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.


185 Responses to “Panelbase/NewsNetScotland – YES 40%, NO 45%”

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  1. @Robbie

    I hope you noticed my Nos without an apostrophe? Quite proud of that.

  2. RobbieAlive

    This could be the start of a new style of ungrammatical polling!

    I’m looking forward to seeing Anthony’s first attempts at “stream of consciousness” question setting.

  3. @Spearmint

    Yes, Webb is a Lib Dem and furthermore well-respected across the House for his command of his brief.

    Having been in London today doing something not unconnected with policy (and, indeed, the Budget), I was struck by how different the reporting on the Budget was in the capital from in Manchester – a relatively affluent city with an economy well on the road to recovery. It does not seem that long ago that I moved from London but it is plain that the economy of the capital has diverged even further from the rest of the country and that it is worrying people.

    The FT reported how the Budget had a number of measures that benefitted the NW, and the Turing centre is expected to be at Alderley Park, the site Astra Zeneca have just pulled out of. I get the impression that there will be conscious attempts to site innovative STEM projects away from the south-east in future.

  4. Oldnat – alas, rather too much of my polling is ungrammatical already – we all have our weaknesses! :(

  5. @Valerie

    Campaigners on both sides want different things to change/remain compared to people they will be voting alongside with.

    Labour lost the election in both Scotland and the UK (terribly in Scotland ofc), its the main thrust of the No vote, its difficult to make an argument for the ‘status quo’ when it would have to be “Well we think the current situation is working fine, just look at that SNP government and Conservative led coalition!”

    The momentum is moving in one direction and theres a strong political consensus (highlighted by the SNP 2011 vote) outside of the Yes Vote that no one in the No campaign seems to have any capability of engaging with. This is not helped by my original point; their a fractured political force – they have disagreeing reasons for Devo Max and disagreeing goals. The one thing they agree on is keeping the UK together.

    Labour’s own ‘devo max’ is just another part of a broad political group that are disconnected on purpose in order to serve other greater means. Aspects such as the retention of Welfare Policy in the UK are directly targeting the ability for Scottish MPs to win elections (“We’ll keep out the Tories”) and the UK Labour party to leverage its position in this area.

    The debate has for a long time been about the countries direction ‘after 2014’; not about the status quo.

  6. John B

    “This feeling of alienation is not helped when the London media continue to refer to ‘the Education Secretary’ or ‘the Health Secretary’ when what they mean is ‘the English Education Secretary’ etc.”

    I understand that there are issues of getting up the nose of Scots Nats unnecessarily, and English politicians and media are no doubt quite insensitive at times. But your comment above has got to be the most pedantic, nationalistic comment I’ve seen for a long while. It’s darned obvious that, unless otherwise specified, media covering the whole of the UK referring to ‘Health Secretary’ are referring to the health secretary of the government for the whole of the UK. Just because health is a devolved matter doesn’t change this, and no-one can pretend that it is worth the extra typeface / words except a complete pedantic. I really refuse to believe that most Scots Nats think like this – I believe them to have far too much common sense whatever our disagreements on the Union!

  7. @Far Easterner – I think you are complete;y wrong. I’m not a nat, or a yes supporter, but it is simply not acceptable that inaccuracies are regularly peddled out without qualification. This isn’t pedantic – we just want to see reasonable coverage.

  8. The issue is more that ‘Scottish News’ is regionalised and ‘English News’ in nationalised. Its part of the problem of having this hotch-pot of parliaments and devolved/centralised powers.

    Why is the English Education Secretary privy to the discussions of a national scale that the leaders of all other governments are kept at arms reach over.

    It seems like a very fair criticism of the current way powers and positions are devolved.

  9. Alec

    I’d say it’s a given what they’re talking about, and being a matter of common sense don’t regard it as an inaccuracy at all. I could scarcely believe that more than a very few would think otherwise but I might be quite wrong – it is subjective and it all depends where your lines on common sense and pedantry fall.

    So, you astound me – but then you’re allowed to!

  10. @John B:

    I think you confuse London with England. Alienation from London and Westminster is not so different in Newcastle or Plymouth from that in Glasgow or Aberdeen. In fact possibly more so than in Edinburgh, which probably has more than its fair share of Londoners anyway.

    Re. immigration – independent or not, how can neighbouring countries have separate immigration policies without border controls?

  11. RogerH

    ” how can neighbouring countries have separate immigration policies without border controls?”

    UK and Ireland manage to do it quite easily,

  12. “Jackie Doyle-Price MP: Enough! Stop this chatter and distraction about Boris – who appeals only to the metropolitan elite.”

    http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2014/03/from-jackiedp.html

  13. @Far Easterner

    I would once have thought as you do but having moved from England to Scotland over a decade ago it is a serious issue.

    To begin with the English Health Secretary is not the Health Secretary for the whole of the UK. Devolution doesn’t work like that.

    Secondly UK network media coverage nearly always covers English issues and policy on devolved matters as though it applies across the UK and rarely if ever covers similar issues in the rest of the UK whenever there may be scope forward cross border comparison and learning.

    And finally in UK General Elections coverage of policy issues such as health, education, transport and others is largely irrelevant to voters outside of England.

  14. “UK and Ireland manage to do it quite easily,”

    Not exactly. There are checks on crossing to Great Britain, including a requirement for photo ID for British & Irish citizens.

  15. OldNat
    Indeed. The only thing obvious with the English MPs’ paranoia is that they are paranoid or scared of those who are.

  16. The Panelbase poll also asked if the partnership with the Tories in the Better Together campaign had damaged Labour in Scotland.

    45% of all respondents thought it had been damaged – 22% a lot . Among Labour voters 48% felt that damage had occurred – 16% a lot.

  17. It doesn’t seem that partnership with the Tories does anyone any favours!

  18. RogerH

    “Not exactly. There are checks on crossing to Great Britain, including a requirement for photo ID for British & Irish citizens.”

    And when I travel between Belfast and Cairnryan (both within the UK) that applies too – so it’s nothing to do with whether countries are independent or not.

    Just try flying between any two UK cities without photo ID!

  19. Very interesting. Are there enough remaining DKs for AS to squeeze?

  20. RogerH

    “Not exactly. There are checks on crossing to Great Britain, including a requirement for photo ID for British & Irish citizens.”

    And when I travel between Belfast and Cairnryan (both within the UK) that applies too – so it’s nothing to do with whether countries are independent or not.

    Just try boarding a plane to travel between any two UK cities without photo ID!

  21. Facebook followers with changes since the budget:

    Party // official page followers // net change over the last 2 days // %change

    Con….// 166836 // +337 // +0.2%
    Lab…..// 161281.// +404 // +0.25%
    BNP….// 102494.// +305 // +0.3%
    LDem.// 92727…// +66….// +0.1%
    UKIP…// 65203…// +753..// +1.2%
    SNP….// 36080…// +692..// +2%
    Green.// 27126…// +96….// +0.4%
    Plaid…// 8291…..// +10….// +0.1%

    I only intend to put these figures up monthly but thought people would be interested to see changes after the budget (this includes the night before the budget, but there are rarely significant movements overnight, for obvious reasons).

    I only started tracking SNP and Plaid Cymru about a week ago, but the SNP seem to be boosting right now.

    Important caveat which should inform one’s reading of the whole table: the BNP aren’t *really* the third biggest party in Britain (even, I’d venture to suggest, among Facebook users).

    Labour gained significantly more than the Conservatives did yesterday; the Conservatives slightly more than Labour today.

  22. That’s about security, though.

  23. @RogerH

    No border or passport checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

  24. RAF

    “Are there enough remaining DKs for AS to squeeze?”

    The Undecideds aren’t a fixed group. In the inevitable churn of thinking as people look at the issues, folk move from saying Yes or No to Don’t Know and back again – not necessarily to the position they formerly held.

    For example in this Panelbase poll, there are shifts in different directions among all the demographic samples – all involving changes among the Undecideds. While the following examples show the net effects, it seems likely that few have moved directly between Yes and No. More probably people have moved from Yes or No to Undecided, while others have moved the other way.

    No increased among the traditionally conservative 55+ age group – where they are up 4.5% (equally from Yes and undecideds).

    Among Labour voters, Yes gained 10% (from 17% to 27%) – 3% from No and 6% from Undecideds.

    Even among Tory voters some indecision has crept in. Tory No voters are down by 9% (from 93% to 84%) Yes gained 2%, while Undecideds gained 8%

    Among the minority parties (Lib-Dem. Green, UKIP, SSP etc) there has been a similar shift. Yes gained 13% (from 13% to 26%) – 1% from No and 12% from Undecideds.

  25. It feels like two devolved countries going in different directions : Scotland towards a very unamicable divorce, while Wales is increasingly sceptical of the devolution we’ve already got. The St Davids Day BBC poll (barely mentioned here) showed almost a quarter of Wales voter want the Assembly ABOLISHED (and a further 31 % no change or reduced powers). After 15 years of devolution, hardly a ringing endorsement of the closet nationalist government we have here …..

  26. RogerH

    “That’s about security, though.”

    Which was exactly the point I was making!

    As couper2802 points out, I drive across the border between two independent countries just as I do between Belgium and the Netherlands, without any checks at all. The checks are internal to the UK when I come back to Cairnryan.

  27. welsh borderer

    “Wales is increasingly sceptical of the devolution we’ve already got.

    To justify that point, you need to quote more than a single datum! A single number can’t show increase or decrease on its own

    I’m not surprised to see that some in Wales want a return to direct rule, we have similar folk in Scotland – though fewer of them.

  28. I wonder how this Polling will look in a week or so?

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/03/19/osborne-approval-rating-inches-upward/

  29. @Welsh Borderer

    It’s not surprising that support for the assembly is luke warm, when only 50.3% of a 50.1% turnout voted for it in the first place.

    i.e. just under 75% were opposed or didn’t care

  30. @Bramley (me old apple pie)

    “What is the “C” word ?”

    It’s what I affectionately call OldNat from time to time although Anthony never lets the word see the light of day on these pages for some reason.

    Possibly too Anglo Saxon for a Scottish audience! lol

  31. Interesting analysis from Reform Scotland – the group promoting “Devo Plus” – on Labour’s proposals.

    “The report is clearly motivated more by short-term referendum politics than a real desire for significant further devolution.”

    Labour were saying that their proposals would mean that Holyrood would raise 40% of its income – though Lamont said on STV that the 40% figure “felt right”, and that it was “not really a matter of arithmetic”. [1]

    When you remove the rather ludicrous idea that Housing Benefit could, in some mysterious way, be removed from Universal Credit for Scotland only, then the actual proposal would raise the percentage of Scottish Parliament expenditure that the Parliament raised itself from 22.5% to 23%.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/reformscotland.jpg

  32. crossbat11

    “although Anthony never lets the word see the light of day on these pages for some reason.”

    Not true. Roger Mexico used the term several threads ago.

    Mind you, he has been noticeably absent of late, so Anthony may have prevailed on the Lord of Mann to use her powers to have him hurled into some deep Manx dungeon.

  33. @ Pete B

    Are you referring to Wales or Scotland? I believe Scotland has a majority government elected on 45% of 50% turnout = 23%

    The 50% turnout in 2011 would be worrying me, were I an MSP; especially if there’s a high turnout for Westminster 2015 (let’s say ~70%) followed by a below 50% turnout for Holyrood in 2016.

  34. @Fraser

    “Why is the English Education Secretary privy to the discussions of a national scale that the leaders of all other governments are kept at arms reach over.”

    It is endemic. It’s not unusual to see posts of a Scottish nature being decried for being out-with Saltire threads (and indeed moderated for that reason), while people insist it’s fine to keep posting about budget things in the Saltire thread.

    Me, I can focus on the Scottish posts within any thread, and ignore any post in a Saltire thread (if I wish to). It’s a tiny, if significant example of how non-Scots get “very bored” with Scottish matters. To them, Scotland is a backwater. A far away place with little import.

    Just as Westminster is for many North of the border.

  35. Amber
    I was talking about the original Welsh referendum in 1997, as I was replying to a post by Welsh Borderer about the Welsh assembly.

    Why would a low turnout for Holyrood bother you if you were an MSP? I can see why it would prior to the referendum, but not afterwards.

  36. @Far Easterner

    I agree is ‘seems’ pedantic. It depends on what side of the news cycle you reside. I suppose the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar don’t appreciate never-ending mainland news, just as rural folk can do without never-ending Glasgow news.

    Unfortunately, the national and regional media do seem to get all caught up with their own little world, and events in that world take precedence (to them). I appreciate that a murder in a big city should take precedence over a landslip on a B road in the country, but to what extent? Should the rural folk be bombarded with the former, when it does not affect them? We would not expect the latter to make the city news.

    So there’s an imbalance, and up to a point, there’s probably a case for more local news, with news sharing at a regional level and more local editorial control, so that national news is news relevant to the nation, and not news relevant to some editor’s idea of what the nation wants to hear (which is different, and usually agenda-based).

  37. WELSH BORDERER
    If nearly 25% want the Welsh Assembly abolished, does that not mean that an overwhelming majority do not want it to be.

    You are addressing UKPR folk here you know. If you ask questions such as the ones you quoted, the answers are predictable. Nobody wants to envisage paying more taxes. I am surprised the answers were not more negative.

  38. @Wes

    Regarding Facebook followers as a measure of support, I wonder if it’s really worth it?

    A few weeks ago I added Con, Lab, Lib, UKIP and SNP to my ‘following’ category in Twitter, to catch up with things. Within a week both Lab and UKIP had been dropped as they were Tweeting far too often (the former with daily tweets of “Want to stop ‘x’…click here”, with the link taking me to Labour’s donate page). They drove me batty.

    So the other three are there, and they might as well not be to be honest. They’ll get bumped if they get too pushy.

  39. At last!

    A “quick, objective (but completely unscientific) personality test” to determine how to vote in the indy referendum! (from the Herald).

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/the-indyref-personality-test.1395329834

  40. Good Evening All, just in from Parents Evening.
    I have just seen the Referendum Poll, which interests my students in A Level Politics.

    Have people here commented on the Bingo and Beer advertisement? Will there be any polling effects?

    Is it a spoof?

  41. OLD NAT

    I got as far as-Which Comedian do you prefer -Eddie Izzard or Frankie Boyle-and gave up.

  42. OLD NAT
    If I were a Scot, I should vote NO according to that test. However, in reality I would vote YES.

  43. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead remains five points: Lab 39, Con 34, LD 10, UKIP 10

  44. Labour lead remains five points: Lab 39, Con 34, LD 10, UKIP 10

  45. Oldnat

    That was the silliest political test ever! Apparently I should vote yes, but then I would anyway

  46. Amber,
    I did reply to your post but it’s in moderation for some reason. And I didn’t swear, honest!

  47. RiN

    Good to hear from you again. Yep! It’s delightfully silly – just what we need at the moment.

  48. @Statgeek – if they get dropped, they don’t show up any more! I won’t post too often as clearly it’s not a very scientific indicator of anything, though.

  49. RinN
    Where’s thee been to?

  50. Howard

    I got bored with the endless circles on here, but lurk now and then.

    Just popped in because I heard things were getting tighter in the Scottish independence referendum and also wondered if anyone here had picked up on the latest thoughts from the BoE on economic theory and money creation, but alas no

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