Today is exactly a year until the Scottish Independence referendum (it’s also my birthday, nice of Alex Salmond to get me such a good present next year!) so we have a slew of “one year to go” polls.

First up there is a Scottish YouGov poll in the Times, with topline referendum figures of YES 32%, NO 52%. YouGov also asked people to think how they would vote if they were convinced that the Conservatives would win the UK general election in 2015, which narrowed the NO lead a little, but not a lot – YES 36%, NO 51%. Despite support for full fledged independence trailing, YouGov found wide support for more devolution, with majorities supporting the devolution of pensions, taxation, welfare benefits and drugs policy.

A quick methodology note on YouGov: their previous Scottish polls have used party ID for political weighting, this poll switched to using recalled past Holyrood constituency vote for 2011 (but also separated out people who voted Labour at the 2010 general election, but SNP in the 2011 Holyrood election). It didn’t actually make a huge difference to the results – on the old weights it would have shown YES 31%, NO 53%. Full tabs are here.

Secondly there is a poll by Progressive Scottish Opinion in the Daily Mail. They aren’t British Polling Council members, but did do regular polling before the last Scottish elections – their topline referendum figures are YES 27%, NO 59%, Don’t know 14%.

Thirdly the Guardian have a British poll on Scottish independence. Across Britain as a whole 32% of people think Scotland should be an independent country, 52% should not (so actually fairly close to the split in Scotland itself – a little more NO than the Scottish ICM poll, but exactly the same as YouGov’s today).

Fourthly there is a TNS-BMRB poll in the Herald, which asked about the economic effect of independence. 45% thought the Scottish economy would perform worse outside the UK, 23% thought it would improve, 15% thought it would be much the same. As far as I can tell TNS-BMRB did not ask the referendum question itself.

There were also suggestions of an Ipsos MORI/STV poll on the referendum, but as yet one has not appeared. If it does I’ll update this post. If it doesn’t and it was just a rumour, I obviously won’t!

UPDATE: I’ve updated the reference page on Scottish referendum polls so far here. It seems the Ipsos MORI poll is real, and should turn up on the STV evening news later on.

206 Responses to “Scottish Independence polling extravaganza”

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  1. Amber


  2. @RR

    Thank you!

    Best post I’ve read all week. :D

  3. Spearmint – thanks for the reply. I’ll get back to you on the new thread.

  4. @Spearmint and Peat B

    That’s a nice way of summing it up, though the left-right spectrum often also includes attitudes on social issues and civil liberties, with the left – usually – advocating for lower state policing of “morality” (e.g. homosexuality, abortion, drug use, foul language on the telly, etc.), more intervention on behalf of disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, racial minorities, LGBT, immigrants, unskilled workers, etc.), a pacifist and diplomatic approach to international relations, and more regulation of industrial activity (e.g. environmental pollution, genetically-modified foods, false advertising, risky banking practices, etc.).

    The right is more likely to be hostile to some (or most) of the above stances, or consider them as low-priority.

  5. The biggest problem with the polls predicting a NO vote is that they are failing to pick up where the real power in Scotland lies. Glasgow and the West of Scotland i.e. the poorest areas, with nothing to lose are voting YES. The pollsters are falling into the trap of seeing the referendum as an all Scotland poll. Glasgow and the west of Scotland will vote YES, which means Scotland will vote YES.
    My prediction? Same as the Newsnight poll last night YES 62% – NO 38%.

  6. @ Bill
    Last time I checked, this was an all Scotland poll. Everyone’s vote will have equal weight.

    Secondly, there is no evidence that Glasgow / West of Scotland is voting Yes – on the cross-breaks that I have seen these regions are broadly in line with the other regions on how they will vote in the referendum.

    Thirdly, that “Newsnight poll”, was a show of hands of people who claimed that they were undecided before the programme started. Now, it has been revealed that a number of these people were actually yes supporters and applied to be members of the audience and told the producers they were undecided. IN any case, a self-selecting small sample is not indicative of anything other than their own views.

    And we also know that undecided people are only making up a small part of the gap between the sides. Yes needs ALL the dont knows to break their way, plus they need to convert some already comitted No voters. Chances are, some, if not many of those dont knows will not bother voting. If turnout is as high as 80% – that means 20% wont have bothered voting, which is broadly in line with the level of dont knows. The Dont Knows in the “Newsnight poll” didnt all break to Yes in any case.

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