Saturday, May 25, 2024

First YouGov subsample of the campaign shows an SNP lead

This is a very small piece of polling good news after a run of bad news, but take it with a hefty dose of salt.  Although YouGov are unlike other polling firms in that they seem to structure and weight their Scottish subsamples correctly, the size of the subsample is just 180, which means the margin of error will be very large.

GB-wide voting intentions (YouGov, 23rd-24th May 2024):

Labour 44% (-2)
Conservatives 22% (+1)
Reform UK 14% (+2)
Liberal Democrats 9% (-)
Greens 6% (-1)
SNP 3% (-)
Plaid Cymru 1% (+1)

Scottish subsample: SNP 37%, Labour 34%, Conservatives 13%, Liberal Democrats 7%, Greens 4%, Reform UK 2%

The likelihood, I'd have thought, is that Labour are still in the lead in Scotland, and the apparent SNP lead is just an illusion of the margin of error.  However, the hope must be that it's a straw in the wind suggesting that the calling of the election has focussed minds and that some people who voted SNP in 2015, 2017 and 2019 have "gone home" as a result.  Time will tell when we see some full-scale Scottish polls.

It would make such a psychological difference if the SNP could claw their way back to roughly level pegging and hold at least 20+ seats.  The jury is out on whether that is a realistic goal or not.


  1. Main issue is to get independence supporters to get out an vote. Whether it is a postal vote or turning up to the polling station with your ID badge. Vote for a party that will fight for Scotland.

  2. The author of this blog post (James Kelly) has rightly introduced this piece with the appropriate caveat concerning sampling error.

    Sampling error implies that the results come with an associated margin of error.

    The margin of error in a poll indicates the range within which the true value lies with a certain level of confidence (usually 95%). For a poll with 180 respondents and a margin of error of 8%, this means that each reported percentage could vary by up to 8 percentage points in either direction.

    Here’s what the margin of error implies for each party’s reported figures in the poll:

    SNP (37%): Confidence interval: 29% to 45%
    This means the true support for the SNP could be as low as 29% or as high as 45%.

    Labour (34%): Confidence interval: 26% to 42%
    The true support for Labour could be between 26% and 42%.

    SNP vs. Labour: Although the SNP leads Labour by 3 percentage points in the reported figures, the margin of error means that Labour could actually be ahead or the gap could be much larger.

    The wide margin of error indicates that the true support levels could differ significantly from the reported percentages. It introduces uncertainty, especially for closely ranked parties and those with lower support percentages. Thus, while the poll gives a snapshot, the exact standings could be quite different within the margin of error.

    1. More AI waffle.

    2. Isn't the margin of error already implicit, and caveats already in the article?

    3. Yes it was. The site is under siege from some AI obsessed nutter these days.

    4. Caveats to one side the poll is good for the SNP.

    5. The AI’s explainer sounds about right for this small a sample size. Can’t really tell much, if anything, from the data so far.


  3. As the upcoming Westminster election approaches, I strongly urge the people of Scotland to cast their votes in favour of the pro-independence party best positioned to win.

    This election represents a critical moment for Scotland's future, providing an opportunity to assert our right to self-determination and shape our nation's path.

    By supporting the pro-independence party best placed to win in each constituency, we can ensure a strong and united voice advocating for Scotland's interests and our aspiration for independence.

    Every vote counts, and together, we can pave the way for a future that reflects our values, aspirations, and identity.

    Vote for the strongest pro-independence party to secure a better future for Scotland.

    1. And even more AI waffle (yawn).

  4. I do find it odd that a lot of MPs on X (Twitter) are saying that we should "vote for change".

    But wouldn't that mean that we should vote for someone else as voting for the incumbent wouldn't be change?

    1. Not if they belong to an opposition party.

      The vote for change refers to the government not to the individual MP.

    2. So they're saying we should Vote Labour then?

    3. Vote Labour for the change to a white man wearing the same suit as the brown man wore

  5. Having said since March 2023 when Yousaf became leader that I'm done with voting SNP, I have to say that the more I see of Labour and Starmer in campaign mode, the more tempted I am to lend my vote back to the SNP.

    I wonder how much of a role shy SNP voters will play in this election.

    1. If the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election is any indication many will just stay home (or go on holiday considering when the election is).

    2. Good man Dave!

  6. Actually punched the air when I read this. Said for a long time now that once the election campaign starts going, snp will gain seats. Absolutely no doubt about it in my mind.

    1. I have my doubts as the SNP campaign launch couldn't have gotten off to a worse start as after it all the focus and questions were about Michael Matheson.

    2. Very encouraging start for the SNP.

      The SNP as the largest pro-independence political party in Scotland has the best chance to win out of all the pro-independence parties, owing the the nature of the first-past-the-post electoral system for this election.

    3. I actually punched the air when I saw Declan's comment because it confirms what I've always said about Declan being obviously an idiot.

    4. Yes, it's crazy to draw too many conclusions from a sample of 180 voters.

    5. Well played Declan! I too share your sense of joy from this poll!

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Anonymous at 6:25 you are a dirty homophobic bigot and I know who you are. You have abused me before.

  7. Ot- sad to see so many foreign flags at hampden. Divide and rule and so many Scots fall for it.

    1. Two Northern Irish British sanctioned sectarian bigoted sets of apes pretending they're Scottish football supporters

  8. The percentage of the younger certain to vote has gone up significantly
    that's bad news for Starmer good news for SNP
    As the days go by and proper polling begins it will show the real numbers and they won't go well for Labour

    1. This is very encouraging for the SNP.

    2. Starmers shine is gonna wear off once he's asked difficult questions ... if the investigation into how he funded his leadership campaign gets out hes fooked .

    3. He will not be asked difficult questions, unless the real power brokers change their mind about wanting to remove the tories. No sign of that so far. The results themselves are encouraging but come with a huge health warning. The usual suspects, although claiming to be Indy supporters, cannot contain their annoyance. That is always the giveaway. Quick to embrace the negatives, not so quick when there are positives.

  9. MOE 7% - just scroll down, you don't have to sign up

  10. Great poll for SNP showing renewed strength under Swinney.

    SNP top team did well to put Swinney there just in time.

    Well played SNP!

    1. Agree fully. Swinney is a safe pair of hands.

    2. The same diddies who only a few weeks ago were singing the praises of Yousaf are now singing the praises of Sturgeon's gang for getting rid of him. Undiluted party political propaganda.

  11. Any chance we can stop people posting anonymously James? They're destroying the chat

    1. Just delete them all automagically.

      Delete their postings too!

    2. There are so many I think it would be a full time job to police them. It's a pity as so many are either trolls or robots.

    3. Everyone posts anonymously. There are simple ways to allow differentiation between posters, but no one in their right mind is going to reveal their actual identity on this blog when there are people like IFS posting on here. Toxic and abusive.

    4. Anon at 9.38am - nobody is asking anyone to reveal their actual identity and this is something you know. Just a common identifier for consistency instead of hiding among the anonymous crowd. So it is you who want to abuse hiding behind the anonymous curtain. You anon are a coward.

    5. Anon 9:38,Yes there are simple ways to differentiate between posters. The simplest is to end your comment with a pseudonym of some sort. This has been mentioned frequently but people like you prefer to snipe away from behind the wall of anonymity so that you can disown your comments if it suits you. Have the courage to identify yourself in some way or sulk in silence.

  12. I think the encouraging lead for the SNP is due to Swinney proclaiming that Mr Matheson should not be punished by parliament for lying to parliament, the general public, and attempting to rip parliament off until his wife told the truth, because Mr Matheson is Mr Swinney's pal, because Mr Swinney doesn't like people telling the blatently obvious (including the SNP members on the relevant comittee, who I presume aren't his pals), and some biblical waffle. With God on his side, how could Swinney (and the SNP) loose?

    1. Any which way but.

    2. They could start with better spelling and grammar than you Alba monkeys

    3. To be fair to John Swinney, he was only right in his defence of Matheson. He exhibited leadership by advocating on behalf of Michael Matheson, because it was important to drawing attention to potential biases inherent in the investigative process. His commitment to principles of fairness and parliamentary integrity, even in the middle of political controversy, really does underscore his dedication to justice and his unwavering loyalty to colleagues. This conduct serves to reinforce his good character as a leader, as well as the principles of due process and equity for which the SNP stands foursquare.

    4. Dr Jim yet again with an another abusive post at 11.57am.

    5. Anon9:55, You posted the same comment almost verbatim re Swinney yesterday. If you're going to insult everyone with your AI produced pap, at least put some thought and effort into it. This is desperate stuff even by your low standards.

  13. Though shalt not steal, or else nothing shalt happen to you.

  14. So sayeth St. John of Holyer-than-thou-rood.

  15. As much as I want independence, I don't think it'll happen unless the SNP spend a considerable amount of time in the political wilderness. I hope they get wiped out in this election.

    1. Disagree strongly.

      It's only by voting for the SNP that a better Scotland will come.

    2. Agree strongly.
      It's only by voting them out that a better SNP will come.

    3. If SNP gets wiped out Starmer will take that as evidence of a mandate to row back on the current limited devolution. You do know how opposed to the Scottish Parliament the Labour Party now are? The prospect of Indy will hugely diminish.

    4. Anon9:41(Sigh) When are you going to realise that there is NO prospect of indy with the SNP? If the last ten years haven't taught you that you must be living with your head in a bucket. The sooner the party is purged of the grifters, troughers, weirdos and deviants that have led it astray thanks to Sturgeon, the sooner it can return to the pursuit of independence as its raison d'etre.

    5. Can you address my central point of Starmers attitude towards Holyrood? Do you understand it?

    6. Anon at 9.41am says " the prospect of Indy will hugely diminish." Ever considered that if Starmer closed down Holyrood the prospect of Indy will be certain.

    7. Anon, Do you not understand MY point? Starmers' attitude is irrelevant since there will be NO INDEPENDENCE under the SNP as it is today. They are the biggest roadblock in front of us and until people like you see that we are on a never-ending cycle of jam tomorrow which they have no intention of supplying.

  16. There is a 2011 "feeling" about it to be honest (I was still active in Labour back then).

    Purely a "hunch", yes the small subsample is the first straw in the wind... but I can see people in Scotland equating arrogant and contemptuous Starmerism to continuity conservatism (which it pretty much is) as the media/Labour become ever more desperate (and out of touch) during the campaign.

    It won't be a GE15 or 19 result for the SNP in any shape or form, a shade below GE'17, 28-33 seats region with some *very* tight marginals indeed in the Central belt, SNP picking up 2 or, at a stretch 3 from the Tories, things tilting more heavily towards Labour in Lanarkshire and parts of Glasgow where a significant sectarian element sadly still exists but smaller swings elsewhere.

    Overall SNP lead over Labour of around points on the day.

    As I've said, purely a "gut feeling" here, but ive been a "political animal" for a long time.
    Regards, Michael.

    1. Encouraging words for the SNP let us all hope that you are right.

    2. Issue is though is that the electorate haven't forgotten the events of the past year. It's probably been the most chaotic time since Devolution began.

      Even now there's an ongoing scandal involving an SNP MSP derailing the Parties election campaign efforts. People are sick and tired and may feel that the governing party both South & North of the border no longer deserves their vote.

    3. I think the SNP have a chance of avoiding defeat in Scotland as long as Labour continue to look like sweeping the board at UK level as the campaign progresses. Their support, pretty much everywhere but especially in Scotland, is entirely reliant on hatred of the Conservatives. Literally no sentient human is enthusiastic about Labour on their own merits, so why bother voting for them as the lesser of two evils if it looks certain that the Tories are totally fucked regardless?

    4. Anon @9.27pm You think the electorate haven't forgotten Salmond and what he did to the whole of Scotland in 2014 then went on to disgrace us all with his drunken sexual assaults on women? but the SNP are far worse than the Tories and Labour eh? you Alba scum make me vomit

    5. Anon @ 11:54 I do remember the final days of the 2014 campaign when the Daily Record had a front page splash of 'The Vow' which arguably tipped things to the No side at a pivotal moment.

      I wonder where that unionist Murray Foote who orchestrated the vow is now... that's right he's the fecking Chief Executive of the SNP!

      An actual unionist who costed us our independence is the head of the supposed 'party of independence" you really couldn't make this shit up...

      Oh and why was that job vacant in the first place? What's Peter Murrell up to now?

      I think we know who the real scum are.

    6. Quite incredible nerve of Dr Jim at 11.54pm - no doubt Jimbo was sober when he admitted to often assaulting women by grabbing them by the neck and throwing them out of his premises. Jimbo defended a Tory who did this to a climate protestor. Why? Because he did the same all the time and saw nothing wrong with his actions. Jimbo is a coward and a thug. Salmond won two court cases. Jimbo should have been up before a jury as well and he would have been found GUILTY.
      Jimbo isn't scum he is a piece of shit.

    7. IFS I think anon at 11.54pm does make a valuable point even though I would not have used his or her exact language.

      The electorate very likely does remember the controversies involving Alex Salmond, including the events of 2014 and subsequent allegations of sexual misconduct, which many believe have negatively impacted Scotland's reputation.

      There is a fallacious perspective, proffered by ALBA supporters on fora such as these, that the SNP's policies and actions are more detrimental than those of the Conservatives and Labour. It is only right that SNP supporters confront this in a forthright manner.

      Additionally, some individuals within the SNP feel strongly critical of the Alba Party and its supporters. Some SNP supporters view ALBA supporters as adopting an unduly hostile approach to the SNP.

    8. Anon at 10.15am - I have no doubt what the electorate think of Salmond - it's there in the polls. The point is this was orchestrated by Sturgeon's gang carrying out an illegal plot to pervert the course of justice. After Salmond won his second court case Sturgeon then subsequently used the Britnat media to continually defame him and question the decision of the jury. Disgraceful conduct for a FM. So it seems you also prefer to accept the lies of the Britnat media and Sturgeon's gang rather than the jury who heard the evidence.
      There is no his of her about the poster it is that despicable character Dr Jim (male) who has happily assaulted women in the past and boasted about it on WGD. You take his side.

      You also seem to have conveniently forgotten that the allegations you refer to were comprehensively disproved in the High court. You also seem to have forgotten that the judge in the civil court case stated Sturgeon and Evans and Lloyd had acted unfairly, unlawfully and were tainted with apparent bias.

      In summary, he makes no valuable point at all - just lies and crude insults. Your choice to agree with that type of character.

  17. Anon. 927p, Does that apply to Wales with labour in charge?

  18. Thanks yet again, James. Not only for the analysis but for alerting us to the fact that this poll exists. It's quite a condemnation of the state broadcaster that the public need your and others' blog to tell us what's happening. Bring back Pravda - probably more credible than BBC Shortbread

    1. Why would the state broadcaster post about a Scottish subsample of just 180?

      I'm surprised James has even made a blog post about it as that number is so insignificant it's beyond clutching at straws to spin it to mean anything.

    2. It's called please read my blog full of meaningless polls that I'll analyse just for you to make it look bad for the SNP then send me your money or my Alba supporting blog will die

    3. I thought you were skipoll's bestie Dr Jim?

    4. Dr Jim once again at 11.49pm. Funny how these people who criticise me are happy to pass on by when the disgusting character and coward DR posts his bile as an anonymous.

  19. If , and it's a big If. The SNP somehow manage to only lose 10 seats. They will take that as an indicator to piss around at WM for another 5 years. In other words the SNP doing well will not help our cause.

    They need to be humbled and to go back and think again. At the moment it's an endless gravy train going nowhere. They are taking us for mugs.

    1. Disagree fully. Only a strong team of SNP MPs ensures Scotland's voice is heard in Parliament.

    2. The intention should be to permanently leave that Parliament not to be heard within in (which we know is futile anyway).

  20. We have had 48 MPS, name one thing they have achieved for Scotland?

    1. Did you see Ian Blackford posting very happy pictures with Lindsay Hoyle on Twitter? He's really grown to the lifestyle down there... he won't be dragged out of Westminster against his will!

    2. Kept you out! Lol

    3. There is absolutely nothing wrong whatever in an SNP having a picture taken with the Speaker and for them both to smile.

      Really nothing to see there. This idea that our MPs need to look unhappy is silly and childish and it behoves all of us to eschew it.

    4. Let me tell you, fellow independence supporters: this gravy tastes fantastic!

      *piggy tail wags ecstatically*

    5. They also had 56 SNP MPs out of 59. What did they achieve? they got loads of money from Westminster short money for Peter Murrell and Colin Beattie to look after.

    6. IfS don't scoff at money as it is very important in politics.

    7. Anon at 11.27am - I don't scoff at money and accept it is important in politics. I scoff at the SNP and what they have spent their money on and also how compromised a supposed party of independence has become by being so reliant on money from Westminster. Perhaps if the SNP were an actual party of independence they would get more donations from independence supporters. Where is the ring fence these days with the £600k?

    8. Nicola Sturgeon has I think already answered the question about the ring fenced funds.

    9. Also it's quite alarming if the SNP have become dependent on Westminster short-money. Would be ironic if the supposed 'Party of Independence' is itself unable to survive financially without Westminster.

      I think they're something like £800K in debt at the moment? Also John Swinney has admitted that they don't have the funds for an election campaign but he'll somehow "find the money".

    10. Alex Salmond's public donations of £500k for his sex case defense went where?

    11. Anon @ 11:24 I'll wait for Police Scotland/COPFS to determine what actually happened to that £600K. If Peter Murrell ends up facing charges we'll have our answer.

    12. Anon @11:47

      Alex Salmond raised around £500,000 through crowdfunding for his legal defense against sexual misconduct allegations. The Scottish Government was ultimately ordered to pay him £512,250 after the court ruled its investigation was unlawful and biased. This sum was meant to cover his legal expenses related to the judicial review he launched against the government.

      A spokesperson for Salmond indicated that all legal costs, including those not covered by the government's payment, were being settled using the crowdfunded money. Any surplus funds from the crowdfunding campaign were to be independently audited and distributed to charitable causes, as Salmond had committed to doing from the start.

    13. Anon11:44, She has? What did she say it was spent on? Was it a nice new motorhome...sorry 'battlebus' parked at Peter's Mum's?

      Anon11:47, I've no idea how much Salmond raised for his defence fund but I seem to recall a rather lengthy trial at which he was cleared and lawyers don't come cheap. Of course, he may have bought a sparkly new motorhome with it - have you checked?

    14. Anon at 11.44am - so where is the ring fence and the money then?

      Anon at 11.47am - Salmond had to pay his lawyers. The lying alphabetties used public funds and it didn't cost them a penny to pitch up at the High Court and pitch their lies. Yet to this day the system protects them but the ex FM Sturgeon could continue along with the alphabetties and Rape Crisis Scotland to defame Salmond. In fact Sturgeon subsequently rewarded some of her gang for their actions. Sandy Brindley self appointed spokesperson for the alphabetties and Head of Rape Crisis Scotland was funded by Sturgeon when FM and still is by the Scottish government. No conflict of interest there - eh.

      Anon at 11.48am Murrell has already been charged with embezzlement.

    15. So the people the jury did not believe in the Salmond Criminal case - spoiler for nicophants - there was a pile of evidence showing the alphabetties were lying their faces off - could do this without it costing them a penny or even their identity being known but the wrongfully and maliciously accused person, Salmond, had to pay for his own defence. Disnae seem fair to me.

      Sturgeon's gang are also guilty of a misuse of public funds.

  21. Surely pigs and tails wagging is a public school thing with the tories and the labour?

  22. I see bbc breaking convention this morning on sunday show, where they put Labour on last following the tories and the SNP who were on first. Pacific Quay clearly touting labour. On kuenssberg, only labour and tories- inc unelected peers being interviewed. BBC call it impartiality.

  23. As an ALBA supporter I would encourage everyone to watch "Scotland Speaks with Alex Salmond". It is very good to watch and give hope and positivity to the ALBA campaign that can be lacking in other parts of the internet.

    You can find it on YouTube using the search facility at the top of the page.

    1. Agree 100%. It is an excellent programme.

    2. Why would anyone be interested in Alex Salmond, a man who can't ever get elected to any position, knows it, and won't stand because of it
      The man is Friday night's Sunday morning Kebab leftovers, they go straight in the bin

  24. The conundrum Scots Nats have is two fold.

    1) Do you vote for the SNP as the only vehicle for independence that's remotely credible, but without any credible plan to achieve it OR

    2) Look at the record of the SNP in government, the woke gender laws, the attempts to impose expensive green policies no one really wants and its serial failures in health, schools etc and say "with no prospect of any credible independence strategy, its time to get a government focused on the day job"

    While its a Westminster election, I can certainly see that conundrum playing out

    1. As an SNP supporter I would challenge the premise of both parts of your question.

      As regards the first part, the SNP do have a plan and John Swinney has been clear and very upfront and honest about it, as befits his moniker.

      As regards the second part, the SNP government have a very strong record in many areas. "Much work done, much to do" is an expression which captures the situation in a nutshell.

      On the whole SNP supporters will enter the ballot box on July 4th with a spring in their step.

    2. Agree fully with anon 11.00am.


    3. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 11:00 AM

      Then by all means outline this new fiendish independence plan because I've not seen it. Sturgeon said the next election (inc Westminster) would be a vote for independence on a 50%+1 of the vote.

      That was watered down by Yousless, to 50% of the seats, what's Swinney's plan now? He seems to have gone quiet on that.

      As to success in government, you set the bar punishingly low, the highest income tax rates in the UK, collapsing school discipline and educational standards to the point of taking Scotland out of international educational tables, and the utter inability to build two ferries, failed to even start dualing the A9.

      Then you have to add on their green/woke agenda that's gone down like a cup of cold sick and frankly I don't see your factless optimism as anything close to reality.

      But then, the independence fetish is not about looking at facts is it? its about feelings isn't it.

    4. Also having 3 First Ministers in 14 months, the Governing Party under active police investigation and what seems like neverending scandals with SNP MSPs isn't exactly a sign of competence.

      It has literally been one thing leading onto another. I genuinely can't remember there being a normal uneventful period in Scottish politics in the past year.

    5. On your first paragraph, John Swinnney was pretty clear when he was elevcated to office in the last week or two. Rather than give it second hand I suggest you watch some of his interviews.

      As to government success the SNPs achievements include a wide range of policy areas with a focus on poverty.

      The minimum price for alcohol stands out.

    6. Jerry you are being too negative about the SNP.

      SNP supporters are excited about the election and we believe there is every chance of a good result.

    7. Jerry,

      As has been noted to you a few times, independence is the normal state of affairs for countries. If it'd about feelings, it's not out of sync with the rest of Europe. I don't understand the faux bafflement as if a country running it's own affairs is somehow a new concept.


    8. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 11:35 AM


      The ultimate circular argument, a country by definition is a self declared sovereign entity with its own borders and government.

      That is what Scotland is, but equally it has the right to give up some or all of its sovereignty, and that's what it did in 1707, and that is an internationally recognised treaty.

      The fact that you signed away your sovereignty WITHOUT any clauses to reclaim it, is the fault of Scotland and Scotland alone.

      At one time, Northumberland was an independent kingdom as were other regions of the UK, do they have a right to independence too?

      How fractionated do you want countries to be? Are you wanting to go back thousands of years to tribal area's and warring tribes?

      The fact is you made the fatal mistake, don't sign treaties that you can't undo, like we did with the EU, where we had an exit clause.

    9. Jerry,

      To answer you directly, as fractional as seems appropriate to whatever the reasonable circumstances are and wanted by the populace at the time? I.e. as it is today with different countries with a settled view of themselves and their bordering states? No more, no less.

      The reason you're using Nortumberland as a barometer makes my point, you're using it as a ridiculous analogy. Therefore, it's not reasonable or desired. Northumberland? What about Strathclyde or the Isles? Ridiculous, that's right. That's what it is, no disagreement there. No-one there wants to be a sovereign nation there whereas in Scotland many do. No-one in Northumberland sees it as a nation, whereas many people across the entire world do in the case of Scotland. Danes see Denmark as nation. Of course it's feelings and thoughts, not tangible. That's not in dispute, nations are human inventions! As a basis of polities, they exist and are not likely to change any time soon. What's your point caller? Whether nations should exist is a different chapter.

      All that's being said here is, in the reality of the here and now of nation states (as interconnected as they should be) Scotland should be one. You're going on like you've never heard of a medium sized European nation before.

      The latest census had "Scottish only" at something like 77% of the population. "Scottish and British" was small and "British only" something like 1 in 10 and that's including, let's face rUK residents, as welcome as they are.

      Scots voted to stay part of the UK, I was proud of us that day for making a decision. It didn't mean they were rejecting their nationality. That's so far from the truth on the ground, it makes me wonder if you've ever been here. The no vote was project fear, it wasn't about "staying British". I wish they had gone with that!!


  25. Replies
    1. Nice of you to announce your entry

    2. It seems he took my advice and spent some time in self reflection in a quiet room. He certainly realises now what he is. There is hope yet.

    3. Anon at 12.27pm no idea if you are a F*****t but you certainly are a prick of a troll.

    4. Inclined not to listen to a self confessed f*****t. Toddle off.

  26. Many of the laws passed at Holyrood were supported by Labour, Greens, Lib dems and even some Tories otherwise they would not have been passed by sizeable majorities.

  27. Only 8.2% of people in Scotland identified as Scottish/British in the 2022 Census. And some of them troll on SGP as if they are a majority in Scotland

    1. Then i have to beg the question, why didn't they vote for independence in 2014 where according to your stats they should have won by 91.8% to 8.2% shouldn't they?

      But they didn't did they, the majority wanted to stay British first.

    2. Jerry,

      Have you noticed that I've at least tried to meet you half way? Your comment above, surely, is quite obviously a bit daft?

      You think a people voted because the wanted to "stay British first?". Seriously?

      I actually do not get strident about it, it's just so obviously wrong, I can only presume you're on the wind up. People here voted for a multitude of reasons but we can safely say it wasn't being proud Brits which was the defining factor.


    3. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 12:53 PM


      You have tried to have a reasoned debate, the problem with "Independence for Scotland" is that he's just being a child and not debating properly so my reply was in response to what his post was claiming.

      If you want to claim, as he did, that 91.8% identify as Scottish and not British, then it does rather beg the question as to why a LOT more didn't vote for independence when they had the chance doesn't it?

      Or was it, as I suspect, they didn't want to lose a £2500 per head UK subsidy, have a hard border with England and trade tariffs and barriers to where 65% of its exports go and restrictions on freedom of movement and no real clue on what Scotland's finances would look like?

      I suspect the latter had a LOT to do with it.

    4. Yes, it probably had something to do with believing they are better off in the UK.

      It doesn't extinguish their national identity. In fact some of the strongest unionists I know are more likely to make an anti English joke than pro independence people I know!

      This wasn't a decision on identity so get that straight. If it was, Britain would have last, big time. Pro UK campaign internal data shocked them into a project fear. Hence the campaign they led.

      Bear in mind No won by a 5 point swing. They're is no uniform reason, 85% of Scots made a decision one way or the other for lots of reasons. The population has mixed views on constitutional arrangements. About the only thing we DO AGREE on is that we're all Scots. And it's open enough as a modern nation to include new immigrants there too.


    5. Jerry

      Just to be clear, the facts are the vast majority of Scottish citizens DO NOT identify as British. That's not made up, it's in census returns where options are available freely.

      I know very few people who would identify British when abroad and i have a mixed social group of Yes and No voters. It just doesn't happen in a meaningful sense. Maybe on a very odd occasion for formal purposes.

      Of course voting out of an economic union is a big step some weren't willing to take. The No camp found early on there were a third of people who will vote No and a third who will Yes under any any circumstances. They were astounded how low No was there and that the middle section although felt Scottish was persuaded by economy. The middle section would vote Yes if the money worked out.


    6. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 2:37 PM

      Abhainn - My original post, was in response to what appeared to be a claim that most don't identify as British and that claim somehow justified independence, patently it doesn't.

      If it had, then clearly in 2014 the vast majority would have voted to leave, they didn't.

      "the middle section would vote out if the money worked out"

      Well yes, I'm sure they pretty much all would, but that is the point, and the reason the SNP keep failing because it keeps claiming things that it can't possibly claim because its out of their hands.

      For example, if you did have a yes vote you'd have to negotiate an exit from the UK and there's no way to be sure what demands the UK would make on borders, use of currency, debt, immigration etc etc, so its largely an unknown.

      Equally a newly set up state with no borrowing history and its share of UK debt would, in international markets, find itself paying a significant premium on borrowing on international markets to the UK and therefore deeper austerity than the UK would be needed for many years if not permanently.

      Hence why i say, why not negotiate the exit first with Westminster and get a clear statement and timeline with requirements from the EU and put the settled position to the people in a major government sponsored poll to find out if there really is a majority?

      At the moment, you are caught between two stools, antagonising Westminster wont work, and you want get a majority anyway without something a lot more concrete.

      A large minority simply don't believe the SNP fantasy papers that they can just demand certain things and Westminster will just roll over on all those issues like a newborn puppy, it won't.

    7. You keep saying "you". We're talking about 5.5m people in Scotland all with their own mind. I'm not the spokesperson. If another charismatic politician come along it's possible a future shift could see a majority open up. It's not as if the 30-45 year.olds who mostly support independence are going to die anytime soon. Politics is cycles.

      If it was the catalan situation the case is more perilous as their vote is based on older, familial voting patterns. It's not the case in Scotland. Independence support is across the spectrum.

      The idea UK/EU will give definitive answers prior to a vote is pie in the sky stuff, sorry.


    8. I'm not getting into an economic debate on it but suffice to say, there are enough examples of similar economies in Europe, some with lower GDP, some with higher.

      Would there be issues? Undoubtedly? Has brexit comicated things? Yes. But I genuinely do not belive if Scotland became independent we would be this basket case aberration between Iceland, Norway, Ireland, England and Denmark. Like a rash on a map haha. We have a materially big enough economy to sustain people. There would he challenges but we're not talking about an unreachable joke fantasy here.


  28. It looks like I will have to repeat on a regular basis that I do not converse with F******s of any national identity. That is not of course an admission that I cannot debunk the lies and misrepresentations they may post on SGP. I can converse with ugly creatures like Dr Jim and Britnats but I have always drawn the line at F******s.

    There are basically two categories of F******s - the type that revel in being a F*****t and do not hide it and the other who try to kid on they are normal people.

    1. I think all you do is advertise your inability to debate.

      With regards yesterday and you claim no one said it was a "Once in a generation referendum" I think you know you were just plain wrong.

      From the ferret

      However, senior SNP figures, including then First Minister Alex Salmond, said that the referendum would be a “once in a generation opportunity” for Scotland.

      The Scottish Government’s 2013 white paper, Scotland’s Future, which made the case for Scottish independence, also defined the referendum as a “once in a generation opportunity”.

      The Scottish Government’s response was: “The Edinburgh Agreement states that a referendum must be held by the end of 2014. There is no arrangement in place for another referendum on independence.

      “It is the view of the current Scottish Government that a referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. This means that only a majority vote for Yes in 2014 would give certainty that Scotland will be independent.”


      "Before the 2014 vote, Nicola Sturgeon herself repeatedly called the referendum a “once in a lifetime” or “once in a generation” opportunity, such as in an interview with the BBC’s Daily Politics, where she said: “The SNP have always said that in our view these kind of referendums are ‘once in a generation’ events.”

      So I'm afraid you are just factually wrong there were multiple occasions when Sturgeon and Salmond said that it was either a "once in a generation" or "once in a lifetime" vote.

      I don't expect a civil reply.

    2. Jerry,

      Try reading the Kelvin Commission following the 2014 vote signed upto by all major parties.

      It talks specifically to Scotland being independent, if it's people wish it.

      A signed document means more than rhetoric on a campaign trail



    3. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 12:58 PM


      "It talks specifically to Scotland being independent, if it's people wish it."

      Two points there.

      1. You had a referendum in 2014 and the people did NOT wish it.

      2. As a sovereign state you signed an international treaty to join the union on the terms of that treaty.

      So you have had a referendum and rejected the plebiscite, you seem to think you are entitled to a referendum every five minutes until you get what you want and then to pull up the drawbridge everafter.

      Referendums in the UK are rare events on issues of supreme importance ACROSS THE ENTIRE UK, not to be repeated every 5 minutes.

      See Above, as I pointed out to "Independence for Scotland" Sturgeon and Salmond said repeatedly that it was a "once in a generation vote"

      Its certainly not been a generation since the last one, that would be at least 25 years, so come back in 2039.

    4. Jerry,

      Did you read the Kelvin commission?

      At no point have I said we should have a vote every 5 mins. Please grasp this once and for all.


    5. long is 'once in a blue moon?'

    6. Abhainn

      "Did you read the Kelvin commission?"

      No, but i looked it up, the Smith Commission, it seems to rattle on how further devolution would reduce inequality in Scotland and was dated 2014. As I understand it you have had those additional powers devolved, like taxation, can you now tell me that inequality has been reduced because it looks like nothing has changed or its actually got worse.

      As your own Scottish government report says:-

      "It is estimated that 21% of Scotland’s population (1,110,000 people each year) were living in relative poverty after housing costs in 2020-23. Before housing costs, 19% of the population (1,020,000 people) were living in poverty.

      A person is in relative poverty if their current household income is less than 60% of the current UK median. Increases in the proportion of people living in relative poverty indicate that the gap between the poorest households and the middle income households is widening.

      The latest after-housing poverty estimate is similar to last year (21%) but slightly higher than levels in the last decade. This has been driven by the poverty trends for working-age adults. The proportion of people in relative poverty after housing costs had been falling slightly between the late nineties and the lowest point in this time series in 2009-12. After that, it started to rise again up until 2015-18, with a further rise in 2019-22 to the current rate of 21%. Before-housing-costs poverty looks similar, with the all-time low slightly later, in 2011-14."

    7. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 1:28 PM
      Q long is 'once in a blue moon?'

      I didn't use that phrase, but if you are asking the time lapse between referendums I'd say what Sturgeon and Salmond said "once in a generation" which is about 25 years, so not before 2039

    8. Jerry

      I asvised you there is a passage specifically talking about circumstances where if Scottish people wish to be independent, there should be no barrier. This was the debate you raised. It's only polite to at least consider it if debating.

      My post wasn't about the pros and cons of independence or taxation powers. That's a long debate for another day.



    9. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 2:13 PM Abhainn

      If Scottish people wish to be independent? Well the only way to test that is a referendum, and you tried that and they said no.

      Then we are back to the question of are you calling them every 5 minutes until you eventualy randomly win one?

      Q If the Brexit vote had been No - would you have been happy if I'd insisted on a referendum every 2 years thereafter until we eventually won?

      There has to be a frequency to these and as I pointed out, Salmond/Sturgeon repeatedly said it was a once in a generation event.

      You can't just keep redrawing the lines every 5 mins, a year ago it was 50%+1 of the electorate, then it was 50% of seats in an election, and now what is it? Winning one seat is a mandate?

      You can't even be consistent on the bar for another referendum

    10. For Abhainn regarding N Ireland

      What Wiki says,Legal%20basis%20for%20future%20change,both%20jurisdictions%20in%20the%20island%22.

      The Northern Ireland Act 1998, a statute of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, provides that Northern Ireland will remain within the United Kingdom unless a majority of the people of Northern Ireland vote to form part of a united Ireland. It specifies that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland "shall exercise the power [to hold a referendum] if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland". Such referendums may not take place within seven years of each other.

      So what it says is that there must be AT LEAST 7 years after a vote before another vote can be called, it does NOT say that there must be another vote within 7 years.

      So 7 years is the MINIMUM spacing not the maximum as I think you claimed unless you have a more authoritative source

    11. Hi Jerry

      I did politely make the point noone, least of all me, is asking for a referendum every 5 minutes. Would you mind understanding that or you are debating in bad faith.

      I've said they should have it when they want it. Not when individuals want it (Salmond, Sturgeon, Me, You, Statmer).

      If a request is made and enough people want it, it should happen. No Scot wants it every 5 minutes. It's an emotional political debate no-one wants to have all the time.



    12. Jerry

      I've not mentioned NI. But I do think having terms set out is a fair and democratic way to proceed.

      7 years seems OK to me. In fact I'd be happy with 10-15 at this stage just to ensure an agreement is reached that allows both the UK and Scottish democracy to function without undemocratic blockages.


  29. In response to your post yesterday

    Scott May 25, 2024 at 3:06 PM

    Apologies I was slightly mistaken on my source. It's the Northern Ireland Act 1998 that implemented the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement that mentions it. Not the GFA itself.

    **Paragraph 3**: "If a poll held under this Schedule results in a majority of those voting expressing a wish that Northern Ireland should not cease to be part of the United Kingdom, a further poll shall not be held under this Schedule earlier than seven years after the date of the previous poll."

    Onto your next point.

    "As I've said on here before you'd be far better off actually sitting down to negotiate a divorce agreement from the UK BEFORE another Scottish referendum"

    In your opinion would need to happen for the UK Government to enter into those kinds of negotiations though? What motivation would they have to entertain the idea of a divorce agreement before it's determined that a majority of Scots actually want independence?

    If I was the UK Prime Minister I would actually find it amusing if the SNP came to be and asked to negotiate an agreement on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom before a vote takes place. What would they have to gain from it?

    Point 1 - Northern Ireland

    I don't think there's enough detail there to comment properly, if I take it at face value, it does not mention any vote by Ireland to accept reunification, so if NI votes for it, and Ireland says No, then the answer is No.

    It seems rather odd to have no mandate to have any reunification vote in the first place (as I understand it that is at the discretion of Westminster to assess that there is enough support to have one in the first place) and then following having had one to be forced into an endless sting of then every 7 years thereafter without any test that the original test has been met again.

    I suspect there is more to it than you are telling me.

    Point 2 - Negotiation prior to another referendum

    There are several points here.

    (a) Simply "I wanna nother referendum" every 5 minutes hasn't and isn't going to work.

    (b) One of the reasons that you cannot get adequate support for independence because a lot of people simply don't believe what the SNP say on a variety of critical issues, like currency, borrowing, borders, trade barriers etc etc.

    (c) The constant "chip on both shoulders" approach of everything is somehow a slight on Scotland isn't fooling your own let alone encouraging anyone at Westminster to listen to you.

    (d) You can claim whatever you want prior to independence but you lot utterly ignore that to achieve independence not only requires a "Yes" vote but then would have to be negotiated by the Scottish government with Westminster, and if you think Westminster is just going to give you whatever you demand, you really are deluded.

    If you adopt a LONG TERM, strategic and co-operative approach, you might get more with constructive talks and you will have to prove to a significant number of the undecided what it actually means.

    Therefore if you negotiate a divorce deal before a referendum vote, you have something concrete to put to the people that may address their concerns or not, but at least you'd know what it looks like and have a concrete offer.

    Clearly the approach of "everything is a slight to Scotland" hasn't worked, and screaming at westminster hasn't worked and won't for a long time, so why not address both sides of your problem, actually what it would look like, and the fears of the 50% that don't believe your fantasy documents.

    And remember, the first time around it was all going to be based on oil and gas, and now its all gone green and wanting it all shut down, so the basis of the last referendum has now all but vanished.

    And equally the "saudi of wind"may apply to Hollywood, but if you can't export it, it not going to work, and as Scotland already claims to be near 100% renewables, its not brought untold wealth has it?

  30. Note to Abhain - it was the Smith Commission after the 2014 Referendum when the Britnats failed to deliver much on their promises in the Infamous Vow. The guy you are debating with is a F*****t. Pointless waste of energy.

    1. At least he can debate, which is more than you seem capable of, are you upset that your echo chamber has been invaded?

  31. I don't know of any crowdfund to fund Salmond's defence against the allegations, but there WAS a crowdfund for his judicial review case he brought AGAINST the Scottish Government (and rightly won). I gave £10 to that (one of the first 100 to give), as it was clear that the review had been badly compromised but not withdrawn, and Salmond was as entitled as anyone to fair and impartial Justice. That was without taking any view over the charges themselves - everyone is entitled to a fair system of justice. Or should be.

    It was for £50,000, and was very quickly closed when it got double. And some at least apart from me, took no view over his guilt or innocence, just thought that the whole thing was badly bungled by the ScotGov - a sad indictment of competence when it comes down to it.

  32. I don't understand why even Salmond said "once in a generation" that binds future generations. It's just a politician saying something, they're not the arbiter of democracy. Also he didn't win, did he? So how should a voter who didn't want independence in 2014 but does now post brevity gain democratic route?

    Every political party can put something in a manifesto and of enough voters agree it should happen. Anything else is goal post moving a pathetic.


    1. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 2:48 PM

      So, supposing the UK had narrowly voted to remain in the EU then you would support another referendum on leaving the EU how often after that?

      Or are you as I suspect, just pushing your narrative on what YOU want irrespective of a principled position on how frequently and on what subject so the people be allowed referendums on?

      I'd like one on net zero, what chance do you think I have of getting that?

      And if I was to get one and lose, how soon after should I be allowed to have another?

    2. Erm..

      Actually no my principle is the UKIP party or whoever wanted another brexit vote is entitled to ask for another one and if enough people vote for them then it should happen.

      I felt at the time that I was about the only person who thought Brexit must happen even though I personally disagreed with it.

      I think that's the problem nowadays. People change goalposts when their thing is unfer threat. They're willing to put up with poor behaviour in office (Johnson lying for example or Trump or even Salmond and Strugeons behavour at times, if we're being fair) because it's expedient for their "cause".

      The reality of the situation you describe is the main parties wouldnt put a brexit ref in their manifesto. And voters probably wouldn't vote in large numbers for it as they had just had the vote recently.

      But in principle, yes I think democracy should allow the path, yes.

      In reality, the SNP wouldn't put a ref in their manifesto after 2014 immediately. See 2015 manifesto. You have to respect the vote and fatigue of voters! But please...You can't pretend Brexit was not a huge change in circumstances, either in favour of it or not, and that's the catalyst the SNP considered for another ref. Even European newspaper leader columns were talking up another Scottish vote due to Scots voting against Brexit. To deny it wasn't a material change given the nature of the No campaign is simply not credible if you were active in Scotland at that time.

      If Brexit hadn't happened, I seriously question if another ref would still be on the policy agenda as a serious item. Really don't know.

    3. To add to the above, how soon? Well the People can answer that question themselves by giving a pro brexit ref party a majority? The People are not silly children.

      But if the main parties created legislation to facilitate a time bar on it, it would be less than the 38 years or whatever you are proposing.

      The ironic thing is.. London haven't proposed anything. They're putting a block on regardless of what people think. That's not on.

    4. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 4:01 PM.

      OK, its fair enough to say Brexit was a major change, but it also ignores the reality that a vote for independence in 2014 was a defacto vote to leave the EU with no certainty of any quick return.

      As you probably know, you need to negotiate 35 separate chapters to join the EU, and some countries have been waiting 15 years or more.

      The claim that you could leave the UK (the EU member) and simply rejoin the next day is for the birds.

      The EU would not allow any real accession talks until the could see the state of the divorce from the UK and what that meant for the Scottish finances under the stability and growth pact.

      You could debate this for days but my personal guess is that they would want to see Scotland run sustainable fiances and that would likely mean swinging austerity for years to demonstrate you could meet the criteria and also establish all the state requirements for accession.

      So you would have been voting to leave the EU for some time IMHO.

      As to frequency of any referendum, its very much a matter of debate, generally politicians HATE having them in case the public disagree with them, hence how it took 41 years to get brexit.

      Where i hope we could agree, is that referendums are useful on major issues and therefore we should set out a UK wide means of having referendums on major issues which have profound effects on everyone where there is little debate because its stifled by politicians who fear their agenda and penchant to sign up to stuff without consulting the public is a travesty in my opinion.

      So by all means lets set a UK wide means of finding a route to referendums on serious issues like

      1) NI, Scotland, Wales independence
      2) Brexit
      3) Net Zero and climate change
      4) Any others you want to add?

      But it also sets a frequency, or a means of setting frequency by say a number of super polls on agreed questions.

      And you'd also have to set who can vote in these UK wide by type of referendum, or national referendum.

      But I'll tell you this, that its highly unlikely that our current political class would agree to that, its too much like democracy from the people.

    5. Imagine if a whole load of French folk went onto Jerry's blog saying they shouldn't be allowed another brexit vote unless strasbourg allows it and next time, get this, england needs to ask for the terms first before a campaign because the world wont believe england can support an economy. What utter cobblers.

    6. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 4:06 PM

      I think i said once in a generation, which I would say is 25 years.

      Westminster are not blocking other that "you ask the question now, the answer is no" they haven't said what they would say next year, 5 years time, 15 years time, its an answer at the time of asking because they think, at the very least that they should be infrequent events (decades between so that there has been a sufficient change or potential change in the electorate)

      You can disagree with that, but i would think on the generic question of referendums, most would say they should be infrequent events on the same subject.

      Unless of course you want Swiss style democracy, which personally I favour, where you have referendums on lots of things
      and have several a year.

    7. Jerry

      Correct me if i'm wrong haha but I think you finally get it. Thank you.

      Yes we need mechanisms to work out when Scotland can have another vote which meets basic tenets of democratic choice of the Scottish people and allows the UK a say that it doesn't happen "every five minutes". As I genuinely do not believe enough Scots want it every five minutes for that to be an issue, we're onto a winner. Please do not underestimate how shattering the independence referendum was. People don't want it every five minutes. Huge numbers voted for anothet one despite this, that's how material brexit was.

      Sadly our London masters do not countenance this and have thus far failed to set the bar even after a majority of scottish people voted for parties promising a new vote. Would be great to have this pushed on London and support from all sides.

      PS the whole Scorland being in EU thing/Euro has been done to death. None of this is new to me and while I don't doubt there are challenges I sincerely believe if Bulgaria can gain entry, Scotland also would. Nothing is going to convince me Scotland once independent accorded with the UK wouldn't get in the EU, if it wanted.


    8. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 4:44 PM

      In case you didn't know, prior to the Lisbon treaty there was no article 50 so technically there was no agreed process for a country leaving the EU.

      Your problem is that unlike almost all international treaties (and that's what the act of union is) would put in a clause to allow withdrawal and the terms of that withdrawal.

      You didn't, don't blame Westminster, that's your negotiating failure.

    9. If 70% of Scots want independence it wouldn't matter. It would be unstoppable. You can't have a union kept together by courts alone. Any more than the EU would stop UK leaving in 1995 or before whatever this article is.


    10. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 5:00 PM


      I don't have a problem with democracy but "mandates" are more tricky.

      You say a majority voted to have another referendum, that's a stretch for several reasons.

      1) How many voted SNP or Green or Alba ONLY for another indy ref (and would not have done if told there would not be one in that parliament period)

      2) How many want independence AND want to join the EU?

      3) How many want independence AND DON'T want to join the EU?

      4) How many voted for SNP simply for Scottish governance and not a referendum or independence?

      5) How many voted green not for an independence referendum by green woke and climate change policies?

      You can't read across 50% voted for independence = 50% want independence. Granted most would have wanted that, but then if >50% wanted it you'd be consistently poling >50% Yes and you don't.

      Equally it may interest you to know that like Brexit people equated voting for a party = Brexit position, a large study about 3 months after the brexit vote were.

      80% Tories voted FOR Brexit
      35% Labour voted FOR Brexit
      25% of Limp Dims voted for Brexit
      2% of Brexit party voted AGAINST Brexit

      And here's the stinger for you

      30% of SNP voters voted FOR brexit.

      So reading across party vote to read support for a single position is often fallacy.

      However I do agree there needs to be more democracy but it has to be measured and fair right across the UK, you can't have

      "Scottish referendum every 5 years but a Brexit referendum only once in 50 years" because you want independence but don't want brexit.

      It has to be fair to all and not Gerrymandered, so if its 25 years, in 25 years time you get to call a referendum within that year irrespective of polling and if you lose that's it for another 25 years unless the rules are changed by UK super majority of say 67%

      Then everyone knows where the stand UK wide and it would stop the endless Brexit whinging for example.

    11. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 5:15 PM

      Then you have a choice, do it via a legally recognised means or not.

      Like the Catalans, if its not legal you risk arrest of the ring leaders and even if you were successful you'd be an international pariah, so good luck getting EU membership after that.

      Are you an international law supporter or not? If you are, then it must be done by internationally recognised means.

    12. Jerry,

      You say fair. You're the one that got brexit haha, assuming that's what you wanted. We're the ones that didn't get and aren't getting what we want and there is very little difference really in terms of the binary.

      There was no mandate for a brexit referendum in 2016 under your rules either, yet we got one. 50% for an independence referendum manifesto is much more of a mandate than what transpired to allow the brexit referendum. I don't recall pretty much an entire general election being fought under that premise to elect Cameron? That's so different to up here. The primary focus of the Scottish Parliament election was discussing the next referendum and the opposition screeching against it.

      I can honestly say I never had even a discussion about leaving the EU in earnest before 2016 in Scotland. It wasn't even an issue. Sure SNP voters and 32% of voters on a relatively low turnout voted or it when it was in front of us, but it wasn't a burning issue here. Two different countries.

      I agree there should be terms laid put but the idea you could have 60/65% in favour of independence and they need to wait 10 years doesn't really wash in reality. You could say a majority is being gerrybandered in that sense. 25 years is too long if there is a consisten majority for 10 years say.. doesn't make sense. But anyway the point is no terms are being offered. I do think that if SNP ever got 60% of the vote something would have to give because clearly a shift has occurred regardless of whatever 'rules" are in place. I don't think England knows what its like for a party to gain nearly 50% of the vote for a long time. It's obvious when a nation has changed.

      Honestly, I think we should have another brexit vote but it's not going to be offered because people don't want to talk about it. The lib dems staked their case on rejoining (the only party to do so) and we're pulverised..yet probably a majority if given a vote would elect to rejoin now? What does that show, it's complicated.

      SNP are going to lose seats yet latent independence support is actually strong and stronger down the age groups. Complicated.



    13. This debate has convinced me that the English won't understand the nuances of pro Independence supporters voting anything but SNP. It's like someone has just opened a book on this and learning it for the first time.

      Unfortunately in Scotland our people can't be bothered with the SNP any more yet many still want independence. Watch the media spin their losses down south without really "getting" whats going on.

      From the above it's like Jerry is offering us new information we've never heard of before. Never knew the EU ascension might be a bit tricky...its tricky for all candidates but they still end up there unless theyre turkey!. Different thing from not getting in though isn't. Christ we'd be in by now from 2014!

    14. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 6:36 PM


      Yes, I did vote for Brexit and while I haven't got everything I wanted from it, its still far better than being in the EU, so yes I'm happy with that.

      I think its a bit disingenuous to say there was no mandate for a brexit referendum when 52% voted for it. As far as I recall there was no polling on how many in the UK wanted a Brexit referendum but there is extensive historic polling on leaving the EU/EEC going back to the 70's and there were many occasions when it was well beyond 50%.

      Now it might not have been a debate in Scotland, but Scotland is only 5.45M out of 70M, so you shouldn't take your own opinion north of the border as representative of the UK as a whole.

      No, I didn't say you'd need 60-65% to have a referendum an referendum should be on the long established historic basis of 50%+1 of those voting.

      What i said was that you set the frequency of referendums by a referendums bill, and that would set the frequency of any referendum vote. That would then be set and would require a 67% super majority to change that frequency within the UK on the referendum rules.

      So if that bill says you can have a referendum on a frequency of one every 25 years then you get a vote again 25 years after the last one.

      Any such bill may include a double referendum, one to agree the issue in principle and then a confirmatory vote on the final negotiated settlement.

      So Scottish independence referendum frequency would be set say on a 25 year basis, if you vote in favour of leaving the UK that would trigger divorce negotiations, when that's concluded you get a confirmatory vote to accept those terms, and if you do you leave, if you reject it, its a null referendum, and you get another 25 years later.

      As to another Brexit referendum there is a clear MSM campaign to tel everyone brexit is terrible, believe me its not, if you go direct to the ONS trade data you'll find that goods exports in CVM terms (Which corrects for inflation) are near identical to pre brexit (at most down 3%) but services exports are up nearly 12%

      But of course you won't hear that from the Brexit biased MSM.

      Equally if you want to have another vote on Brexit I'm happy with that because the truth then will come out like

      1) We would be forced to sign up to the Euro which has never had majority support in the UK

      2) We wouldn't get any rebate which was 6.5bn when we left and that would mean the UK would have to pay today about 20bn into the EU (Circa about 3.5p on base rate tax)

      3) We'd be forced into Schengen and therefore would be unable to stop migrant flows across the channel which would lead to an absolute flood of migrants

      4) All UK veto's would be gone

      There's a huge range of other issues this would raise over EU direction on banking unions, a raft of EU legislation we have dodged forced on us.

      Basically I think if it was looked at again and what rejoining would mean, the polls would quickly flip back to staying out in much the same way if there was a proper referendum debate on Net Zero and laid out the costs to people you'd rapidly find people would turn against it (as has been witnessed in Germany and other EU countries like Holland)


    15. (continued)

      Yes the SNP look set to lose seats while support for Indy is as it has been just shy of 50%, and that's why I posed the conundrum question yesterday, do you vote for the SNP as the only vehicle for Indy even though their record is terrible on indy and the running of the country, or vote for a better run country, but lose any serious vehicle for Indy?

      That's the problem you have, and I said that 18 months ago when sturgeon resigned, what the biggest pull, competent governance of Scotland or Indy.

      But the cold fact remains, that close as you are to a majority for independence there is no sustained clear majority for it, and I suspect that if you had another referendum tomorrow I think you'd lose again, and then how long before you'd be caling for another?

      My guess is the SNP would be calling for another one within 12 months on some imagined manufactured slight.

      So it would end up being a circus again even after another referendum.

    16. Anonymous May 26, 2024 at 7:06 PM

      My understanding of the conundrum of Scots Nats is this, correct me if I'm wrong

      Do you vote for the SNP as the only serious vehicle for independence, even though you know at the bottom of you that if you vote for the SNP all the power on an indyref resides at Westminster and there is zero prospect you'll get another referendum any time soon?

      And in so doing, if you think what the SNP is doing in government is terrible, which means you keep suffering, do you vote for another party which may run Scotland better, knowing that means that you are accepting independence is going to happen any time soon?

      That's the conundrum I see.

    17. Abhainn

      Okay, the super majority thing I suppose could be enacted if it was obvious Scots wanted to leave after less than 25 years. I see what you mean. And any obvious delay would be seen for what it is. I think a confirmatory vote didn't happen with brexit and prob won't happen with independence either but leave that for another day.

      Sorry Jerry but i think it's you that has missed the point re mandate for a referendum. Our entire discussion is focused on the mechanism to call a referendum in the first place. I'm not really discussing the pros and cons of brexit/indy. What I said was the brexit referendum happened despite having less of a mandate than the call for an independence referendum. The UK election prior was not dominated with it as an issue in the way independence was up here in the SP election with those calling against a vote losing.

      Yes I agree, I don't think it is representative of the UK as a whole. Quite the opposite and that's why I support independence. Whatever the rights and wrongs of brexit, it literally was not even a kitchen table discussion point in Scotland. We're different countries in that sense, after 2014 the brexit vote to many was seen as an English side show.


  33. Abhainn - On Brexit I think we are going to have to disagree, firstly there was no polling directly on how many wanted a Brexit referendum, there was only polling on "Do you want to leave or stay in" and that showed that slightly less than 50% wanted to leave BUT.

    Polls are massaged on "likelihood to vote" and what the pollsters missed was that there were a lot of people (about 5% of the Brexit vote) who normally don't vote because they see Lab/Tory as two cheeks of the same backside, and once they had a vote where they could make a difference they came out to vote.

    So the polling was wrong.

    Equally, the fact that 52% DID vote to leave demonstrates there was a mandate for a referendum as was the record turnout of over 72%

    So on that we'll have to disagree.

    You are going to have to have some rules, for example, back to brexit, if you have >50% in polling want to leave the EU for 6 months mean we have to have a leave referendum every time that happens?

    Because if that was the case, you'd have probably had at least 5 Brexit referendums already.

    Then that's a loaded referendum, because it means you'd only call a brexit referendum when leave was likely to win wouldn't you? Is that fair?

    And then leaving the EU is a big process, as is joining it, so if you are going to have referendums every time the polling swings one way, we are going to be IN/OUT every 5 mins, and then that will become self defeating because the EU won't want that so it will YOU ARE OUT, come back to us when you can demonstrate at least a two thirds majority otherwise we won't even entertain accession talks.

    So even if you have a majority at any one time, you are DEFACTO loading the timing of referendums in favour of Indy which isn't fair to Unionists.

    So the fairest thing is a set time period between referendums irrespective of the short term polling.

    1. "So the fairest thing is a set time period between referendums irrespective of the short term polling"

      Like the 7 years in the The Northern Ireland Act 1998?

      That seems like a good precedent on a reasonable length of time between referendums on constitutional change on these Isles.

    2. If you look up the Northern Ireland act 1998 it actually says that a vote can NOT be held within 7 years of a preceding one, there is NO upper limit, so no, that's not a metric.

      And of course if you can have a Independence vote every 7 years, then we can have a brexit vote every 7 years, in which case we'd have left a long time ago.

      So we are back to what you really want is to repeatedly gerrymander a vote as often as possible in the hope that the more times you try you may get lucky.

      And after a vote to leave, would you be offering Scottish voters a vote every 7 years thereafter to reverse it?

      I suspect you wouldn't.

    3. Jerry,

      I do not dispute whether there was or there wasn't a feeling for a brexit vote. What I am saying is that we are talking about the mechanisms which allow a vote to take place. We're in the realms of what constitutes a mandate. Whilst not disagreeing, the actual result of the vote itself, perhaps showed there was a mandate, I am saying a brexit referendum was put forward with much less of a mandate from the parties than the one being sought now for an independence referendum.

      What I am saying is that in the Scottish Parliament election it was the central and over-riding issue spoken about by the opposition and the pro-independence groups. Nobody went into that election under any other illusion and the pro-independenece referendum won a majority of seats and votes. I do not even NECESSARILY say this is a cast iron mandate for another vote. What I am saying is, the brexit vote was put forward with much less of a mandate than this. It wasn't a serious discussion point at the election in the way the independence vote was in Scotland.

      Do you see what I am trying to say, here?

      You're deducing there was a mandate for a brexit vote because the result of the vote was a victory for leave. That's fine, maybe there was a mandate. But the issue here is we are being asked to show the mandate before the referendum has taken place but in your Brexit shoes you can do it AFTER. Do you see the constridiction?

      I do not even necessarily want a vote right now, or even in the next five years. All I am saying is there must be a democratic route for it to happen if Scottish people want it to happen. It cannot rest solely in the hands of probably an English MP in Downing St. Of course there has to be a negotiation but if people demonstrate they want something in an election, it should happen.

      And that should happen for things I don't necessarily agree with... like Brexit, or rejoing the UK or whatever. It's not my ball to take home. It's for the people collectively to be given the decision to decide. A pro-UK party would absolutely be allowed to campaign for this in an independent Scotland. I would have no issue with this. That is democracy. Just are the SNP to put forward independence as an option. The people WILL NOT vote for a referendum every 5 years regardless of what SNP or whatever the losing party is. The electorate are not stupid, they know and neither want a vote every political cycle.

      I would actually prefer the timing of these votes was upto the electorate but if you're stipulating 7 years for another brexit vote (if they'd lost) that's fine and dandy by me. I don't think the people would vote for constant referendums because I don't think they are masochists. But really if it takes a binding yearly stipulation then that's fine be me. That is not the current situation though. London are saying No regardless and haven't offered any alternative democratic route regardless of how Scots vote. If they even said, we want SNP to gain a majority of seats in UK and SCottish Parliament or something, I could live with that. Or even the timing thing you propose... The point is they have offered nothing.

      This is a completely separate point to whether there is or is not a mandate now. The point is something has to be a mandate.

      How would you like it if Brexit lost and you were told after 50% of voters voted for another Brexit vote as the main political issue of an election and you were told by Paris you're not allowed one. And Paris refuse to even say what constitutes when you can have one?


    4. Jerry

      Just to add, your polling point is very apt. We shouldn't be conducting business by polling. There are those saying we should only have another referendum when independence is always polling a majority. We don't settle political issue by polling which is fraught with error. We do it by elections and manifestos and that's how it should be.


    5. Abhainn


      "I am saying a brexit referendum was put forward with much less of a mandate from the parties than the one being sought now for an independence referendum."

      I think you have things in a bit of a twist.

      On Brexit the politicians were DESPERATE to avoid a Brexit referendum, they all supported the EU, the people didn't, and we couldn't get it on the ballot for love nor money, it was a stitch up for decades.

      If it was not for Farage it likely would never have happened, but the clues were there, when we were freed from the need to vote Tory or Labour to stop the other, in things like local elections and particularly for Europe, UKIP or the Brexit party won hands down.

      The only reason that we got the referendum was because the UKIP vote was eventually bleeding the Tories dry and they risked losing a majority to UKIP/Brexit.

      Brexit was a case of "The people wanted it, the politicians really didn't" and Cameron only offered it for one reason, he was convinced he'd win it, and then it would be off the agenda for another 40 years, his back benchers would have to shut up and so would Farage.

      He didn't understand what was happening outside the M25 (like all of them)

      In Scotland its different, it has political support from politicians in power but not the power to call it.

      On the question of mandate again its very complicated. You say there was no "mandate" for Brexit, that was because no one asked if there was one, other than occasional poling which asked if we should leave or not, and several times that was quite high and rarely dropped below 40%

      So if you say 50%+ is a mandate, then several times the polling showed there was a mandate and regularly EU elections showed a mandate when we had PR elections.

      At Westminster you can't show a mandate for a single issue, Hollyrood does allow that with a PR system.

      So there was every much a mandate for Brexit at times as there has been for independence in Scotland, arguably more because we actually proved it at a referendum.

      The way you want to hod referendums is like Terrorism, you can carry out a terror plot 50 times, you only need to get lucky once.

      So if there was 20 years polling with no majority for independence and then at one election you get a sudden majority, you think that's a mandate, but if you don't get one and it goes back to 40% for the next 20 years that's a blip, not a sustained proof that Scotland consistently wants independence.

      So via your "Terror" method you'd get independence on a blip in support at one time, that's not fair to unionists who were in the majority 95% of the time with no way to reverse it when enacted.

      So if you want to do it on a "majority" you'd have to show a long sustained majority and you have never done that.

      So to avoid this "terror" form of achieving the goal it must be dome in a fair way to BOTH SIDES, not gerrymandered by a sudden short term majority.

      So i'd say there's only two FAIR solutions

      1) You demonstrate a CLEAR SUSTAINED MAJORITY over a number of years to get a referendum OR

      2) You hold them periodically at set periods irrespective of the polling, say every 25 years.

      You have NOT cleared the bar for the first criteria and therefore repeated referendums on short term claimed majorities from votes on MANIFESTO or running the county that does NOT prove that the reason everyone claimed voted for you for a single issue.

      To prove a majority for a single issue, you must poll on a single issue, and an election is not a poll on a single issue.

      So your claimed majority can be challenged.

    6. Jerry

      1) You demonstrate a CLEAR SUSTAINED MAJORITY over a number of years to get a referendum

      Fine by me, can you get London to state that so we can move on?

      Currently it's a straight NO when the parties proposing it received a larger share of the vote than any party requesting a Brexit vote.

      I don't want independence if there is no sustained majority for it. I can't say this clearer. I'm saying there no path is being offered to allow it to happen, from London, if the sustained majority is clear.


    7. Jerry,

      Terror? Come on. That's ridiculous. You're talking about an independence movement that hasn't spilled a drop of blood in 300 years. Unlike some others. I think that's a bit much.

      There was never a majority for a Brexit vote demonstrated before the vote happened. Yet you insist on it for independence. How can you not see the contradiction? By the way, I am happy enough for a majority to demonstrated in votes at an election in Scotland. That's fine by me.

    8. Why is it the 52/48 Brexit vote is not to be considered a blip but if independence for Scotland receives it, it's to be considered a blip?

      Must have forgotten all those elections where brexit was shown as the consistent majority.

      Almost like one rule for you, one rule for me.

      Neither of these should be subject to 20 years of support. A vote isn't a blip, it's a democratic choice. It's not terrorism for goodness sake. What a nonsense.

  34. Is there going to be a blog post about the poll by 'More In Common' (not just a subsample) showing Labour on 35% and the SNP at 30%?

  35. Jerry,

    Also to say I am not in the business of gerrymandering so Scotland can be independent. I only want independence is our people want it. I don't want hoodwink anybody.

    I don't think it's even possible for that to happen. The only way Scotland will have another referendum is if people obviously wish to have one by voting for parties who want one. The only way Scotland will be independent is if people vote for it. No gerrymandering here or wanted. Far from it. It's not desirable in the slightest.

    I would hate to live in an independent Scotland where half the country love it and half hate it. Loser's consent has to be factored in. But I genuinely do not believe that if we get to that point, many would want to go back. It didn't happen in Ireland or any of the other countries round about, Norway, or even Slovakia/Czech republics. Once something like that happens, it seems to tend to stay that way.

    By the way, Slovaks and Czech didn't even really want independence at all yet they got it without a vote! I dont think it should be forgotten Scotland is part of a hugely important and powerful state for a few centuries. The very fact a substantial abount of people here still desire independence despite having next to know powerful media and a business class, engineered from London, who revile at the idea actually shows how strong the national identity is. Just as strong as many other european countries. We probably just missed the boat pre-WW1 or we would have likely been like Canada or Australia. The national identity has never really been in doubt and the rest of the UK, I think still understand that.

    Going on a tangent there. My overriding feeling is Scotland is clearly a nation with a polity but we have disagreement about how it should be set up. The fact we have devolution wasn't done out of niceties, it was done because the UK is unique and made up of different countries. But if the union is a union, you have to accept the smaller countries are not treated like a region of England. It is what is it, not a fantasy for either extremes on the unionist or nationalist scales.

    A bit of respect and democracy is all people ask for. Gerrymandering so majorities are not listened to, isn't a way to proceed.


    1. typos there but you get the point. Anyway, nice to actually debate someone from outside. I genuinely could not grasp what the opposite view was. I now sense it's a fear we'll want a vote all the time. I can confidently say this is not the case, we just want to be told what the democratic route actually is if Scottish people want independence like neighbouring countries, warts and all.


    2. Abhainn

      I think my previous post covers this, you are gerrymandering independence if you claim an election as a mandate.

      1. Its a blip at a particular time, and even on the odd occasion its been achieved marginally, its later been lost, its not a sustained clear majority, it is a clear sustained large minority granted but not a sustained majority - aka "The settled will"

      2. You cannot claim elections for reasons previously stated they are polling on a number of manifesto issues, there could be people who like particular policies but not independence, there could be people who want independence but don't want to join the EU, they could be voting for you as "The least worst option" for running the country not for independence, Green voters may be voting on green issues.

      So you cannot claim 50%+1 of SNP, Alba and Greens as 50%+1 for independence, and even if it was the case its NOT sustained, how many elections have there been an SNP+Alba+Green vote majority?

      Equally, like brexit there are people that don't vote on national politics who are 30%+ who, when it came to brexit DID turn out and turned out FOR Brexit because their vote was going to matter but would not have turned out in a GE to "prove a mandate".

      So elections, unless you are WELL PAST 50%, I'd say AT LEAST 55% and probably 60% would be required to eliminate all the votes that you got for reasons other than another referendum or independence.

      And since you have not managed to show that SUSTAINED support you are in effect trying to gerrymander another referendum on a short term blip in support that history of polling shows has NEVER been sustained.

    3. Jerry,

      What the hell else are we supposed to use to gain a mandate? Short straws?

      The union was a minority in 2020-22 in polling? Should we call that a blip?

      Okay thanks so you have got to the nub of the point. Basically we can have a vote when pro-indy parties receive 55% or more? Is that now your position? At least it's something to use.

      To be clear, the union neither has a sustained majority. It regularly polls below 50% of the electorate. We're talking about a divided country here.


    4. Jerry,

      Just so I'm clear though, the union parties, that contain pro-indepenence votes as well. Do they have to get 55% too to clear out the pro-independence support in their ranks? Or do all their votes get to count towards the union? Just so we're clear on what mandering of gerry we need to do, to interpret the results in the way we want.



    5. By the way, I'd be pretty much happy to say we need to have polling at 55% for two UK elections to call another vote. You're pushing at an open door here.

      I want independence when Scots want it, not a blip.

      I think if there was a goal like that to target, it's actually quite likely we'd get there given the demographic. The issue the independence cause has is there is currently no path or target. It means people get bored of voting SNP on every day policies in a blackmail for something which has no obvious route forward. It's death by apathy. If we had to achieve 55-60% in two succeeding election or something, I actually think that's quite achievable. And if it's not, we won't be independent.. and that's fine.. as we shouldn't be independent unless people want it.


    6. Abhainn - Personally if you are going to use elections you need to be past at least 55% to claim a majority and 60% to be safe in that call.

      And it has to be sustained in that number.(couple of years??)

      What I see from the polling is more polls with a NO majority than a YES majority, so I'd say its still on balance a NO vote.

      So I'd say you don't have a majority and certainly not a sustained majority and certainly not an impeachable majority on what you are claiming from elections.

      Perhaps one method is large scale state sponsored polling at regular intervals on the question which I would think is legal as its seeking an opinion, not a direct right to hold a legal referendum.

      That way you may be able to demonstrate a sustained majority on the issue alone.

      But I think your real problem lies in too many "don't know what it means in practice", I'm sure i seen some polling a while back that out of the pro indy vote about 40% did NOT want to rejoin the EU, so would they vote for Indy if the agenda was to take them back into the EU?

      Equally would the pro EU pro Indy vote still vote for indy if Scotland was NOT going to join the EU?

      What is the position of the pro indy vote if you were told by the EU that they would not have you in the EU?

      What if the EU told you the criteria to join would mean years of swinging austerity to meet the criteria?

      The problem as I have laid it out before is CLEARLY identify what it means, have negotiations with the UK government and the EU and clear these issues up may well clarify the position and give those that might like indy IF THEY KNEW WHAT IT REALLY MEANT a clear indication on something more concrete.

      Because on your current methodology, I think you have hit a ceiling and you are getting angry banging your head against it.

    7. Anonymous May 27, 2024 at 3:12 PM

      Abhainn - generally I'd agree with that, but I think your problem runs deeper that just making that bar because in a referendum you'd still have to answer key questions that the SNP are simply unable to answer on a range of critical issues and some of the questions on support depending on a number of issues over EU membership and its criteria as well as domestic issues and currency.

      Don't make the mistake that Labour does in England the old

      "Younger voters vote Labour and when all the old people die off there will be a forever Labour majority"

      Old people have been dying all my life and still 75% of the time we have Tory governments, because, guess what, when you have a job and a family to support and indy is potentially going to tip their lives upside down, they change position.

      So if you are relying on demographics, i think you'll be disappointed, and as the world gets less and less certain, i think you'll find indy support declining rather than increasing, I may be wrong but that's my guess.

      Equally many forget that for Brexit the largest vote was the over 60's, that was the generation 40 years ago that voted in favour of staying in the EU with 67%.

      So people change with experience.

    8. Jerry

      So I'd say you don't have a majority and certainly not a sustained majority and certainly not an impeachable majority on what you are claiming from elections.

      I am not claiming any of this. Please tell me where I have? My entire point is to demonstrate to you, for the fifth time, London have not offered ANY MECHANISM at all to provide a democratic path. Not even you're 55-60% one.

      That's not right is it?

      If the path was laid out. Like in NI, we'd have a fair game. You're calling people terrorists when there is literally no democratic mechanism being offered. It's one side that's gerrymandering here and it's not the independence side at this juncture. Nobody serious is requesting an independence referendum right now, even the SNP. If you were in Scotland you would know that. What people are saying is, there should be a path laid out to how it can be achieved if people desire it.

      You're looking for battles from me which aren't there.

      Your additional questions are relevant to indpendence when it's desired by the people and they will make their views known on these subjects as a sovereign people. That's how it should work.

      How many of the leavers vote thought we were getting 350m a week extra for the NHS or thought we were staying in the customs union or all manner of other things? Anyone can play that game, Jerry. You keep the question simple and let a campaign play out it's arguments and you enact the will of the people. I don't fear that in any circumstance. It is what it is.

      I'm not angry in the slightest. I know Scotland isn't ready to take the step. I'm annoyed no democratic path has been created to allow a democratic process to take place in a democracy. That's not right. I don't feel vanquished by it, I don't think it's winning any arguments. It's just an unfair way to proceed and shouldn't be. I can sense London believes it can hold out at the moment as the mandate isn't unempeachable but if it ever does go that way, I suspect in 10 years or so, following a second SNP wind, then something will move.

      I'm a democrat, I only want what people decide here. It's not going away as an issue even when the SNP lose seats at this election, everyone in Scotland knows it's not due to a lessening of independence support.



    9. Jerry

      Just to be clear, I'm not making the Labour mistake re demographic. Scotland changed and changed utterly in 2014. Prior to this only the absolute youngest people were heavily in favour of independence. It's now the middle management types, professional class of 30-45 year olds who are heavily in favour. i.e. the youth of 2014 are in good jobs and positions of power. It filters down. Those people were on the fence/leaning No ten years ago. They aren't now.

      So, despite the SNP's difficulties, there is ticking time bomb. I did see an interesting article by a Labour type who is looking further ahead than their nose and they sense it as well. I think from a unionist perspective, they should actively try to stamp it out now as if it's just an ordinary, run of the mill Labour government who forget about Scotland's latent independence support, it will come to bit in the next cycle.

      This is obviously a fools errand looking into the future but there is a bigger story at play here that I don't think people will automatically get down south.


    10. Jerry

      You've just said polling doesn't work now you're asking for polling. Come on.

      Obviously what needs to happen is allow parties to put things in their manifesto and then allow the people to vote for it. All the people. And if on a major consititutional change, one party out of the 10 or whoever is running gains 55% of the vote (larger than anything ever done in the UK for generations) then the obvious has been achieved.

      Every couple of years it needs to be sustained, im not sure that works but i've said I would be happy if the pro-independence parties had to demonstrate 55% in two elections for it to proceed.

      I would say though that if you have 54% in two elections, clearly something is happening in that country when a majority. That couldn't just be blythly dismissed as nothing. That would be ignoring a majority too but happy to agree you're proposal. At least it's something. At the moment we're in a bind where no target is there at all.


    11. Anonymous May 27, 2024 at 3:43 PM

      Abhainn - OK, I'll take you word for it BUT since 2014 where you got 45% you have at best moved to lets say an average 49% so up 4% on 10 years of older people dying off.

      I haven't checked what the older demos is, but i suspect most of those would be no voters and therefore if you were right the polling should be ticking up a little each year, but to me it looks like its stalled at about 49%.

      So we'll have to wait and see who's right.

      Probably a bit like Brexit, in 2016 things were pretty stable, and an issue like Brexit to most people think they can handle a bit of political turbulence.

      Move on to a cost of living crisis, world moving to war and much bigger fish to fry on public services and other issues and I wonder how many when "push comes to shove" would actually vote for more upheaval, you'd know better than me.

      Where i think we agree is everyone is underwhealmed by the prospect of Der Sturmer Labour party and like you i think they'll crash and burn to be the most unpopular government ever within 2 years.

      So yes, I think you might be right, there might be a big swing back to the SNP by 2030, the caveat on that is the SNP's record in government in Scotland, it really has to stop blaming the weather on Westminster

    12. Yes, I think there is a demographic change which is seeing a small but slow uptick towards an independence supporting population. I think you can see it in the polling. Yes in 2014 never really got about 51%. You could see that it got up to 56-57 and one point, it's clearly moved about 5% towards yes. Even if your being unbiased and just speaking to people it's sort of obvious there is a fifty fifty split but it edges Yes in the 30-45 age bracket. I think this is generally more to do with older people dying off and a different managerial class emerging than anything to do with a campaign.

      It has stalled due to lots of things, the cost of living, war and an inability of the SNP to force another vote. And maybe they shouldn't be able to off the back of the mandate. I don't think even independence supporters particularly relish another vote right now. It's not really on the horizon. I belive the thinking Scot is really looking to the next ten years. This bodes a lot more positively due to the underlying conditions of independence supporting Scots who are scunnered (at the moment) with the SNP. But it depends on the SNP (or a new party) being able to maintain some enthusiasm that it's a reality. I think this is the main reason for London not putting forward the democratic path. It's an attempt to stall the organic growth through apathy. It actually may work. If I was them, I would keep silent on it too. As soon as you give the reasonable target, which is probably a clear majority of votes in favour at an election (or two), then the campaign sets alight. London are not under any pressure right now to do that so it's in their interest. The thing is though you only have to be here and talk about it to hear Scots say "im pro independence but not voting SNP" to see the support is still there and actually quite solid (and slowly growing).


  36. Jerry,

    I've just checked.

    European election 2014

    Brexit/UKIP received 16% of the vote.
    Tories received 27%

    Brexit/UKIP 30% of the vote.

    This was the earthquake..

    Guess what the SNP received

    50% of the vote , by themselves in 2015.

    They've rarely had less than 40%

    So it's a mandate when Brexit parties gain substantially less than the SNP?

    I don't think any political party in England has ever received support like the SNP has. And if they have it's deemed a huge mandate for whatever they want to do. Yet because it's the SNP, it's to be swept away.

    Please get it, I don't say there wasn't a mandate for a brexit vote. But it happened purely on the basis of a seats in parliament, whereas independence referendum is being called on a higher share of the vote than Brexit ever was. I still could disagree that it's a mandate but it's clearly a higher one than Brexit received to move forward to the 2016 referendum in the first place. What happens in the actual vote is a separate thing. I'm talking about the mandates to call it.



      by the way, look at the map on this. Clearly different countries.

    2. Abhainn - I'll take your figures at face value, yes the brexit vote through EU elections were lower but then the vast majority of voters don't turn out at EU elections and I suspect that if most Brexiteers had though that turning out in those EU elections would have got a referendum they may well have turned out in higher numbers.

      However those actually votes don't reflect the regular polling where a leave vote was regularly over 40% as I said previously.

      I think the majority in England, like myself couldn't see a way to get a referendum when all three major parties were pro EU and therefore it was near impossible to get a brexit MP in there let alone a sizeable minority or even a majority.

      Agreed there's more PASSIONATE support for indy in Scotland, possibly slightly more regular support (bigger minority over time) but like Brexiteers, you'd need more support where it counts in westminster.

      Now politics is a very dirty game, I'm sick of the hand wringing over Boris Johnson who on balance was more honest than most.

      The key element is

      Labour - they struggle for a majority in England so need Scotland, lose Scotland permanently and Labour's chances in England get a LOT harder.

      Tories - they want the SNP up and angry and winning seats, why? because it means Labour can't and therefore an angry SNP is ideal because it removes the 50+ seats from Labour and keeps the Tories in power.

      So there is no incentive for either major party to help you.

    3. Independence is regularly well above 40% and indeed sometime a majority. When Sturgeon called for a defacto vote, there had been 15 polls in a row showing an outright majority. Did you know that?

      Labour may need Scotland. But that's not a selfish reason to deny a people their nationhood if they actually desire it.


    4. The issue I have is the Tories don't need Scotland, and frankly, neither does Labour. Scotland aren't going to vote a Tory government in whether it's SNP MPs or Labour MPs so the net result is zero.

      And it also means the English parties do not need to appeal to Scotland. It's just a tool for their own ends. I don't think this is good for Scotland or the UK. I don't think we are able to talk about the real things that matter because our votes don't decide anything.

      I think it would be much better if we had a decent relationship with England and Wales, like Ireland does. Let each side get on and debate real issues that matter. At least we get that in the Scottish Parliament election, where I may vote someone other than SNP to keep them honest.


    5. 3:54 PM Abhainn

      I know there have been long runs of polls >50% but often not much past that, i think there was a run after brexit when it hit about 58% for a short while but its never been well above 50% (55%+) for any extended period.

      I'm afraid lofty goals and political reality seldom collide, Labour will look at it for its interests, your best bet is ironically the Tories, but the day may come where.

      1. They need the SNP to get a majority.
      2. They want to remove the potential of those 50 seats from Labour.

      That ironically might be your best chance

    6. 3:58 PM Abhainn

      You have to see this through your opponents eyes.

      And Labour do think they can win those seats back and most of the commentary after the last election was that Labour had to win Scotland back to have any chance of even a coalition government, so they really don't see it the way you do.

      Equally the Tory press have never said it, but a strong SNP in Scotland is to their advantage because if you can't win in Scotland the best result as a back up is to deprive your opponents of those seats and a strong SNP does that.

      So you are really battling a very difficult landscape with little political incentive from any party in England to give you anything

    7. The commentary doesn't stop the fact Scotland votes 85% non Tory and any party, either SNP or Labour aren't going to vote them in. Therefore, commentary is about defeating the SNP, not really about how important those seats are to the overall numbers.

    8. It's upto the Scottish people. If we had a majority which was obvious and unassailable reality would have to kick in. Doesn't really matter who is in power in England. I agree we can't moan when it's not obvious and unassailable but if it ever does happen, things change.

    9. jerry says

      "I know there have been long runs of polls >50% but often not much past that, i think there was a run after brexit when it hit about 58% for a short while but its never been well above 50% (55%+) for any extended period."

      When did Brexit polling show anything similar over an extended period? Never and yet we have it.

  37. Abhainn - as a postscript if you asked most Tory voters in England if they would support making Scotland independent I think you'd find a super majority, they think it would be a disaster for Scotland and it would save the UK £2500 per head subsidy or about 13.6bn to be spent in England.

    So your best bet is to work on the Tories grass roots, they'd be more than happy to oblige you.

    1. This idea we're subsidised was done to death and dismissed during the last referendum. If Scotland are subsidised, so is England. Nobody's running a surplus apart from London.

      It's absolutely deliriously hilarious that there are some folk in the Midlands thinking they are subsidising those Jocks. Scotland is the third richest part of the UK after London, the SE and the East. It's proportionally subsidising other areas too. If it gets more it's because it contributes more, just like London does.

      Fraser for Allander institute and IFS both showed that for decades Scotland wasn't just proportionally better off but actually ran a surplus. It's only recently since 2014 the proportion has been reversed but it would take a long time to even out the subsidy (if you want to call it that) which went to London treasury during the boom years.



    This is an unbiased report and shows GDP was higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK. Although there are caveats, it does put paid to this mad notion that the third richest part of the UK is somehow this subsidy junkie. It's a complicated picture but I really do find it funny whenever you hear folk from Burnley lording it over the country that is far richer, thinking they are somehow giving us charity. It's like they genuinely think we're a basket case. The reality is neither are basket cases and one is proportionally better off and a more rural place to provide services, therefore needs more money.

    We'd be better off if we could eschew the North East, South west and Midlands. Then we'd be in a richer position.



      updated in 2021 has Scotland third on GDP per capita.

      It's only London, a total outlier and sneered at by Jerry, that keeps England above water. Scotland outperforms 9 of the 11 other nations and regions and by a distance.

      But brummie barry thinks he's paying for the Scots.... :) Give me a break. This topic is like nostaliga you get from reading newspapers 20 years ago when the level of debate was low detail.