Tuesday, September 5, 2023

No, "the polls" are not showing Labour's lead in Rutherglen has been "slashed" over the last week - not least because there haven't been any polls

There's a deceitful post - there's no other word for it, really - on Professor John Robertson's blog tonight, and it's resulted in a number of copycat tweets from people who really ought to know better by now.  Professor Robertson is claiming that "the polls" are showing Labour's lead has been slashed in the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election over the last week, but in fact so far there haven't been any polls in Rutherglen & Hamilton West - not only in the last week, but not at all.  Nor have there been any Scotland-wide polls over the last week from which an extrapolation can be made.  It's plainly ludicrous to suggest the polls are showing a certain trend when no polls from the relevant period actually exist.

What Robertson is referring to as "two polls" are in fact not polls, but predictions made by websites.  One comes from the newly resurrected UK Polling Report and the other from Electoral Calculus.  Robertson does not present any evidence that either website's prediction has suggested a drop in the Labour lead in the constituency over the last week, and indeed he does not even claim that they have.  Instead, he makes an apples-and-oranges comparison between what the Electoral Calculus prediction was showing a week ago and what the UK Polling Report prediction is showing now, and pretends that it can be taken of indicative of the SNP closing the gap, even though each prediction is based on a completely different methodology, and even though the data being inputed into each prediction can't have changed over the last week for the obvious reason that there's been no new polling data from the last week to input.  (In fact there's a graph on UK Polling Report suggesting their prediction has been stable for many weeks.)

Oh, and the predictions aren't even for the by-election, but instead for the Rutherglen constituency in the general election.  Apart from all that, though, a characteristically bang-on accurate contribution from the Prof.

*  *  *

My blogpost two weeks ago, about the difficulty of keeping Scot Goes Pop going for much longer due to lack of funds, produced a substantial response.  Not all of it is visible on the fundraiser page itself because around half the donations were made directly via Paypal, but over £700 has been raised since I posted.  The fundraiser remains well short of its target, but I'll certainly keep going for as long as I possibly can, and there's still some sort of chance I may be able to keep going indefinitely, depending on what happens over the next few weeks.  Many thanks to everyone who has donated, and if anyone else would like to contribute, the fundraiser page can be found HERE.  Alternatively, direct payments can be made via Paypal - my Paypal email address is:  jkellysta@yahoo.co.uk


  1. Polls are blasĂ©. (Variously incompetent) projections are the new polls. They’re better because they’re entirely reality-free. A whole brave new world of cherry-picking to be had there. Maybe you could make a poll of poll-less projection polling?

    Meanwhile, I see wings is fondly quoting at length this execrable article against Scottish self government:


    While I, too, agree with “Effie’s” conclusion that Scots bottled it in 2014, I don’t agree with “her” that it’s all Yes voters fault we’re still trapped in Britain. I’d lay a lot more of the blame on those who voted No and continue to support British parties.

    If you’re blaming us, then get it right and blame Nicola Sturgeon, her reluctance to lead, and her pointedly hobbled Supposed Court case before she left us in the lurch. A lot of us really do want independence, but we’ve been played.

    1. He's jumped the shark appropriating Deans. Now the movement may be prepared to grasp the thistle of defacto voting, we've to question our idea of nationhood. At the very time nearly half support outright statehood. Aye, right.

      There is some truth to the story about Scots believing we're a country but at the slightest difficulty a proportion shun self-government. However, given we have been in union with a large neighbour and their media, part of a world empire and not really had trappings of state for hundreds of years, it's actually pretty remarkable how the very idea of "Scotland" remained and will remain.

      What other country taking this level of pushback would remain in the consciousness of its people a clear, separate, cultural and political entity? Can't be many.

      I don't buy this idea either that if you vote No you're relegating Scotland to region status. Of course I disagree with remaining in the UK but people can genuinely believe both Scotland is their country and it's best to be part of the wider UK.

      I've no idea either why there needs to be an equivalent to the UK as a multi-national state for its constituent parts to be countries. If the UK is unique in this, so what? By the by, it's not unique. Regardless, we're a country if enough people collectively believe we are. That's it.

    2. > What other country taking this level of pushback would remain in the consciousness of its people a clear, separate, cultural and political entity? Can't be many.

      I’m thinking of the post-Soviet states, especially the Baltic states which were brutally repressed by Russia last century, and indeed Ukraine, whose population was majority Russian-speaking yet voted for independence in 1991 all the same.

      Anyone who ever goes on an AUOB march and has the curiosity to ask about the flags they'll see can name more examples in our own day. Indeed, the total absence of Welsh and Catalan flags on the BiS march on Saturday (at least that I saw), was one of the stranger things about it. Ditto for Ukrainian flags, which I didn't see until a big one at the rally.

      I'd rather Scotland was in the club of independent nations, like "Effie's" maligned Chad, rather than stuck somewhere along the way to getting there, like Catalonia. But they are certainly our brothers, and unlike "her" we're not sneering at them, we walk with them instead.

    3. You'll find noone more sympathetic to the catalans than me, I have links there but there is a big problem for them. The issue with Catalonia is half the residents of Catalonia are relatively recent arrivals. I don't mean that in a blood and soil way, what I mean is among residents within the supposed catalan state there is no agreement on catalan identity. While the catalans are largely in favour, the wider electorate just isn't. Unlike Scotland, everyone more or less agrees we're all Scottish. In Catalonia, all the NOs consider themselves Spanish or other. If we ever get to a point all the NOs here believe themselves British and wouldn't countenance a Scottish identity, we're in the same boat.

      It's sad because the Rodris and the Joseps and the Sandra's have kept their identities under great pressure. Much more than us. Yet I see no way forward if you're populated by a total indifference to this identity in the rest of the region. They are but a section and getting smaller in their land.

    4. Yes, It's an irrefutable fact Catalonia was populated deliberately by Andalucians in particular, in part for economic reasons but also to dilute Catalan nationalism. You only have to go to Hospital de llobreget suburb of barcelona, it's the descendents of those people. We can discuss the rights and wrongs but it's a fact. Without this occurrence, Catalonia would be hugely in favour of independence as a whole.
      Trouble is these people of Spanish origin have been there a long time and are legitimate citizens of the Catalan countries. But they hold no feeling for Catalonia as a nation. And by the way nothing actually wrong with that really from their point of view but you can't pick out a bordered entity out of half a population. It would be like if Thatcher sent 1m Welsh upto live in Glasgow. The Catalans have made a mistake in narrowing identity to language which means heritage only. It's less open than the Scottish identity. Their undestandable defensiveness, while a strength, has also contributed to weakening their opportunity to grow.

  2. Effie Deans isn't a woman, he's a male journalist pretending to be someone else so he can't be identified by the public, so to quote a man who's a liar in the first place is as ridiculous as the pretense of being a woman
    Campbell knows who this man is hiding in plain sight, just as Campbell hides and makes his pronouncements from the relative safety of Bath in England
    Two men both cowards and liars
    It's the internet folks, just because someone purports to be a thing doesn't make it so, the internet is the ultimate tool for liars and scoundrels to create division make money and cause mayhem
    It's all a game to these people, and those who pay attention to it are victims or are intent on doing the same thing

    Thugs and lunatics hide amongst football supporters, troublemakers hide on the internet amongst decent people
    Nobody can hold anybody accountable who doesn't stand for public office, they can say anything they like and if people fall for it and pay them money to do it there's no redress ever

  3. From the National just now:

    " THE SNP and Scottish Labour would be tied for vote share in a General Election, a new poll has suggested.

    The survey from Redfield and Wilton Strategies, released on Wednesday evening, found that both parties would win 35% of the votes at a Westminster election.

    This represents a fall of two percentage points for the SNP on the last poll by the firm, while Labour have gained one.

    It's not going to get better while vacuous Yousaf vomits on about vaping. Who gives an absolute feck when it's Independence most people USED TO vote SNP for? And Flynn wants to be in obnoxious olefactory malodorous "opposition" in Westminster for ever, until he can become the SNP's latest devo max dunce (leader).

    Leadership election please. it's an Indy emergency. And sack all Westminster SNP MPs unless they eat drink sleep and other things, Independence.

  4. Lab 26, SNP 22 seats. Not sure of this works: