There is a new Panelbase Scottish poll for NewsNet Scotland out today, with topline figures of YES 40%, NO 45%, don’t know 15%. Leaving aside that one poll with leading questions, the five point lead for No is the smallest we’ve seen since way back in February 2012. As ever don’t get too excited about any single poll, it’s the trend that counts, but there does appear to be a slight trend towards YES. John Curtice has his say upon it here.
Polls so far are here. Different Scottish polls from different companies tend to produce slightly different figures, especially in terms of don’t know. For trends it’s probably best to repercentage to exclude don’t knows, and one should certainly only compare polls from the same company:
Taking them one at a time, ICM had YES on 40% last September, then 46% in January, then 43% in February – YES appear up on September, but recent trends are unclear.
Ipsos MORI we had YES on 34% last September, 37% in December, 36% in February. Again YES appear up on September, but the recent trends are unclear
Survation we had YES on 38% in January, and then on 45% in February and March… but there was a significant methodology change between January and February, so don’t read too much into that shift.
TNS-BMRB we have what looks like a trend. YES was on 36% in October, 38% in November, 40% in December and January, 41% in February.
YouGov appears to show a similar steady but slow trend – 38% in September, 39% in December and January, 40% in February.
Panelbase have consistently shown better scores for YES than other companies, but until today have not really shown a clear trend: 44% in September, 45% in October and November, 43% and 44% in February. Repercentaged to exclude don’t knows today’s YES figure would be 47%… so higher, but not something that couldn’t be normal margin of error.
Putting it all together whatever trend is present is only small, so in individual poll series it is difficult to distinguish it from normal sample variation. Looking across the board though, the direction of travel in recent months does appear to slightly be towards YES.