As well as the YouGov and Opinium national polls, there were also two Scottish referendum polls. Regular readers will recall that ICM’s Scottish poll a week ago showed an interesting narrowing in the race, so the question is whether this will be repeated elsewhere.

Survation’s first referendum poll in the Mail on Sunday had topline figures of YES 32%, NO 52% and don’t know 16%, very similar to the recent YouGov and Ipsos-MORI polls. Given it’s Survation’s first Scottish referendum poll we obviously don’t have any changes from last time.

More interesting are the figures from TNS-BMRB which have YES on 29% (up 2 points since December), NO on 41% (unchanged). The change is small in isolation, but looking at the broader trend from TNS there does appear to be a gradual increase in Yes support. In August they has Yes on 25%, October on 25%, November 26%, December 27%, now 29%.


232 Responses to “New TNS-BMRB and Survation Scottish polls”

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  1. There has been a lot of discussion here about the impact on September`s poll of a Financial Times article, but I haven`t spotted any mention of the roll of the BBC.

    BBC Scotland is just as much affected by its base in the Central Belt as BBC UK is affected by its base in SE England, the latter causing many of the news and background programmes to have a Tory and/or metropolitan bias.

    Last week government decisions were made to centralise the police and fire control rooms/ staff for all Scotland in Central Scotland, so Aberdeen is losing offices of both sorts. Already support for Alex Salmond and the SNP is considerably reduced in the NE, and this may well cause further decline.

    But I doubt that the BBC will allocate much time to the display of regional anger.

    Which makes me worried about the BBC Scotland programmes on the referendum now coming along in masses. For example “5 million ways to be Scottish” on BBC 2 this Tuesday evening.

    How will it depict us morris dancers – Scottish ones, or English ones happily living in a tolerant Scotland?

  2. ALEC

    I don’t class myself as a NAT and I was reading your posts with interest and you even made a few good points but sadly you let yourself down spectaculars.

    You provided a link to the good old Wiki. It would take me 5 mins to log into my Wiki account and gerrymander the info, so can anyone else so when discussing finance and stuff it’s best to give Wiki a very wide berth.

    It’s early and I’m off to work (all of 6 hours today) but I think one thing we all need to agree on and that it’s in the rUK and Scotland’s best interest for any divorce to work.

    As a Scottish voter and British tax contributor I expect both my governments to who I (lent) my vote to make any settlement work.

  3. Ooops thanks for taking my first post out of moderation Mr Wells. :-)

  4. DAVID

    “How will it depict us morris dancers – Scottish ones, or English ones happily living in a tolerant Scotland?
    ______

    Don’t worry as I found out everything should be fine unless we mention 1966. ;-)

  5. Apologies for my intolerent posts on the Scottish independence debate last night.

    It just frustrates me, when there is a lack of clarity with the information provided by both sides. If I were based in Scotland, I would be in the don’t know camp, with the other 16% of those polled. How can you vote on something so important, without having independently assessed information which is accurate ?

  6. @R Huckle – dead right. Both camps, but particularly I would say the Yes side, are dealing in such vapid and downright misleading information that I’ve been appalled with the quality of the debate.

    Scotland used to pride itself on it’s educational standards, but as an advert for public engagement, the entire debate has been woeful.

  7. @ Allan Christie

    Of course Wikipedia is not biblical truth but a pretty good guide. In this case it seems to precisely agree with myriad other sources, so I don’t think anybody ‘let themselves down spectaculars’

  8. @Allan Christie

    Yes, if there is a divorce then we need both sides to try and make it work. But who are the ‘both sides’? Clearly the Scottish Government is one, but the UK Government isn’t the other.

    The other side of the negotiation should be undertaken by the rUK Government – which, of course, doesn’t actually exist.

    The terms of the agreement should then be put to both sets of people. I trust the people to be reasonable.

    In the event of a yes vote I would hope there would be elections on both sides of the border to decide new Governments, followed by approval of the terms of the split. This would (of course) provide a field day for pollsters and poll watchers!

  9. On the point about Scottish influence on economic policy, I think that Alec has it right.

    Some facts: for 13 out of the last 16 + 1/2 years, the Chancellor has been a Scottish person representing a Scottish seat. That was the period in which our current monetary policy arrangements (an inflation-targeting system with an independent central bank) were set up and subsequently modified.

    Anything remotely close to that sort of influence, post-independence, would be absurd. There won’t be any Scottish MPs having any sort of direct influence on the Bank of England’s operations.

  10. Polldrums for the Shevii post Christmas diet. First two weeks saw a 7 pound fall but since then no change.

    People are always looking for reasons behind movements and some might say the initiative to trade off a curry for a swim has not gone down well with the flab. Experience tells us that there is a MOE of about 2 pounds on these figures so it could be that the curry decision has had an impact or it could just be random variation- only time will tell.

    Either way I suspect there will be posters out there saying there should be a much bigger lead at this stage in the cycle with Valentines Day and a short break coming up :-(

  11. Lol @SHEVII

    the Guymonde (sometimes subject to the Gutmonde typo) ‘diet’ is also in the polldrums.
    There was a pre-Christmas surge following the announcement of the ‘go to the gym nearly every day’ policy but unfortunately due to the mess inherited from the previous dietary regime this surge has been reversed and modest growth resumed, which I’m hoping will turn out to be a bubble.

  12. @ Bill Patrick

    True that Brown and Darling are Scots; but that does not mean that they were specifically thinking about Scotland in isolation when conjouring up economic policy. Both having rock-solid safe seats means that they were to some extent isolated from the need to put Scotland first.

    In the late ’90s when devolution was being set up, no-one in Scottish Labour dreamed in his/her worst nightmare that the present situation would be possible. Labour didn’t think it needed to defend its position in Scotland because it thought devolution would get rid of the Nationalist threat its power.

    @ Alec and R Huckle: I agree that the debate has not been of the highest quality; but on the other hand, there is, I suspect, a large proportion of the population on both sides for whom emotional attachments are more important than mere economic statistics.

  13. John B,

    Of course they didn’t think about Scotland in isolation or “put Scotland first”. That would be very irresponsible, and you would rightly condemn an English politician if they thought in an analogous way.

    On the other hand, who is willing to contend that Scottish MPs with Scottish seats are more likely to give Scottish interests at least their fair weighting in their decisions, compared with other kinds of MPs? And who is willing to contend that Scotland is better off with Scottish voices at the top table of economic policymaking, rather than as foreign junior partners (with no direct influence in the House of Commons) in a neo-Sterling zone?

  14. Populus:

    Lab 41 Con 32 LD 11 UKIP 9

    Some very odd polls around at the moment.

  15. “@ shevii

    Populus:

    Lab 41 Con 32 LD 11 UKIP 9

    Some very odd polls around at the moment.”

    But I think the tables from the ST YG poll showed Labour polling over 40% amongst working age people.

    So perhaps Labours polling is on the rise, while the Tories stay in the low 30’s ? We will see over the course of the next week or so.

  16. “YouGov:

    CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%”

    “Populus:

    Lab 41 Con 32 LD 11 UKIP 9”

    In Peter Kellner’s words –

    “Why Labour’s popular tax policy backfired”

  17. I actually made a couple of mistakes this morning. Firstly, following a link on here, I got to Wings Over Scotland and decided to make a post. My second mistake was to not to uncheck the box about having email alerts when replies are posted.

    It confirms my suspicion that much of this is dialogue of the deaf. When another poster said my (I thought quite thoughtfully constructed and balanced) posts were ‘bllsh!t’, the man who runs the site came on and said such a post is entirely in keeping with normal political debate! And he a Reverend!

    I think more than ever that it’s been a huge mistake, for both sides I think, to have a vote in independence, before the independence deal is agreed.

    Both sides are able to invent all manner of imaginary futures and hide themselves from awkward realities. The simple truth is that Scotland knows not what it is voting for.

  18. Not to rain on anyone’s 50p parade, but Populus has had Labour pegged on 40% all through January. The latest poll doesn’t necessarily indicate movement.

    (There’s a deep point here about the impact of Ukip. Labour has been stuck below 40% with YouGov since last spring because of the defection of Labour and Lib/Lab switchers to Ukip. Populus downweighs their Ukip identifiers, so the main party scores are correspondingly higher- and Labour especially benefit from this because (Anthony believes) Populus are weighing back to their 2012 polls, when the Tories had already experienced a Ukip exodus but Labour had not.

    I suspect the raw VIs with all the temporary Ukip protest voters returned home are something like Con 36%, Lab 41%, LD 12%, Ukip 6%. That’s what we were seeing earlier in this Parliament. It’s one of the reasons I think people who are expecting Labour’s VI to fall dramatically in the next eighteen months are likely to be disappointed- they probably will lose some of their current supporters, but like the Tories they have a pool of Ukip protest voters to regain as the general election draws near and concentrates the mind.)

  19. “The latest poll doesn’t necessarily indicate movement.”

    Actually, it does. It shows a 2% increase for Labour but little else. (Probably down to MOE, of course.)

  20. @ Newhouset,

    It does not necessarily indicate movement in the underlying numbers.

  21. @Spearmint

    Whilst I wouldn’t want to start defending the Populus weighting methodology, are you sure that they are weighting back to 2012? I had thought that they were using the 2011 British Social Attitudes Survey as the basis for party identifiers.

  22. Phil – you are correct (or almost correct). Populus are based their weighting targets on the 2010 British Social Attitudes survey.

    What Spearmint is recalling is a conversation I had with (I think) Roger Mexico where he was speculating that Populus designed their new weighting scheme so it was inline with what YouGov was showing at the time, whereas my guess was that they designed it so it produced equivalent figures to what their telephone polling was producing.

  23. @AW
    Thanks for clarifying that. And it was my speculation that you debunked. Either way, I suspect that their main frame of reference was probably the equivalence of the Lab-Con gap, rather than the equivalence of what the new method was throwing up for UKIP.

  24. I predicted at least hree polls this week with Lab on 40% or more.

    First poll…42%

  25. Sorry 41%

  26. Nick – you had me scampering off to look for a new poll I’d missed then.

  27. EU elections on the horizon – Conservatives seem stuck in 3rd place. UKIP could prove interesting too.

    As for Labour over 40% – we’ll see.

  28. Tim Yeo has not been re-adopted to stand as Con candidate for South Suffolk constituency.

    (Which thread are we supposed to be posting on ? Is this one just for Scottish polling or should we all be on this one as it’s the most recent ?)

  29. @OLDNAT

    “There is something faintly ridiculous about those who oppose a return of sovereignty to Scotland complaining that we would then have to share that sovereignty!”

    ——–

    Truly epic levels of word-twisting going on here, in an endeavour to portray an inconsistent position as someone else’s inconsistent position, and this quote above gets to the heart of it.

    No, they are not necessarily “complaining” that you might have to “share sovereignty” over currency. You are imposing the “complaint” thing to invent an inconsistency. They are simply noting an inconsistency in your case. An argument for independence is freedom to make your own decisions, freedom from the UK yoke, and shared currency arrangements undermine that freedom.

    Secondly, even if folk DO have a “complaint” about the shared currency thing, that isn’t necessarily inconsistent either. Because from a UK point of view, they are going to have to lose some control over the currency in some strange shared relationship. Which can create difficulties.

    You are selling this carefully as a “collaboration”, but that rather undersells the reality. Scotland will have to cede some control, and so will rUK, and shared currency arrangements can introduce problems. It isn’t some inevitably glossy win-win scenario that cannot possibly f*ck up.

    Even losing control of things like setting deficits is sold as inevitably a good thing. Doubt Greece would say the same…

    It’s amazing to behold. Things will be so much more wonderful if Scotlan

  30. @ Chordata

    No, this isn’t just a Scotland site, which is just as well seeing as how some people (myself included) seem to be able to keep going on about the same thing day after day.

    So why is Tim Yeo out? Anyone got any info on that?

    And any latest on Wythenshawe and Sale East?

  31. @oldnat

    “Obviously the UK Government wants to be in total control, but if Scots decide that it isn’t, it would be strange (though by no means unprecedented) behaviour for a Government to damage its own people out of spite.”

    ——-

    The spite jibe isn’t helpful either. There are genuine concerns over some cobbled shared currency arrangements that involve reduced control for both Scotland and rUK while introducing potential for screw ups.

    There’s a thing. Would Sterling continue to behave as a petro-currency under a shared arrangement? So rUK might suffer potential consequences of that, without actually having the offsetting benefits of the oil?

  32. Also, on the oil thing… don’t you worry? That it’ll get used for short term electoral gain rather than securing the long term future? Given that it’s been known to happen. How can you guarantee that it won’t happen? ‘Cos if it does, how strong is your economy on its own without the oil?

  33. This cake-and-eat it faith in sharing things, like the currency. Strangely you don’t wanna share the oil though!!

  34. So you run off with the oil, make us create some cobbled currency arrangement, but you may then run off and join the Euro!! Can you explain how this wonderful “collaboration” benefits rUK?

    Allan? Anybody?

  35. @ Chordata,

    I was posting here because I thought the other thread was dead, but if we could keep that one going and reserve this one for Scottish issues I think we might improve the quality of debate for everyone.

  36. The DT and the Guardian have utterly opposing leaders today on the same extremely divisive Government Minister.

    What is absolutely fascinating is that it is far too early to tell whether the Minister has actually changed the object of his brief decisively for the better or worse*, but both allegedly serious papers are absolutely sure of their verdict on him. One believes he is a roaring success, based only on the fact that he has said he is, the other believes he is a terrible failure based only on the fact that their readers don’t like him.

    There is an interesting political lesson here, but what is more interesting is what it says about the terrible standards of our supposedly quality press.

    *It is *not* too early to tell if he has succeeded in winning over those under his brief, though.

  37. Sorry, completely missed the point of relevance in the post above.

    One paper believes the Minister is a boost to Conservative VI, the other a drag.

    I’d be interested to hear if individual Ministers (or Shadows) can or do apparently affect overall Government VI. My suspicion is that they do not.

  38. @John B

    Wythenshaw
    Latest odds might give a clue:
    Lab 1/20 on, UKIP 10/1, Con 150/1, LD 200/1

    Unfortunately I can’t find any market on Tendring St Johns, which is the one that really interests many of us here.

  39. Sorry, that was Lab 1/14 on.

  40. @Chordata

    “No, they are not necessarily “complaining” that you might have to “share sovereignty” over currency. You are imposing the “complaint” thing to invent an inconsistency. They are simply noting an inconsistency in your case. An argument for independence is freedom to make your own decisions, freedom from the UK yoke, and shared currency arrangements undermine that freedom.”

    It could be argued that Scotland is exercising it’s inclination to have a real union of two nations, rather than be a region of another.

  41. @Carfrew

    “So you run off with the oil, make us create some cobbled currency arrangement, but you may then run off and join the Euro!! Can you explain how this wonderful “collaboration” benefits rUK?”

    It probably doesn’t as the separatists (and some on the fence) see the status quo as favouring other areas of the UK, while their idea of Independence will give Scotland a better footing.

    Should England put itself in a worse position? To ask that question, we have to accept that it is accepted that Scotland would be putting itself in a better position.

  42. STATGEEK
    @Chordata

    Erm, not me.

    I deliberately stay out of debates on Scottish independence.

  43. @Chordata

    Apologies. Your prior Tim Yeo post had your name floating in my mind.

  44. “It could be argued that Scotland is exercising it’s inclination to have a real union of two nations, rather than be a region of another.”

    ——————-

    Yes, the wondrous “real union” of keeping the oil but making us create some cobbled shared currency arrangement just for them before they run off for another “real union” with the Euro.

  45. Statgeek,

    “Should England put itself in a worse position? To ask that question, we have to accept that it is accepted that Scotland would be putting itself in a better position.”

    No we don’t. X benefits only if Y suffers only in a zero-sum game. One might as well say of a divorcring couple that, if one partner is going to be less happy, the other partner must be happier.

  46. @Statgeek

    ” It probably doesn’t as the separatists (and some on the fence) see the status quo as favouring other areas of the UK, while their idea of Independence will give Scotland a better footing.

    Should England put itself in a worse position? To ask that question, we have to accept that it is accepted that Scotland would be putting itself in a better position.”

    ——–

    Oh yeah, one can see arguments for Independence. They don’t seem to see any issues for a shared currency for them or us though. A shared currency doesn’t seem to mean a loss of any independence, or run any risks. Even the deficit thing, can only be a positive. It’s all a wonderful collaboration in the best of all possible worlds…

  47. Yes, a real union, where each side decides what’s best for it, rather than all the tax revenue hitting one side, and said side deciding how much the other can get back.

  48. @ John B

    Both [Brown & Darling] having rock-solid safe seats means that they were to some extent isolated from the need to put Scotland first.
    —————-
    Let me stop you right there. Alistair Darling has a ‘safe’ seat because he’s Alistair Darling; I wouldn’t count on the next person having anything like the majority which he has.

  49. @Statgeek,

    Are budgetary decisions for the UK taken exclusively by politicians from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and then imposed on Scotland?

    That’s probably news to, hmm, I dunno, Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling and Danny Alexander amongst others.

  50. @STATGEEK

    “Yes, a real union, where each side decides what’s best for it, rather than all the tax revenue hitting one side, and said side deciding how much the other can get back.”

    ——-
    Sounds great. In the abstract. Many things sound good put like that!! A wondrous collaboration!!! What could be wrong with that?? But in reality, what’s so great about having to risk a shared currency and negotiate deficits and stuff, only for them to run off to the euro?

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