Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Fresh questions for Humza over his refusal to try to win independence, as new poll from Ipsos continues to show that his fabled 'sustained supermajority' for Yes already exists, and currently stands at 53%

You rather suspect the London media will be scratching their heads in incomprehension as this latest full-scale Scottish poll from Ipsos, arguably the UK polling firm with the strongest pedigree, continues to show a clear pro-independence majority, driving a coach and horses through the recent media narrative that independence is essentially dead.

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Ipsos / STV, 15th-21st May 2023)

Yes 53% (-3)
No 47% (+3)

This is the first time in 2023 that any firm other than Find Out Now has shown a Yes majority, but it's not at all a surprising finding because Ipsos, rather like Find Out Now, have tended to be on the Yes-friendly end of the spectrum.  So when other firms are showing a Yes vote in the high 40s, Ipsos putting Yes in the low 50s is pretty much what you'd expect.  What marks Ipsos out as different from other firms is that they use telephone fieldwork and don't weight their results by recalled 2014 referendum vote.  The explanation for the higher Yes vote is thus likely to be one of those two factors, or a blend of both.  If the lack of 2014 weighting is indeed important, it seriously calls into question the credibility of No-majority polls from other firms, because nine years after the referendum there's such an obvious danger of false recall. 

This also raises major questions for Humza Yousaf over his refusal to do anything to win independence on the grounds that there is supposedly not yet a sustained supermajority for Yes.  If Ipsos (and Find Out Now) are right, there has in fact been a sustained supermajority for quite some time.  So why is Humza allowing Scottish democracy to be held hostage by a select group of mostly London-based polling firms who may be producing illusory No majorities due to the questionable practice of 2014 weighting?

Where Ipsos are more in line with other pollsters is in showing that, while independence support has held up well, the SNP's own support has fallen back alarmingly since Yousaf became First Minister.

Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election:

SNP 41% (-10)
Labour 29% (+4)
Conservatives 17% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-)
Greens 3% (-)

Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:

SNP 42% (-8)
Labour 28% (+4)
Conservatives 17% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 7% (-)
Greens 4% (+1)

Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:

SNP 35% (-8)
Labour 27% (+6)
Conservatives 17% (+3)
Greens 12% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 5% (-1)

Because the SNP were starting from a higher base with Ipsos than with other firms, this collapse in support still leaves them with a bigger lead than other firms are reporting, which would in turn allow them to hold on to significantly more seats. It therefore very much does matter which firms are getting it right methodologically, and which firms are getting it wrong.

Ipsos are in agreement with other firms that Yousaf is well behind Anas Sarwar on net personal ratings, although unlike other firms they actually have him slightly ahead of Keir Starmer, so that's a non-trivial crumb of comfort.

Net personal ratings of leaders:

Anas Sarwar (Labour): +6
Alex Cole-Hamilton (Liberal Democrats): -3
Patrick Harvie (Greens): -5
Lorna Slater (Greens): -9
Humza Yousaf (SNP): -9
Keir Starmer (Labour): -12
Douglas Ross (Conservatives): -25
Rishi Sunak (Conservatives): -29

 * * *

I launched the Scot Goes Pop fundraiser for 2023 a couple of weeks ago, and the running total has now passed £1400.  The target figure is £8500, however, so there's still quite some distance to travel.  If you'd like to help Scot Goes Pop continue by making a donation, please click HERE.  Many thanks to everyone who has donated so far.


  1. With this and the drop in SNP support perhaps this is the beginning of a reset we need where there is a clear divorce between YES and SNP.

  2. yes - 3? no +3 ? hats that about? anyway glade I joined the SNP again, we have to be involved to change the captain, before he crashes the good ship indie on the rocks of contradiction.

    1. How you going to do that ? what voice will YOU have when it is diluted by the blinkered supporters, rejoining just makes them think that Humza is doing ok and he is regaining snp fortunes.

    2. well nearly half didn't go for Humza, and then with everything that's happened since people might of had time to look at NS's legacy in a more considered way, plus they are slipping in the poll's. Also I have spoken to people who have done the same thing for the same reason, in that the SNP for the movement is to big to fail, and it doesn't listen that well to outside forces, with the shifts happening there is an opening for change in my oppion, and above all there isn't any alternative to this course of action at the moment. The ISP and Alba didn't take off and the SNP didn't play ball, so as long as there are pointed goals and there can be some selecting and deselecting of individuals then this might change. better to try than snipping from the sidelines I guess. Even if valid points are being made, the SNP leadership has just become reactive, instead of pro-active, and needs to change.

  3. It’s because our political elite are comfortable with their life. They don’t need the hassle of arguing for then setting up a newly fledged independent country. There is no ambition or hunger or sense of legacy. I’m afraid the people will need to oust them if they truly want independence. Of course the 53% will include some who would be happy to take it if it happened but wouldn’t be too fussed if it never happened. Ambivalence and apathy, I’m afraid life’s too easy, no hunger.

  4. I wonder if support for independence will rise as it becomes more unlikely we will actually achieve statehood.

    1. Actually, I encountered something like that effect in 2014 here in Edinburgh. As indyref day drew close and the polls narrowed, No-leaning friends got anxious and more adamantly anti-independence as the prospect became more palpable. It had just felt like a Salmond ego trip for them up until it started getting real. They never realised us Yessers absolutely meant it.

  5. need to get a way of editing on this page, I just saw what should of been What and glad, I will never live down the shame.

  6. NEW POLL indicating SNP wipe out in Glasgow - as the SNP founders about caught in the glare of its own headlights... wonder if people will realise an SNP drubbing at the next elections is on the cards ?

    ALL this is due to the previous failed mess Mz S created - Saint Nicola was actual rubbish as a government manager and the real sht has yet to hit the fans.

    IT CAN BE recovered but not while the SNP is shte. Humza has to get Salmond-smart, better still get Salmond... but is Humza smart enough to conclude that ?

  7. Pro indy voters calling the SNP's bluff. They won't be afraid to abstain or vote for another party if the SNP continues to ignore their desire for radical movement on independence. The SNP figures will drop further. I believe SNP MPs and MSPs will blink first. When? is the question.

  8. WGD numpties are happy to say the 53% yes is correct but they say the much lower SNP percentage is pochled by the Britnats. Scotland's very own Trump type supporters. It is embarrassing that these people claim to be independence supporters.

  9. I posted this elsewhere, so here it is.

    1045 for the Ipsos poll 6 months ago, 1087 for this poll, we have this detail from the tables:

    Undecided 39 to 51 (4% to 5%)
    Would not vote 74 to 87 (7% to 8%)
    Refused 6 to 18 (1% to 2%)

    Too small to be conclusive, but outside voting base from 119 to 156 (119/1045*100 to 156/1087*100) which is 11.4% to 14.4% (+3%) is maybe a bit significant.

    If a trend that correlated with a drop in support for the SNP it could be there that the support is going – people like me saying “SNP not making Indy important? I’m not voting SNP”. But not voting Labour, just not voting at all.

    But that’s a very small base to make firm conclusions on.


    1. "11.4% to 14.4%"

      Putting that another way, it's an over 25% rise in percentage points in the "outside voting base" which does sound more dramatic :-)


  10. And then this: pdf (remove space)

    and pdf (remove space)

    SNP support down 9% (10% of those who would be 9 or 10 out of 10 certain to vote)

    Table 7 also has an interesting take on that – Nov 22 – 9 or 10 to vote 78%, drops to 71% in May 2023. That’s 814 out of 1045, down to 769 out of 1087 – a fair number less out of a larger overall survey. That is significant, put that way.

    It’s over to the SNP on 24th June. Take note of WGD’s paragraph starting “The SNP can stem the loss of support …” or have a lot of unhappy ex-MPs.

    Still, if the SNP do nothing and get ripped asunder in UK October 2024 then maybe they’ll learn the lesson in time for Holyrood May 2026. Or not.


    1. One big problem lurks in that scenario, however. It'll be more than worthless troughers like Wishart who lose out.

      We went through this in 2017. The SNP lost a bucketload of seats to the Brits, and the message gleefully transmitted by the media was: 'Scotland rallies to the Union!' Now, we Yessers know it was Nicola's choice to 'de-emphasise' independence in the campaign, but telling that to folk just didn't fly. When a party loses seats, and that party is 'the party of independence' then people add two and two together for themselves. The media made sure to put a cheeky Ruthie on the top. 'It was the UK wot won it!'

      So, back to the 2024/5 UK general election: if Humza stays in charge, the SNP _will_ get thumped. 'Nat-a-geddon' will be a major media story from that point on, and it will follow us. Did scunnered Yessers like me who just couldn't bring themselves to vote for the party 'send a signal to stop this separatist madness'? NO, of course we f**king didn't, but the Brit media will absolutely push that narrative.

      Then Humza resigns (let's not even consider the alternative!) and even if a committed Yesser like Ash succeeded him, they'd be leading a dumped SNP that looks and smells like a spent force, well overdue for losing office.

      Can we really win an indyref / Holyrood plebiscite election from a position of despair? Could a tossed out party of hated losers really spring back up and pass 50% of the total vote? A target the SNP didn't even achieve in the tsunami of 2015? As I believe James has said before: In politics, you make the weather. The "you" in that case would be a humiliated and shabby SNP down on its luck and desperate for one last push to get it back on its feet and straight into the pub…

      The new leader necessary at that point would have to pull off the greatest epic in Scottish political history. And by 2025 they'd have next to no time to do it. Would Scots even notice them, and trust they're any different?

      Humza really has to go BEFORE any election. For that to happen: the men in grey kilts must get very, very anxious. They've got to fear for the only thing in life they care about: their careers.

  11. Question, assuming a rout of MPs at the WM election, would there be seats Holyrood they might eventually take up. Would it matter if dross replaced dross or if the likes of Joanna Cherry replaced dross?

  12. The SNP:

    - aren't competent in government (ferries, bottle return scheme, gender reform)
    - aren't competent in internal party management (police investigations, numerous resignations, botched leadership election, internal discussion quashed)
    - aren't making any meaningful progress towards independence (mumble something about an S30 occasionally and not much else) and are actively backing away from it in many ways (watered down proposals conference proposals).

    So the question is what actually is the point of them at the moment? What's the USP for their vote?

    Is it enough just to be generically anti-Tory, anti-Labour, supposedly pro-Scotland but only generically devolutionist? Not for me, it isn't.

    1. I remember what Scotland was like with Jack McConnell, and Henry McLeish when he had more to do than pose as indy-curious for attention's sake. They were shite, too. Even Salmond's government was frustrating for many of us (land reform!!) but it was *our* government, not the North British branch office 'executive'.

      We expect more from the SNP because, for all their ever-clearer faults, they are a Scottish—not a British—party. But you're right, with all this rank incompetence, malfeasance, and taking the piss out of all of us who still truly want Indy, they're on a awfie shoogly peg. I can't honestly see myself voting for them with Humza at the top and a thumping guaranteed.

  13. Disastrous numbers for Humza. He's getting worse and worse and worse the longer he stays in office. He's got to go.

    1. A lot of the blame does need to go to Nicola.

  14. Toni Giugliano:
    “So I would say to those usual suspects who repeatedly undermine the SNP, I would ask them really what it is that they're trying to achieve by constantly undermining the cause of independence?”

    That's exactly what gets our goat. The nuSNP—now with 90% Less Separatism!—is squatting on Independence.

    Wakey wakey, Toni: that loyalty is *earned.* And you guys haven't lifted a finger in years. We're not buying the empty guff any more. Actions speak.

    1. As far as I am concerned the SNP are becoming a party of opposition. That may mean the end of them as a serious party. They seem to have lost the fact that they have to try and achieve independence because that can only be their main aim.

  15. To be fair to Humza, I'm sure he realises by now in his heart of hearts that he's not up to the job.

    1. If so: for the love of god, man, go!

  16. RELEASE membership figures twice a year - failing making SNP more honest ? I haven't been an SNP member since the Little Saint Nick was canonised by popular reclamation in 2015 - the unimaginitive leading the deaf, dumb and blind.
    YET, should the SNP return to being an open, honest democratic party (as it was prior to being Murrelised : manipulation, domination, control) then I would join this force-to-be-reckoned-with... BUT I await to be convinced (following the likely SNP election drubbing and the subsequent internal warfare to remove the bad blood).

    WE'RE in the 5 to 10 year region before a new SNP evolves from the present cacophony - and yet, a messiah might arrise - who knows, maybe Humza will dig deep and emerge as that messiah (but that would mean etting Salmond's guidance and vommiting up the years of Tricky Nicky Koolè-aid.