It’s now exactly one month to go until the Scottish referendum, and this morning’s Times has a fresh YouGov Scottish poll. Topline figures are YES 38%(+3), NO 51%(-4). Excluding don’t knows this works out at YES 43%(+4), NO 57%(-4). The 43% YES figure excluding don’t knows is the highest YouGov have shown so far.

The previous YouGov poll straddled the Salmond-Darling debate, so this is their first test of support post-debate. Looking at all four of the post-debate polls, we’ve now got Survation showing a significant move to NO, Panelbase and ICM showing modest movement towards YES and YouGov showing a significant shift towards YES.

Clear as mud, but I think it’s fair to conclude that despite Alistair Darling emerging as the initial “winner” of the first debate, the broad trend amongst the post-debate polls is looking like things may have actually moved a little in the YES direction.

Looking back at the post-debate poll, it might be worth remembering that existing NO supporters tended to think Darling won, existing YES supporters tended to think Salmond won – so Darling’s “victory” was largely a result of him having more supporters to begin win. If subsequent polls do confirm that there has been a movement to YES since the debate, perhaps we’ll conclude that attitudes towards who won the debate were different amongst swing voters…

398 Responses to “YouGov Scottish poll – YES 43, NO 57”

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  1. @ Ewen

    I thought Anthony agreed that Spearmint was correct & that line of his table should be very pale pink but he didn’t change his table because it would be lots of work for a miniscule difference +/- 0.5 of a %.

    Do you have a link to article? Because I must have misunderstood Spearmint’s comment or not be remembering it correctly.

    [No, it was the other way round! I’d got the colouring right, but got the figures the wrong way round. Should be corrected now, if it still looks wrong to you clear your browser cache – AW]

  2. Chris Hornet @ 12.44

    I agree with you on Scotland`s problems of managing on declining North Sea revenues after 2014.

    But what can you mean by “the UK`s allocation of North Sea`s resources””. Is this some division according to population size or according to estimated past financial support? Surely this way of division is only the view of some far-right extremists.

  3. “In the wake of polling suggesting that Alex Salmond himself might be hurting the YES case it has been made known that the First Minister is saying publicly that if the price of winning independence is his job then he’s ready to step aside.

    “This comes after YouGov found that 45% of Scottish voters polled thought he was the wrong man for the job and just 57% of YES voters backed him.”

  4. ‘I find Alec and Colin’s bad news/good news reminiscent of the two cops interviewing the suspect and one doffing him over whilst the other offers him fags.”


    LOL very good

    After May 2015 ,they can swop over

    Alex will become Mr Pangloss and Colin will be M/s Cassandra

    ‘Not sure but I have a suspicion that their regular blogs will sway very few voters’

    Probably not, but on a personal note they certainly have improved my knowledge of economics and I find their views very informative as long as you take them both together

  5. Yesterday’s YouGov/Times Scotland poll found that as Darling’s stock is rising Salmond is falling.

    Just 35% of those sampled said they trusted the First Minister with 58% saying they didn’t – a net negative of minus 23.

    Darling’s figures were 38% “trust” to 52% “not trust” a net negative of minus 14.

  6. Amber Star

    Or could it be that recent Scottish politics have been all about driving a wedge between Scotland & England? If so, is it really surprising that there would be a ‘backlash’ from the people who have been characterised as holding Scotland back in the political dark ages?

    I think that’s a bit naive. This after all a poll of English voters and given most voters’ ignorance of the politics of their own country it’s a bit much to expect them to be following closely the politics of another.

    If anyone has been “driving a wedge” it’s more likely the longer-term campaigning of sections of the media, always eager to find some new scapegoat group to target. The Scots have the advantage as a target of having their own versions of the media, so you can even denounce them in your English editions while having a go at the English in your Scottish ones. Normally such two-facedness would destroy a reputation, but the papers are so despised, even by their readers, that’s it’s impossible to tarnish them further.

    Actually the poll isn’t that ‘recent’ either. The YouGov tables[1]:

    show that the survey was taken 11-22 April. It actually shows a large section of the public (about a quarter) replying “Neither agree nor disagree” (plus an extra 10% DKs). I’m not sure if this is indifference, unwillingness to think about something they don’t think will happen, or a feeling that the questions are somehow designed to produce a certain outcome and they want no part of it.

    The idea that a lot of the resentment is media driven is confirmed by the Party breakdown on for example “The rest of the UK should support Scotland in applying to join international organisations, like the EU and NATO” with Conservative and UKIP strongly against and Labour and Lib Dems in favour. You’d expect little difference in England if it was just a matter of Party policy.

    [1] England only. Presumably the Welsh and Scottish ones are elsewhere. I think we’ve already seen some data from these surveys (on Euro VI for example) before.

  7. @David Welch – my understanding is that GERS is published by the Scottish government, but was indeed commenced by the former Tory Westminster government.

    Interestingly, the UK statistics authority have issued two recommendations for the current GERS figures so they can fully meet the code of practice for national statistics.

    Firstly, they want to see details of the model used to assess oil and gas revenues and how these figures have been quality assured. Secondly, they ask for a clear reference to the HMG experimental figures for tax revenues raised in Scotland, as there are significant differences between the two.

    These recommendations suggests an element of doubt in two key areas of the latest GERS, which in both cases serve to inflate the net contribution of Scotland to the UK (although the latest GERS shows this to be in deficit).

    On these latest figures, it would be to English voters advantage to say to Scotland have all the oil revenue and an average per capita expenditure as a fair deal.

  8. Colin and Alec

    The Yin and Yang of UKPR

  9. London has benefitted from the far far far far largest ever bailout which saved its financial services but for which the rest of the country has paid for is paying for and will have to pay for. It also has nearly all the government administrative and ceremonial jobs. Far from worrying about the Scots, the peoples of Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham and Newcastle should be wondering where their Barnett Formula has gotten to.

  10. Or maybe we are both living in an episode of Thunderbirds?

    A; “Colin – look at how the economy is swaying – I’m telling you – it’s going to tip over any time now”

    C;”Relax – this baby’s been built by Conservatives. It’s the most advanced economy we’ve ever seen. It’s built to take this kind of pressure”.

    A; “Sure, but not in these weather conditions……”

  11. @Deborah – out of interest, do you have the figures regarding the per capita bailouts for London and Edinburgh based banks from their respective national populations?

  12. “On the basis of today’s round of @LordAshcroft polls LAB is doing better in the marginals and is heading for working majority.”

    According to Mike Smithson’s tweet.

  13. Colin and Alec

    a classic Hegelian dialectic

    “A thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis”

  14. ALEC

    ………well OK…….so long as I can be Yang.

  15. Amber Star

    Yesterday’s YouGov/Times Scotland poll found that as Darling’s stock is rising Salmond is falling.

    It was actually extra questions on trust and various politicians added to the poll we saw previously:

    Now as I listed on the previous thread Panelbase also asked something similar, but with slightly different wording. They asked Do you trust […], to stand up for Scotland’s interests? about a range of politicians.

    YouGov on the other hand asked Thinking about the current debate over Scotland’s future and the independence referendum, how much do you trust the statements and claims made by the following people?

    The results, with Panelbase first and YouGov in square brackets,:

    ALEX SALMOND 59-37 = +24 [35-58 = -23]

    NICOLA STURGEON 53-33 = +20 [35-54 – -19]

    PATRICK HARVIE, 30-34 – -4 [not asked]

    DENNIS CANAVAN 41-33 = +8 [not asked]

    JOHANN LAMONT 30-40 = -10 [22-50 = -28] [1]

    RUTH DAVIDSON 23-53 = -30 [19-49 = -30]

    WILLIE RENNIE 20-43 = -23 [14-45 = -31]

    DAVID CAMERON 19-66 = -47 [24-69 = -45]

    NICK CLEGG 11-69 = -58 [not asked]

    ED MILIBAND 20-57 = -37 [27-63 = -36]

    ALISTAIR DARLING 32-50 – -18 [38-52 = -14]

    YouGov had asked the same question in March and since then Salmond and Sturgeon’s ratings have got slightly worse, Cameron and Miliband’s slightly better and the No campaign Scottish politicians a lot better (and oddly not because of more visibility – their DKs actually increase)

    Even allowing for differences between Panelbase and YouGov in their Yes/No mix this shows how careful you need to be with such questions when looking at wording. What we are seeing here is a general distrust of all politicians with regard to telling the truth. Labour politicians are trusted a bit more than Tories, Scottish ones more than English, but the actual range is surprisingly narrow: -14 to -31 for the Scottish pols.

    In contrast when it comes to ‘Scotland’s interests’ the SNP and Yes campaigners run away with it. We saw this similarly in April when YouGov asked about which Party would best look after Scotland’s interests and the SNP got 45% with Labour second on 17%.

    This is the real worry for the No Parties. In winning the battle of the referendum they may lose the war for control of Scotland permanently.

    [1] Lamont’s big difference compared to the other SP No leaders may be due to the Panelbase questions including Party descriptions, which YouGov didn’t. This may have encouraged partisan voting which would have helped Lamont more than Davidson or Rennie.

  16. @ Roger Mexico

    I probably am naïve, but your comment contradicts itself:

    If anyone has been “driving a wedge” it’s more likely the longer-term campaigning of sections of the media, always eager to find some new scapegoat group to target.
    Normally such two-facedness would destroy a reputation, but the papers are so despised, even by their readers, that’s it’s impossible to tarnish them further.

    So, the view of a significant section of the (also naïve?) English electorate has been swayed by the papers they despise.

    That said, I also dislike most of the mainstream media & would prefer that changes were made to the regulatory environment in which they operate & to their ownership, structure & governance.

  17. @ Roger Mexico

    This is the real worry for the No Parties. In winning the battle of the referendum they may lose the war for control of Scotland permanently.
    It is indeed a worry, particularly for Labour. But the ‘No’ Parties must cross the bridge which is in front of them & deal with the consequences thereafter.

  18. @ Anthony

    Thank you for replying – even though you are on holiday! And thank you also for the: NEW THREAD :-)

  19. Amber
    I can’t do the linky thing, but the thread is from 07/08 and I think that AW changed his transposed figures and therefore the poll remained a very pale blue ! ie the Tories were doing better in the ‘Ultras’ than in the rest of the country, not worse as Spearmint implied.
    Which brings me back to my original point that the latest batch are markedly different from the previous lot.

  20. Those changes on the trust question since March make an interesting pattern:

    ALEX SALMOND 35-58 = -23 [36-56 = -20] -3

    NICOLA STURGEON 35-54 – -19 [38-52 = -14] -5

    JOHANN LAMONT 22-50 = -28 [20-59 = -39] +11

    RUTH DAVIDSON 19-49 = -30 [15-57 = -42] +12

    WILLIE RENNIE 14-45 = -31 [11-51 = -40] +9

    DAVID CAMERON 24-69 = -45 [22-71 = -49] +4

    ED MILIBAND 27-63 = -36 [27-64 = -37] +1

    ALISTAIR DARLING 38-52 = -14 [28-61 = -33] +19

    On reflection what I think we have is another non-Party partisan effect, with No voters coalescing a bit around all the Scottish campaign leaders. Hence Darling being the greatest beneficiary. In addition No voters are pulling a bit away from SNP leaders. Yes voters may already have been more politicised this way (there’s some evidence for that).

    All of which of course are minor variations on the theme of voters not really trusting any politicians to tell the truth.

  21. Alas, Alec ignores the point of my post – that there is a difference in the way the SAS was reported in the Scottish & London press.

    This isn’t the site for partisan posting about who is to “blame” for some “divide” or other, for which no evidence is presented.

    Quite why Alec then embarks on a rant about Nationalists in his reply to me is distinctly odd.

    My point was that the majority polled in England take a perfectly reasonable view as to public expenditure across the UK. That’s hardly Nationalist propaganda!

    That said, people are perfectly entitled to believe that what the 3 Unionist parties say in the process of a campaign would be implemented following the result, were that in their constituents’ interests.

    Margaret Curran on Good Morning Scotland today, was assuring us that her English colleagues were wholly in agreement with giving more money to Scotland than to their own regions.

    Some, however, may have little trust in what politicians say – especially if “common sense” suggests that they be spinning a line, in order to attract votes.

  22. Alec

    Do you have the figures for the international funding to save the banks?

    The Barclays bail out by the Fed of $868 billion must be relevant.

  23. @Oldnat – “Do you have the figures for the international funding to save the banks?”


  24. @Oldnat – “Alas, Alec ignores the point of my post – that there is a difference in the way the SAS was reported in the Scottish & London press.”

    Sorry Oldnat, but that’s completely erroneous. If you reread your own post, you will see that you made no such point, and no reference whatsoever to different ways of reporting the same story north and south. You actually said –

    “Interesting to compare the story that Alec posted from the Telegraph from those that many more Scots will read -…”

    I did, and found the reporting to be really rather similar.

    You then went on to say –

    “The message in both is made quite clear. If Scots vote No, then they won’t just face the coming austerity budgets that other parts of the UK will face, but a significant reduction in their grant from the Treasury.”

    This is the only time you compared the stories directly, and you opined that they all portrayed the same message, clearly undermining the notion that somehow you were seeking to draw attention to the different ways it was reported.

    What you said ‘was clear’ from both stories isn’t in fact, clear at all, which is why I pulled you up on it.

    Please don’t try to change the point of your posts retrospectively. Your central point was that a no vote would mean bigger spending cuts in Scotland.

    This is nationalist propaganda, without evidence. You are a nationalist. Join the dots.

  25. Alec @ 2.46 pm

    Thanks for that further information on GERS.

    The statistics authority asking for more details on oil and gas revenues used in GERS calculations could also be because they recognise how important and likely-controversial are these revenues and do not necessarily imply inaccuracy in the calculations.


  26. It wasn’t “the banks” which were saved by international action. It was the banking system. We’d have been back to gold coins under the mattress – or even bartering – had the international community not done what was required of it.

  27. Alec:

    I also meant to say, but posted too soon, that the Scottish government putting out earlier GERS reports was Labour, running in parallel with a UK Labour government.

    So these reports showing subsidy to rUK from Scotland were not or hardly influenced by the SNP.

    And I don`t think anyone is suggesting that now the Scottish government is run by the SNP, they have doctored the earlier reports showing subsidy.

  28. Amber

    Of course. [snip]

    However, this site is not one where such terms should be used [so I won’t] – and I don’t think you ever have.

  29. Amber Star (fpt)

    So, the view of a significant section of the (also naïve?) English electorate has been swayed by the papers they despise.

    Yup, that’s pretty much it.

    Some people believe that their paper tell the truth while the others are trash (even if they’re saying exactly the same thing). Others believe that they’re rubbish generally but still believe the particular things they read. Some people want their prejudices reinforced, if only subconsciously.

    And most are aware of biases but still read the Press because of the lack of alternative sources. Even on the internet, it’s probably the newspaper sites they are looking at rather than gathering data from primary sources and specialised comment and making up their minds that way. The very neutrality of the BBC and so on tends to mean that they aren’t a counterbalance to what the papers propagate, and that’s even before you consider the effect that the Press agenda has on what gets covered in the broadcast media (and to some extent how).

  30. @FV

    “A thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis”

    There’s about as much chance of a synthesis as there is of Colin changing his name to Cynthia.
    In my humble opinion.

  31. @Roger M/Amber

    ‘Permanently’ is a big word. You could argue that Con has already lost Scotland and Lab hanging on to Westminster VI by fingertips.
    ‘No’ may damage Lab further in the short term but who’s to say what will happen in 5 or 10 years. From what I can gather SNP have done a well regarded job in the Scottish Parliament but it would be a brave pundit who assumes AS has started a 1000 year dynasty. (I only just stopped myself calling him Fred again)

  32. @David Welch – agree on the GERs data, although there are clearly differences between the two governments calculations of tax revenue, which is significant.

    One thing that the GERs data does suggest though, is that the surplus isn’t permanent, and is largely a function of oil and gas revenues. The latest figures show Scotland to be in deficit, because of the collapse of such income, as they did in the early 1990’s.

    This adds to the notion that an independent Scotland would currently be heavily oil dependent, which is a problem, albeit one that can be offset over time.

  33. There has been much debate on this message board about how referendum arguments will affect party chances in next May`s Westminster GE.

    But we haven`t been considering how individuals seen to have done well in the current arguments may be improving their chances of election next year.

    West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine is a LibDem/Tory marginal with a 2010 LD majority of only 3684. So with the drop in LD support since 2010, Sir Robert Smith is vulnerable, the swing needed for a Tory gain being 4%..

    The Tory candidate selected for the 2015 vote, Alexander Burnett, is a newcomer to parliament elections, but has been very active in the NO campaign.

    Should the declaration for the NE Scotland area show that NO has done well here, then some credit will go to AB, but also he has made himself known to the local electorate.

    And his and other Scottish Tories showing clear approval for higher government spending could be helping to detoxicfy the Tory brand.

    Alexander Burnett is passionate for renewables, and if elected will be in the Yeo camp and strongly against right-wing anti-Green Tories. I don`t know the views of the Tory candidate for Argyll & Bute, the other possible Con gain in 2015, but it will be fascinating if the tiny number of Tory MPs from Scotland are clearly against the present Tory mainstream on energy.

  34. @OLDNAT

    “Earlier, Amber posted sensible non-partisan posts on this thread.
    Then along came Barney …..”


    Not seeing how the arrival of Barney suddenly made Amber’s posts less sensible…


  35. Barnet?
    I posted some time ago that I was the better together nominee to speak on the topic of the future of the Barnet Formula at the local government association conference. There were several hundred English councilors present and the in huge writing the backdrop said “A Fair Deal for England”
    However the discussion was very civilised and there was a widespread recognition that revolutionary change in the event of a no was not going to happen.

  36. Carfrew
    I always make Amber seem more than sensible! But I could not agree more with her comments
    1 that there has to be a re-building of the wider UK identity. Amber mentions the Olympics but I thought it was also very present in the Commonwealth Games.
    2 that Labour will faace challenges but will understandably focus on what is immediately in front of them

  37. I’ve just had a chance to look at the tables on which these press reports have been written.

    There’s a shocking level of incorrect labelling in the tables. Whether that’s incompetence on the part of YouGov, who carried out the poll, or demonstrative of the falling standards in the academic community, I know not.

    Labelling those who neutral on each question, they are described as “Neither Agree or Disagree”.

    Words fail me – as they clearly did the perpetrator of this abomination!

  38. I am surprised nobody here has yet brought forward Sir Ian Wood`s comments today that the Scottish government has been greatly exaggerating the size of the North Sea`s gas and oil reserves. He claims by between 45 and 60%.

    Sir Ian is about the best-placed person to report the current state-of-play on North Sea exploration and extraction, having worked from Aberdeen for the last forty-odd years and built up large and very successful companies in gas and oil.

    So his view that 15 years hence there will be very serious impacts downturning the Scottish economy, should send danger signals to the electorate – turkeys voting for Xmas.

  39. David Welch

    That’s a useful input for the No side from Woods. However, in the degree to which it would affect polling, I don’t see a Telegraph report as being influential (or even the original interview he gave to Energy Voice).

    What will impact voters here is the news that they see and hear here (and the Telegraph isn’t a major player).

    As with the SAS/YouGov poll, it makes far more sense to look at the different tone (the emotional level of the language, what’s omitted/added).

    Here are the Herald
    and Scotsman
    h ttp://

    If we are to understand the extent to which events and contributions to the debate, then we need to look at how they are mediated through the media.

  40. Who did the wording for this poll? “Scottish MPs should be prevented on voting on laws that apply only in England”

    Either Anthony’s colleagues or the NatCen team (or both) need to participate in ritual disembowelment as a partial apology.

  41. OldNat:

    You are right in that very few people in Scotland will believe anything political published in the Daily Telegraph.

    But in giving the link to the DT I wanted to inform folk reading this message board about what Sir Ian had said, without thinking that the DT would change support for independence.

    I actually heard the Wood story on the BBC Radio 4 6 pm news, but when I posted two hours ago there didn`t seem to be a “neutral” BBC written text for a link.

    The Herald report isn`t satisfactory in its headline being out-of-step with the by-line immediately following

  42. David Welch

    “The Herald report isn`t satisfactory in its headline being out-of-step with the by-line immediately following”

    Unfortunately, that is true of much MSM reporting. Quite why the role of the sub-editor seems to be to so contemptuous of the story, I have never understood –

    Except, of course, in my more cynical moments when I remember that few read beyond the headline or first paragraph of most stories.

    It simply seems to me that when posting links to newspaper stories that may affect polling on the indyref, links to Scottish papers seems more appropriate.

    Indeed, those furth of Scotland (I don’t know your place of residence) would be well advised to comprehend the difference between the undertones (or in the Telegraph’s case – overtones) between what Scots see in their papers may bear little relation to the impression that they get from seeing a London report first.

    It’s not a huge point, but one that is worth bearing in mind.

  43. As in, excluding oil revenues entirely from Scotland’s tax and spend calculation.

    It goes without saying that Scotland gets a huge slice of it in the event of independence, and unless Scotland were to trade some of it off in exchange for something rUK doesn’t really want to do, it would certainly get a substantial majority.

    However, based on what Salmond is proposing to do with that revenue (a combination of capital spending and setting aside a fund for post-oil generations), excluding it from calculations isn’t the most absurd idea in the world.

  44. (last comment in response to David @ 2.27pm)

  45. Chris @ 6.20 am:

    Thanks – now I understand your comment ysterday.

  46. Alec @2:54pm

    Or better still, cost per banking job saved in our respective nations.

  47. Davis Welch @ 6:39pm

    Sir Ian Wood in his 2013 report:

    The Review believes that urgent and full implementation
    of the recommendations in this report will have the
    potential to deliver, at the low end, an additional 3-4 billion
    boe over the next 20 years, worth approximately £200
    billion to the UK’s economy at today’s prices, and at the high end, will put the UK in a much stronger position to get closer to the 24 billion boe potential.

  48. Sarissa:

    An opinion expressed at least 12 months earlier should not overturn or deflect an opinion now put out by a very informed individual.

    The UK economy has moved on, the EU economy has moved on and stagnated, exploration of the North Sea has moved on.

    If you trust in the statements that Sir Ian made in his 2013 report, I cannot see how you can logically reject what he now believes.

    Other financial and industrial experts have also been contradicting the Scottish Government stance this week, notably Douglas Flint, the HSBC chairman. He warns of a serious capital flight if Scotland goes independent, which would leave our financial system “in a parlous state”.

    So there is plenty of ammunition for Alister Darling to throw at Alex Salmond next Monday night. Subjects he can expose this time, besides currency, are jobs, taxes and pensions.

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