Survation have a new Scottish referendum poll in tomorrow’s Daily Mail. Topline figures are YES 42%(+5), NO 48%(-2), Don’t knows 11%(-2) (excluding don’t knows it is YES 47%, up 4). This is the first poll since the second Salmond-Darling debate, and on the face of it shows a significant movement to yes since before the debate.

Remember, however, that the previous Survation poll showed a sharp movement to NO. Putting that one aside, this poll is actually very similar to Survation’s longer term trend – their polls in June, July and at the start of August all had YES on 47%, before a sharp drop to 43% in their poll following the first debate. There are two ways you can interpret that – one is that Scottish opinion swung towards NO following the first debate that Darling was deemed to have “won”, and swung back following the second debate that Salmond “won”. The alternative explantion is that the previous Survation poll was just a bit of an outlier and nothing has really changed at all. Anyway, no doubt we will have some more post-debate polls along soon – tabs for the Survation poll are already up here, polls so far are here.


306 Responses to “Survation Scottish poll – YES 47, NO 53”

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  1. So, no change after either debate.

    How much more evidence do we need before we all say this is a done deal?

  2. “Anyway, no doubt we will have some more post-debate polls along soon”.

    Well, you know that we will. You have one in the field at the moment!

  3. Steve2

    “How much more evidence do we need before we all say this is a done deal?”

    Well, probably a poll on 18th September!

    Remember, this poll is weighted by likelihood to vote, and including undecideds, the numbers are Yes 41.6% No 47.6% Undecided 10.8%.

    Assuming no change in the Yes or No votes, it would take a break in the Undecideds of 4:1 in favour of Yes to win, but assuming that all Yes and No votes are immutable would seem unlikely.

    How the undecideds and the soft Yes/No votes end up will be decisive. Obviously, the polling continues to suggest a No win, but perhaps you might follow the example of the Dumfries Tories and cancel your “Champagne Breakfast Party” for the 19th! :-)

  4. Best number for the Yes campaign in the internals is the 35% or so of the current undecideds saying the debate made them more likely to vote Yes. Only 8.5% say it made them less likely. That said, it is difficult to see a Yes victory barring some earth-shattering political event prior to September 18th.

    It will be interesting to see if there will be any ‘jump aboard the status quo ship’ effect as there was with the AV referendum.

  5. The AV referendum was never going to be of any serious political consequence.

    When the Yes vote hits the high 40s , even if the Nos win , the Yes voters’ views will have to be given serious consideration or the issue will never go away .

  6. Update – Labour lead at 3

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 28th August –

    Lab 36%
    Con 33%
    UKIP 13%
    LD 7%
    Greens 5%
    SNP / PCY 4%
    B** 1%
    Others 1%

    APP -23

    Another large number of voters choosing the smaller parties 11% — I can’t believe this is to do with recent events in Rotherham – UKIP vote has declined by 1% since yesterday, something else maybe.

    If this something continues and adding to it the reaction to the vile events in Rotherham, immigration figures and the defection – the Sunday polls are going to be very unpredictable

    Greens and UKIP supporters will be content with this poll. I bet they are looking forward to Sunday

    The others parties won’t be

    Lab has a big lead amongst younger voters, high 2010 retention and a third of ex 2010 LDs, but it still only gives Lab a poor 36%

    Cons have been averaging low 30’s for 2 years

    LD voters have migrated to every other normal party in large numbers – their voting coalition fatally split

  7. According to the gospel that is Wikipedia polling in Quebec showed a Yes lead in every survey from about 12 days out and the shift from No to Yes (overall) began to appear about 20 days out – about now.

    So far we’ve not seen any showing a Yes lead and judging by what happened in Quebec Yes really need to get a significant lead in the polls if they have any chance of winning. So far the polls just don’t seem to be moving enough.

  8. Also worth noting women more swayed by the vote. Even if they don’t win I think it’s fair to say Salmond is having a decent campaign.

  9. The postal vote starting this week could in theory be a factor. Not predicting it being statistically significant myself, but just putting it out there.

    If I were in the Yes camp and could hand pick a week up until now on which to have 10-15% of the electorate cast their ballots, this would probably have been it.

  10. When the Yes vote hits the high 40s , even if the Nos win , the Yes voters’ views will have to be given serious consideration or the issue will never go away .

    Much like any political difference it will probably not go away and nor should it in a democracy, but I’ve never understood this argument that even though the political argument is lost we still have to win a bit because of the size of the vote. On that basis lets have job share for MP’s based on the vote they get.

    For while now I’ve thought there have been very similar failures of the yes campaign for the referendum that I saw in the AV debate; in both the yes sides having a sort of blind faith that they were right, failing to listen or answer valid concerns from those worried about change, and finally falling back on the things will still have to change argument.

    The equivalent mistake of the AV campaign in not going for a fully thought out proportional electoral system is the argument that only full independence will work for Scotland .

  11. The idea the Yes AV campaign had ‘blind faith’ is ridiculous; the campaign was on political reform; they didn’t even like the AV option. It was also a rushed vote.

  12. The AV vote came when the coalition, Nick Clegg, and the LibDems, were very unpopular. I suspect that many people thought that if we had AV we would be destined to have permanent coalitions, and never be able to get rid of Nick Clegg and his party.

  13. Fraser

    Hmm so if I had voted yes for AV I wasn’t really voting for it as it wasn’t really liked – I was voting for political reform. That isn’t quite how I remembered it!

    So is your logic that if I could vote for independence I would really be voting for something else so don’t worry about it?

  14. Killary45

    Ah the old argument that we all voted no because we all hated clegg so much. How about we voted no cos AV has just as many faults as FPTP?

  15. My advice to all those who are still undecided on how to vote in the Scottish Independence referendum is to ask themselves one very simple question: –

    What would Andy Stewart have done?

  16. It’s getting interesting for us neutrals. That’s for sure.

    I wonder what effect the very fact that Yes, by simple definition, is psychologically a more intrinsically attractive proposition than No, may come into play in the latter stages. Especially amongst undecideds who have yet to be swayed by the arguments. After all, it is said that hope and love come more naturally to the human heart than fear and hate.

  17. @balbs

    Not sure what that actually means if I am honest; but my recollection of the AV ref was it being faulty like you say but also not being the optimal choice of the campaigners – which would be PR.

    AV didn’t solve the problem and made the election system more complicated. It was rushed into without much debate and was frankly – set up to fail.

    Its why the Lib Dems policies on Home Rule and Poltiical Reform annoy me; sure they ‘stand’ for them, but they do not campaign on them, so no one really knows what they are.

  18. @Balbs

    What proportion of voters knew the difference between AV, AV+, Single Transferable Vote, and other forms of PR? I suspect the unpopularity of Clegg was a bigger factor than the defects of AV.

    I wonder what difference AV would have made in the next election. Has anyone produced an estimate of the likelihood of a coalition including the LibDems, based on current polling, if there had been a YES?

  19. “When the Yes vote hits the high 40s , even if the Nos win , the Yes voters’ views will have to be given serious consideration or the issue will never go away .”

    But presumably, not as much serious consideration of the No vote in the low 50s?

    Or is this one of those elections where if you lose, you’ve actually won?

  20. BALBS
    “When the Yes vote hits the high 40s , even if the Nos win , the Yes voters’ views will have to be given serious consideration or the issue will never go away.”

    It will give way to a devo debate, and more important, a substantive devolution: for devolved policies and procedures, agencies and resources, of real and substantial interest to the Scottish Government, parties, businesses, individuals, with a roll-out and monitoring for the coming decade and beyond.

  21. @Killary – “…when the coalition, Nick Clegg, and the Lib Dems, were very unpopular.”

    Ah yes, remember those days?

  22. Yes has aleady won.

    Sure they are unlikely to win the vote but the status quo is dead. As a result of this Salmond will at least get Devo Max – not a bad consolation prize.

    Maybe that is what he wanted all along, he is a cunning fox.

  23. “When the Yes vote hits the high 40s , even if the Nos win , the Yes voters’ views will have to be given serious consideration or the issue will never go away.”

    So if the Yes vote wins, and the No vote is in the high 40s, what then? Or does this only work one way?

  24. “Maybe that is what he wanted all along, he is a cunning fox.”

    No. He wants independence. If there is a No vote, he has lost. He has told us repeatedly that only independence can give Scotland what it needs. Are you telling us he is a l!@r?

    Everyone on the No side wants devo max. It’s much more accurate to say that if they get this, No will have won, not yes.

  25. The equivalent to the AV/Political Reform issue is the White Paper. I dont know how many times I’ve heard “We’re not really voting for whats in the White Paper – its for whatever you want out of independence….”

  26. “Maybe that is what he wanted all along, he is a cunning fox.”

    He wanted independence, but I suspect he knew Devo Max was more realistic and could act as a bridge towards independence. Hence his preferred option of all three choices on the ballot paper.

  27. Alec

    He would not get Devo Max so quickly without the referendum, There is no way the Tories would be talking about it. Yes I understand he want independence but a quick transition to Devo Max, makes it heads I win tails I benefit.

  28. I always thought after 1928 northern ireland had Devo Max and much good it did them.

    I listened carefully to the PM make his cogent argument the Union – for not becoming a foreign county but remaining in a single trading block – he can dust down the same speech for the Referendum on EU when the time comes. It seems this Independence referendum will be like in 1978 a darn close run thing.

    Av or not Av was the last question and I voted no not to give the LibDems a bloody nose but because I felt it was just as bad as FFTP.

    If I can make perhaps a more party point I’d like to observe the last election showed how carefully and thoroughly the Conservatives had prepared themselves for the outcome. Labour was unprepared but then hardly in a position to try and continue in office in reality. If they’d formed a government I doubt it would have lasted a full term.

    The LibDems who had preached the virtues of coalition government for a generation were were surprisingly unprepared for the politics of negotiation. The referendum on AV should have have been on PR They got themselves into a quite unnecessary hole over tuition fees. The fixed term parliament as well as not being in the manifesto was a year too long – as is now being demonstrated and they’d not thought through the voting systems for House of Lords and Commons as part of a unified approach to constitutional reform.

    That is my rather prejudiced opinion and please accept any apologies if if causes offence – it’s not intended to…

  29. “Are you telling us he is a l!@r?”

    Hard to say. I can’t be certain what that last word quoted is, nor do I have any idea how good his lawyers are.

  30. “When the Yes vote hits the high 40s , even if the Nos win , the Yes voters’ views will have to be given serious consideration or the issue will never go away .”

    True, but notice the asymmetry here: the SNP acknowledge no such commitment to tying their hands during independence negotiations if it’s a close Aye win!

    As for Devomax, since there isn’t a rigorous proposal on the table, and no-one has ever talked (to my knowledge) about the possible negative outcomes of the idea, those are eggs that shouldn’t be overinterpreted at this point.

    If the Ayes win, then the SNP have a doctor’s mandate to negotiate as they wish, with no fear of a second referendum on the final settlement. If the Naws win, then the campaign for further devolution has to start from square one; maybe we can actually start talking about unused existing/soon to be implemented powers for Holyrood. Maybe even one or two parties could consider putting them to use. For instance, the SNP or Labour could propose raising the basic rate by 1-3% in order to offset welfare reforms, and the Tories could propose cutting it by 1-3% to attract high-wealth taxpayers to Scotland etc.

    Anyway, some interesting figures from the SSA/BSA on WhatScotlandThinks yesterday. The level of support for tuition fees in England? 69%. The level of support for tuition fees in Scotland? 64%. My suspicion in general is that the political class in England is to the right of the general public, whereas the political class in Scotland is to the left of the general public.

  31. John Murphy,

    “I always thought after 1928 northern ireland had Devo Max and much good it did them.”

    I’m not sure there’s a very good parallel between Scotland and Northern Ireland in this respect. On the other hand, I do remember reading a historian (Colin Wilson?) arguing that the Northern Irish model of devolution was both too weak and too strong: not enough powers to deal with chronic relative unemployment problems, but enough powers to have a complacent single-party management of most state functions.

  32. I’m curious to see what the response to Carswell is in the papers and haven’t had time to read many of them today. If anyone who has could give me the gist that’d be great.

    I imagine yer hypothetical Cameroon columnist – let’s call her Jan Hedges – will be quite dismissive as it’s only one backbencher but I’m very skeptical indeed that this is a short term trend.

    Over on the constituency guide I put forward the idea that UKIP’s moment may well be 2020 rather than 2015. My logic is this:

    UKIP are unlikely to win many seats next year, but there will probably be a few dozen where they take second place. Being second is a major advantage for a challenging party – it gives the impression of a two-horse race which is harder to do when in most seats they came fourth or fifth last time.

    If a Labour or Lib-Lab government is elected as it appears they might be, they will probably lose popularity by 2020. A Tory Party which has lost the angry white man vote in the cities and suburbs to UKIP will be confined to its heartlands and out of contention in a lot of marginals, and the Lib Dems will be either as unpopular or hardly more popular than now.

    Enter UKIP – assuming they don’t resort to infighting.

  33. RAF
    An interesting linguistic reductionist point you make about the psychological salience of ‘yes’ as a word, compared to ‘ no’ . I don’t agree, neither do many psychological studies. Saying no is a very powerful and self-affirming thing to do, politically there are countless examples of an appeal to things staying the same being very powerful. “They shall not pass”.
    The British are famous for winning defensive victories.

  34. Off topic, sorry, but after Carswell does anyone think we could see a Lib Dem (or other) defections to the Greens before May?

  35. Nope. If any LDs were going to defect it A) would have happened by now and B) would have been to Labour (possibly MK in Andrew George’s case). No MP would defect to the Greens unless already standing down as they would have no chance of holding.

    As for Labour MPs going over to the Greens I just don’t see it. The right of the party are the most anti-Miliband but also the most anti-Green, and the left are either too wedded to safe seats (Abbott, Corbyn, McDonnell) or too thoroughbred Labour (Skinner, Burnham) to go.

  36. John Pilgrim,

    “It will give way to a devo debate, and more important, a substantive devolution: for devolved policies and procedures, agencies and resources, of real and substantial interest to the Scottish Government, parties, businesses, individuals, with a roll-out and monitoring for the coming decade and beyond.”

    Of course. All those MSPs need something to talk about, and non-constitutional questions (e.g. healthcare policy and education) are just so BORING…

  37. mrnameless

    UKIP could win a seat this year.

  38. Mr Nameless,

    There is a broader problem for the Greens, just as there was for the LDs after New Labour: they are appealing to the disappointed left of the Labour party, but the harder left tend also to be more closely committed to trade-union politics and die-hard loyalty to the Labour party.

    It would be as if UKIP were trying to appeal to the nationalistic side of the Tories, but were also anti-Thatcherite One Nation Tories. The Venn diagrams don’t work out in favour of such a strategy.

  39. Personally no Wes, because I don’t see it as a comparable situation. The Greens know that they are in a position to capitalise on the anti-coalition vote without making a move as bold as this. By contrast, the UKIP calculation would have been that without convincing the electorate that they are a Westminster force, the danger was/is that Tory voters could ultimately rally around the party in a GE as they have done in the two previous elections.

    But besides that, I’m not sure the Greens would accept someone associated with this coalition defecting so close to the GE. That association could do the Greens more harm than good. Two years ago it could have happened.

  40. Further long-term problem for the Greens is between the left-wing public face of the party (Tatchell, Lucas, Bennett) plus younger activists, and the people who vote Green in council elections (often save-the-trees wealthy liberals and some Teal Tories).

    This is all fine while the Greens campaign as outsiders but, like the Lib Dems before them, if they want a major place in British politics they’ll have to define where they stand – and in doing so will alienate one side or the other.

    I met a Teal Tory the other week. He votes Tory at GEs and Green in Euros and locals. Thing is, the way he spoke about the Green party (moderate liberals) was completely at odds with the views of the Green members I know (hard left, think Labour are a bunch of Tories, big-s Socialists).

    It’s an unsustainable ideological house of cards.

  41. Mr Nameless,

    I wouldn’t be too pessimistic: that was often said to be the situation for the SNP, and still is to some extent I think, but they’ve not done badly.

  42. (I would add that almost everyone I know over the age of about 30 who votes SNP without being a member is pretty close to the Tory mainstream in their views on particular issues, with one exception of a hardline communist, but I suspect that’s more reflective of what rural Scotland is like. In the central belt, I imagine there are a lot of older left-wing nationalists.)

  43. A gem of a comment from Steve Fisher this morning.

    “…another week goes by without the anticipated swing towards David Cameron’s party.”

    Hey ho.

  44. Let me ask you this Mr Nameless.

    If you asked the Green voters you know whether they would vote an environmentalist Tory, or a left wing Scottish MP whose political platform is to fund socialist policies by using every drop of fossil fuel in the north sea, who would win?

  45. (I do have specific names for each of those MPs in mind by the way, but question is aimed at gauging the environment vs left-right weighting of the voters you mention, rather than to make a political point).

  46. The consequence of the referendum assuming high 40s Yes. Though I still think Yes will win. Is the SNP are laughing all the way to the May GE and 2016 Holyrood. I live in Dundee East a Labour target well betting folk get your bets on an SNP win. SNP have a database of every Yes voter in this constituency and we are probably at over 50% Yes simple matter to get them to vote SNP in May. It will be the same across Scotland.

    Now Labour of course will have the No voters but will have to share them with Tories and LibDems. Which will push Labour down to 30%

    Interestingly Survation had Labour 32 SNP 46 for Holyrood.

  47. Mr N’s comments about the Greens are also apposite to UKIP.
    Farage is never seen these days without saying UKIP appeals just as much to Lab voters as Tories (it’s almost as tedious as the long term economic plan).

    No problem sustaining this whilst you’re in a position that you haven’t read the manifesto but it was a load of cobblers.

    At some point UKIP are going to have to come up with some policies beyond the current single one, and what emerges will be fascinating. Do they stick to their last and espouse *robust* right-wing policies on everything or do they go for Lab heartland. Somebody suggested there’s a vacancy for an economically left, socially conservative party.

    Or is all this irrelevant, and they will rely on NOTA, foreigners out, and Farage’s liking for booze and fags without bothering with policies?

  48. I happen to agree with you Couper (except that I don’t think Yes will win). I think the press’s attitude towards Scotland post-narrow-No is going to be one of indignance at how much better Scotland’s deal from the union already was than England, and that after losing a referendum they are getting an even better deal (N.B. that is not my political view, merely my expectation of how the English press will react to devo max).

    I predict that the knock-on effect is that Labour will face a dilemma in terms of how to pitch their Scottish GE campaign, to the SNP’s benefit.

    That starkly contrasts from my prediction of what would happen in the case of a comfortable No, which would be an eventual SNP splinter into two parties.

  49. Some very incisive comments here this morning, thanks. I think it would be interesting to ask LD voters what they think the chief thing is that the LDs stand for. If one did not prompt with a set of choices that would avoid interviewer bias, I suspect the chief answer in the first five seconds would be ‘er…’.

    As old lags here will know, this does not apply to the present poster, er…..

  50. It seems Dr Fisher’s model would predict a Tory victory right up to the point at which they lose, on account of the much delayed swingback assumptions he makes. His model seems at this point to hold very little predictive value, expecting the next election to be like the last election is ahistoric and takes no account of the actual events and experience of the current parliament

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