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. @Oldnat – re consequences on Scotland of a No vote – yes I have commented on this, several times, so you must have missed it.

    To briefly summarize my views;
    – It’s clear Scotland will suffer budget cuts, in line with the rest of the UK
    – It’s clear Scotland will gain greater powers
    – It’s clear that there would be no additional disruption to business, currency, economy etc
    – I can’t see any logical justification for the assumptions by some that the UK will ‘take revenge’ or adversely punish Scotland following a no vote. I see this as illogical and typical scaremongering.

    Bottom line, we’re all going to suffer some financial constraints. These could be rather severe. Scotland will be treated more or less equally, and there is no desire in Westminster to ‘get at’ the Scots. Scotland will secure greater freedoms as a result of a no vote. Under independence, short – medium budgets cuts would be significantly greater. In my view.

  2. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Scottish turnout reached or even exceeded 75-80%.

    Although I pray that we don’t see a repeat of what we saw in several (just English?) constituencies at the last GE with people still queueing at closing time. Would be shocked at this stage if the poll were close enough for it to affect the result, but in my opinion being barred a say on this would top being denied a say in a GE by several orders of magnitude.

    On a related note, it does annoy me when pollsters bother with the blindingly obvious. The outcome of the poll below is an absolute gift for Salmond, and putting aside the proportion of DKs you’d have to be braindead to believe that a poll of the typical, un-or-semi-interested English voter would have resulted in this outcome:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-28859522

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-28859522

  3. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Scottish turnout reached or even exceeded 75-80%.

    Although I pray that we don’t see a repeat of what we saw in several (just English?) constituencies at the last GE with people still queueing at closing time. Would be shocked at this stage if the poll were close enough for it to affect the result, but in my opinion being barred a say on this would top being denied a say in a GE by several orders of magnitude.

    On a related note, it does annoy me when pollsters bother with the blindingly obvious. The outcome of the poll below is an absolute gift for Salmond, and putting aside the proportion of DKs you’d have to be braindead to believe that a poll of the typical, un-or-semi-interested English voter would have resulted in this outcome:

    Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Scottish turnout reached or even exceeded 75-80%.

    Although I pray that we don’t see a repeat of what we saw in several (just English?) constituencies at the last GE with people still queueing at closing time. Would be shocked at this stage if the poll were close enough for it to affect the result, but in my opinion being barred a say on this would top being denied a say in a GE by several orders of magnitude.

    On a related note, it does annoy me when pollsters bother with the blindingly obvious. The outcome of the poll below is an absolute gift for Salmond, and putting aside the proportion of DKs you’d have to be braindead to believe that a poll of the typical, un-or-semi-interested English voter would have resulted in this outcome:

    bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-28859522

  4. I thought you were meant to be on holiday. For goodness sake, man, get down to the beach and get away from it all for a couple of days.

  5. “Philip Hammond, the British foreign secretary, has acknowledged that a Briton seems to be responsible for the “completely horrifying” apparent beheading of an American journalist on a propaganda video released by militants from Islamic State”

    Guardian.

    What a humiliating stain on this country.

  6. @Colin
    ‘What a humiliating stain on this country.’

    Why? I feel no responsibility for the terrible act that this individual has committed. He has a done it in the name of a religion, not of our country, which has taken sensible steps within the context of the individual freedom that we value to combat radicalisation.

    The stain falls on the individual perpetrating the action, not on the country of his birth.

  7. BFR

    I disagree-I think we have been far too lenient with preachers of hate.

    As to “this one individual”-it is reported that British IS number in the hundreds-perhaps 500 to 700.

  8. If the gap on the referendum is narrowing, then the No camp must be concerned about getting their vote out. The YES voters are very motivated ( like UKIP voters in the Euro election), whereas the NO voters are probably slightly less motivated, especially if all the polls continue to show a lead for NO.
    If 100% of Yes voters vote, the NO camp must get at least 75% of their vote out, or they could lose. And that turnout figure will get higher the narrower the polls get. – At Y 46, N 54 they need an 85% conversion rate. – No wonder the No leaders say they’re not complacent. They cant afford to be !

  9. The Good Lord has provided for us – more constituency polls from Ashcroft, this time in the slightly less marginal seats: Bedford, Carlisle, Dewsbury, Lincoln, Plymouth Sutton & Devonport, Stroud, Warrington South, Weaver Vale, Birmingham Edgbaston, Bolton West, Hampstead & Kilburn, Southampton Itchen.

    Overall VI for those seats (weighted for DKs):

    Con 31
    Lab 39
    LD 6
    UKIP 18
    Green 5
    Oth 1

    So some opportunity for both Tories and Labour to claw back some vote share but looking pretty decent for the reds here.

    Some other interesting titbits:

    “There is no consistent pattern in the difference between the standard voting intention question (“if there were a general election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?”) and the local one (“thinking specifically about your own constituency and the candidates who are likely to stand there, which party’s candidate do you think you will vote for?”).

    In three of the eight seats Labour had a smaller lead on the second question, in three it had a bigger lead and in one there was no change. In only two seats was the change statistically significant, both in Labour’s favour: Stroud, where Labour have a high-profile candidate in David Drew, the former MP; and Warrington South, where the constituency question produced a boost for the Lib Dems consistent with the fact that it was at the last election almost a three-way marginal. The same applies to a slightly lesser extent in Bedford.”

    “When it comes to campaign activity on the ground, the main parties are closely matched. But the most striking thing about the figures is how few say they have heard from any of the parties. Only 16% say they have had literature, direct mail, visits or telephone calls in the last few weeks from the Tories, the same as from Labour. This compares to 21% saying they have heard from both parties in the four Labour-held seats. These are very low numbers in what should be fierce contests.”

    “As for the outcome of the next election, 36% of voters in the Tory seats said they would like to see a Labour government, and 27% a Conservative government. One fifth said they would like a coalition, either between the Conservatives and Lib Dems (10%) or Labour and the Lib Dems (11%).

    Lib Dem voters themselves were divided as to whether they wanted a coalition with Labour (41%) or the Tories (41%). 82% of both Labour and Conservative voters said they wanted their own party to govern alone; around one in seven of each party’s voters would rather see them in coalition with the Lib Dems.”

    You can look at the individual constituency results and read his full report here: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2014/08/swing-labour-extends-deeper-tory-territory/

  10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11044574/English-reject-Alex-Salmonds-plan-to-share-the-pound.html

    This seems to be the cause of the latest flurry of excitement. Something here for both sides, superficially at least.

    Clearly, at 23%, there is no support in the UK for a currency union. Yes needs to accept this and move along. It isn’t bluster and bluff, but basic democratic legitimacy. Plenty of people have told us the Euro would be great for the UK, but we didn’t like it. Similarly with a sterling union. It won’t happen – nothing to do with being nasty to Scotland. [Unless Scotland accepts budgetary and tax control from London].

    Equally, the survey finds strong support for eliminating the additional funding for Scotland if there is a No vote. This is a problem for No’s, but again I don’t see this as being based on enmity – more a desire for fairness. However, the confusion here among UK respondents is that the Barnett formula is meant to make up for other things like Scotland not getting a direct share of oil revenues. Adjust one and everything else needs adjusting.

    The problem for Scotland comes as we’ve been told relentlessly for two years that Scotland is economically stronger that the UK as a whole, so it’s natural that UK voters will say ‘well [email protected] you then, why should you get more money than Sunderland/Leeds/anywhere else south of the border?’. The complexities of why this is done tend to be get a bit lost, but it really is a desire for fairness in constrained circumstances, rather than anti Scottish sentiment.

    The final point is salient for the Yes campaign. If there will be pressure to avoid preferential treatment in the event of a no, there will be intense pressure in the event of a Yes. Voters in the UK will not be well disposed to agree to anything seen as a concession to Scotland. The notion that all the difficulties will be easily negotiated away is false, as I have pointed out for a long, long time.

    Westminster will look after Westminster electors interests, not Scotland’s. That is only right and proper. If there is a Yes vote, Yes supporters will find the final deal very different to the picture painted by Alex S, and this will be dictated by simple democracy, rather than anti Scottish sentiment.

    If nationalists can’t see this, and still think ‘the English are out to get us’, it simply demonstrates that devolution hasn’t brought the maturity of political thinking that many hoped it would bring.

  11. @Mr Nameless

    Hampstead and Kilburn is the most marginal seat in the country.

    Anyway, so that we can make a comparison, has Ashcroft published the averaged percentage shares in this batch of marginals at the last election?

  12. Colin, I can think of many humiliating stains on this country, such as our involvement in the Iraq War. That was carried out by our armed forces at the request of the elected government after being approved in Parliament, so we can all feel a collective shame in it.

    When someone from this country commits a terrible murder, and they happen quite often but usually in this country, I am appalled but not humiliated.

  13. Alec – “Westminster will look after Westminster electors interests, not Scotland’s”

    Will Westminster parties ignore the interests of their members and friends in Scotland once the referendum is over? I believe that the rUK Labour party would want to try to help the Scottish Labour Party do well in an independent Scotland after a Yes vote. Even the rUK Conservative Party would not want its friends in Scotland to be wiped out in the event of a Yes, would they?

  14. I think a transparent transfer of Scottish NS oil revenues to Holyrood would be a solution here. This will placate the nationalist element by giving them ownership of the oil fields…and will also placate the rest of the UK by allowing the removal of the ‘temporary’ Barnett Formula.

    There would obviously need to be a clear understanding that as oil revenues continue to decline, there is no extra income from the Treasury to make up the tax loss.

  15. Here’s the big number we’ve all been waiting for – the Markit CIPs August household finance index.

    The headline – “Household finances worsen in August, as stalling incomes lead to fastest reduction in cash available to spend for six months.”

    The commentary is remarkably downbeat, despite the headline index rising marginally (to 42.2 from 42.0). However, as anything below 50 is contraction, it’s not good. Expectations for the next 12 months rose slightly, but remained negative for the third consecutive month.

    This isn’t great news for any government 8 months out from a GE campaign.

  16. Killary45,

    If the rUK and Scottish parties were to quickly separate, then the rUK parties could play hardball without much (if any) damage to the Scottish parties.

    The rUK would have little room to be generous, financially or politically. It would also largely be in a position to dictate terms.

  17. The poll for which Alec helpfully gives a link, provides a measure of the well-known English ignorance on subsidy to Scotland.

    This results from right-wing London media constantly talking about the extra spending per head on Scotland, but rarely mentioning the extra income per head from Scotland that more than compensates for this.

    I feel in the unfortunate event of a YES vote, that securing a fair division of assets, liabilities, pension arrangements, tax arrangements, etc, will be extremely difficult, with the English, or at least the right-wing Southern English, in the mood the poll reports.

    Alec`s “simple democracy dictating” isn`t the whole story. It`s the same right-wing interests that brought Scots to want separation still trying to dictate what happens in this island. And it would carry on regardless even if Scotland were independent, and then would be undetered by Scots MPs` votes at Westminster.

  18. @Killary45 – “Will Westminster parties ignore the interests of their members and friends in Scotland once the referendum is over? I believe that the rUK Labour party would want to try to help the Scottish Labour Party do well in an independent Scotland after a Yes vote. Even the rUK Conservative Party would not want its friends in Scotland to be wiped out in the event of a Yes, would they?”

    No, and no would be my answers to your questions. My questions to you would be along the lines of ‘when governments have a choice to placate 92% of their current electorate, which will become 100% of their future electorate, or 8% of their current electorate which will not be in their electorate in the future, which side do you think they will view as being more important.

    The flip side of what you are saying is that UK politicians should pay more attention to the needs of another countries voters than their own. Barking, if you ask me.

    Indeed, for Scottish Labour, this could be quite good news. They will be freed up forever of the constraints of trying to appease southern and Scottish electors, and could start knocking lumps of of London Labour to suit local requirements.

  19. @Killary

    A few years ago I sold my house to a friend. It’s remarkably easy to separate friendship from money when you have to, and we remained amicable throughout and afterward.

    Miliband has already said that in the event of a Yes, rejection of a currency union will be in the manifesto.

  20. Why hasn’t the Euro been given as serious a consideration as the Pound as a Scottish currency? Why wouldn’t the Eurozone be keen on a currency union (on similar terms to our rUK deal) with Scotland, if we let the Eurozone countries retain 50% influence?

    As Salmond put it-

    “I think that being outside the euro area is already penalising the Scottish economy. In the medium-term, the longer we stay out, the more damage will accumulate.”

  21. @RAF, I’ve just done some maths and research on that:

    GE Result 2010 – Tory seats
    Bedford – 39, 36, 20, 3
    Carlisle – 39, 37, 16, 2
    Dewsbury – 35, 32, 17, 0
    Lincoln – 38, 35, 20, 2
    Plymouth Sutton & Devonport – 34, 32, 25, 7
    Stroud – 41, 39, 15, 2
    Warrington South – 36, 33, 28, 3
    Weaver Vale – 39, 36, 19, 2

    GE Result 2010 – Labour seats
    Birmingham Edgbaston – 38, 41, 15, 2
    Bolton West – 38, 39, 17, 4
    Hampstead & Kilburn – 33, 33, 31, 1
    Southampton Itchen – 36, 37, 21, 4

    Tory Held
    39+39+35+38+34+41+36+39=301
    36+37+32+35+32+39+33+36=280
    20+16+17+20+25+15+28+19=160
    3+2+0+2+7+2+3+2=21

    Average:
    Con 37.6
    Lab 35
    Lib 20
    UKIP 2.6

    Labour Held
    38+38+33+36=145
    41+39+33+37=160
    15+17+31+21=84
    2+4+1+4=11

    Average:
    Con 36.3
    Lab 40
    Lib 21
    UKIP 2.8

    Change from 2010 GE in Tory held marginals:
    Con -6.6
    Lab +4
    Lib -14
    UKIP +15.4

    Change from 2010 GE in Labour held marginals:
    Con -5.3
    Lab +5.3
    Lib -13.3
    UKIP +11.3

    I separated them out because he’s polled the most marginal Labour seats but not the most marginal Tory seats – hence Edgbaston and Hampstead being in there. Tories are doing worse in their own seats than in Labour seats, but Labour are doing better in their own seats. UKIP having a bit more impact in Tory marginals which will please Labour but also gives Tories an opportunity to regain some ground.

    Looking at the LD figures it does look like the Red Dems will see Ed home – according to Mike Smithson one third of 2010 LDs have gone to Labour in these marginals, a higher rate than in national polling. This will be significant.

  22. Mr N – thanks for that. For some reason I wasn’t expecting them till later in the day (must have been thinking of his 4pm weekly polls).

    The list is actually rather disappointing:

    Bedford (Lab-Con marginal #20)

    Carlisle (#13)

    Dewsbury (#18)

    Lincoln (#16)

    Plymouth Sutton & Devonport (#17)

    Stroud (#14)

    Warrington South (#19)

    Weaver Vale (#15)

    Birmingham Edgbaston (Con-Lab marginal #11)

    Bolton West (#2)

    Hampstead & Kilburn (#1)

    Southampton Itchen (#3)

    Ashcroft says he “concentrated on the four Tory targets in which I found the smallest leads in the spring” and “the second tier of Labour targets with bigger Conservative majorities”, but again we’re not seeing the seats which Labour need to become the government. As you might expect all are fairly comfortable, with the odd exception of (Labour-held) Southampton Itchin. Ashcroft puts this down to the student vote being away. There could be other factors, such as immigration but the UKIP vote doesn’t seem particularly high.

  23. Remember of course that Ashcroft has his own interests in the Conservative Party. That doesn’t mean his polls are wrong or biased, but it does mean he’s most likely to poll the seats most important to the Tories. Losing seats that are 15-20 on their defence list would mean they would have great difficulty remaining in government and they thus probably care about those more than seats 50-80.

  24. Killary45: If post-Yes Labour were to support a currency union and the Tories oppose it, I cannot envisage circumstances in which a Labour government would be negotiating the split in 2015.

    The entire Yes campaign is based on the PRESUMPTION that rUK will accept an equal currency union with a much smaller country.

    He might have succeeded had he flipped it, saying that Scotland would use the pound regardless, and that while a currency union was his favoured option he would only accept one if it was “good enough”. In other words imply that rUK would be the ones offering a currency union because Scotland using the pound regardless would worry them, and that Scotland would be the ones in the position to say yes or no. An argument with as many holes as an archery target perhaps, but it would have swayed more DKs than the stance he actually took.

  25. Let’s hope AW can spare two minutes just to create a thread for Ashcroft, even if he understandably does not feel the need to comment. I’m studying Warrington South which does seem to be a mish mash outcome, although still a Labour cert IMO.

  26. It’s odd that I was telepolled by Populus the other day. This constituency is on the LibCon list, and they did check that I was in it and asked the “costituency” question, so I assumed Ashcroft. Does the marginal polling take such a long time that different reports overlap, or is he planning to speed up the frequency.

    Thanks for reports on this, folks. Saves giving a click to the Belonger.

  27. ‘Scotland’s Oil’

    Clearly if Scotland were independent there would be an agreement on how much of the oil is indeed Scotland’s (I assume the vast majority) and any revenue flowing would be up to the Scottish government to dispose.

    I don’t truly understand Barnett and all that but if we remain one country surely we should collect taxes as such and dispose them – within democratic control – in such a way as to meet perceived needs and priorities. That does not preclude specific funding to support devolved administration, whether in the nations or in devolved regions.

    The suggestion that ‘Scotland’s oil’ should only benefit Scotland seems almost as wrong to me as saying that London should keep ‘its’ tax revenues and spend them only on specifically London priorities.

    The general impression here in England is that we provide a ‘subsidy’ to the devolved nations and that has certainly been what I believed: the view is somewhat tempered by opinions I have seen on this site but I still think this is probably true. This is only right and proper, just as in a United Kingdom the prosperous areas – primarily London and the SE – should rightly and properly transfer resources to less prosperous areas whether they be in England or elsewhere.

    I suppose Realpolitik dictates that there is a degree of ‘let’s give Scotland a bung to stop them banging on about independence’ and ‘let’s give NI a bung because otherwise they not only bang on about independence but are inclined to blow each other, and us, up’. Whether Wales, who don’t bang on so much, gets a fair crack of the whip, I don’t know but I’m pretty sure the poorer English regions get a less generous deal, particularly from a party that has supporters who think Liverpool should be closed due to lack of interest, rather than supported.

    Sorry for this ramble: I’m trying to think through this poll which says most English voters would reduce flows to Scotland after a Naw vote. I suspect this is to do with perceived equity rather than any animus towards the Scots.

  28. David Welch: “The poll for which Alec helpfully gives a link, provides a measure of the well-known English ignorance on subsidy to Scotland.

    This results from right-wing London media constantly talking about the extra spending per head on Scotland, but rarely mentioning the extra income per head from Scotland that more than compensates for this.”

    Again, the only statistics which demonstrate this are from the Scottish Government using arguably selective extracts from UK Treasury data. The primary example of this is the arbitrary assumption of a per capita liability of the banking bailouts instead of the more accurate and significantly larger geographic share based on HQ-ship of the banks. This is a difference in the tens of billions.

  29. ALEC

    Just a few bits & bobs you forgot :-

    ” The latest reading remained below the neutral
    50.0 value, to indicate pessimism regarding current
    household finances in the UK. That said, the figure
    was in line with the average observed so far in 2014,
    and the strain on finances remains muted in the
    context of historical data.”

    “While current pay pressures appear modest, the
    August survey pointed to sharply improving labour
    market conditions, with workplace activity rising at a
    near-record pace and job insecurity falling to a fresh
    post-crisis low. ”

    :-)

  30. K45

    Think what you like-the use of a British national in a film of the execution of an American is a clear message :-

    This is what happens to your nationals if you dare to retaliate against us.

  31. GuyMonde, this is why I (if I was in a position to do so) would propose offering the opportunity for Scotland to step out of the UK ‘commonwealth’ model, which distributes national income more according to need, and instead go it alone taking all the volatility that goes with being a dwindling petro-economy.

    Handing over the oil revenues would be no loss to the rUK purse.

  32. It is good to see increased bandwidth being given to the idea of a ‘universal income’ for the UK. Even the Tories are involved with their alternate version, the ‘Negative Income Tax’ (which I prefer).

    There are significant hurdles to overcome (eg. impact on immigration and how to stop landlords et al from immediately bumping up their prices) but I watch this growing debate and the Green’s polls with considerable interest.

  33. “This results from right-wing London media constantly talking about the extra spending per head on Scotland, but rarely mentioning the extra income per head from Scotland that more than compensates for this. ”

    Let’s not forget that the debate is over “whose gap between tax revenues and spending is less huge”, rather than “who has the larger surplus”.

    In that context, your statement is either always incorrect if you take the UK’s allocation of North Sea resources, or usually but not always correct on a year-to-year basis if you take the Scottish government’s. For the sake of this discussion I’ll take the Scottish government’s view, although in my personal opinion the likely post-independence split will be somewhere in the middle – Scotland getting the majority but not as high a proportion as it would argue it is geographically and historically due.

    The problem for Scotland post-2014 – in or out of the UK – is that Scotland seems less likely to reduce a deficit through spending cuts for a variety of reasons: the differing political climates north and south of the border, the relatively low population density in Scotland making comparable services more expensive to maintain outside of the main population areas than their equivalents in England, a higher proportion of older people and so forth.

    So the question is, regardless of the referendum result and assuming a completely geographic allocation of the North Sea revenue in either outcome, could Scotland maintain the position it currently claims to have on being better in tax vs spend compared to rUK?

    My answer would be that if the Scottish people were confident that the answer to that question was “yes”, the referendum would be a foregone conclusion.

  34. Sorry for this ramble: I’m trying to think through this poll which says most English voters would reduce flows to Scotland after a Naw vote. I suspect this is to do with perceived equity rather than any animus towards the Scots.
    —————
    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?

    In the event of a ‘no’ vote, there is going to have to be a rebuilding of a ‘one nation’ spirit which e.g. the London Olympics showed has the potential to exist.

  35. @Colin – I did note that Markit’s headline seems a tad pessimistic, given the actual numbers, and that the headline figure has crept upwards.

    Markit do generally seem to be entering a period when their commentaries are not as bold and optimistic as previously – almost as if they know things are easing back, even if the numbers don’t necessarily look overly poor. I find this a little odd, although they were certainly guilty of excessive hype in response to previous modest improvements.

  36. @Steve2 & @David Welch – there are any number of areas where Yes make claims about cross border payments which don’t bear too much close scrutiny.

    One in my own field is energy subsidies. They claim that the existing ROC/FIT regime will remain, which effectively means UK bill payers paying a much higher share of subsidies as Scotland has a much higher relative share of renewables. Given the political fuss over energy bills, I just can’t see this happening. Also, this cross border subsidy isn’t included in government tax and spend figures, as far as I am aware.

    I would anticipate London saying to the Scots that cross border subsidies will end, and the energy trade would be conducted on a market price basis – eg if Edinburgh wished to improve the profitability of it’s renewables stock, then Scottish taxpayers can do that.

    There could be an interesting legal case here, as renewables operators have 20 year contracts at agreed terms for the payments (rising with RPI annually). London will not want to take on responsibility for this, so I suspect Scottish taxpayers will find renewable energy quite expensive on the public purse, given that they have so much of it.

    And before anyone says that the UK will need to secure energy supplies, so is bound to pay up – I doubt it. These are operating installations, where owners need to recoup the highly leveraged costs. They won’t have an option to turn the things off, as the costs are already banked. They must keep the generators turning. UK would not see a general loss of supply if they declined to pay the subsidies, although they might find issues regarding future capacity. However, the options for meeting this challenge face in many different directions, with cheaper and easier options than funding Scottish renewables.

  37. Mr Nameless
    Thanks for that summary of Lord A’s latest stuff.
    Now, correct me if I’m wrong but is not the picture of what’s going on in these marginals markedly different to what’s going on in Ashcroft’s previous marginals , those characterised by AW as his ‘Ultra’ marginals. IIRC these were showing a small swing TO the Tories.
    Spearmint took AW up on a small presentational error as I recall….

  38. “I suspect this is to do with perceived equity rather than any animus towards the Scots.”

    From watching Braveheart, I thought it was the Scots showing their animus’ to the English?

    @Amberstar – very much in tune with your post. If you spend years claiming your neighbour is a total [email protected] that is doing you down, it shouldn’t come as any great surprise that said neighbour eventually turns round and gives you both barrels (metaphorically speaking of course).

  39. Thanks @Mr Nameless.

    @Roger Mexico. We do need to see some marginals polling beyond the uber marginals.

  40. Interesting to compare the story that Alec posted from the Telegraph from those that many more Scots will read –

    The reasonably neutral Herald
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/english-say-scots-will-pay-a-heavy-price-for-referendum.25092377
    or even the stridently Uninist Scotsman
    h ttp://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-english-backlash-warning-1-3514735

    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.

    For those who argue that we should stay in the UK Union, that seems perfectly fair. If the decision is to treat the UK as a single unit for the purposes of public expenditure (specific need and Whitehall’s regular decisions to spend billions on the London infrastructure as for the good of the whole UK and not as “identifiable expenditure) aside, then there is no reason for Scotland to get a higher share of UK identifiable expenditure than elsewhere.

    A realignment is precisely what the No campaign should be arguing for, if they believe in the democratic nature of a UK Parliament. It should (as it would) remove the “special” financial arrangements for Scotland.

    In a UK context, “favouring” Scotland over Wales and the North of England may have been a useful formula as some form of bribe to keep Scotland in the Union, but after a No vote, that reason disappears.

    Those that look at Scotland outwith that context, as more of a semi-detached part of a wider structure, may see things differently.

    “If we no longer get favoured status”, some might say, “why should we remain under Westminster?”

  41. @ Ewen

    IIRC these were showing a small swing TO the Tories.
    Spearmint took AW up on a small presentational error as I recall….
    ——————
    I think that the error was the miniscule swing TO the Tories; IIRC, Spearmint’s correction was that it was actually a miniscule swing to Labour.

  42. I have a suspicion the most marginal seats might show smaller swings than the Tories’ safer seats simply because they’ll have more resources put into them (the famed 40/40 strategy). In my view it’s an error for the Tories to do that but I suppose they have limited canvassers. It may be the Tories hold some seats 20-30 on Labour’s target list but lose some in the 50-60 range.

  43. Oldnat: “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.”

    You are confusing ‘opinion poll’ with ‘government policy’.

  44. @Oldnat – “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.”

    [snip] It isn’t clear. What the Herald article actually says is that 56% of UK voters think that Scottish spending should be reduced to the UK average, meaning that 44% either don’t or don’t care. So a bare majority in favour, before they have heard any explanation of why the Barnett formula was devised in the first place.

    Secondly, it also states that all three main parties are committed to maintain the Barnett formula, [snip]

    This referendum campaign has done an awful lot to make the English feel much less comfortable with the Scots, and this is entirely the Scots own fault.

  45. The Arc of Prosperity in action.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28690534

    Funny how we don’t hear so much of that now.

  46. CBI report bullish forward view of next Qtr from Manufacturers.

  47. Amber
    Look again, AW did not correct his table and there is a small swing to Tory in Ashcroft’s ‘Ultras’. But not in his latest marginals.

  48. postageincluded

    Does the marginal polling take such a long time that different reports overlap, or is [Ashcroft] planning to speed up the frequency.

    I think this is the sort of schedule you can expect the Ashcroft polls to be produced at. The polling for this one was done between 11 July and 11 August, though any individual constituency would be polled for only about a week during that period. The last tranche of constituency polls wasn’t published till 22 July after this one had started. Presumably the next lot will be around 20 September, probably tied in the Party Conference schedule.

    Telephone polling takes a lot of time because you are contacting the respondents rather than them replying to you at their leisure. You also have to use quota sampling so you end up ringing endless number of people trying to find that last elusive C2 male under 25[1]. I suspect that there is an even higher refusal rate with constituency polls because they have to start off by asking where you live[2]. You’re probably part of the 0.001% of the population that would think “Lord Ashcroft” rather than “burglars”.

    [1] Another problem is that you can’t use mobile phones as, unlike land lines, you’ve little idea where the owner of a random phone number actually resides. This may skew the sample but certainly makes contacting the last few hard-to-reach demographics even worse. ICM report that the advantage of their including mobiles was getting hold of such people more easily.

    [2] One thing that Ashcroft’s constituency polls don’t appear to do is to make sure that there is geographic balance across the constituency by ward for example(unlike say some Survation and ICM polls we’ve seen). I don’t know if that makes a difference to reliability.

  49. 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.

    Also of the person who prefers weather forecasts on ITV because they are sunnier.

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

  50. Steve2 @ 12.23

    The reports showing that Scotland pays in more on average to the Exchequher than it draws out are GERS reports, and have been done every year since the early 1990s.

    They were started by a Tory government, and are supposedly neutral, though given the complexities of the data and the lack of detail on some key subjects I can see scope for those in charge putting in their own biases.

    You seem to be implying that the subsidy claims come from the SNP, but surely the UK Treasury agrees with the GERS conclusions. What Treasury statements contradict the recent GERS reports?

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