Saturday’s Sun newspaper had a new YouGov poll of Scottish voting intentions with topline figures of YES 35%(+1), NO 53%(+1). There’s obviously no significant change from YouGov’s previous poll, carried out at the start of February before the recent currency row, and the NO lead remains at 18 points. The referendum results are here and there are some additional questions here. In his commentary on the YouGov website today Peter Kellner suggests views are pretty solid – the currency story hasn’t made much impact because the vast majority (79%) of YES supporters just didn’t believe it and assumed the British political parties were bluffing (though a fair amount of YES supporters would also prefer an independent Scottish currency anyway).

There was a similar break when people were asked about an independent Scotland’s position in the European Union – the large majority (70%) of YES supporters think that an independent Scotland will be able to make a smooth transition to membership on day one, only 15% of NO voters think they would. The arguments that dominate the Scottish independence debate don’t really appear to be changing any minds, people are just viewing them through their pre-existing support for YES or NO.

In a similar vein there is a new Ipsos MORI Scottish poll, also timed to mark the 200 days to go point, and again showing very little change. Amongst those certain to vote YES is on 32%(-2), NO is on 57%(nc), Don’t knows 11%. Changes are from the previous MORI poll in December 2013. Full tabs are here.


143 Responses to “New MORI and YouGov Scottish polls”

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  1. Is Crimea important in terms of the oil/gas thing?…

  2. The West is certainly being pretty craven, but it’s easy to see why. When you’ve eliminated everything that is impossible, what remains is the truth.

    Any sanctions against Russia were always going to be token, ineffective and temporary. Perhaps we should sacrifice a few tens of thousands of UK jobs or a 1% of GDP, in order to present a more convincing (but still token, ineffective and temporary) sanction. Tough call for politicians.

    As for civil servants walking through Whitehall with their briefing documents in plain sight. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. Hardly a party political point.

    The 9% lead will be a relief for Labour. The run of small leads was starting to look like the gap had closed a little, but the 9% suggests there’s nothing much more than MOE going on, as usual.

  3. @Carfrew

    My understanding is no. But Russia is currently offering Ukraine discounted oil under a deal agreed between Moscow and Kiev in December. That deal may be under threat.

  4. @Carfrew,

    Gas, yes.

  5. @Neil A

    I was thinking (dangerous concept I know). What if Russia is just trying to mobilise pro-Russian sentiment in Ukraine to seek yo ensure a pro-Russia candidate wins the General Election in May.

  6. Raf
    Nah, it’s all to do with maximising the support for the Eurovisiom Song Contest.

  7. @Ed,

    Interesting news on Patrick Rock. Unusually it appears the illegal images were actually detected by Downing Street and then passed on to the authorities, rather than it being one of the many operations that regularly haul in dozens of offenders.

    It does conjure up a bizarre image of a political advisor on a laptop at Number Ten, googling internet filters in one window whilst simultaneously surfing indecent photographs in another.

    Again though, embarrassing as it is, not really party political in nature.

  8. @Ewen Lightfoot

    Well they have to qualify first.

  9. @RAF

    Maybe. But Russia looks to me like it’s in Crimea for good.

    As I said yesterday, it might be better for international stability to chop the country up and end this 50/50 knife-edge of mutually exclusive views that seems to bedevil Ukraine.

  10. Neil A

    “it might be better for international stability to chop the country up and end this 50/50 knife-edge of mutually exclusive views that seems to bedevil Ukraine.”

    Although, since the differences aren’t neatly geographical, you could make an equally good argument for England, the USA – or many countries, in fact,

  11. @Oldnat,

    But as you so often point out, the Tories, Labour and LDs are all basically the same party, so we don’t really have a knife edge of mutually-exclusive views at all.

    Even in the USA the Republicans and Democrats aren’t really “mutually exclusive”. They’re just very antagonistic.

    It’s not like the Republicans want a confederation with Canada and the Democrats want to unite with Mexico.

  12. @Neil A

    “it might be better for international stability to chop the country up and end this 50/50 knife-edge of mutually exclusive views that seems to bedevil Ukraine.”

    Not sure this worked too well in Ireland, or India/Pakistan.
    According to Wiki, 58% of Crimeans are Russians.

  13. Neil A – I doubt any sanctions against prominent Russians would cost thousands of jobs. It would lower London’s housing bubbles and its ripple affects. But that would mean sending out a message to those with dodgy money the world over that investing in London may have repercussions, and we can’t have that!

    London has a reputation as a pretty lax and lawless place in many countries around the world now when it comes to finance, regulation and taxes. The top brass seem keen to cultivate it. They certainly do little to prevent it. Happily it may co-align with Germany’s desire not to play hardball as they are so reliant on Russian energy.

  14. Neil A

    But, while these parties in England seem almost identical to me, they clearly don’t to many on here, where people envisage wholly different futures based on who controls your NHS etc.

    Now that UKIP have major party status in England, one of your major parties (and much of another one) want no truck with the rest of Europe, while one of the others (and much of the 4th) seems keen on some kind of confederation with the EU.

    The major difference is that the EU wouldn’t invade Kent if there’s a vote to leave the EU.

    However, it’s easy to suggest that another country should be partitioned by a bigger neighbour – ask the Irish.

  15. @ Ewen,

    To be fair, I doubt they would have employed him if they’d known this was going to happen. (And of course we don’t know if he’s even going to be charged with anything yet.)

    It’s all guilt-by-association rubbish- but rather awkward for politicians who were so eager for Harriet Harman to apologise for her own associations last week.

  16. Neil A

    From your description of the Rock affair, it actually looks a positive for No 10 that they not only discovered the alleged offences, but then passed that onto the police.

    “It does conjure up a bizarre image of a political advisor on a laptop at Number Ten, googling internet filters in one window whilst simultaneously surfing indecent photographs in another.”

    Haven’t you come across exactly that kind of activity in lots of other offices?

  17. @Neil A

    I’ve agreed with most of what you have said on the issue.

    However, i dont think Russia wants to occupy Crimea permanently. The one thing they absolutely do not want is a Ukraine in the EU, or worse NATO. Let’s not forget what triggered current events. Yanukoviych doing an energy deal with Russia and rejecting moves to sign an EU Association Agreement, triggering mass protests in Western Ukraine leading to his ouster. There were plenty of other factors of course but that was the most important one.

    So Russia will do what it needs to do to prevent Ukraine joining the EU or NATO. If it still believes that this can be done by getting enough Ukrainians to back its man in the upcoming General Elections, then it might not go any further.

  18. @GuyMonde

    Most Pakistanis still consider the partition of India to have been necessary to protect the Muslims of India from discrimination. But that was a very different scenario to Ukraine.

    Of course I do not know the exact position of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, but from what I have seen and read they does not appear to be a significant risk of discrimination against them – even if Ukraine joined the EU.

  19. Spear
    Apparently he was turned down repeatedly by Conservative Associations when attempting to become an MP, my God, just imagine the hoo- hah if he had been Labour or LD !

  20. Another one of the considerations for splitting the East from West Ukraine is that the wealthy industrial areas are all in the Eastern regions… Hence, the new administration has appointed two wealthy oligarchs to run those regions. Doesn’t necessarily sound like a recipe for success.

  21. @RAF,

    You may be right. My gut instinct is that he has probably so energised the ethnic Ukrainians in the West of Ukraine that Yanukovich or his replacement would struggle to win again.

    If that was his game plan, it may yet be a defeat for him in the long run.

    @Oldnat,

    I’ve come across it in all sorts of places, but never with someone who’s both the person planning the catching and the person being caught, on the same computer.

    @Spearmint,

    Of course some people would say that Rock hasn’t done anything wrong, unless the police can “prove” that the children in the images were “harmed”. Some people like, oh I don’t know, Legal Officers at the NCCL?

  22. @Oldnat,

    I consider the Ukraine/Crimea situation to have some strong parallels with Ireland, as we discussed yesterday.

  23. Some reporting that Yanukovych asked Russia to intervene militarily.

    Does this make a difference in international law? ie Does it blur the boundaries sufficiently if an elected President, (ousted by revolution) appeals to a “friendly neighbour” to “restore lawful governance” etc etc etc.

    The genuinely “Macbethian” parallel, would be of Malcolm being restored to his rightful position by the forces of Siward! :-)

  24. @Oldnat,

    It’s the pretext that was used in Afghanistan in 1979.

    I suppose it would hinge on whether you consider that being elected is the be-all-and-end-all of legitimacy. The “revolutionaries” would contend that by ordering the security services to attack and kill demonstrators, the President committed crimes that invalidated his term of office. From what I understand, they don’t have the constitution on their side.

  25. NEIL A

    I think it’s also a pretext that the British, American, Roman Empires (and probably every other one) has also used.

  26. Neil A

    “From what I understand, they don’t have the constitution on their side.”

    I don’t think that the English had that on their side in 1688 either! But, as we all know, official history is written by the victors, not the losers.

    Though the history of the losers has a strange habit of resurrecting itself – Macaulay would be horrified at what appears in historical journals nowadays.

  27. @Neil and Rory

    If you add the yougov lead from Friday, Sunday and Tuesday together – 5, 4 and 9 and average them,you get 6, same as the last 6 months.

    Also

    On the Populus polls.If their weighting is consistently wrong, (as people here point out after every poll), then I don’t understand why Populus do not change their weighting. Surely it makes them lose credibility.

  28. Rock was arrested on 13th February. Between the time of his arrest & it becoming public knowledge, the Daily Mail held back the Rock story whilst in the same period it relentlessly pushed the allegation that Harriet Harman had supported PIE. That’s a rather convenient coincidence don’t you think?

  29. @ Colin

    Vlad must be smiling into his vodka tonight & planning his next moves in the Eastern Ukraine.
    ——————
    At least nobody is shooting. Let’s hope for the best – that the situation stabilises to be followed by Russia’s extra forces leaving as rapidly & as ‘peacefully’ as they arrived.

  30. @Amber

    “At least nobody is shooting. Let’s hope for the best”

    Chamberlain’s Strategy?

  31. Geeky

    “Chamberlain’s Strategy?”
    Any better ideas?

    Amber

    “Rock was arrested on 13th February. Between the time of his arrest & it becoming public knowledge, the Daily Mail held back the Rock story whilst in the same period it relentlessly pushed the allegation that Harriet Harman had supported PIE. That’s a rather convenient coincidence don’t you think?”

    Do we know the Mail had the story earlier? Was it only the Mail?

  32. @Guy

    “Any better ideas?”

    Lots.

  33. @GuyMonde
    Most Pakistanis still consider the partition of India to have been necessary to protect the Muslims of India from discrimination. But that was a very different scenario to Ukraine.

    -The difference being there was huge levels of targeted attacks against various communities in pre separation India resulting in thousands of deaths.

    In Crimea there have effectively been none and it’s just an excuse to justify invasion.

    With Russia’s stock market in free fall it seems that international pressure will possibly do more than targeted response to reduce tensions.

  34. Re the latest YG VI figures

    I can see that MOE may account for the 6 point range in Lab V, but I have noticed for some time that the range for Con VI appears to much narrower ie 3 points. The Con VI seems to me to be centred on 33.

    Can anyone explain this?

  35. Mike N

    The Labour vote is somewhat flakier than the Tory vote.

  36. @ GuyM

    Do we know the Mail had the story earlier? I have reason to believe they did; I can’t ‘prove’ it, though.
    Was it only the Mail? Yes; they released the story yesterday.

  37. Had to smile this morning, the Daily Mail is carrying the No10 aide resignation as the big front page item. so very even handed of the Mail.

  38. Latest YouGov and Populus look like outliers at each end of the scale.

  39. @ Mike N

    It looked to be the other way round not so long ago; that is Con VI seemed more variable. I give the credit to the great God of Chance – the most powerful of all the gods and much under-rated.

  40. ToH – I agree re YG but think the Populus is normal for them with their lack of accurate 2010 weighting; imo their 5-6% Lab leads were the ones on the high side of MOE.

    New rule of thumb for me add 2% to Populus to get an equivalent YG lead (roughly 1% up/down on Tory and Lab).

  41. JimJam

    Yes I would go with that, I think Labour’s lead is 5-6 but I do think there vote is flakier.

  42. ernie

    I may be wrong but I don’t think thats true. What I do think is that the Tory vote is firm and edging very slowly upwards.

  43. @ Statgeek

    It’s more like Kosovo than WW2 (you need to keep up with international law). The reason given by NATO for intervening in Kosovo was to prevent a flood of refugees into other European countries. Russia has given the same reason for being in the Crimea.

  44. Ed

    “Two bad stories for the Government”

    No 10 seem to have acted in exemplary fashion see comment:-

    “Number 10 said it had been made aware of a potential offence and referred the matter to the National Crime Agency, which arrested Mr Rock at his home a few hours later on 13 February.”

  45. @ ToH

    Had to smile this morning, the Daily Mail is carrying the No10 aide resignation as the big front page item. so very even handed of the Mail.
    ————-
    That’s exactly my point. Without the unwarranted attack on Harman, nobody would consider this to be ‘politically even’.

  46. Amber Star

    As you know I was totally supportive of the Daily Mail’s story about Harriet Harman (indeed i could understand whereRoland was coming from the other day), as I am totally supportive of the Mail making the Rock resignation a front page story. Are you suggesting that the Rock story should not be on the front page?

  47. James Chapman: “Qs for No10 about silence on Patrick Rock arrest for nearly 3 weeks, only confirming when details leaked to Mail”

    So while they’ve technically done the right thing, hiding it for nearly a month doesn’t look great. Maybe it was leaked today because Europe’s on the verge of war?

    “A good day to bury bad news”.

  48. @Amber

    At the time, the rumour was that the Mail ran the Harman smears as a spoiler for something the Express were about to publish. Most thought it was something to do with an ongoing police investigation mentioned in Parliament. It now appears it was this Rock story.

  49. Regardless of what we think of the situation in Ukraine, some respect due for the Ukrainian 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade, who marched unarmed towards Russian troops firing warning shots to demand their airbase back. That takes guts I haven’t got.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bh3tZApIAAAcP_8.jpg

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