Monday, March 13, 2023

Yousaf appears to have spent half the Sky News debate telling blatant lies about opinion poll results - in fact, the new YouGov / Sky News poll has Kate Forbes ahead of him among SNP voters on several key questions

Humza Yousaf was absolutely obsessed with talking about opinion poll results during the Sky News leadership debate tonight, which suggests to me he's very worried about what the polls are actually showing and is desperately trying to muddy the waters with a mixture of lies, half-truths and distortions.  Although Kate Forbes clearly came out on top in the debate, one thing that disappointed me was that she didn't properly challenge Yousaf's fibs about polling.  He kept asking her what essentially was a "when did you stop beating your wife?" question, ie. variants on "is that why I've pulled ahead of you among SNP supporters, Kate?", which is based on a completely false premise.  In fact, the Panelbase poll which I published two days ago (and which is more or less bang up to date - the fieldwork ran until Friday) showed Forbes ahead of Yousaf among SNP voters from the 2019 general election, SNP voters from the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, and Yes voters from the 2014 independence referendum.

Yousaf repeatedly made two claims about opinion polls tonight -

* That he had gone from being behind among SNP supporters earlier in the campaign to being "nineteen points ahead".

* That he had "quadrupled his support with the Scottish public" over the course of the campaign.

The latter seems to be a very cynical apples-and-oranges comparison between the current three-way polls, and polls from several weeks ago that asked about a much wider range of potential candidates.  For example, there was a Savanta poll in mid-February which showed the following - 

Kate Forbes: 14%
Angus Robertson: 9%
John Swinney: 9%
Humza Yousaf: 6%
Mairi Gougeon: 3%
Shona Robison: 2%
Neil Gray: 2%
Shirley-Anne Somerville: 1%
Others: 4%
Don't Knows: 50%

I mean, if Humza couldn't improve on a 6% showing after six of the above potential candidates ruled themselves out, including Robertson and Swinney who had 18% support between them, something would be going very, very badly wrong somewhere.  Using the same bogus comparison, Kate Forbes would be able to claim that she's more than doubled her support over the same period (in fact far more than doubled it), even though she was in the lead right from the start.

But as for the claim about Yousaf currently being nineteen points ahead among SNP supporters, I'm inclined to think that should be regarded as an outright lie.  He implied he was taking the numbers from the new Sky News / YouGov poll.  I've searched the data tables from that poll, and I cannot find anything that looks even remotely like a nineteen point lead.  He'll probably come up with some sort of ultra-contrived and ultra-convoluted figleaf justification for his claim, but to all intents and purposes it was a lie.  (Unless of course he had access to information that YouGov forgot to include in the data tables - I'll concede that's a theoretical possibility but it seems unlikely.)

The real results among SNP voters in the YouGov poll are mixed - Yousaf does fare better than Forbes on one question (not 19 points better, let me stress), but Forbes fares better on all of the others.  For example, Yousaf has a poorer rating than Forbes among SNP voters on the question of whether each candidate would be a better or worse First Minister than Nicola Sturgeon.

YouGov / Sky News poll (9th-13th March 2023):

Net approval ratings on the question of 'better or worse than Nicola Sturgeon', SNP voters only:

Ash Regan: -40
Kate Forbes: -41
Humza Yousaf: -49

That's obviously poor for all of the candidates, presumably due to the high regard SNP voters hold Nicola Sturgeon in, but nevertheless Yousaf clearly comes out worst.  Forbes is also preferred to Yousaf by SNP voters on other key measures...

Percentage of SNP voters who think each candidate is "strong":

Kate Forbes: 34%
Humza Yousaf: 33%
Ash Regan: 19%

Percentage of SNP voters who think each candidate is "competent":

Kate Forbes: 47%
Humza Yousaf: 41%
Ash Regan: 27%

Percentage of SNP voters who think each candidate is "trustworthy":

Kate Forbes: 38%
Humza Yousaf: 35%
Ash Regan: 20%

Whether Yousaf actually deserves to be trusted by as many as 35% of SNP voters is doubtful, because if you can't even trust him to tell the truth about opinion poll results, what the hell can you trust him to tell the truth about?

Incidentally, even on the one question in which SNP voters prefer him to Forbes in the poll, he's actually behind Forbes among Yes voters from 2014.

Net approval ratings on question of 'would he/she make a good or bad First Minister', Yes voters only:

Kate Forbes: -2
Ash Regan: -8
Humza Yousaf: -8

Let me just stress in closing that all of the above numbers are from either SNP voters only, or Yes voters only.  The bigger picture is that among the general public, Kate Forbes has an enormous lead over Humza Yousaf on every single measure - some of those numbers can be found HERE.

*  *  *

Over the last few days I've published results from TWO new Scot Goes Pop opinion polls - an opportunity to commission a second poll suddenly arose, so I made a snap decision to go ahead.  However, as you'll appreciate, polls are very expensive, so if anyone feels able to make a contribution, here are the options...

The simplest donation method is a direct Paypal payment. My Paypal email address is:

If you wish, you can add a note saying "for the fundraiser", although even if you don't do that, it'll be fairly obvious what the payment is for.

If you don't have a Paypal account, last year's fundraiser is still very much open for donations HERE.


  1. Humza not ranking in my votes after tonight. Kate 1 and Ash 2.
    Hope she wins.

  2. The guy is a liar. I clocked him coming out with all that stuff on the polls - 19 in front - lying toerag.
    He has lied from the start about his vote on same sex marriage. Craig Murray got a FOI that showed he cancelled the vote date in his diary to specifically arrange a meeting with the consul on the same day 19 days in the future. He could have seen the consul before or after that date. He lied about deliberately avoiding the vote and has lied multiple times and did so again on Sky tonight. Like Sturgeon lying comes easily to him. He has learned well at the feet of his mentor. It would serve Sturgeon right if Yousaf did to Sturgeon what Sturgeon did to Salmond.

    1. You seem a very shouty wee man.

    2. You WGD numpties clearly have a problem regarding retention of information. I told you many times I am not wee unless you are a giant and think 6feet 1 inch is wee. You being a numpty cannae handle the truth about Sturgeon's gang since you have worshipped her like a deity for 8 years.

  3. Replies
    1. 'Independence for Scotland' is on another planet.

    2. Certainly there was never any chance of Sturgeon, Blackford and all that gang delivering Independence for Scotland on planet earth.
      You numpties were told that was the case for years. Years of great opportunities for independence wasted. All Sturgeon's gang have delivered is money in to their bank accounts.

  4. Are you Serious Kirsten Oswald!

    Oswald says on STV news " This is a serious election, run properly, run seriously, it's an independent company who are facilitating that for us and they are doing that with all the appropriate security measures you would expect to be in place."

    An assertion of seriousness and independence and security with no information backing up the claim. If everything is above board then why the lack of transparency. Have they even told the candidates how many members can vote. It's like North Korea - well what I imagine how an election in North Korea may be handled. The ruling party keep the populace in the dark and then tell them who won.

    Oswald did NOT say there was an independent observer just a company that will do what it is told by its client - the SNP.

    Seriously Oswald you just expect people to take your word. Your pals - the Murrells, Ruddick, McCann do not have much of a track record for honesty, integrity and financial probity.

    1. She forgot to add that they have also involved GCHQ in ensuring the "security" of the ballot.

  5. I thought the C4 interrogator was pretty obnoxious but Rigby on Sky was even worse. Regan should have told her it would not be mandatory for an independent Scotland to have the exact same set up as in England regarding economic institutions especially since the UK's credit rating has been steadily falling in recent years from the high of triple A status.
    These arrogant Londoners need taking down a peg.
    Regan is getting better and seems to be a quick learner.

  6. Humza is getting his statistics from Pfizer.

  7. Are there Westminster and Holyrood voting intentions given in the latest YouGov poll?

  8. WGD professional liar Skier says he voted for Yousaf. I suppose that is to be expected liars stick together. Skier also says he did his best to be balanced between the candidates when posting comments on the election. Another lie by Skier.

    1. After him pretending to be "basically neutral" for a few weeks, Skier announcing he's voted for Yousaf within mere hours of the ballot opening is a shock plot twist foreseen by...well, by absolutely everybody. What will be the next stunning revelation?

      That he has a French wife?

      That he has an Irish passport?

      That he lives in the south of Scotland?

    2. At least he doesn't live in Somerset !

    3. Skier is an absolute disgrace, a delusional fantasist, uber unionist racist Britnat, mad as a bucket of frogs, British/Irish liar who never goes skiing, says he has a French wife, draws skis slope ski jump graphs on his blog that nobody reads.

    4. Yousaf on Sky news, with a leadership election strategy of doubling down on appealing to a 'small' sect of SNP voters and reminding everybody of it at every opportunity yet with an independence strategy to appeal to a wider proportion of the electorate. It's even more stupid than it is duplicitous.

    5. Hiya IfS....Hiya pal......

    6. Does anyone have a link to his blog? I tried to find it a few months ago, but every search term I tried drew a blank. I just kept getting skiing.

    7. Bottom line liars vote for liars, Skier's a liar and Yousaf's a liar.

    8. Are you sure you tried EVERY search term?
      Try IfS.

    9. This paragraph from Skier had me laughing out loud. Enjoy.
      " Humza and Kate are like chalk and cheese. One eg inexperienced overly/naively honest, the other more experience/polished to the point of potentially coming over as not being truthful- certainly when people start suggesting that. It's why I think they'd actually make a decent FM/DFM team and I don't have any preference."

    10. James with regards to Skiers blog he may well have taken it down since I pointed out on SGP it had not been updated for over a year or something. You used to be able to access it by clicking on his Scottish Skier moniker on WGD. Funnily enough there was not a lot of interest in his Ski slope graph.

  9. Humza seems to be digging himself into a bigger hole, it will be interesting to see the party reaction to a KF victory, though I wish Ash would win.

  10. We can only hope that if a self-serving unionist like Yousaf becomes the SNP leader the party will split and a sizable proportion of SNP members and supporters will come over to Alba.

  11. Now we know that the semi - alive (WGD numpties) have been voting but it appears now that the dead have an opening to rise up and vote for Yousaf. In addition to that a Welsh WGD numpty living in England has also been voting. So the dead ex members and people living outside Scotland can get a vote on Scotland's next FM.
    Democracy requires a number of features to be in place - transparency is one of them. The people in charge of the vote to be neutral - spoiler alert they ain't - is another feature.

  12. Yousaf keeps banging on about Scotland being progressive under Sturgeon's reign.

    Compare and contrast this.

    England - a woman in Barrow in Furness is jailed today for 8.5 years for making false rape claims.

    Scotland - women in Edinburgh (after a jury dismissing their case) are paraded on the TV by the BBC to repeat their false rape claims, supported by the Scottish government funded Rape Crisis Scotland and the FM of Scotland questions the jury decision on a news programme and claims the perjurers are her friends. The FM and Rape Crisis Scotland organisation NOW want to remove juries from trials in Scotland.

    Progressive Scotland - corrupt more like.

  13. I expect Yousaf to win because too many Regan supporters don't understand AV and won't rank a second preference for fear that it undermines their first. That's not meant as a slight on her supporters. I think there's a general ignorance about the system, but unless there's a major upset it's only Regan voters whose rankings actually matter

    1. Surely Ash Regan supporters are the brightest though? And we do all do STV at local elections. I agree that the voting instructions could have been extended to underline the transferable bit though.

    2. Keaton - there is general ignorance about the whole process and it has been designed that way. Flynn coming out and saying the numbers of members/who voted will be available after the vote is completed marks him out as being just like the rest of them. There is also the fact that he endorses Yousaf.
      If Yousaf wins then forget independence as long as he is FM and the only difference between the SNP and Labour will be that the SNP is registered in Scotland.
      It's quite remarkable how the SNP members just shrug their shoulders and brush off the promised indyref, brush off the promised de facto and brush off the promised special conference. No wonder we are still a colony.

  14. Smitty giving early election result reports on WoS