The Sun have tweeted out tonight’s YouGov poll – topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 42%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%. This is somewhat at odds with the Labour leads of two, three and three points so far this week, though for what it’s worth all four polls would be within the normal margin of error of CON 34, LAB 39, LD 9, UKIP 12, the average of this week’s figures.

When an unusual poll comes along I personally rather discount it – more often than not it’ll just be a blip. When the same happens two days in row it gets my attention, but I wouldn’t conclude anything. When you get three in a row I normally take it seriously, it looks as though something is afoot.

But it can still just be random chance. Right now we don’t really know what the position is. It could be that tonight’s poll is an outlier and other polls will continue to show lower leads. Alternatively it could be that actually nothing’s changed and its all just been random variation around the six point lead we’ve had for months. As ever, time will tell.


392 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 42, LD 8, UKIP 12”

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  1. JOHNKAY

    Okay so it’s already a close run thing according to the latest poll and to be honest I don’t think any amount of polls can truly gauge the mood on the ground over independence but lets stick with it’s close.

    So the UK government gives out some sweeteners with cast iron guarantees if the Scots don’t back independence is one small step which might appeal to certain parts of the country.

    Devo MAX is popular and if it were to happen if it’s a no then yes it’s a positive case for the union, okay a weaker union but more devolved powers for the Scots within a United Kingdom.

    But of course any positive incentives for staying in the Union will have to be backed up with guarantees right?

    After all it’s guarantees the pro union sides want from Salmond over his proposals for leaving the UK.
    All I’m trying to point out is that the debate has to be a two way debate and not a one track NAT bash.

  2. The pups predict a lab lead still close to double figures.

    They have both gone off of DC they say.

    [They sort of howl when NC appears. Dunno why: they don’t need to go to Uni, they’re clever enough already.]

  3. @AC

    “So what is the best way forward for Scotland?”

    I was thinking about this the other day. I was hearing of the North East (England) suffering a bit, Wales suffering a bit and Scotland isn’t suffering quite the same. It occurred to me that if any old backwater of the UK can suffer, while the South of England does better, then what’s the solution?

    So I think it’s coming down to:

    Being a backwater of the UK, with no expectations of success over other parts of the UK…or…Being a separate nation with all the risks and opportunities that come with that…or…Devomax.

    The lack of a Devomax option is basically the government saying “take our terms or get lost”, or that’s how I interpret it – Negotiations tend to fall into either that category, or one of quid pro quo, and there’s little in Westminster’s favour either way, so they might as well step back and take no responsibility. They could have sown up the referendum in 2012 with a devomax option in my opinion (would the rUK have been happy with what is essentially federalism in one part of the UK, and not the other parts?).

    I suppose it comes down to whether one is willing to forget party politics and trust one parliament over the other, regardless of who is or might be in power in the future. Is perpetual Labour in an Independent Scotland a given? If so, will we become a mini-France, with great public services and perpetual debt?

    I don’t make the inference that Labour equals debt; only that Labour seemed to favour Hollande’s policies ahead of the current gov’s ones ((let’s not debate that!)), and France’s economy is not doing as well as Hollande had hoped. France has had reasonable to major debt for thirty years, and that’s what I was referring to. As a small version, EU / IMF bailouts may be a reality, but one that other nations might tolerate.

    Assuming Scotland doesn’t go down the socialism-max route that France has taken, who knows. We have to assume that Scotland’s governments will be more left-wing that the UK as a whole wants, but we don’t know if it will be a bad left-wing (massive bureaucracy and inefficiency) or not. History leads me to believe it will be more bureaucratic than present, as British politics doesn’t seem to be able to do ‘sensible’ any more.

    There’s also the problem of the Scottish parties cutting their ties to their Westminster counterparts. What’s to stop a government in Holyrood kowtowing to Westminster due to old party political loyalties, and getting Scotland bang in trouble? Cameron’s poodle? Miliband’s poodle?

    Perhaps a banning of all existing political parties after Independence (and associated colours), forcing the political folk of Scotland to turn the page and come up with a new face (and new policies). That’s me dreaming naively.

    Best way forward? One foot in front of the other with eyes open.

  4. On the QE stuff, I have to say I’m with @Amberstar on this one. I suspect @Statgeek has missed the point when he talks about erasing the QE would be seen as a default. It seems pretty clear that QE is an unconventional instrument that was created to be owned by the BoE and as Amber says, has been used to redeem real debt. It is made up money.

    Amber has always maintained QE won’t be redeemed, and I suspect she is correct. Why bother? We are paying the interest to ourselves anyway, so the only two reasons to physically redeem the ‘debt’ would be to withdraw money from the economy in the event that inflation was kicking off, or to maintain a visible discipline/threat with which to pursue a dogmatic stance on public pending reduction. I suspect Brown was thinking of the former, Osborne the latter.

    Clearly, there was talk of converting these to 100 year bonds under the coalition. The very fact that these were offered for consideration backs Amber’s case. Why don’t we do this?

    Based on economic growth of a modest 2% pa (well below trend growth) the entire stock of QE, which is currently worth around 24% of GDP, shrinks to a paltry 3.25% by 2114.

    I would accept that the currently constructed QE include redemption terms, but the BoE could quite easily repeat QE to the value of £375B, but this time with 100 year bonds, returning interest to the Treasury as now, and then redeem them in 2114 when the sums involved will be tiny in relative terms.

    If, at any point along the way, inflation becomes an issue, we have a ready made weapon to alleviate this, which is less damaging to ordinary citizens and businesses that blunt interest rate policy. The BoE cools the market by withdrawing some of the QE.

    I will admit to not fully grasping what Amber was talking about in the early days of QE, but as time has passed and the ‘rules’ of QE have become clearer, I’ve also become clearer in my mind that there are no rules. Like the British constitution, it’s basically what works, and if it stops working, we’ll do it differently to make sure it does.

    Personally I’m now completely satisfied that the BoE does not have to repay any QE, although it would be a more marketable solution to maintain the pretense that this is still technically debt by going for a 100 year bond issue to itself. We would then be free to get on with the business of reconstructing our society and economy, free from the dogma of falsely accounted for debt, and in a way that enables a much fairer sharing of the burden.

  5. “Where is the positive debate for the Union?”

    We (Scots) can meddle in English politics as part of the Union. :))

  6. DAISIE

    “You will still get Coronation Street and East Enders on your tellies”

    “You can still go to sunny Blackpool for yer tatty-break hols”
    ______

    LOL I did ask for a positive case. East Enders.. depressing… Blackpool…Okay it’s got lot’s of lights to me its just a Castlemilk by the cost.

  7. AC

    Also you can still access France via the southern English ports instead of via Norway.

    Oh go on, say you’ll stay! You know you want to. You’d miss the friendly Jock-bashing banter.

    Oh no…. that’s me I’m thinking of.

    Well, stay anyway.

  8. “We Scots can meddle in English politics as part of the Union.”

    Don’t you mean wee Scots McStatsi ?”

  9. STATGEEK

    Can’t fault your post in any way and you covered a lot of questions I have been thinking myself.

    I do accept an independent Scotland would be more left wing than the current UK and although I don’t class myself as left I do recognise some left wing polices do suit Scotland more than with the rest of the UK.

    “There’s also the problem of the Scottish parties cutting their ties to their Westminster counterparts. What’s to stop a government in Holyrood kowtowing to Westminster due to old party political loyalties, and getting Scotland bang in trouble? Cameron’s poodle? Miliband’s poodle?

    Perhaps a banning of all existing political parties after Independence (and associated colours), forcing the political folk of Scotland to turn the page and come up with a new face (and new policies). That’s me dreaming naively”
    ………………..
    Absolutely and I would hope all existing parties in Scotland would be dissolved and we start a fresh without any apron strings attached to UK parties.

    “Best way forward? One foot in front of the other with eyes open”

    You bet and that is why I will be asking Better Together a host of questions at any debates I will be going to.

  10. “You bet and that is why I will be asking Better Together a host of questions at any debates I will be going to.”

    Ask them the old

    “Are yooze an the way tae hospingtal?”

    one Allan. That’s always good for a laugh when you add the punch line.

  11. DAISIE

    AC

    Also you can still access France via the southern English ports instead of via Norway.

    Oh go on, say you’ll stay! You know you want to. You’d miss the friendly Jock-bashing banter.

    Oh no…. that’s me I’m thinking of.

    Well, stay anyway
    _______

    I don’t like France in its present form…too left leaning ;-)

    There are a raft of reasons for staying in the Union for Scotland so why doesn’t the PM get off his Westminster high horse and come up to Scotland (just like William Hague did) and tell us them and then debate with Salmond?

    We are told it’s a debate for the people in Scotland but have UK ministers speaking out….I’m all for that and encourage it but it has to be a two way thing.

    1 If you speak out against something…
    2You then have to debate and defend it.

  12. ALEC

    “On the QE stuff”
    ______

    Yeah lets get back to this issue.

    Basically as I understand it’s the government playing monopoly with the BOE and whoever ends up with the most money wins.

    I’m not quite sure where the go to jail bit fits in though?

  13. @Alec:

    In the Newsnight report I linked to earlier it says that the Federal Reserve has been using QE to pay off the US debt.

  14. @R&D

    Any grown-up comments?

  15. I don’t like France in its present form…too left leaning ;-)

    ———
    You mean it’s descending into the Channel?

  16. I think it’s time AW started a Saltire thread.
    It’s too boring not being able to talk about Scotland.

  17. Guymonde

    I think it’s time AW started a Saltire thread.
    It’s too boring not being able to talk about Scotland
    __________

    I agree so again I’m going to ask for an alternative?

    Cricket? Morris Dancers? Fish slapping in Grimsby?

    Lead the way…

  18. @ Statgeek,

    “@R&D

    Any grown-up comments?”

    Isn’t that asking too much? Rosie’s only two.

  19. “@R&D

    Any grown-up comments? ”

    Bit harsh on my girls. Daisie is only WON !

    Anyway, I am in far too much pain at the moment to consider thoughtful responses to the Scottish problem.

    Except to say its up up to you in Scotland and I am a bit fed up with the whole thing – as I expect many others in the UK are.

  20. GUYMONDE

    Sorry just to go back to your post.

    “It’s too boring not being able to talk about Scotland”
    _____

    I had a quick look at the time next to some of the posts and only two comments had been posted in 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to my first post.

    In the past hour after my post more than a dozen posts have been made my half a dozen people so I’m really sorry for gate crashing to me what looked like a dead debate and trashing it with independence stuff.

    Had the debate been fast flowing then I would had not posted a independence comment and stuck with the topic which was…er..erm…help me oot with that yin..

  21. ” again I’m going to ask for an alternative?

    Cricket? Morris Dancers? Fish slapping in Grimsby? ”

    Adult comments only please Allan.

  22. Allan Christie: “So the UK government gives out some sweeteners with cast iron guarantees if the Scots don’t back independence is one small step which might appeal to certain parts of the country.”

    I think you have to assume a certain cynicism in the UK’s negotiating strategy, which I assume boils down to:

    Phase A: Put the frighteners on with all the negatives, so that you don’t have to concede anything. If that shows signs of not being enough:

    Phase B: roll out the sweeteners. If that still doesn’t work:

    Phase C: dire threats. Refuse currency union, veto EU accession, promise border controls.

    Personally, I think the best positive outcome would be a federal model for the UK, with an English government based somewhere like Leicester to provide a counterweight to London. And maybe London should be a separate city state within the federation? But we aren’t very good at clean sheet of paper thinking, are we?

  23. @R&D

    “Except to say its up up to you in Scotland and I am a bit fed up with the whole thing – as I expect many others in the UK are.”

    Fair point, but perhaps it’s because you believe it doesn’t affect you. I think that a ‘Yes’ vote will affect every person in the UK in some way or another. Taxes will either rise or fall, depending on which version of the Scottish costs is to be believed.

    In theory we should either have all the rUK folk shouting “Don’t go”, because it would mean a tax rise for them, or “Get Lost” if it meant they would be better off.

    Yes, I too am bored with it, but becoming desensitised to important/crucial/vital political events is only serving the politicians. We have to remain alert (this country still needs lerts), lest we end up with no chance of changing things from time to time (EU referendums spring to mind).

  24. DAISIE

    “Except to say its up up to you in Scotland and I am a bit fed up with the whole thing – as I expect many others in the UK are”
    _______

    I think independence topics should be kept for independence threads but what I find is a common trait now is that someone watches the news and lets say for arguments sake posts a comment relating to the BOE super mo intervening in the independence debate and denouncing Salmond is bound to get a response.

    Maybe the rules have to be clearer for us all and not just a one way NAT bash without response.

  25. @R&D / AC

    “Cricket? Morris Dancers? Fish slapping in Grimsby? ”

    Adult comments only please Allan.”

    Indeed. That sort of thing is Scotsman comments section stuff.

  26. In all seriousness, as someone who increasingly thinks of himself as English, in response to the Nationalism that it sometimes feels we are surrounded by, I want Scotland to stay – whether it “costs” more or not.

    I still think that will be the case but Salmond is very clever so hoo nose.

  27. JOHNKAY

    “I think you have to assume a certain cynicism in the UK’s negotiating strategy, which I assume boils down to:

    Phase A: Put the frighteners on with all the negatives, so that you don’t have to concede anything. If that shows signs of not being enough:

    Phase B: roll out the sweeteners. If that still doesn’t work:

    Phase C: dire threats. Refuse currency union, veto EU accession, promise border controls”
    _____

    I think to shorten all of that you could had just wrote (Project Fear) but as you have pointed out its a step by step steady as she goes drip drip drip drab Mibbes Aye and Mibbes Naw set of proposals set out by the no side.

    ….
    “Personally, I think the best positive outcome would be a federal model for the UK, with an English government based somewhere like Leicester to provide a counterweight to London. And maybe London should be a separate city state within the federation? But we aren’t very good at clean sheet of paper thinking, are we?”
    __________

    That’s too sensible… ;-)

  28. DAISIE

    “” again I’m going to ask for an alternative?

    Cricket? Morris Dancers? Fish slapping in Grimsby? ”
    …………
    Adult comments only please Allan
    ___

    Okay what about photos?

    http://swirlsipsnark.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/fish-slap.jpg

  29. @JohnKay

    “But we aren’t very good at clean sheet of paper thinking, are we?”

    We are though. Problem is, people keep electing people that are not, or people who will not listen to those that are.

    For you and I, most decisions come down to two factors. “Do I have the cash?” and “Do I have the time?”. For politicians, it’s “Will this get me re-elected?”. On that basis, little gets done.

    We need politicians that dream of having a legacy, rather than top-whack lecture circuits.

  30. @johnkay

    I agree, starting from scratch (almost) with a federal system rather than tinkering around the edges would seem like the most common sense solution, which is probably why it’s not on the table.

    It just seems like a no-brainer to me. I think you would get anything between 80 and near-100% support for such a thing, whereas any other option just annoys a huge number of people. It’s the kind of big, revolutionary idea which could inspire the masses but I suppose the ruling class tend to favour systems which centralise power.

  31. STATGEEK

    I very rarely read the Scotsman and what’s with the comments section on that paper? I tried to comment on a topic a few months back regarding Fred Goodwin and crickey 15 comments sprung from nowhere and my comment magically disappeared??

    Strange and very odd online paper that one.

  32. Nat threads?
    Anthony we used to have a helpful side bar listing the threads which meant we could have different debates going on at once. Perhaps we could return?
    R Huckle
    As I posted immediately after the indy doc was published, Salmond seems himself to be ruling out seperation because he makes it clear he isn’t leaving without shared control of sterling and no UK government will ever agree to this. He says that if he doesn’t get this he will leave the debt behind which would be a huge problem for the UK and a catastrophe for Scotland. A Salmond often uses the argument that he will get his way because others outside the UK will think it jolly unsporting if he doesn’t which has to be accounted as quaint.

  33. On the federal UK point.
    If it’s a no vote and mind the SNP will still be in power for another two years (5 year term so not to clash with 2015 UK GE) Salmond should on the run up to the 2016 Scots election set out proposals for a referendum on federal powers for Scotland, that should be enough to boot the lukewarm Calman thing into the long grass.

  34. barney crockett

    Nat threads?
    Anthony we used to have a helpful side bar listing the threads which meant we could have different debates going on at once. Perhaps we could return
    ______

    That would be a great idea.

  35. @AC

    It’s generally union-aligned, and as a result has an unhealthy amount of trolls on both sides commenting (not least on the paper’s anti-NAT bias). It has been a little better in the past few months, but I only pop in when a really good Indy headline hits the Beeb, as I can’t wait to see the slant in said paper (and the comments).

  36. NAT threads?

    Saltire threads?

    Sounds worryingly separatist to me. :))

  37. STATGEEK

    Thanks for the warning and think I will give it a wide berth.

    I get very suspicious of news paper forums and I’m not at all surprised if the editors chuck in a couple of agent Provocateur’s to stir things up.

  38. That fish slap looks more California than Grimsby to me.

    OK – Morris Dancing

    On Thursday we had comnishambles on immigrant related matters and Zummerzett floods with with both ‘Badger’ Paterson and our revered PM wading in (npi) with initiatives about as proven to be effective as IDS’s genius.

    My take on Comnishambles is that, if anything, it will be good for UKIP – Government looking out of control but the EU to blame (even if it’s not actually the EU but the ECHR)

    Zummerzett probably nothing in itself on VI but it doesn’t exactly feed into any views that the government has masterful control of events so will there be an effect on approval?

  39. “I get very suspicious of news paper forums and I’m not at all surprised if the editors chuck in a couple of agent Provocateur’s to stir things up”

    Many years ago a friend of mine was editor of a part-work called ‘The Unexplained’.
    He had great fun making up readers’ letters and the reply to same (though none of this was Explained to the readers). Mrs Trellis of N. Wales rules OK

  40. It seems to me that the Euro crisis has stopped the Scottish Independence movement in its tracks. If an independent Scotland wants to remain in Sterling then it will have to play by the Bank of England’s rules and so can never be truly “independent ” just as Greece etc have found to their cost. If the Scots want Devo Max or whatever then the rest of the country is entitled to have a say.

    I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and have a fiver on Scotland voting No

  41. GUYMONDE

    Oh dear that wasn’t very nice of your friend lol
    ….
    “Mrs Trellis of N. Wales rules OK”
    ___

    Is she not the political editor for the Scotsman? …Just kidding.

  42. Valerie

    Your type of comment was the very reason I posted my first comment regarding the negatives on independence.

    We keep reading about the negatives and Salmonds vision but never do we see a positive case for the union.

    And if it is a YES then it’s in both Scotland’s and the rUk interests to have a smooth divorce, it’s not a one way thing and only Scotland will suffer if the divorce goes pear shaped.

  43. ALEC

    @”Personally I’m now completely satisfied that the BoE does not have to repay any QE, ”

    Quite right because that is a meaningless statement.

    The BoE doesn’t have to “repay” anyone.

    It has purchased some TReasury Bonds ( Gilts).( with newly created liquidity) It is the TREASURY who do the repaying when the Gilts reach their redemption dates.

    The first APF held Gilts reached maturity last March & the TReasury repaid them at face value-(as they do with all the Gilts they issue to fund our State Debt.) More and more will do so as time passes.

    Gilts are IOUs denominated by Coupon Rate and Term to Maturity.

  44. @Colin – I understand, so what I’m actually saying is that the Treasury doesn’t have to pay the BoE.

    It’s the ‘newly created’ bit of ‘with newly created liquidity’ that gives the game away.

  45. @Allan Christie

    So here you go: keeping the Union will maintain a secure currency union, enable you to keep the pound, and guarantee your banks. All backed by an economy that’s much bigger than Scotland’s.

  46. Allan Christie,

    Since being in the Union and not being in the Union are our only options, an argument that X will happen outwith the Union but won’t happen within the Union IS a positive argument for the Union.

    You can say that-

    “Scotland will suffer problem X outwith the Union and (and implicitly not within the Union”

    – is a negative argument, but it’s essential saying that-

    “Scotland will get benefit not-X within the Union (and implicitly not within the Union”.

    For example, take the argument that Scotland ends up in a situation of issuing debt that’s not in our sovereign currency if we leave the Union. Well, that’s just another way of saying that Scotland gets to be in a situation where we are part of a country which issues debt in our sovereign currency if we stay in the Union.

    Similarly, take a pro-independence argument like “Scotland would be better off independent”. That’s only true if Scotland would be worse off if we stay in the UK, and that SOUNDS very negative.

    The negativity/positivity spin is a snare and a delusion.

  47. Dammit- like the best blaeberries on the moors, the Sheep beat me to it.

  48. I think Amber put it succinctly yonks ago:

    Whatever happens will be made to work ‘cos it will have to. Whether one way is better than the other won’t ever be known so its just going with one’s gut instincts.

    All the rest is bollocks.

  49. I think Amber put it succinctly yonks ago:

    Whatever happens will be made to work ‘cos it will have to. Whether one way is better than the other won’t ever be known so its just going with one’s gut instincts.

    All the rest is boll*cks.

  50. ‘We keep reading about the negatives and Salmonds vision but never do we see a positive case for the union.’

    Perhaps because the argument for the Union may not exist?

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