The snap ICM poll following the second Salmond-v-Darling debate shows a convincing win for Alex Salmond. 26% think Darling won the debate, 65% think Salmond did, 9% didn’t know. Tabs are here.

In the ICM poll following the first debate last month the large majority of existing YES voters thought Salmond won, the large majority of existing NO voters thought Darling won, don’t knows were pretty evenly split – hence a Darling victory. In second debate poll existing YES voters almost all thought Salmond won, only a bare majority of NO voters thought Darling did, the small number of don’t knows favoured Salmond – hence the Salmond victory.

Will it have any impact on voting intentions? Well, that’s a different question. Amongst the respondents in the survey there was no difference in the NO lead before the debate and the NO lead afterwards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much. Remember that the instant verdict poll gave the first debate to Alistair Darling, yet of the four polls since the first debate only one showed significant movement toward NO, two showed modest movement toward YES, one showed significant movement toward YES. Instant reaction debate polls do their job of crowning a debate victor… but they don’t necessarily do a good job of predicting the impact.


303 Responses to “ICM show Salmond winning second debate”

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  1. Well it can’t hurt Salmond. That’s for sure.

  2. @RAF – I’m not so sure. Salmond is the one to overcome the hurdle, and I’m unconvinced that this debate would paint him in a better light than before.

  3. That makes it 1-1 then. At footie so didn’t see the debate but judging by the comments on the previous thread it may be time for an ice bucket challenge decider?

  4. @Alec

    The instant poll suggests AS won convincingly which must help his cause. He could not have polled that strongly without some No and DK supporters thinking he did well.

  5. @Alec

    And yes I do like the idea of a DK supporter.

  6. Shevii,

    Or dump both of them in the cooler and put on Gordon Wilson & George Robertson.

  7. @RAF – indeed. I put it down as an AS win as well. But I’m inclined to trust AS less after seeing that. It was a horrible, ill tempered, ranty 90 minutes, which did neither man any favours. It’s difficult to see which sides arguments really cut through, but Yes really, really needs to cut through, as apparently they are 14% behind with 24 days to go.

  8. @SHEVII

    ” it may be time for an ice bucket challenge decider?”

    Was I dreaming or did I see an ice bucket challenge earlier today?
    I scored that for AD but I probably would, wouldn’t I?

  9. @Alec

    Yes, I concur with your premise. If Yes really is 14% behind it is probably too large a gulf to overcome. In the circumstabces, maybe AS believes that passion is his best option?

    Perhaps also the campaigns have been too personal. Why AS v AD? We’re talking of the future of Scotland. Wouldn’t a wider range of personnel and a larger number of debates have been a better idea?

  10. RAF

    “Wouldn’t a wider range of personnel and a larger number of debates have been a better idea?”

    There have been a considerable number of debates with different personnel, and different formats.

    Don’t confuse what you have seen and what the voters here have seen.

    Whether any of them have made a difference is another matter.

  11. The ICM Panel before the debate was 51%NO 49% YES.

    After the debate despite what they said about who won the debate the panel were 51% NO 49% YES.

    It was a panel of 500.

  12. Interesting despite all the ‘shouting’ nonsense from the media over women and the first vote;

    Woman chose Salmond 77% to 23%; more so than men!
    Poorest backed Salmond; but he won across all economic groups.
    Age not a huge concern; Salmond winning again on all; though less convincingly with older.

    Again the right area for Salmond – women.

  13. Looks like they were right and debates don’t change much.

    Even with Farage trashing Clegg, support for staying with the EU actually went up afterwards.

    Though I’m sure STV playing braveheart the day before the referendum might change it?

  14. In “look away now if you don’t want to know the result mode”, a la news bulletins prior to Match of the Day, I recorded the Salmond v Darling debate with the intent of watching it later. In the meantime, I was hoping to avoid all comment so I could watch it as if it was live, but you’ve all ruined it for me now! However, by the sound of it, rather like a 0-0 bore draw, it was an absolute stinker that’s best avoided. That’s another recording then, much like many Villa games, that will remain unwatched and consigned to the dustbin of history!

    I get the impression from what I’ve read here that neither debater did either themselves or their causes much good. If that’s so, then who “won” or “lost” the debate may be a matter of utter irrelevance. In Salmond’s case, it may well be the equivalent of winning a dead rubber in a Test Series. 4-0 down with one to play. Consolation victory.

    Still, the next clutch of polls will be interesting.

  15. @OldNat

    That’s a fair point.

  16. Crossbat11

    Agreed that the next batch of polls may be interesting.

    As to comments on here, I wonder how many of those commenting have a vote in the referendum.

  17. GCHQ sure dropped the ball with this poll.

  18. shevii

    […]judging by the comments on the previous thread it may be time for an ice bucket challenge decider?

    Satire is officially dead (again)

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2014/aug/24/alex-salmond-alistair-darling-yes-to-ice-bucket-challenge-video

  19. @OLDNAT

    Even though I would qualify to play for Scotland I do not have a vote but as a Border Riever I have a particular interest in what kind of border we have.

  20. ICM weighted the sample to representative of the Scotland population by age, gender, region and previous voting behaviour (reported 2011 vote for the Holyrood election).

    But it is important to bear in mind that this is a survey of voters who actually watched the debate, as opposed to the electorate as a whole.

    Going in to the debate, this sample was more pro-independence than most polls of voters as a whole have suggested – splitting 44% yes to 46% no with 10% not sure.

    Over the course of the debate, there was little change in this balance. The don’t knows dropped back two percentage points to eight, while both yes and no edged up one each to 45% and 47% respectively as a fraction of viewers made up their mind.

  21. ICM pre-recruited a sample of 1,155 people who said they would be watching the debate live and who agreed to complete the survey immediately afterwards, which they were duly sent.

    All participants were recruited from ICM’s own online panel plus those of two of the biggest suppliers of Scottish panel in the market research industry. The post-debate survey data is based on 505 completed interviews. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

    Amongst those who said they were certain to watch, actual ‘turnout’ was 44% ;-)

  22. Close examination of the tables shows that, compared to before the debate, 16 people moved from No or DK to Yes, while the number who moved from Yes or DK to No was, er, 16.

    Actually, there may always be a small minority who ‘game’ the system by pretending to have views opposite to their real ones, so they can then sway the statistics by pretending to be ‘converted’ by the force of their own side’s arguments. So no one’s mind may have been changed at all.

  23. “So no one’s mind may have been changed at all.”

    Since most of the arguments were hard to hear due to each men talking over the other on numerous occasions, that may well indicate high standards of rationality on the part of the polled audience.

  24. It was a ‘get the Labour voters’ debate tactic from Salmond. Sounded just like a Labour politician against a Tory. NHS, Trident, Poverty. Helped by various audience folk in particular the woman haranguing Darling re:Keir Hardie (or Bevan it was one of the Labour icons).

    Ending with a reassurance that Labour will be part of building the new Scotland. Very clever.

    When are we getting another independence poll?

  25. ole nat

    “As to comments on here, I wonder how many of those commenting have a vote in the referendum.”

    Why? What has that got to do with it and why should it matter? Do you feel the comments of non-voters should be banned or somehow carry less merit??

    I don’t have much say in what goes on in Iraq but that doesn’t mean I can’t comment

  26. Since most of the arguments were hard to hear due to each men talking over the other on numerous occasions, that may well indicate high standards of rationality on the part of the polled audience.
    ————-
    I’m giving the ‘rationality’ award to the 650 people who switched off & therefore couldn’t complete their survey.

  27. amber

    Wottabowt the one man and his pups who had the good sense to not begin watching in the first place?

    What do we get?

  28. from the telegraph

    “A Commission without a significant number of women is, in my view, neither legitimate nor credible. That is why I am continuing to insist with several heads of state and government that they send me a female candidate. ”

    Good for Juncker.

    Send more wimmin.

  29. @ Rosie&Daisie

    Wottabowt the one man and his pups who had the good sense to not begin watching in the first place?

    What do we get?
    —————-
    The Amber Star award for Prescience – & nicely sorted music if the pups’ account of how you spent your evening was accurate! :-)

  30. R&D

    Other than an entertainment for political junkies, such debates only have any meaning in so far as they influence voters.

    Hence, comments from those resident south of the border on the debate are just as relevant as mine, Roger Mexico’s, or SoCalLiberal’s on what passes for a political issue in England.

    Sometimes an external observer can provide some insightful analysis, but it is seldom likely to have any effect on political behaviour.

    External comments that lack any insight are probably less valuable than the farts of a bishop (I was watching Dave Allen highlights tonight!)

  31. It was a ‘get the Labour voters’ debate tactic from Salmond.
    ———–
    Before the debate, Labour watchers:
    Yes 30
    No 55
    DK 19
    According to ICM, this adds to 103. I can understand losing a % to rounding… but a person? Ne’er mind though, we must ignore that enigma & move on.

    After the debate, Labour watchers:
    Yes 34
    No 59
    DK 10

  32. @Amber

    “I’m giving the ‘rationality’ award to the 650 people who switched off & therefore couldn’t complete their survey.”

    And how about an “intuition” award for the presumably several thousand people who didn’t agree in the first place to ICM’s request to switch on (and hence weren’t given a survey to complete.)

  33. Amber

    John Curtice wisely advises against too much reliance being made on such an instant poll,

    However, I’m not sure that saying that 37% of decided 2011 Labour voters are voting Yes is much of a boost for your side.

  34. @ Old Nat

    I was simply making the point that the debate changed nothing from the perspective of votes.

    And I also noted that a Labour voter evaporated. That can happen, or so I’m told by more experienced campaigners. ;-)

  35. @ Phil Haines

    :-)

  36. @ Old Nat

    However, I’m not sure that saying that 37% of decided 2011 Labour voters are voting Yes is much of a boost for your side.
    ———–
    It was 37% of the 2011 Labour voters who were willing to sit through the debate & complete an ICM survey about it. I hope they’re all recovering well from their ordeal.

  37. Amber

    Indeed, and I agree that the initial evidence is that the debate changed little.

    However, I’m not sure that saying that 35% of decided 2011 Labour voters were voting Yes pre-debate is much of a boost for your side either.

  38. Amber

    So we are in agreement again! Your original post about the evaporating Labour voter (I’ve met rather a lot of them lately) was based on a poll which you now agree has little meaning.

  39. Strangely that 37% of Labour voters voting Yes matches Panelbase’s last indyref poll. A bit more credible than YouGovs 15%.

    As you know the instant poll isn’t important it is the narrative it establishes.

  40. Missed the first debate as I was on holiday.

    Christ up above, I wish I’d booked a longer one and missed this one as well. What an appalling advert for Scottish politics. This is a once in 300 years moment of crucial import. It’s about national identity. It’s about what it means to be Scottish.

    It appears that what it means is the ability to belittle and talk over your opponent so that absolutely no light whatsoever is thrown on the issues. M

    An utterly dreadful display and deeply depressing to watch.

  41. Strangely that 37% of Labour voters voting Yes matches Panelbase’s last indyref poll.
    ———–
    Maybe not so strange; ICM ‘borrowed’ two panels for their poll this evening. I think Panelbase’s may have been one of them.

  42. Amber

    So let get this clear. Earlier you were posting conclusions based on a poll that you are now suggesting might be flawed because part of the panel may have been drawn from Panelbase?

  43. @ Lefty

    An utterly dreadful display and deeply depressing to watch.
    ———-
    Didn’t you think BBC Scotland managed the debate well? I thought the part where members of the audience were encouraged to make random points – aka throw unsubstantiated accusations at Alistair Darling – was particularly well structured & informative.

  44. Salmond won, but he won ugly and somehow it doesn’t ‘feel’ as though it would rally people to the cause. It was a decisive victory, but not the stirring inspiring victory he needs. For the Yes campaign to surge it needs to appeal to the heart and that was muddy trench warfare not eve of Agincourt.

  45. Amber Star

    According to ICM, this adds to 103. I can understand losing a % to rounding… but a person? Ne’er mind though, we must ignore that enigma & move on.

    Because they’re not real people, they’re weighted people after adjustment for demographics and so on. ICM then round the adjusted figure to the nearest unit, which can give you the same problem you get with percentages not adding to 100. Though in this case, even the total will be a calculated figure rounded up/down too.

  46. Amber

    Yep. These retired Deputy Heads shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a TV studio.

  47. @ Old Nat

    So let get this clear. Earlier you were posting conclusions based on a poll that you are now suggesting might be flawed because part of the panel may have been drawn from Panelbase?
    ————
    Of course I post conclusions from polls that I think people here will find interesting – this is a polling site after all; & surely, just because I post something, that doesn’t put it beyond further analysis, does it?

  48. Mr Beeswax

    “Salmond won, but he won ugly”,

    That may be one of the most incomprehensible comments I’ve seen on the debate.

  49. Amber

    I thought it was simply redressing the balance after that appalling and egregious error in the fourth paragraph of that BBC website article yesterday.

    Seems like a fair balance to me.

  50. Amber

    Indeed not. We just need to be aware that your later posts make your earlier posts somewhat pointless (or just pointed).

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