Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Sensation as support for independence soars in new poll from traditionally No-friendly firm YouGov

Should Scotland be an independent country? (YouGov, 3rd-8th August 2023)

Yes 48% (+3)
No 52% (-3)

It took me a while to doublecheck, but I can confirm that the three point increase in the Yes vote, and the corresponding three point decrease in the No vote, is accurate.  The previous YouGov poll showed a 45/55 split - that was the strange poll that had independence numbers but no party political voting intention numbers.

I must say YouGov's own write-up of this poll seems a touch weird, which I suppose is another way of saying "biased" or "giving rise to suspicions of an agenda".  There is no acknowledgement of the scale of the increase in support for independence - the 52-48 No lead is shorn of all context, as if the fact that No is in the lead is all that matters.  And you'd be forgiven for forming the impression that this is an unalloyed bad news poll for the SNP, whereas in fact it's a rare example under Yousaf of a poll which genuinely offers something positive for the SNP to take from it.  Although the Westminster numbers are very worrying, with the gap between SNP and Labour slumping from nine points to four, the Holyrood constituency results show the opposite trend, with the SNP lead increasing from eight points to a semi-healthy ten, and with the SNP's own vote share moving back into the 40s. The SNP vote is also up two points on the regional list, with the lead over Labour holding steady at four points.  So it's a 'curate's egg' poll for the SNP, not the unmitigated disaster that YouGov are rather suspiciously portraying it as.

The Alba list vote, incidentally, is unchanged at 2%.