Long after I should have, I have finally got round to collecting up polling for the Scottish Independence Referendum next year on its own page here (though I’ve put the polls as they stand in this post too). This should include all the polls so far that have asked the referendum question since it was set last year (both before and after the Electoral Commission tweaked it!).

As you can see, there isn’t actually any obvious trend in the polling, each company’s figures seem to be roughly steady. The main variation there is actually between Panelbase, who do regular polling for the Sunday Times, and the polling done by Ipsos MORI, TNS BMRB and other companies, with Panelbase tending to show a much tighter race than the others. One can only speculate what the reasons might be. Panelbase take the slightly strange decision of only including people certain to vote in a Scottish Parliament election in their samples for referendum voting intention, which could have an impact. There could also be a mode effect – Panelbase use online fieldwork, MORI conduct interviews by telephone, TNS BRMB use face-to-face polling (a method that has otherwise all but vanished from British political polling). It is no doubt something we will return to closer to the actual referendum.

  Survey End Date Yes No Wouldn’t vote D/K Yes Lead
Panelbase/Sunday Times (1) 16/05/13 36 44 <1 20 -8
Ipsos-MORI/Times (1) 05/05/13 31 59 n/a 10 -28
Ashcroft (1) 02/05/13 30 56 2 11 -26
TNS-BMRB/Herald (1) 02/04/13 30 51 n/a 19 -21
Panelbase/Sunday Times (1) 22/03/13 36 46 0 18 -10
TNS-BMRB/Scottish CND (1) 28/02/13 33 52 n/a 15 -19
Ipsos-MORI/Times (1) 09/02/13 34 55 n/a 11 -21
Angus Reid/Mail on Sunday(1) 01/02/13 32 47 1 20 -15
Panelbase/Sunday Times (2) 22/01/13 34 47 <1 19 -13
Angus Reid/Sunday Express (2) 04/01/13 32 50 3 16 -18
YouGov/DC Thompson (2) 24/10/12 29 55 2 14 -26
Panelbase/Sunday Times (2) 19/10/12 37 45 0 17 -8
Ipsos-MORI/Times (2) 15/10/12 30 58 n/a 12 -28
Panelbase/Sunday Times (2) 10/08/12 35 44 0 21 -9
Panelbase/Sunday Times (2) 17/07/12 36 45 0 20 -9
Ipsos-MORI/Times (2) 14/06/12 35 55 n/a 11 -20
Panelbase/Sunday Times (2) 01/02/12 37 42 <1 21 -5
Ipsos-MORI/Times (2) 29/01/12 39 50 n/a 11 -11

UPDATE: With remarkable timing, the Sun Politics team have put up tonight’s YouGov figures (for Great Britain!) just as I put up a new post. Tonight’s daily poll stands at CON 27%, LAB 38%, LD 10%, UKIP 16%. The Conservative 27% matches their lowest score this Parliament with YouGov (previously seen just after the locals at the start of the month). Usual caveats apply, it may be a blip and be back to normal tomorrow, but coming after that Survation poll at the weekend it could be we are seeing damage from the latest bout of infighting. Keep an eye on it.

542 Responses to “Scottish Referendum Polling”

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  1. “I’ve been a bit surprised that no-one has followed up my post on religion” Oh, Paulie. I bet the pupoes are p-ssed off.

    You are, essentially, taling about world religions, including sa to say Buddhism, since the monks are kicking sh-t out of Moslems in Myanmar. Actually, this is tragic and is leading to displacement and loss of life in communities which have lived happily side by side. But most of the world’s societies aren’t any of these, and are often classed either as animists or as followers of ancestor worship (which is pre-religion, according to a recent post by Colin). Animists mainly base their social (and moral) behaviour on seasonal cycles or family life cycles (marked by rites of passage). Ancestor worship works quite happily alongside Christianity in large parts of the rural world, partly because it neatly defines clan and lineage structures, which in turn determine sexual and marriage relationships, inheritance and land tenure; while Christianity, proclaiming that we all worship God the Father, quite nicely keeps the ladies happy and provides a good sing-song if you become urbanised, and supports good and supposedly ethical business relationships in a bad world.
    The problem arises, as in Blair and Bush, or in Richard the Lionheart, when you persuade yourself, in an increasingly chaotic and conflict ridden world, that your religion or your Savious leads on to Utopia or the Millenium, and when you absorb all that into saving or developing those benighted people who stil think quite happily that they mainly need to appease the rice spirit before the planting season, or that great great Grandpa actually was a crocodile and founded the tribe in congress with a beautiful alien who came from the North.

    Not many people know that.

  2. Now we are at comparative religions… All religions come from various forms of totemism and the all carry this as well as the taboo (without exceptions). All religions are products of history and all religions change because human conditions change. They all have at least common strain (the transcendence of the power of the socialised human) and they all have many differences compared to each other and they all have sects (intra-religion disagreements or antagonism) – this is why the welcomed press releases by various Muslim organisations are ineffectual.

    But it has nothing to do with the murder yesterday or terrorist acts earlier. Apart from mobilising some people, all these acts in terms of purpose and organisation lack religious attributes (it is a quite important distinction I think), but not at in shortage of political and social characteristics.

  3. To illustrate the difference I mentioned. When the Islam arrived to the Byzantine Empire, it was received as liberators (I mean the armies), irrespective of religions. Eventually it led to quite a large scale conversion, which was administratively slowed down because of the fall in tax revenue (at the end the poor tax became a normal tax).

    The story above can be presented as a relationship between religions (and how it influenced individuals) but it won’t model what actually happened.

  4. While I understand and welcome the press releases of various Muslim organisations, they are equivalent to the Calvinist’s condemnation of the holy inquisition.

  5. @Paulcroft
    Are you an employer?

    Only one religion, or belief, can be true, however – whether it be Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikh or Aetheist (Aestheism being a belief rather than a religion).

  6. @Paulcroft
    Are you an employer?

    Reg: My pups are unpaid helpers – they just laze about most of the time to be perfecty honest so I am really more of an employEE really.

    Anyway if you want a job I can’t help, I play all my own notes and jolly good they are too.

  7. Steve
    I agree we on here will be amazed at how many people will swallow the ‘tosh’ of which you write. But equally well, the mad dash to the aeroplanes homewards by our political leaders and subsequent ‘we’ll fight them on the ….. we will never,,,,,’ tosh will be (hoped for by said politicians) equally well swallowed by many, otherwise why would they bother?.

    The point for us is what effect any of it will have on VI.

    I suspect a temporary lift for the PM (as for Blair as reminded by Billy Bob) . I suspect not for the right wing flank as those susceptible voters are already there anyway.

  8. Reg,

    “(Aestheism being a belief rather than a religion)”

    Atheism (as the term is most commonly used) is the *lack* of a certain type of belief, which is quite a different thing from a belief.

  9. @howard

    You are thinking of mrnameless.

  10. LASZLO
    ” it has nothing to do with the murder yesterday or terrorist acts earlier”
    Hmmm. If you’ve not done so, read John Gray “Black Mass” for what IMV is the best current thinking about the religious fundamentalism behind the Iraq war and B&B’s fight against Al Qaider.
    Though we don’t know what other various factors lie behind the Woolwich tragedy, it is not to give oxygen to the cause of the two men who carried it out but to take into account what they have said in judging motivation. It goes against logic not to believe that this and other acts – of terrorism, for want of a better word – are, in however confused a way, related to the Western response to 9/11 and its consequences; and to give weight to the argument that the response to 9/11 was not for the main part founded on reason or intelligence, but on the beliefs of the leaders of the US and Britain in a God-given mission. What is the point of denying that these two, and others who commit murderous acts in declared opposition to Western interventions, believe that they are fighting a jihad?

  11. Paul
    “Only one religion, or belief, can be true” Not so, with all due respect, any more than that there can be only one society.

  12. Pau
    Sorry, my post of 5.59 was meant for Reg o’ the BNP.

  13. For me the negative aspects of “religion” are actually deeper even than spiritual belief. They are about identity and conflict between groups.

    Even without religion, these aspects of human nature would still exist. We have a tendency to cling to “the same” (us) and demonise “the other” (them). We will do this instinctively, seizing on any convenient method of differentiation that is to hand. Race, language, politics, religion, postcodes, football teams, clans, tribes. It’s all part of the same problem.

    Blaming “religion” entirely misses the point.

  14. @ Neil

    “For me the negative aspects of “religion” are actually deeper even than spiritual belief. They are about identity and conflict between groups.
    Even without religion, these aspects of human nature would still exist. We have a tendency to cling to “the same” (us) and demonise “the other” (them). We will do this instinctively, seizing on any convenient method of differentiation that is to hand. Race, language, politics, religion, postcodes, football teams, clans, tribes. It’s all part of the same problem.
    Blaming “religion” entirely misses the point.”

    All very true.

    Sadly part of the human condition is a dalekian tendency to “fear the other”.

    The contradiction with humanity is of course the ability for us to transcend these divisions and make common cause with one another whatever our individual distinction.

    Its what makes “religions” and all the other differentiations you mentioned ultimately pretty meaningless.

  15. neil a

    “Blaming “religion” entirely misses the point.”

    No: its the very nub of my argument. You can not discuss “faith” issues in a logical or rational way because there is no logic or rationality involved – by definition – because it is just a faith.

    Therefore peope can believe that a higher being insists that they wear beards, don’t wear hats, do wear hats, cover faces, become the dominant world religion, slaughter those who disagree and go to “heaven” for those deeds – and do so in the absolute faith that what you believe and what you do is right – in every way – because a higher law than that of normal society “says” so.

    And it is never going to end.

  16. @ John Pilgrim

    Probably my caveat was too disguised. Individuals may feel and believe that they act on a particular religion (but it is important that the differences within Islam are just as big as within Christianity or Buddhism for that matter). However, the real question is: what makes them receptive to the particular strain, what makes their cognitive predisposition paths such (especially as I understand at least one of the suspected murderers was a 10-year convert). If it is beyond the random personality disorder, religion ceases to be the core issue (merely a vehicle of manifesting social issues).

    There are surprising similarities between these religious disguises and the nationalist disguises in Central and Eastern Europe social issues are played out.

  17. It seems that the spell check leaves out words too. Like IN WHICH social issues played out…

  18. AW


    Yikes-what an innocent abroad am I it seems!

  19. @ PaulCroft

    Originally in Islam the pray was towards Jerusalem and not towards Mecca; the lent wasn’t Ramadan but the same as in Judaism, etc. These are pretty rational things (Mohamed hoped that the Jews would join).

  20. @ Michael Elliott

    According to Engels atheism is a form of theism – but of course its only pedantry and no consequence to what you posted.

  21. R. I. P. Drummer Rigby.

  22. @Paul,

    Do you contest my opinion that even if we did find a way to end all religion, that vicious conflicts between different groups of humans would indeed, never end?

    After all, many of the Nazis who rampaged across Europe torching Catholic villages and murdering Catholic civilians were… Catholics…

    But for them, being Catholic wasn’t the most important thing. Being German (or at least “aryan”) was.

    Similarly Catholic, Protestant and Jewish southerners fought Catholic, Protestant and Jewish northerners in the American Civil War. For them, racial politics and/or loyalty to their local community was more important than religion.

  23. One for AW to assess:


    “according to the YouGov survey for The Sun on the “swivel-eyed loons” furore.”

    Are we talking dolls with pins stuck in them? ;)

  24. …source “YouGov” so perhaps less pins than I first thought. Oops!

  25. Looks like Clegg is going to be the big loser from the recent “terror attack” big push underway for him to reverse his objections to the “snooper bill” with the implication that this attack could have been prevented if the bill had been in place. I’m guessing that with the public mood any foot dragging by Clegg will be a vote loser

  26. Neil A
    yes it’s just tribalism and that’s all there is to it. It would, however, seem to be a curious form of vicarious tribalism when the ‘perps’ in the London bombings and at Woolwich (well, at least one of them) were not really tribal members at all, but wish they were.

    I wonder when we will get a perp of Anglo Saxon ethnicity? Of course such a person will be even more difficult to spot, if they maintain low profile. Wandering around in a long beard and a white tent and fez for clothing, distributing leaflets, is not exactly low profile, is it?

    I would want my fifth columnist to look like Arthur Lowe if I were a spy master.

  27. Billy Bob,
    Apologies but i’m sure you are pleased to be mistaken for Mr Nameless’s scholarship.

  28. @John Pilgrim – “God-given mission.”

    While not wishing to take issue with John Gray’s book (I haven’t read it), it is probably worthwhile to point out that political missions informed by ideas of a religious utopia are no less dangerous than some of the secular post-enlightnment utopias we have been offered (sorry if I’m misrepresenting the argument), worthwhile but a bit broad-brush?

    Project for the New American Century may have been delusional for various reasons (some of which may be covered by Gray), but looking at the objectives, and the number of signatories who held office in the Bush administration (Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, John R. Bolton, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Seth Cropsey, Paula Dobriansky, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Randy Scheunemann, Paul Wolfowitz, Dov S. Zakheim, Robert B. Zoellick), this looks like a hard-headed faily secular agenda for full-spectrum global dominance rather than the misty eyed religiosity of two titular leaders Bush and Blair (neither of whom were signatories).

    The agenda was set out well before 9/11, even though they did forsee how such an event could be turned to advantage:

    “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor”

  29. Stargeek

    I’m not sure what the poll suggests, it seems to be asking an opinion of the general public about how Tory activist feel towards certain political people, and then making a list in preference of what people think activist, would think, if so what’s the point of that.

    Unless I’ve missed something and they polled only Tory activist for there opinion then fair enough you would have a poll that meant something..

  30. Neil A

    Of course not but that was not my point.

    It is of course competey hypothetica because you can’t disprove the existence of a god to someone who “knows” one does exist and, indeed that he is a bloke wearing clothes and that all the historic stuff occurred – surprise, surprise – before cameras and film came along to record the numerous magical events one can read about.

    As an aside, one that totaly confused me, as a young soloist in the church choir, was that god would ask someone to kill their own son, as a test of faith, and then pass that test with flying coours by setting out to do so.

    Had the term existed then in my young brain I would have thought: “What’s all that about??!”

    Anyway, my hypothetical point is that without beief in an afterlife a large number of people just might be more prepared to regard actual life as something deeply precious.

  31. I’m happy to see that the DT now reports on the inventory build up behind the GDP growth (see my earlier post) – better late than never.

    Now it is still possible that it is because of the order books,:but I suggest extra caution when predicting a discernible economic recovery that would give the Conservatives, as the minimum, OM.

  32. @Howard,

    We’ve already had white perp. Nicky Reilly from my own fair city of Plymouth set off a bomb in Exeter. He didn’t even have a beard or a robe to give himself away.

    Luckily he was a complete twonk and the only person he hurt was himself.

  33. NEILA

    @”Luckily he was a complete twonk and the only person he hurt was himself.”

    According to the Guardian report, his mother said that he was an easy target for radicalisation because he had Asperger’s Syndrome.

    The Judge & the Devon Police said that he had been influenced by people believed to be overseas.

  34. Help for Heroes online shop still crashed after being overwhelmed by orders today.


    The best possible response.

  35. Statgeek/Turk

    Of course if you followed that excellent polling site UKPR you’d have read this dated 22 May at 2:00am:

    Meanwhile back in Swivel-eyed loonyland, YouGov have a rather revealing poll on the topic:


    when asked All things considered, which of the following people do you believe is MOST similar to the grassroots activisits from the Conservative Party?, Nigel Farage topped the poll not just generally (10%) and among UKIP supporters (24%) but even among Tories (12%) who only gave Cameron 4%. Though 14% of Conservatives also agreed with their activists being SwELs, so these could be the same people who voted for Farage.

  36. @Colin,

    I wasn’t involved in the investigation, but some of my colleagues were. My understanding is that other Muslims in Plymouth (the actual bearded, robed ones) had expressed concerns about Reilly prior to his botched attack.

    I found that very reassuring.

  37. @Paul Croft,

    You might equally argue that without a belief in the afterlife, people might conclude that the only thing that mattered to them was satisfying their own desires whilst they still can.

    Including their lust for blood, and hatred of “the other”.

  38. @ Laszlo @Paul Croft

    “Originally in Islam the pray was towards Jerusalem and not towards Mecca; the lent wasn’t Ramadan but the same as in Judaism, etc. These are pretty rational things (Mohamed hoped that the Jews would join).”

    Indeed, as Islam considers Judaism, Christianity and Islam to be developments in the same religion. Muslims originally prayed towards the Dome of the Rock (Masjid Al-Aqsa) in Jerusalem, and the Arab word for Saturday – even today – (yaum al-sabt), means “day of the Sabbath”. Islam considers there to be four “texts” the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an – the early three representing the arly faith and the developments of the faith, until teh final “testament” as it were – the Qur’an.

    I think the biggest jurisprudential issue for people like the duo in Woolwich is that even if they believe Islamic Law is supreme, a British Muslim is precluded Islamically from doing anything against the law of the land (in what is a “host country”). If he/she believes that they cannot practice their faith within the UK, they must leave and find a country or society where they can do so. So there is no justification at all for their acts within Islam. They have severely violated the social contract.

  39. nei a

    “@Paul Croft,

    You might equally argue that without a belief in the afterlife, people might conclude that the only thing that mattered to them was satisfying their own desires whilst they still can.

    Including their lust for blood, and hatred of “the other”. ”

    Well, you might anyway. Pas moi. Seems fairly obvious that if your hatred – and murder – of “the other” is to be rewarded with the traditional heaven and seven virgins, that some may consider that a better bet than execution or jail.

    Divvunt ye think bonny ad?

  40. neil a

    excuse my missing Ls

  41. As a practising Tory I tend to view other religions with scepticism, I’m inclined to the view of Feuerbach and his disciple Marx, ‘ang on, this is getting complicated….!

  42. Don’t talk to me about sociologists. Revising for my A2 exams has given me a headache already!

  43. I suppose it would be droll if there WAS a god and he’s saying to anyone who will listen

    “Blimey! That’s nothing like I said at all.”

  44. Given that God is supposed to have created everything, maybe he’s way more interested in other species? Maybe he’d find cats fascinating while not bothering with those weird naked apes who keep badgering him for favours.

  45. @ Ken

    For a banker you shock me. I have taught many bankers and would be ones, but Feuerbach!!! Mind you one referred to Gramsci in an essay, but only because he plagiarised from the internet.

  46. If one was a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac, presumably one would lie awake at night speculating on the existence of a dog !

  47. LASZLO…………My grandad was a Marxist, and a wonderful man.

  48. Found it very distasteful for the pictures on the BBC of the Woolwich murder to carry the tag “start slideshow”.

    Dunno about polls tonight and don’t really care.

  49. @ Ken

    I apologise for a somewhat flippant remark.

    Still, it was impressive – both in style and content.

  50. LASZLO……….No apology necessary, I value your posts and the spirit of your contributions.

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