There are two new Scottish polls in Sunday’s papers, an ICM poll for the Scotland on Sunday and a Panelbase poll commissioned by the Yes campaign. These are only the second and third polls that we’ve seen conducted wholly after the debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, the first one from Survation suggested a significant move towards NO, but these two paint a different picture.

Taking the Panelbase/Yes Scotland poll first, topline figures are YES 42%(+1), NO 46%(-2), Don’t know 12%(+1). Excluding don’t knows this works out at YES 48%(+2), NO 52%(-2). Changes are from the Panelbase/Sunday Times poll in July. Compared to last month it’s a slight move towards YES, but is not particularly significant by Panelbase’s standards: their penultimate poll also had YES on 48%, and they’ve have YES on between 46-48% since March.

The ICM poll in the Scotland on Sunday has topline figures of YES 38%(+4), NO 47%(+2), Don’t know 14%(-7). Excluding don’t knows this works out at YES 45%(+2), NO 55%(-2). It’s a bigger NO lead than Panelbase are showing, but the same modest movement towards YES. As with Panelbase, it’s not a massive change from the longer term trend – so far this year ICM have had YES between 43% and 48%, and YES 45% is right in line with the average of all ICM’s Scottish polls this year.

So, two polls, both show a modest movement towards YES since last month, but neither a significant shift from the longer term trend. What it does mean though is that the movement towards NO in Survations’s post-debate poll has not been echoed in other companies’ polls.

(Incidentally, I’m on leave this week, having a break before the long slog to the general election, so expect light blogging for the next few days)

198 Responses to “New Panelbase and ICM Scottish polls”

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  1. Anthony

    Enjoy your holiday. We’ll all behave. Honest! (and I promise not to talk to Amber – much).

  2. Panelbase is always the odd outlier.

  3. And now we have the battle of the historians!

    Tom Devine has decided to vote Yes “within the last fortnight”.

    While David Starkey signed the “love-bombing” letter in strange contradiction to what he has previously said about thos living outwith England’s polity.

  4. Historian Tom Devine has announced that he is voting Yes.

    Historian David Starkey has announced that he wants a No vote.

    Historians seldom agree.

  5. @AW

    Happy holiday. Guess I shouldn’t bother posting then? :-(

  6. Some in Scotland may remember David Starkey’s comments about Scotland on programmes like QT.

    I doubt that “celebrity” endorsements have much effect either way, but this contrast may shift a few votes.

  7. Skippy

    ICM – YES 38%(+4), NO 47%(+2), DK 14%(-7)

    Panelbase – YES 42%(+1), NO 46%(-2), Undecided 12%(+1)

    would seem to suggest that ICM have caught up with Panelbase’s sampling of opinion.

    They are actually rather close. I’d anticipate that pollsters might show significant variance in measuring the ebb and flow of the opinions of the “Undecideds/Only marginally decideds” at this stage.

  8. oldnat

    Tom Devine to YES = movement to YES

    David Starkey to NO = movement to YES

  9. Tom Devine to YES = Who is he? I’ve never heard of him.

    David Starkey to NO = Who is he? I’ve never heard of him.

  10. Revel in your ignorance, Amber. Have a nice holiday Anthony – we’ll try not to cause too much trouble while you’re gone.

  11. As to celebrities saying they support one side or another – I have heard of Cliff Richard. When I was young, I’d cycle a couple of miles to the local chipper (which had a jukebox) and listen to him.

  12. Amber Star

    ‘But in that case why should they be any nicer once they win with a No vote?’
    Because Scotland sends 59 MPs to Westminster; I rather believe that sending none (i.e. being a ‘foreign’ country) would make the UK parliament a tad less interested in being ‘nice’ to the Scottish electorate

    Those 59 MPs will probably act in the interests of their Parties rather than in the interest of Scotland. Even if they did act collectively and nationally, then they are vastly outnumbered by their non-Scottish counterparts. It’s not much of a shield.

    But in any case that misses my real point which is about perception. Every time the No people propose a post-Yes scenario when rUK mistreats an independent Scotland, the Scottish people will think that they’re better off getting away from such a bunch.

    Of course the NO campaign’s alternative attempt to love-bomb the Scots into submission has really been pre-undermined by years of the London Press portraying the Scots as scroungers who should be got rid of. The fact that they’ve skidded around and are begging them to stay must be as confusing for the readers as it is annoying for the Scots.

  13. @ Roger Mexico

    I like your comments very much & have the greatest respect for most of them but aren’t you hypothesising that the Scottish electorate are a wee bit thick?

    Most of the electorate are smart enough ‘get’ that being a foreign country would be different to being part of the UK so I’m not sure why you want us to believe it wouldn’t be.

  14. Labour lead at 4

    Latest YouGov / Sunday Times results 15th August – Lab 38%, Con 34%, UKIP 13%, LD 7%, Greens 4%, Nats 3%, B*** 1%, Other 1%, ; APP -24

    So that is back to normal after the strange yougov poll on Friday,, although still quite a few votes going to parties not usually mentioned – so it could still be an odd sample even though the results look as usual.

    Dave C poor ratings
    Ed M, Nick C terrible ratings

    Economic opinions are slightly poorer, despite the good employment figures, the media however stressed the poor wage figures – if the media keep doing that then the employment figures aren’t going to boost the governing parties.

    the question

    How do you think the financial situation of your household will change over the next 12 months? -17 (Better 18% Worse 35%) – same range as usual for 2014

    As usual Cons very positive +26%, v negative for UKIP -43% (yikes!) and Lab -36% – It is the who LD voters keep changing their position – slightly negative this week

    In cross breaks

    age 18 to 24, class ABC1, party Conservatives

    age, anyone over 40%, class C2DE, party UKIP and Labour

    So the question is-

    are people who feel optimistic about their finances now choosing the Conservatives.


    is it that the economic recovery is only benefiting the ABC1 classes where Conservative support is highest .

  15. Good Morning All.
    I think the ABC 1 people and younger people tend to be more optimistic. Younger people seem to not realise their need for a strong ‘State’ and they are, in their minds at least, self reliant.
    The Lib Dem figure seems wrong to me; is there a problem with ‘sampling’?

  16. FV,

    It would be worse for the cons if there was more optimism and the same level of VI.

    The hope for the coalition is that the pessimism will prove unwarranted for enough of the undecided electorate and that being pleasantly surprised will by improving personal well-being will lean voters towards them.

    The high negative for the UKIP supporters in particular gives hope to the Tories.

  17. The latest “polls” on the Scottish Independence Referendum are misleading, and one wonders whether they are merely being produced to sell papers by giving the impression that the race is close. Both the detailed Scottish Social Attitudes survey and the most recent Yougov poll found results of YES 39%, NO 61% (excluding don’t knows).

    Peter Kellner has already written authoritatively that the ICM/Survation/Panelbase polling companies all appear to have faulty weighting for their voter sampling for the referendum. I now expect NO to win by a country mile and settle the issue for more than a generation (certainly in my lifetime).

  18. CL 1945

    @” Younger people seem to not realise their need for a strong ‘State’ ”

    I would put it a different way Chris-Generation Y is Tech. Savvy, Independent , Entrepreneurial , & knows the world doesn’t owe it a living. It has watched the fate of those who did.

    Natural Conservative voters :-)

  19. @ChrisLane
    Well spotted there. The sampling quite obviously has too many LibDem voters in it.

    The Cons are hoping to bring back Kippers to the fold and no doubt will bring back some (as will Labour and the LDs I think) But is that level of negativity going to be swayed much by general modest improvements? And although it’s a marked feature of Kipper opinion is it crucial to VI?
    If you asked Ukip respondents why they were pessimistic what answer would you get? Would it be surprising if a lot of them said “because of immigration”? I don’t think it would. For those voters unless the brown faces and slavic voices around them disappear before the election they will still mostly be pessimistic, even if objectively their situation has improved. Nor can I see the anti-gay-marriage defectors being much swayed by a rational assessment of their financial prospects.

    Early in this parliament, following a minor uptick in the polls for Farage, a Tory grandee was quoted as warning “We don’t want to let them get used to voting UKIP”. I wonder whether that’s exactly what’s happened.

  20. Here is the kellner article @daodao refers to:

  21. Re the Islamic State, DC & other Western leaders seem to be floundering about what to do, given that it is their creation through misguided policies in Syria & Iraq and siding with the Saudis, whose ideology is akin to that of IS. For the Christian West, the important task now is to contain IS within the Levant so that it is not a threat to Europe.

    Effective policy is based on self-interest, not morality. After all, IS’s brutal behaviour towards those that they perceive as heretics (Shias)/infidels (Christians)/pagans (Yazidis) is no different conceptually from the behaviour of past European Christian leaders, e.g. that of the foremost Crusader of all time in 1933-45, or Ratko Mladi? in 1992-5. I would regard it as a disaster equivalent to 1933-45, but Western Christendom’s interest might be served by redirecting IS’s attention to the liberation of Palestine and other parts of the Levant from its current rulers/occupiers.

  22. Anthony,

    Forget the light blogging, turn your computer off and have a proper break. You must know somebody who you can trust to look after things?


  23. Amber Star

    David Starkey to NO = Who is he? I’ve never heard of him

    You’re not missing much.

    This isn’t the place to discuss Mr Starkey but given that Richard III is so much in the news now I remember a fascinating Channel 4 program from the mid-80s called “The Trial of Richard III” (maybe it’s on YouTube?) in which various historians were called for either the defence or prosecution – Starkey was for the prosecution and I think was his first outing on TV and he was as obnoxious then as he is now!

  24. Pressman

    “- when will you see sense that the country will move further away from the Thatcherite country that we want if Miliband wins”

    Good journalistic prose – Pressman!

  25. On the Scottish polls. Both YouGov and Panekbase can’t both be right.

    What I notice is that YouGov have a very Labour sample in fact their sample shows an 11% swing SNP to Lab in the Holyrood list vote and 7.5% in the constituency vote. To compound this YouGov have only 13 and 17% of Labour voters voting Yes whereas Panelbase have 37% voting Yes.

    IMO 37% is more credible. Will YouGov be the Gallup of the Scottish Referendum campaign?

  26. Kurdish fighters report finding membership cards from Liverpool FC , and an Ealing Gymodies of two IS members.

  27. I read a lot of history books, and Starkey is probably the finest Tudor historian in the world. He also does a lot of political commentary well towards the right, and for that reason he annoys people in his views and ‘robust’ delivery.

    Starkey prides himself on saying those things we don’t want to hear; although some of those things are sometimes not worth saying. However – something has happened to Britain: we’ve stopped discussing issues on any kind of equal basis: there are some things we won’t discuss because they’re “offensive” to one group or another, and therefore by default, some of the very groups that you would think would promote freedom of speech and liberal attitudes are actually pushing censorship.

    Starkey has no respect for these self-imposed areas of censorship – for that reason alone, he performs a very useful function. Without people like Starkey who challenge what we can and can’t say, politics is cruising towards an exchange of bland platitudes. So as I say, even for his faults he is somebody who helps open debate.

  28. Interesting stats for the diehard Euro phile:-

    Since the Euro was launched in 1999, Italy’s GDP has increased 3%-Germany 18%, France 17%.

    UK ?-30%

  29. @RM

    “The fact that they’ve skidded around and are begging them to stay must be as confusing for the readers as it is annoying for the Scots.”

    There is no confusion. Newspapers are trying to sell their rags, and they face a readership of 63 million, or one of 58 million and 5 million, depending on the result. As with many businesses, it is in their interests and not their readers’ interests to have a given political stance.

    Don’t buy them, It only encourages them. :))

  30. @Colin

    That must be the mess Labour made of things

  31. @Paul A

    Starkey did call Boris Johnson a “jester despot”, which is a clever line and to the point. A nasty little controversialist nevertheless.

  32. RICH.
    I think Peter Ackroyd’s new volume on The Tudors is well worth reading, and he goes further than Starkey.

    On Religious History under the Tudors, I think Haigh and Duffy are better than Starkey.

    I agree with you about Generation Y’s characteristics. Tony Blair was able to appeal to those characteristics while at the same time enabling his ‘friend’ GB to fund ‘Building Schools for the Future’ which helped the new Y Generation to flourish.

  33. @Rich

    I can imagine how long a Scottish historian with comments on England and the English would last at the BBC, or on UK telly in general. Starkey is a self-seeking, ignorant little man, who has to stir the pot to gain any attention.

    The fact he gets it tends to suggest that there are plenty of others just like him.

  34. DAODAO

    @”For the Christian West, the important task now is to contain IS within the Levant so that it is not a threat to Europe.”

    And how do we do that exactly?

    Bomb more and more ISIS positions in villages-killing more & more innocent civilians?

    Send the troops back to Iraq again?

    In Iraq their is only one answer. A Government which can persuade Sunnis that their place in an inclusive , democratic Iraq is more secure & fruitful , than their place in a brutal sectarian Sunni Caliphate.

    The-and only then-can a new Sunni Awakening be supported militarily by us.

    And even if this happens, they will go back to Syria-or someplace else. And imagining that the Liverpool FC supporters will never come back home with their heads full of hate is living in dreamland.

  35. @ Colin

    I don’t understand your point, given that the 3 biggest European countries in the EU have increased their GDP, but for the UK the figure is -30%.


    Well deduct a bit for that -and it still looks good :-)

  37. DAODO

    That was a hyphen, not a minus sign !

  38. @Floating Voter

    Those scores for parties ‘not normally mentioned’ – Green 4, Nats 3, Others 1 or 2 – have actually been the norm over the last several months.

  39. @Statgeek

    Neil Oliver is pretty ubiquitous this side of the Tweed. I for one would be glad to see him restrict his activities to north of it.

  40. @ Statgeek

    I tried to find all the articles by the London press which call Scots scroungers. I found one from the Daily Mail in 2011 which was commenting on the higher public spending in Scotland which they believed England was contributing to.

    It was with an article saying that it was unfair of Scottish Universities to charge English students £9k. The ‘point’ of the article was that the SNP was deliberately trying to create anti-Scottish feelings amongst English people to soften English attitudes to independence & this was not a good thing.

    So even at its worst, the article did not seem to be trying to whip up anti-Scottish feeling – it was trying to whip up anti-SNP feeling; i.e. there has been no screeching U-turn, if that article was anything to go by.

    And now, having read something in the Mail, I am feeling a bit nauseous; so I’m off to lie down in a dark room & recover.

  41. @Amber

    Dangerous work that. I can only applaud your bravery and reckless self sacrifice for the cause.

  42. Colin – what about per head?

  43. I’m taking guesses on what turnout will be in the Independence referendum.

    My entry is 73%.

  44. JIM JAM

    Don’t know-has the population growth between those countries varied that much in 15 years.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if our had increased more.

    I like your analysis at 7.25am-but also believe that some UKIP voters are focussed on immigration-which they perceive as a problem of EU membership. And they just don’t believe DC will ever support leaving-Referendum or not. These folk really don’t care if they help “put Miliband in”.

    EM owes NC a helluva lot-but he must give thanks for NF every night .

  45. @Colin

    I think that’s as likely as Mrs Thatcher thanking the Gang of Four. She didn’t waste time doing that, she just took advantage of the situation.

  46. @ Colin

    In my post, I made a suggestion about how the Christian West could help itself by diverting IS’s attention onto Christianity’s traditional enemy elsewhere in the Levant.

  47. @AW – well have a well earned break and thanks for all your patient work with us – and don’t even think of random samples whilst you holiday –

    Dr Starkey being a Tudor historian like the monarchs he studied is apt to think England’s interest synonymous with those of greater Britain and her archipelago of islands. I’m Irish by birth and another Tudor historian by training. I’m not wise enough to think I know all there is to know about my subject nor foolish enough to think what little I do know is infallibly right.

    Nearly all my life I’ve lived in and loved the UK – especially the North of England where I’am at present – in the shadow of a very blustery forest of Bowland. From here it seems to me Scotland is big enough, wise enough and old enough to makes it own mind up without gratuitous advice from any historian. There are enough Media Cassandras plying their trade without adding insult to injury.

    Interesting piece by PM in Telegraph but it isn’t really a foreign policy to emote about generational choices when frankly the only choice we have is to look on appalled, for, if the last decade of haphazard intervention has demonstrated anything, it’s that for all our posturing when push come to shove we do not want to fight a war in the middle east mainly because we cannot stomach the military losses a successful war demands.

    We now know we cannot win such a war with military superiority; surgical strikes and quasi military occupations of unstable states and trillions of dollars of investment in unstable regimes. Sometimes success can only come by embracing the truth that, like in Vietnam, our policy of limited intervention and more limited war has failed. We need new thinking not more of the old thinking that has only made matters worse….

    I’d be very nervous in the Treasury if all this instability tips over into a small recession in EU and another bout of oil led inflation….the best laid plans of mice and men…which neatly returns us to the Scots and their wisdom.

  48. DADAO

    Isn’t Hamas also Sunni?

    Anyway-an inclusive Iraq is the only way to encourage Iraqi Sunnis to reject IS.

    Lets hope the new PM can quickly correct Maliki’s disastrous policy of turning the Iraqi army into the military wing of the Islamic Dawa Party. That would be a start.


    @”oil led inflation”

    Suggest you get more up to date with current oil price trends.

  50. “The Lib Dem figure seems wrong to me; is there a problem with ‘sampling’? ”

    Hysterical lolling……………yawn.

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