TNS BMRB released a new poll on the Scottish independence referendum this morning. I expected several polls to appear in the wake of the publication of the white paper, letting us see if it had any effect on referendum voting intentions.

This alas is not one of them, as annoyingly it was carried out almost wholly before the white paper was published. For the record the figures show very little change from the previous TNS poll in October. The YES vote stands at 26%(+1), the NO vote at 42%(-1), 32% are undecided (for some reason TNS tend to show a much higher level of don’t knows compared to other Scottish referendum polls). Full tabs are here.

372 Responses to “New TNS-BMRB Scottish Referendum poll”

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  1. Nice to have you stay with us after all, Scotland. Ed and I are relieved.

  2. Latest betting:

    YES 9/2
    NO 1/7

    To all unionists, I say relax.

    Independence? Ain’t gonna happen.

  3. Typical
    I write an essay then find there’s a new thread

  4. The arithmetic in 2015 could be fascinating.

    If Labour was the largest party and had won most votes and the Conservatives and the rump of remaining Lib Dems could just scrape together a tiny majority and decided to stay in government, we would see some real fun.

  5. IAJ
    I have never seen such partisan feelings as you exude on here. You beat NickP and that is really impressive, wow.

  6. Yes +1, No -1….. Salmond on the march?

  7. Thanks Howard

  8. A very clever autumn statement today..

    On Scotland, I just don’t get why the yes vote is struggling so much. If I was Scottish I would love a chance at self governance after hundreds of years of struggles.

  9. I’ll be honest, the Saltire on top depresses me. Before that, I was so uplifted by my new pajamas (two pairs actually – never look a gift horse ….).

    I remain confident that EM wants PR. I was surprised that Spearmint thought that meant the list system. There are other ways you know. Back to the Scots, their own internal electoral system has much to commend it.

  10. guymonde
    It was very good!
    But you are not Scottish. I posted a very long time ago that opinions on this subject have barely changed for decades. They are therefore not likely to change any time soon. News media are very reluctant to discuss this because it just isn’t terribly interesting.
    On the other very interesting hand, I spoke at the Better Together event in Peterhead in the Rescue Hall. I was therefore able to tell the audience just how good it was to appear on the same stage as the Beatles. I also told the nationalists taping me that the tapes should be kept as they may become of bootleg value.

  11. NEIL A

    It’s not even that! It’s 0.4% from each of No and Don’t Know to Yes. :-)

    Among likely voters it’s 2% from No to Don’t Know over the last month.

    John Curtice, however, makes the point that, in the TNS series, from August to the White Paper launch, the Yes vote has been stable among all voters, while No has lost 5% to Don’t Know.

    Looking at likely voters only, since August, Yes have lost 4% and No 7% to Don’t Know.

    While obviously, No have a significant lead in all polls, the actual levels of support for each side and DK are so variant that partisans can pick the ones they like. Only the trends within each pollster can suggest what is happening (and over the next month or so, I can’t see anything happening).

  12. Howard
    It may have much to recommend it but not to increase turn out. Scottish parliamentary elections have much lowere turn outs than Westminster especially in poorer areas

  13. Incidentally, I agree with Barney that (from his perspective) Osborne’s statement was very good.

  14. The data within the Autumn Statement indicates the shape of the next GE.

    Indicator – 2012/2013/2014/2015

    Earnings – 2.0/1.5/2.6/3.3
    CPI – 2.8/2.6/2.3/2.1
    RPI – 3.2/3.1/2.9/3.3
    House prices – 1.6/3.2/5.2/7.2

    It must also be remembered that most working age benefits will increase by just 1% for the next few years.

    This means that earnings will rise more slowly than RPI up to and including 2014. Against CPI they improve slightly in 2013. Those on working age benefits will lose all the way.

    Given we can all assume a feel good give away pre-election budget (they always happen), most folk will not be feeling much better off by the next GE after years of real income falls, with a maybe small uplift at the end of this Parliament at best.

    The ‘job half done’ line will be strong from the Government, and it remains to be seen if Labour can counteract this.

    Finally the house price increases look scary to me. So many people have absorbed a drop in real incomes by a cheap mortgage, When rates rise, and the increased food and fuel costs don’t fall, I think we will see many more families struggling very badly.

    Bear in mind that an annual growth rate of 5% increases house prices by 34% in 6 years. 6% over 6 years adds 42%, and 7% adds 50%.

    Not good at all.

  15. BARNEY

    That, of course, may be due to the different powers exercised by each Parliament.

    Clearly, the only way to test the difference is for the Scottish Parliament to exercise the powers of an independent Parliament, Westminster to be an English devolved Assembly with UK powers exercised elsewhere, or for Westminster to adopt the AMS model.

    After all, decision making should be evidence based! :-)

  16. Polldrums from Scotland but a bit of YouGov excitement coming later
    Surprising poll from @YouGov (pre-Autumn Statement) coming later tonight …

    Bad poll for Lab

  17. I fancy a few bad polls for Lab coming up. Growth looks way better now than expected. Giving EM credit, he has shifted focus with the cost of living narrative, but has he ‘gone’ too early.

  18. Whatever was announced today in the Commons there is no doubt that the
    Speaker has lost control of events.The shadow chancellor had to shout himself
    Silly to be heard.An absolutely disgraceful performance by coalition MPs.What
    Do they think people will think of them.An all time low for this parliament.

  19. But what would the Sun’s political team be most likely to describe as “surprising”?

    A double digit Lab lead delivered by a supposedly hapless leader whom they disdain?

  20. @Howard

    Please. I don’t know what you are on about.

    I have been partisan in the past but, after being put on probation by our esteemed host, I learned my lesson.

    There was nothing partisan in commenting that the parliamentary arithmetic could make things really interesting and difficult in 2015.

    In the circumstances I have outlined, you can be sure that Adam Boulton wouldn’t be outside parliament bursting a blood vessel shouting that the Tories had lost and should stand down!

  21. @Couper2802

    1 in 20 polls should be a real outlier, beyond MOE.

    We haven’t had one in a while, so an odd Con 36, Lab 37 would be be normal and indicate nothing, unless the next poll backs it up.

  22. Catmanjeff

    I wrote late on the last thread that the giveaway budget would have to be March 2014 and not March 2015 (which *is* pre election but not enough ‘pre’.)

    Ann in Wales
    Very silly of Balls to have done so, if he did (shout). Nobody watches these things (oh, you did, well done).

  23. @Anne,

    It was chaotic I agree. Never been a huge fan of this speaker. I liked Betty.

    Didn’t however like how Labour broke with tradition and had two Labour speakers in a row….

    Definitely should alternate.


  24. Catmanjeff,
    I am sure it is only coincidence but it is rather odd that there is an unusual poll
    Result just before an important political event,with the resultant headlines of

  25. IAJ
    I am so sorry, I have re-read your posts and do not understand why I so reacted. It’s these pajamas, they have had this effect on me.

  26. Howard,
    I didn’t watch it,heard it on the radio.If Balls hadn’t shouted you would not have
    Hard him at all.The speaker is useless.

  27. I think it was the Speaker himself who said last week that parliament is
    Becoming irrelevant.After that performance I think he is right,and he carries a
    Large portion of blame for this.

  28. @Barney

    “In addition, large parts of the establishment seem to think that with polls showing less than a third of Scots supporting independence, the referendum can be thought of as a momentary tantrum on the Celtic fringe, and ignored.”


  29. A in W

    On the last thread I said that as all the contents were leaked to the press it was a pointless occasion. I don’t blame the Speaker although he said, as did his predecessors, that he would crack down on the ‘will say’ nonsense and behaviour.

    I am not sure what the answer is to this but I cannot think of anyone else who could change everything about parliament.

    So I agree with you; he is useless by definition, a great disappointment.

  30. Oh thanks Howard. No worries.

    I am a bit bored with anything to do with Scottish Independence.

    UK politics is much more interesting to me. If the Conservatives do turn things round from here and go on to win OM, it will be an amazing come-back.

    Con OM is about a 25% chance at the moment according to Betfair.

  31. I have given up listening to Parliament as a way of learning anything (apart from what my children should not behave like)..

    @Ann in Wales

    Random events do seem to occur not very randomly.

    I think it’s a human thing (I certainly do it) to try and establish cause and effect to different events and triggers that in reality are pure coincidence.

  32. @Howard

    I agree that the 2014 budget will announce goodies to start April 2015.

    It is so obvious.

  33. I reckon the suprising Sun poll tonight will show only a 2 point lead for Labour. i.e Lab 37%, Con 35%.

    @ Ann in Wales re Bercow. I think he allows the Tories to shout down Balls, because of the way that Balls behaves in the chamber. Bercow probably thinks that if you give it out, you should be able to take it.

  34. Catmanjeff,
    I am sure you are right.I think I had better go and take a stress pill.

  35. I do wonder if said autumn statement will have an affect on the polls. I doubt it – I watched it but I do not think everyone else has so much time on a thursday morning to sit around in their dressing gowns eating shreddies.

  36. @R HUCKLE

    If I was going to put money on it, I’d say next week will bring tighter polls. Nothing like that will happen this week…. I’m guessing.

  37. Can’t understand the comments re Bercow. He is not the one making the noise and the interuptions.

    While I agree that the behaviour is disgraceful, the problem lies with the MPs. Apart from suspending parliament for a short period (and perhaps he should do this) there is very little he can do if MPs wish to behave like unruly children.

  38. IAJ
    Could happen if our ‘look squirrel’ voting population is concerned. (I do love that concept). A March 2014 giveaway (doesn’t have to be much) could do the trick.

    An LD colleague asked me how we could avoid another Con /LD coalition or (in his view) even worse, an EM led Lab /LD coalition.

    I suggested that LD could consider not taking part in the election.

    What do you reckon, it seemed a sure fire solution to me.

  39. Nelson Mandela has passed away.

    Tonight’s YouGov: Lab 41% Con 29% LD9% UKIP 14%

  40. Mandela has died.

  41. I hate the rude conduct of MPs. It is such a terrible example (or it would be if anyone impressionable watched – which they probably don’t) and defeats the entire object of representative democracy, which is for representatives to express the views of their constituents.

    Has any politician ever tried the simple tactic of “waiting for silence”? It’s what speakers in other arenas often do.

    If Balls had stood up, started speaking, stopped as soon as it was clear he couldn’t be heard and then simply waited expectantly, I wonder how long it would take for the baboons to be shamed into silence, or for the Speaker to get the message and assume control?

    On reflection, perhaps Balls isn’t the man to do it. Ed M could probably do so.

    Someone needs to tame our MPs. They’re an embarrassment.

  42. R Huckle,
    Balls does make flatlining gestures in the chamber but that is more than
    Cancelled out by the barracking opposite.The whole childish performance is
    Bringing parliament as a whole into disrepute and it is the speaker who is
    Responsible for this,in my opinion he has lost authority in the chamber.

  43. Sad day, Mandela is dead.

  44. All of you pondering a VI influence of local events – forget it.

    Nelson Mandela has died so that’s that for a week.

  45. A 12% lead for Labour – upwards and onwards!
    When was the last time that Cons were on 29%?

  46. Anne in Wales and others

    Re Chaotic Parliament

    I rather fancy that a lot of the slightly less informed watchers found it very interesting to see grown adults shout at each other. Maybe even amusing.

    The performance I liked the least, however, was that of Dennis Skinner. He does not make himself look good by personally attacking the chancellor. I seem to recall that the last Autumn Statement saw the chancellor rebutt his statement by refusing to reply to such a personal attack. Ed Balls is not a lot better. I think he should take some lessons from Alistair Darling, the perfect parliamentarian.

  47. They’re right about the surprising part, at least.

    Seems a nailed-on outlier, but usual rules apply.

  48. Neil A

    Totally agree and it proves to me that those who don’t do as you advise don’t have it.

    Yes I am very much in awe of NM. I can remember when I was very young swallowing the line that he was a ‘terrorist’. I am so glad i grew to learn to discern about the claptrap we are fed by the news media and politicians.

  49. Liz,
    So sorry to hear about Nelson Mandela,but perhaps a merciful end to a long struggle for life.

  50. @Ann in Wales

    Please explain how the speaker is responsible for the unacceptable behaviour of MPs.

    What actions do you propose in order to prevent MPs disrupting parliament and I would add that it is MPs from all sides although you seem to be pointing the finger at the Coalition.

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