightly into negative territory. The Sunday Times have gone into full propaganda mode by comparing this to the highs of her popularity during the first Covid lockdown - I mean, you could just as easily compare it to the years prior to that when Ms Sturgeon was sometimes in negative territory and often slightly trailed Ruth Davidson. And yet that didn't stop the SNP winning every election they fought. So I'd advise people to keep a sense of perspective and maintain scepticism about propaganda from a media which may think it scents blood, but may just as easily be trying to 'fake it until it's real'.
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Slightly disappointing but nothing disastrous that can’t be turned around on a good day.ReplyDelete
The main thing I’d take from this is a reminder that polls commissioned by The National aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.
That's a bit harsh - to the best of my knowledge the one in January was the first one they've ever commissioned themselves. I'm puzzled as to why they chose a relatively untested firm like Find Out Now, especially as it seems Find Out Now can't do the weightings and they had to be done externally, but maybe it was a costs issue.Delete
Fair enough. I guess their resources are limited. I often wonder how many journalistic staff they have. Their front page is always pure headlines with literally zero prose below the headline.Delete
I'm pretty sure that's an intentional design / stylistic choice that they stick with for consistency. Their staff may be limited but I don't think there'd be any problem putting prose on the front page if they wanted to.Delete
How will Stuart Campbell react to these results? I think we know. He is always energised by results that are poor for independence, and his energy is drained by results that are good for independence. The guy is a unionist. Like him or loathe him, let's at least drop the silly pretence that he's still an independence supporter.ReplyDelete
In other news, it's like the last days in the bunker as Campbell posts his TWENTIETH obsessed Wings post in a row about trans people. He didn't even stop at...Delete
The SNP vote holding up fairly well despite full on anti-SNP/Independence media over the past month.ReplyDelete
A very diplomatic way of saying "Wings and others"!Delete
Wings is a unionist site. It's interesting that the party Campbell now supports wants to take the UK out of the European Court of Human Rights. He's happy with that ?Delete
Steven Flynn's looking like he's positioning himself as the re-unification candidate.ReplyDelete
It's really good that he's said that, and it's also heartening to see his new-found positivity about a de facto referendum. I don't think he's angling to replace Nicola Sturgeon - it's hard to see a route to that from Westminster. Maybe he wants to be Prime Minister of an independent Scotland - which is the sort of ambition we should heartily encourage in SNP politicians.Delete
Yes wasn't necessarily meaning to actively replace Sturgeon - but perhaps more gentle positioning if Sturgeon was to step down voluntarily at some point. Either way though seems like a useful de-escalation of rhetoric from an internal SNP sense relative to the doubling down of some other names in the party.Delete
As James says, it's hard to see a short-term route from Westminster to SNP Leader. We either end up with a First Minister who is not that party leader or some MSP needs to to give up their seat for a Douglas-Home type of by-election. Neither of those are good options, given what happened to Douglas-Home and, more recently the DUP after they tried such schemes.Delete
But I have to disagree about wanting to be PM of an independent Scotland being sort of ambition we should encourage in all SNP politicians. I don't want MPs to be constantly maneuvering to get "Holyrood parachutes" and that would be the first step they need to achieve that ambition. Not achieving an independent Scotland, which has to come afterwards or it's much more difficult for them to become our PM in the theoretically volatile post-indy political environment where all the parties no longer have their pro- or anti-independence stances.
It's one ancillary reason I keep floating the idea of doubling the number of List seats at Holyrood after our Westminster seats no longer exist. 56 to 112, with the overall parliament expanding from 129 to 185 seats. Gives them and all smaller parties a fairer chance of squeezing devolution's old guard out, although the decision still ultimately lies with the Scottish electorate who will have a more proportional parliament representing us.
"I don't want MPs to be constantly maneuvering to get "Holyrood parachutes" and that would be the first step they need to achieve that ambition. Not achieving an independent Scotland..."Delete
Actually that misunderstands my point. There's no need for a prior Holyrood parachute for a current Westminster MP who aspires to high office in an independent Scotland. All Westminster MPs will lose their job on independence day, but there will almost certainly be a Holyrood election at around the time of independence (either just before or just after), because I doubt it will be deemed acceptable for a body elected as a devolved parliament to carry on as a 'through train" as the parliament of a sovereign state. There might be changes made to the Scottish Parliament at that point - the number of MSPs might increase (thus making it easier for outgoing Westminster MPs to get a look in), and/or a second chamber might be added.
One wonders just how bitch-slapped the SNP memership is - how can the SNP not be soaring in the polls with such a xeno-racist England and corrupt Brit gov - takes a special sort of talent fk it up like Tricky's doing.ReplyDelete
Well at least the SNP has seats.Delete
The SNP is going downhill - there will be fewer seats : in any case, the reason for voting SNP is for indy, but you'd never guess with Nicola as leader.Delete
This is heartbreaking. Within an inch of independence and the movement implodes over something that impacts a miniscule proportion of the population. Occam's Razor and all that. This has got to intentional sabotage.ReplyDelete
51% of the population isn't miniscule and perhaps they quite like having single sex spaces like prisons, changing rooms, rape crisis centres et al rather than mixed sex ones. I agree it's sabotage but unless Nicola Sturgeon has a gun to her head, she has to own this whole mess. She's shown vastly more interest in trans issues than progressing independence. Which would be fine if she ran a LGBT+ party rather than an indy one...Delete
"She's shown vastly more interest in trans issues than progressing independence."Delete
Which, if true, means she has more in common with Stuart Campbell than with anyone else. Maybe the two of them should get a room.
"51% of the population isn't miniscule": It's a lovely simplistic theory to think this is about women but we know from the polls it simply isn't like that. The public oppose GRR but it's men who are slightly more hostile. And neither gender holds monolithic views.Delete
It feels like at this point that the SNP doesn't think independence is viable due to politics / economics, etc, so are doing nothing to promote it. At this rate, Sturgeon will have to stand down by the end of 2023, but I'm not sure if anyone else in the SNP top brass will be more eager to push independence at this point.ReplyDelete
Well English people are moving here in increasing numbers 30k a year (source national records of Scotland). Sturgeon is trying to add an additional 100k English people to move here in next ten years. (Source: national strategy for economic transformation).Delete
These numbers dwarf the so called youth yes effect based on both low participation rates, low numbers of young people each year which is worsening as Scottish fertility rates fall increasingly replaced by English no voters.
Demographics are against us yet Angus Robertson head of progress Scotland the pretend think tank for indy claims that youth yes effect makes indy inevitable and sturgeon claims we have time on our side.
The politics is disastrous with huge levels of poverty, food bank use, Brexit phuqups, soaring energy bills in energy rich Scotland.
It's a perfect recipe for an indy campaign with a yes alliance at holyrood but instead we get lies and a de facto SNP defence of the union by doing NOTHING apart from stigmatising real yes Alba.
This is the environment we sit in and we will lose unless people vote Alba to pressurise these people to do something other than put their cosy feet up and pretend to support independence while watching their huge wealth accumulate.
I like a lot of what Robin McAlpine writes, I've found him to put proper words and explanations to my general malaise of "pro-indy but increasingly SNP-skeptical".ReplyDelete
However, even though I agree with much of his latest article (basically, time to call it a day Nicola), his assertion that "if the SNP wants to hold the movement together it needs to quietly (as possible) drop the de facto referendum stuff" is probably not something I could get on board with. Contrary to that, I think it would probably be the final nail in the coffin of the whole thing.
I totally agree - I've been reading Robin's stuff and he essentially wants to run up the white flag. Bizarrely, it's identical to the Pete Wishart position prior to his Damascene conversion - "let's stop trying to win independence, it's hopeless snd childish, so let's get on with more grown-up stuff and then by some magical process indy will eventually just happen". Er, no it won't. To get independence, you have to win a vote on it. That means a vote actually has to take place.Delete
I've always wondered why anyone listens to this guy who doesn't ever seem to have done anything except have prominent SNP parents and be in think tanks. It's not surprising to see him say that the de facto ref should be dropped without suggesting anything to replace it (or even explaining what's so bad about it).Delete