Survation have a new Scottish referendum poll in tomorrow’s Daily Mail. Topline figures are YES 42%(+5), NO 48%(-2), Don’t knows 11%(-2) (excluding don’t knows it is YES 47%, up 4). This is the first poll since the second Salmond-Darling debate, and on the face of it shows a significant movement to yes since before the debate.

Remember, however, that the previous Survation poll showed a sharp movement to NO. Putting that one aside, this poll is actually very similar to Survation’s longer term trend – their polls in June, July and at the start of August all had YES on 47%, before a sharp drop to 43% in their poll following the first debate. There are two ways you can interpret that – one is that Scottish opinion swung towards NO following the first debate that Darling was deemed to have “won”, and swung back following the second debate that Salmond “won”. The alternative explantion is that the previous Survation poll was just a bit of an outlier and nothing has really changed at all. Anyway, no doubt we will have some more post-debate polls along soon – tabs for the Survation poll are already up here, polls so far are here.


This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%.

All very normal, but worth noting a slight update in methodology. As regular readers will know, YouGov’s political weighting is based on panelists recorded party identification in May 2010, meaning they don’t have to worry about changes in party ID over time – they weight people’s 2010 ID to 2010 targets. However, over the years new people join the panel, so the target weights need to adapt to this and reflect to some proportion that Lib Dem ID has fallen and UKIP ID has grown – hence once a year YouGov update the weights to reflect this. The changes this year decrease the target weight for Lib Dem ID and increase the target for Other (primarily UKIP) ID.

The end result is that the new weights tend to show UKIP 1 point higher, the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems very slightly lower (less than a percentage point in all cases).


The snap ICM poll following the second Salmond-v-Darling debate shows a convincing win for Alex Salmond. 26% think Darling won the debate, 65% think Salmond did, 9% didn’t know. Tabs are here.

In the ICM poll following the first debate last month the large majority of existing YES voters thought Salmond won, the large majority of existing NO voters thought Darling won, don’t knows were pretty evenly split – hence a Darling victory. In second debate poll existing YES voters almost all thought Salmond won, only a bare majority of NO voters thought Darling did, the small number of don’t knows favoured Salmond – hence the Salmond victory.

Will it have any impact on voting intentions? Well, that’s a different question. Amongst the respondents in the survey there was no difference in the NO lead before the debate and the NO lead afterwards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much. Remember that the instant verdict poll gave the first debate to Alistair Darling, yet of the four polls since the first debate only one showed significant movement toward NO, two showed modest movement toward YES, one showed significant movement toward YES. Instant reaction debate polls do their job of crowning a debate victor… but they don’t necessarily do a good job of predicting the impact.


I’ll be back blogging properly after the weekend, but for now here is the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%.

There is now clearly more support than opposition for the RAF taking part in air strikes against Islamic State/ISIS – 45% support Britsish air strikes, 31% are opposed. There is a pretty even split over supplying arms to Kurdish forces, 37% support the the idea, 39% are opposed.


The monthly ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror is out tonight. Topline figures with changes from their previous online poll are CON 32%(+1), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 18%(+1): no significant change from a month ago.

ComRes also did a batch of favourable or unfavourable questions. As usual no one actually got a positive rating – the least unfavourable was David Cameron (minus 18), followed by Nigel Farage (minus 21), Ed Miliband (minus 34) and Nick Clegg (minus 43). For the political parties the Conservatives and Labour were both on minus 16, UKIP were on minus 19, the Liberal Democrats on minus 40.

Having the Conservative party and Labour party viewed equally unfavourably is unusual. Whatever the ups and downs of day-to-day politics, the Labour party is normally seen more positively than the Conservative people (people see Labour as having it’s heart in the right place in a way the Tory party doesn’t). As ever, it’s just one poll so unless other polls start showing the same I wouldn’t get too excited.