Friday round-up

A quick round of today’s polls. There were two voting intention polls out today, both of which I expect were slight outliers from the norm… but in opposite directions.

Both Populus and YouGov have been showing average Labour leads of around 3-4 points this month. YouGov’s poll this morning had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13% – a seven point Labour lead (tabs here). Populus’s poll had topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% – both parties equal (tabs here.) In both cases, I suspect we’re just seeing normal sample variation.

The other “new” poll out today was the latest TNS Scottish referendum poll. As usual the face-to-face methodology means the poll is actually pretty old – it was conducted between the 25th June and 9th July, so the start of the fieldwork was three weeks ago. Topline referendum voting intention is YES 32%(nc), NO 41%(-5). Without don’t knows, that translates to YES 44%, NO 56%… TNS has typically been showing yes support at 40-42% once you exclude don’t knows, so this is a good YES poll by TNS standards.


113 Responses to “Friday round-up”

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  1. Could be a yougov outlier and Lab Con neck and neck…or Lab maintaining lead.

  2. Oh Nick,how could you!

  3. Beat me to it I mean.

  4. The Lord Ashcroft figure is 14% not 4% for Ukip.

  5. Evening All.

    Populus is accurate, I feel.

  6. I think Yes will win the referendum. I am going to put a bet on while I can get good odds. I don’t gamble much at all my last bet I won it was Andy M winning Wimbledon last year.

    My reasoning is:

    1. The campaign starts proper Aug 5th with the Salmond-Darling debate. I think Salmond probably always wanted to debate Darling not Cameron because he needs the Labour voters. Salmond is the cleverer debater so my guess is this will enable Salmond to frame the campaign on his terms.
    2. The case for independence is compelling for Labour voters, get back to Labour principles, no more Tory Govts etc
    3. The No leaning don’t or rarely votes will not vote but the Yes leaning ones will – giving differential turnout.

    So twenty quid on Yes

  7. now now Chris you know better than that.

  8. @Couper

    I disagree

    1) debates don’t dramatically change public opinion, they usually just confirm what people already think
    2) The Tory govts rhetoric is tired and a bit deceptive. NHS and education policy is set in Scotland and more powers long term are on the way.
    3) Middle class people are more likely to vote, usually tend to be more conservative, and usually always tend to be on the electoral roll. Without an intensive GOTV base, yes will struggle to get out working class voters. On that basis, I expect the no vote to cope, even with an aggressive GOTV campaign

  9. I doubt the yes side will win. I don’t think a lot of the people who support yes “to stick it to those damn tories!” will follow through with it when they get to the ballot box.

    60/40 no/yes.

  10. “So twenty quid on Yes”

    Lucky bookie.

  11. ChrisL

    “Evening All.

    Populus is accurate, I feel. ”

    You “feel”……. why’s that then? You think that rather than both being a bit out either way that the site you comment on is out by a full 7%?

    Reasoning?

  12. Skippy

    While no polling suggests that Yes will win, your reasoning seems somewhat strange,

    ” I don’t think a lot of the people who support yes “to stick it to those damn tories!” will follow through with it when they get to the ballot box.”

    While many people will vote in the referendum on extraneous factors (like disliking Tory/Labour governments in Westminster, or SNP/Labour governments in Holyrood), the assumption that large numbers of voters in Scotland will decide their vote on such matters is unsubstantiated by polling evidence.

  13. The Cons on you give we’re heavily weighted, so quite possibly an outlier. What is interesting on populus is that Labour certainty to vote has def taken a dip of late, if was almost equal to Con a couple of months ago, but there is now a sizeable gap.

  14. Typo autocorrect: yougov

  15. It looks like a “No” to me from recent polling, little movement towards a yes result and a large gap to be closed. The results and impact of the debate are worth watching.

    0% and 7% just looks like a 3.5% Labour lead to me
    (simplistic, I know), especially considering these pollsters have found that sort of lead recently. Silly season fast approaching, so really polls should stay steady for a while, although I expect a few outlier 0% leads will be found.

  16. As always, John Curtice is worth reading on indyref polls.

    http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2014/07/tns-bmrb-report-their-highest-yes-vote-yet/

    “The focus of both campaigns between now and 18 September will have to be on the one in five voters who tell TNS BMRB that that still have no idea at all which way their preference will fall. It seems that it is in their hands that the future of Scotland lies.”

    If the proportion of those who voted Labour in 2011, but plans to vote Yes continues to rise, then the certainty of a No win will become less.

  17. @Oldnat

    Perhaps a little bit tautological?

  18. MR WELLS

    A referendum poll but no Saltire?

    Sacrilege!!

  19. From OLDNATS link

    “In the four most recent polls the company had produced prior to today, it found on average that 21% of 2011 SNP voters said they would vote No (after Don’t Knows were excluded) – exactly the same as in Survation’s polls. That suggests that the difference between the polls in their estimate of the Yes vote does not simply lie in their estimate of how likely 2011 SNP voters are to say they will vote No. What TNS BMRB usually do share with YouGov is a lower estimate of how many 2011 Labour supporters say they will vote Yes – at 21%, their average figure before today was in fact the same as YouGov’s.

    In today’s poll, though, that latter figure is notably higher, at 28%, while the proportion of 2011 SNP voters who say they will vote No has slipped to 15%. Both changes must be at least part of the reason why the Yes vote has increased in this poll, and the fact that both figures have changed is consistent with the suggestion that the differences between the polls is not just a question of how many No voting SNP supporters they find”
    ________

    That has to be very encouraging for YES Scotland and worrying for the ConDemLabour pact.

  20. Just found this on YouTube. Then found the Lib Dem 2010 campaign song. My election winning campaign pledge will be that all politicians who write songs for their parties get ten years in prison.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UED3rcZlUPQ

    Anyway, looks bad for yes with less than two months to go. Fail to see what could make enough difference.

  21. Skippy

    I doubt the yes side will win. I don’t think a lot of the people who support yes “to stick it to those damn tories!” will follow through with it when they get to the ballot box.

    60/40 no/yes
    ________

    There are people in Scotland who would also like to “stick it to those in the damn Labour party” I’m one of them.

  22. chrislane1945

    Evening All.

    Populus is accurate, I feel
    ______

    Both polls are accurate…both show the Lib/Dums on 8% ;-)

  23. A bit of excitement caused by a twitch in one independence referendum poll. It’s a bit tighter now. A 12% lead for the No campaign. Phew, things are getting close.

    It’s over. Done and dusted. Yes campaign going down with all hands. Couper2802, please, don’t waste your money. Much better odds available on Scotland winning the next World Cup.

    :-)

  24. @Allan

    Not seeing many saying they will vote Yes to ‘stick it to the Tories’. Some Yes voters are less than chummy with them, but most of the reasons I see and hear are:

    – Stick it to Westminster (be it tax, oil, corruption, recent news stories etc.)
    – No Lords
    – Nukes out of Scotland
    – Dead nuke subs out of Rosyth
    – Hope
    – Disaffection with Labour (the presumption being that Con and Lib are already there)

    In other words, the reasons are more pro-Scotland, than anti-[insert usual reason]. That’s my own experiences. Others will vary.

    Not going to predict September any more than I would predict May 2015 (regardless of Scotland’s situation).

    I do think that June 2016 will be interesting.

  25. Good Early Morning to you.
    JIM JAM and ALLAN CHRISTIE.
    Thank you; those figures do seem a little high.

  26. I’m interested in what I perceive as a general consensus on Salmond being likely to win the debate. I do not in any way, shape or form underestimate him – whatever you think of his politics, where he has taken the party in the Scottish assembly is every bit as remarkable as Tony Blair’s three elections – but in terms of improving the “Yes” poll figures, I consider him the underdog in this particular set of circumstances.

    Salmond’s real strength is being able to communicate his overall argument more clearly and with more conviction than his opponents. Darling’s real strength is being able to hold his own on specific points of detail. A large majority of those who will ‘not definitely vote no’ (apologies for the horrible phrasing!) and are more likely to vote yes because of Salmond will in my opinion already be indicating a Yes VI. I would therefore assume that for the debates to cause a statistically significant swing towards the Yes camp, Salmond will have to beat Darling at his own game, on a set of issues where Darling can for the most part speak with far more certainty.

    But the other part where even a master of words such as Salmond will be on shaky grounds is if the topic of post-yes discussions comes up. The SNP line up until now has been that “roUK will not have the upper hand when negotiating on this issue or that issue” (most notably the UK’s debt, but that’s not the only one), but the problem he has is that the SNP have gone from a minority party to the dominant force in devolved politics due to having established the SNP as left-leaning, outward-embracing nationalists, and indeed become more popular as a result. Therefore, the argument that dictating to roUK would harm Scotland’s standing in the world is one that I think Darling could make some ground on, even though there is absolutely no doubt that on the substantive issues Scotland has a theoretical veto (debt, Trident, continuing to use the pound should it so wish).

    I’m sure that, if backed into that particular corner, Salmond’s response will be relatively toned-down – words along the lines of “Scotland’s future post-yes won’t be dictated by roUK, it will be decided in a negotiation led by Scotland”. But if that line of debate occurs, I’d stake my season ticket that Darling’s counter will be that roUK’s position is very clear on this issue (noting that in the event of a yes roUK negotiator’s duty would be to England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and that while Scotland would in theory be in a position of strength, every time it actually used its clout on things which it would be in a position to refuse point blank, it would become that harder for Scotland to smoothly transition into the EU, join NATO, have low borrowing rates, get itself into a favourable position on currency, secure business investment in equal or greater proportions to what it currently does, and so on.

    If, having considered those points, you think that I’m overplaying Darling’s hand and/or that Salmond will still manage to gain ground in the debates, then I would say that the current odds on Yes to Independence represent excellent value.

    For the record, my pre-2014 prediction for the referendum was Yes 40/No 60, and has now narrowed to Yes 44/No 56, but with less than two months to go I remain pretty confident of a clear No vote. I could technically claim citizenship in an independent Scotland (mum was born there to English/Irish parents who lived in Scotland for a combined total of 20 years), but my only real political view on the vote is that a “No” of any margin should not lead to a change in the financial status quo between Scotland and roUK (no problem with more devolved powers, as long as any increase in central government money is not disproportionate to the current cost of those powers or services).

  27. Whether your emotions or your reasoned beliefs lead you to want Scottish independence or not, it’s clear that stepping into the unknown territory of independence means greater risk. So the question at this late stage is: will enough present No voters and Don’t Knows take up that extra risk and change their mind, or will some of the Yes voters get cold feet?

  28. My opinion is in terms of straight swings between current Yes and current No (that is, if current don’t knows were completely excluded from future polls), there is more likely to be a swing from Yes to No than vice versa.

    On the other hand, based on the present situation and what I believe will happen in the next two months, I think don’t knows will go into the Yes and No camps in similar proportions to the sizes of those who are currently committed (or, in a best-case scenario for Yes, 50-50). But if something were to happen to influence don’t know voters, I think it is more likely to change in the Yes camp’s favour.

  29. One other thing, as a general rule are 16 and 17 year olds included in these polls?

    If not, are adjustments made to account for them, or is a two year age band deemed statistically insignificant? Because I would tip that age group to vote yes by a minimum of 2:1.

  30. Actually – 16-17 year old heavily NO according to polls.

  31. Seriously?!?

    Call me naive, but I presumed it a stone dead certainty that they would vote yes given all the circumstances (younger voters generally being more left-leaning, more influenced by currently popular politicians, and the fact that the no campaign was somewhat resistant to giving them a say in the future of the country they have the longest future in), and that it was simply a question of the proportion.

  32. The speculation is that the generation who went through 18 Tory years early in their lives and were the Poll tax Guinea Pigs are more likely to be Yes.

    That New Labour was not particularly left wing may be true but many Scottish Politicians were involved and the 97-2010 period of UK Government was closer to what a Scottish Independent State may do, I guess.

  33. The downing of a Dutch airliner over rebel held Eastern Ukraine, now clearly by a rebel forces surface to air missile, and the huge loss of civilian life, including 10 Brits, who have now been named, should not have any discernible effect on VI polling. Cameron’s reported discussion with the US President and the iimmediate sending of an AAIB team, even if the necessary minimum response, are to his credit.
    I should like to see the Foreign Secretary go to Moscow, not to do any berating, but to make sure that Putin is fully aware of the long term consequences for Russian trade with the West if he does not withdraw all support for the separatists. IMV The affected countries and families will be rigfht to seek reparations, including from Russia, if the missile launcher came from there.

  34. Can’t argue with that logic Jim Jam.

    Indeed, there is an argument that there would come a point after independence (almost immediately if you believe “No’s” economic forecast, at some point in the next decade or two if you go with “Yes’s”), where the Scottish government would have no option but to be more fiscally conservative than it would have been under devolution. Obviously still to the left of any British government elected since 1979, but less so.

  35. “Obviously still to the left of any British government elected since 1979, but less so.”

    Why obviously? Without the need to counter-balance a Westminster government who’s to say the Scottish electorate won’t move to the right? It’s impossible to predict with any certainty how things might develop in an independent Scotland – which is partly why a yes vote is unlikely.

  36. Opinions on this please:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bs5N1ITCIAAVnRN.jpg:large

    I’m debating the value of long term averaging versus the current VI. I don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

  37. A few thoughts on the indy ref.:

    1. One of the new faces in DC’s line up is known to be for a rapid end to the Barnet Formula. When asked about ‘economic uncertainty’ involved in independence, he may well respond that such uncertainty is no more than already exists in the prospects for Scotland within the UK;

    2. Labour’s ‘no change’ to austerity is not going to win many friends for the No camp;

    3. Some on this site still have not woken up to the fact that this referendum is not about Alex Salmond, or about the SNP, but about Scotland.

    4. Again, government reshuffle brings in more anti-Euro types – and also the Tories want to get rid of the Human Rights Act. That does not go down very well here, at least not in the circles in which I move;

    5. Darling’s arguments have now been heard, assessed and put into the equation. I cannot see what else he can say – other than produce yet ore negative dirivvle. Salmond, on the other hand, can join with a wide range of the political spectrum – from Tommy Sheridan to Patrick Harvey – in proposing a new and better Scotland.

    Conclusion: No to win 53-47.

  38. Forget it. Pointed one debating person in the direction of a url of mine and of UKPRs, in relation to poll age and averages.

    “don’t need to read anything, #indyref a hot topic, has been since SNP elected, all polls contribute”

  39. And on the YG polls from Thursday and Friday evenings:

    SNP 30 or 26?
    Labour 32 or 39?
    Cons 22 or 17?

    @AW
    Until there is consistently a much higher number of people in Scotland polled by YG we will continue to get these wild variations day to day. It doesn’t help in trying to assess what is happening in Scotland. Can you do anything to improve this situation?

  40. Another response:

    “that’s your opinion, I’m not interested in complex stats, this is a simple binary vote, simple charts”

  41. And the debate amongst the young will start when schools and colleges go back in mid August.

  42. @Chrishornet – “Obviously still to the left of any British government elected since 1979, but less so.”

    I think there needs to be a cautious approach taken on this. We’ve already had senior SNP people saying in public that they will need to look very carefully at commitments like free care for the elderly and free university tuition as these are probably not affordable in the long run. [This was well before the referendum, and was by one of their MSPs on the Finance Committee, although I can’t recall the name. Robertson rings a bell].

    We’ve also seen the start of a UKIP movement in Scotland, with a substantial 10% in the Euros. I’m also unconvinced that SNP policies on pensions are going to prove popular in the long term. They quietly suggest that immigration will fill the gap left by the ageing population problem, but they aren’t really campaigning openly on a big immigration ticket. If and when this comes to pass, I don’t buy the hype that we Scot’s are fundamentally nicer and more open than the English – there will be rising strains and tensions, just as in the south.

    I’m advising all my friends considering Yes to think very carefully about the assumption that Scotland will always be more left leaning than rUK. In constitutional terms, it’s not that long since they voted over 50% for the Tories.

  43. @john B – “Darling’s arguments have now been heard, assessed and put into the equation. I cannot see what else he can say – other than produce yet ore negative dirivvle. Salmond, on the other hand, can join with a wide range of the political spectrum – from Tommy Sheridan to Patrick Harvey – in proposing a new and better Scotland. ”

    Highly contentious, partisan, and against the comments policy I would suggest.

    In terms of polling, there was recent movement in questions about the economy, with I recall quite a large apparent movement towards doubts about the post independence economic situation.

    If my memory on this is correct, this would tend to suggest that greater exposure to Darling’s ‘negative drivel’ will have more traction with voters that listening further to Salmond’s pipe dreams/assertions that things can be better [delete as appropriate].

    Further bad news in recent days on oil output and production costs projections in Scottish waters again. The financial basis for much of the first decade or two of independence has rather fallen apart during the campaign, if we are being reasonably balanced and honest, but voters will make their choice on many factors, including economics.

  44. statgeek

    @Allan

    Not seeing many saying they will vote Yes to ‘stick it to the Tories’. Some Yes voters are less than chummy with them, but most of the reasons I see and hear are:

    – Stick it to Westminster (be it tax, oil, corruption, recent news stories etc.)
    – No Lords
    – Nukes out of Scotland
    – Dead nuke subs out of Rosyth
    – Hope
    – Disaffection with Labour (the presumption being that Con and Lib are already there)

    In other words, the reasons are more pro-Scotland, than anti-[insert usual reason]. That’s my own experiences. Others will vary.

    Not going to predict September any more than I would predict May 2015 (regardless of Scotland’s situation).

    I do think that June 2016 will be interesting
    ____________

    Absolutely spot on. People will vote for pro Scotland reasons and not for negative reasons. Like you I think June 2016 will be very interesting. :-)

  45. Speaking as an outsider in the independence debate, it has seemed to me all along that the SNP case for independence has been conflated with what they will do when in power in an independent Scotland. However, there is, of course, no guarantee they will be in power, nor, even if they are immediately after independence, that they will stay in power.

    It’s no good saying that independence will bring a free Health Service or will do away with the Bedroom Tax or anything else because independence of itself won’t do that. Supposing the Tories win the first election after independence? Highly unlikely of course but not impossible and is an entirely different question to whether independence is in and of itself a good thing.

    Anyway no to win at least 60-40.

  46. “We’ve also seen the start of a UKIP movement in Scotland, with a substantial 10% in the Euros”
    _______

    “substantial” that depends on what side of the narrative you are on..

  47. It’s risky to make the decision on political grounds because that’s always going to be a transitory state. It’s social and cultural ties that matter.

  48. I’ve seen this 60/40 figure bounced about quite a lot and if indeed that is the outcome then 40% of the electorate are dissatisfied with the union. I know it’s a minority but UK governments get elected on much smaller polls so some sort of constitutional reform has to be looked at.

    Salmond has another two years in government after the indy ref and in the event of a no vote no more powers have been devolved (better together have promised more powers) before the next Holyrood election then it could be a very interesting Scottish election in 2020.

  49. @Alec

    “We’ve also seen the start of a UKIP movement in Scotland, with a substantial 10% in the Euros.”

    I think most folk will agree that was a BBC coverage-supported fluke.

  50. Stat geek. There’s a very peculiar affliction that comes over people when polls go with or against what they themselves KNOW to be right. Binary blindness I suppose you could call it. One day, the polls tell you everything you want and you scour them for even more insights on the great wisdom of the people who are so clearly greatly informed and able to reach such brilliant conclusions. The next day, the polls are against you and the response is “blah, blah, maths, numbers, yeuchhh!”

    Come to think of it, it happened in the economic debate these past five years. When Allesina & Ardagna, and Reinhart &Rogoff were setting out the intellectual case for Austerity, they were brilliant and respected academics. When their work turned out to be, as LBJ put it, with less than a bucket of warm micturared fluid, then, hey! Economists eh? Aren’t they all rubbish?

    We all do it I guess. Well, not me, obviously, but the rest of you.
    Anyway, to your graph. It’d be more informative if you didn’t use such a wide y-axis scale. From what I can see, there’s a long term average around which the temporal data seems to have oscillated more or less sinusoidally, with a period of about 3 years and an amplitude of 5-10%. That doesn’t necessarily equate to flatlining mind. Yes, there’s no long term trend either way, but depending on where you are on the sine wave, you could still get a figure way above or below the average.

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