There are two new Scottish independence polls in today’s papers – ICM for Scotland on Sunday, and Survation for the Sunday Post, both conducted just after the SNP’s conference last weekend (though as ever, correlation should not necessarily imply causality.)

ICM in the Scotland on Sunday has topline figures of YES 39%(nc), NO 42%(-4). Getting rid of the don’t knows brings us to YES 48%, NO 52% – leaving aside the SNP commissioned poll with leading questions last year, this is the highest level of YES support recorded so far.

Note that there was a slight shift in ICM’s methodology from last time – rather than just weighting those with a declared 2011 recalled vote to the correct proportions of the 2011 vote, they are now also weighting the sample so the correct proportion of the sample claim to have voted in 2011. This should have the result of increasing the proportion of won’t votes and don’t knows, but won’t necessarily have any impact on the proportions of YES and NO.

The second poll for Survation has topline figures of YES 38%(+1), NO 46%(-1). Without don’t knows the YES vote is at 45%. This is a slight move towards YES since Survation’s previous poll a week and a half ago, but looking more widely it’s more of a “no change” poll, Survation also showed YES on 45% in March and February.


516 Responses to “New Scottish Independence polls”

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  1. New thread. No saltire.

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  2. @Oldnat – see above. Typical does not equal average. He may have been using this figure as an illustration.

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  3. Couper2802
    There is also lot of rubbish out there. I presume you know how to filter out the carp in an unprejudiced manner better than I seem to be able to do. Good luck to you

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  4. @BField

    One of the interesting aspects of the referendum campaign is the way in which social media and non mainstream media blogs are providing an alternative source of information, discussion and accountability. It seems that the No campaign has been less adept at using these channels than Yes supporters.

    Politicians may find it uncomfortable to have such rapid and pervasive questioning of their statements but in the 21st century it cannot be assumed that because someone like GB pronounces that the rest of us will passively accept what he says or that what is said on social media can be disregarded.

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  5. @BField

    Yes I can. Mainly there are respected people online and they won’t post nonsense because their reputations will be ruined. Plus a lot of folk give sources. You can follow MPs and journalists so you can get opposing viewpoints.

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  6. Am I the only Englishman who has no strong feelings on Scottish independence, who is equally relaxed with either outcome of the referendum, and who wishes the Scots all good fortune whatever they choose to decide?

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  7. Alec

    You didn’t include all of the IFS conclusions.

    “Overall spending per person on benefits (including tax credits and the state pension) is only slightly higher in Scotland than in Great Britain as a whole. Within this, higher spending on old-age benefits and significantly higher spending on disability benefits is almost entirely offset by lower spending on housing benefit and the fact that there are fewer children per adult in Scotland, which leads to lower spending on child benefit and tax credits.

    Recent years have seen benefit spending in Scotland grow less quickly than in Great Britain as a whole, narrowing what used to be a much larger gap in benefit spending per person. However, looking ahead, the projected more rapid ageing of the Scottish population suggests that, all else equal, benefit spending will grow somewhat more quickly than in Great Britain as a whole in the coming decades.

    Independence – or the devolution of benefits policy and spending to the Scottish Government – would provide Scotland with an opportunity to make reforms to its benefits system, and in the process, reassess some aspects of current UK policy. That would allow an independent Scotland to improve a benefit system, parts of which make little economic sense – or, of course, to make its own mistakes. Radical reform will be difficult however: any major redesign of the system would either require Scotland to spend rather more on benefits than is spent now or else create large numbers of losers.”

    The No campaign (like the Yes campaign! and every other political campaign since the beginning of time) makes selective use of statistics.

    The IFS points out that Scotland would be in a position to make political choices about its benefit system, including pensions.

    Disability payments are higher in Scotland, and the age distribution of these would suggest that it is a problem that will decrease fairly rapidly, for self-evident reasons.

    A useful study of disability payments in Scotland is made here
    http://esrcscotecon.com/2013/08/12/why-does-scotland-spend-more-on-working-age-disability-benefits/
    Of course, it’s social media so BField can discount it as being inferior to the partisan pronouncements of a politician,

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  8. @Miserable Old Git

    That depends! I would prefer a UK federation. However, I’m entirely comfortable with whatever the Scots choose. It’s not my decision and I don’t have a vote anyway, so it’s just as well!

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  9. Miserable Old Git

    I doubt that you are.

    No doubt some English folk will respond in the “spurned spouse” mode.

    I can understand that those people who genuinely feel that “British” is their primary identity – especially if they come from Scotland – will feel seriously affected.

    That I don’t share their nationalism doesn’t mean that I can’t empathise with their pain if Scotland votes Yes.

    However, given all the technical aspects of transferring sovereignty – and agreeing those bits which are more practically shared, as many countries do – it’s hard to see why neighbours should fall out unless they plant sodding great leylandii hedges along the border! :-)

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  10. RAF

    I prefer a European confederation – with more local sharing arrangements between immediate neighbours.

    I’ve never understood why I’m supposed to have more in common with those in Belfast rather than Dublin, or Liverpool more than Douglas, just because there’s a Parliament in Westminster with limited geographical power.

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  11. @RAF

    I’m also an instinctive federalist. I’ve given it a bit of thought, though, and I don’t see how a simple 4-nation federation could be a starter: given English predominance in population and wealth they just wouldn’t buy equal shares (New York or California can buy it in the US Senate, as they are small in relation to the whole; this won’t apply here).

    It would have to be something like a federation of Scotland, Wales, NI, London, the South, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, the Northeast, and the Northwest.

    It gets mucky though…. where do you put Oxfordshire? Gloucestershire? Cheshire? Lincolnshire? And will Norfolk and Cornwall declare UDI?

    Maybe it won’t work.

    @OldNat

    I’ve recently spent £1,000 of taxpayer money cutting leylandii down!

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  12. @OldNat

    I’ve spent all my life arguing (in vain) for a european federation.

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  13. Miserable Old Git

    I’ve done the same for a European Confederation. The Confederal Union of Planets seemed to be beyond my available life span.

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  14. Hireton & Couper2802
    Many thanks for putting me right on the great value of social media in getting a balanced view. As to there being unbiased academics and journalists amongst the mass of material . If there are, which I doubt, they probably have few followers. In my view we seek out that which feeds their own prejudices. Just read what we posters refer to on this site on a particular topic. Fence sitting as we all know is very uncomfortable,

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  15. @Oldnat – personally, I thought I was being extremely even handed. I quoted the overall 2% additional Scottish benefits spend figure, to balance the very high excess in pensions and disability payments.

    The link you post to is interesting, but should be deeply worrying for you as a nationalist. It confirms everything that I, and independent analysts have been saying about the SNP’s pension forecasts.

    Firstly, without any clear explanation, the analysis left out DLA. I’ve no idea why that should be, so that discounts many of the findings anyway.

    Secondly, at every point of the analysis, the author points out that Scotland’s population is not just sicker, but older. The imbalance of the Scottish age demographic is precisely the point raised regarding the SNP’s illogical statements on pensions, and thankfully, this analysis helps confirm just how nonsensical the SNP statements have been.

    Thirdly, I can see no reason at all for the two optimistic conclusions the author makes at the end of the article. In the first point, he says “It is not possible to disentangle age and cohort effects using the LFS, but assuming that the differentials do not rise as each cohort ages, then we would expect the Scottish claimant rate for illness and disability benefits to become closer to that in rGB over time.”

    As he has proved already that the differential in disability spending in Scotland increases with age, why on earth does he then assume it won’t increase in each cohort as it ages? This is completely counter intuitive. Indeed, all the evidence still remains that causal factors for poor health still adversely affect Scots, compared to the UK, so in fact I would draw entirely the opposite conclusion from this analysis – we have a proven increase in claims differential with age, Scotland’s population is aging much faster than the UK, so I would anticipate a widening overall differential, at least in the short to medium term.

    His second point seems to make the same mistake. What he seems to be saying is that younger age cohorts have a much smaller claims differential, and that therefore as these age, the overall gap will fall. But that misses the point he makes earlier – that health effects manifest themselves as people age.

    Unless Scotland has dealt with all the causal factors that lead to adverse health outcomes compared to the UK, which is not the case, then it’s highly likely that the pattern noted here will continue, with the likelihood that it will become more enhanced due to Scotland’s older demographic.

    The conclusions here don’t makes sense, but I am grateful to you for drawing my attention to further evidence that supports my claims on Scottish benefits and pensions problems.

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  16. @OLDNAT

    ‘Mr Beeswax
    Europeans, cut off by massive flooding, in offshore islands, forget how to build boats and develop into a different species. They then vote UKIP.’

    I draw the right honourable gentleman’s attention to the North Ferriby excavations which prove that the contrary was the case with regard to boat building… ‘Ice age ends continent isolated’ should be the headline. But you appear to be saying that insularity produces nationalism? Does that only apply to the BNP in blazers or the BNP in kilts as well?

    @THE SHEEP that is a truly fascinating cup and ring and I have a developing theory about it (to add to the plethora of interpretations). As an opening thought have a look at the Ecclesall woods cup and ring, then a look at an ariel view of Almondsbury hill fort.

    With regard to the possible seamless transition from cup and ring to celtic art google ‘Gardom’s edge’ in which a rudimentary spiral appears in a cup and ring – it’s clearer in the stone than the pictures.

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