YouGov have a new Scottish poll out tonight, done jointly for the Sun and the Times and YouGov’s first since the second debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling. YouGov’s previous poll showed a significant four point shift towards YES, narrowing the NO lead from 22 points to 14. Today’s poll doesn’t just confirm that, it goes further – topline figures are now YES 42%(+4), NO 48%(-3), Don’t know or won’t vote 10%(-1). Excluding don’t knows this is YES 47%(+4), NO 53%(-4).

This means that over a month YouGov have shown the referendum race coming right in from a pretty consistent NO lead of around twenty points right down to just six points. The sharp narrowing of the gap echoes the Survation poll after the second debate which had looked as if it was just a reversion to the mean. This suggests something more is afoot.

As ever, we should be careful of reading too much into a single poll – it’s the wider trend that counts – but it looks like this may go right down to the wire (and considering that YouGov tend to show some of the less favourable results to YES, does make one wonder what the next poll from a company like Panelbase might show).

UPDATE: Also out tonight is the monthly ComRes/Indy telephone poll which has topline figures of CON 28%(+1), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 17%(nc) and the daily YouGov/Sun poll which has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 7%, UKIP 14%


209 Responses to “YouGov Scottish poll shows NO lead dropping to six points”

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  1. Do you get a Nobel Prize for running off with the oil, demanding to shackle us with a currency union and if you don’t get one threatening not to pay your share of the debt?

  2. Candy

    If the Yes campaign took those stances, it would be weird. Fortunately they don’t, so it isn’t.

    Carfrew

    It’s really hard to “run off” with the oil. There’s just so much of the damn stuff. We’ll just need to let the oil companies get it out, take the revenues from it, export the technologies that allow extraction from difficult locations and live with that.

    If you guys don’t want to have that resource and economic activity backing your currency, then that’ may be unwise. If you don’t want to share the assets we have jointly created and keep all the debt, then that may be unwise too.

    However, that’s a choice that rUK will make once the febrile period of campaigning is past (If Scotland actually does vote Yes).

    All that the Yes campaign is saying that the rUK will decide on a policy that is in its best interests. If keeping all the debt that it is contracted to, with no input from Scotland, then that is your choice. no one can make you do anything different.

    I do understand that it is difficult for those of you furth of Scotland to follow what is actually being said here, as opposed to the spin put on it.

    That’s why I suggested that this is not an appropriate site for campaigning and emotional statements.

  3. It might seem tricky to you oldnat, but my point was very simple. Taking the oil, demanding to share the currency and threatening to forego your share of the debt is somewhat dubious in the love-bombing stakes…

  4. Oldnat – so in your opinion, will the English be hard-line in the face of a Scottish default or not?

    In your heart you know the answer. But some of your fellow Scots appear not to…

    Otherwise they wouldn’t think starting a new country with the label “defaulter” around their necks was a good idea.

    Why on earth was the finance minister of the SNP even suggesting default? He must know how the world, the bond markets, the EU and the English would react?

    To appeal to those voters who like the idea of not paying their debts? Is that what this is about?

  5. Carfrew

    As I’ve observed before, the use of language in political rhetoric is fascinating.

    Yours is worth deconstructing.

    “Taking the oil” – If Scotland opted for independence then (outwith an alternative agreement between rUK and Scotland) the division of the Continental Shelf would be by international convention, Scotland would be no more “taking” the oil within its territory than England/rUK would be “taking” the salt mines within its borders.

    “Demanding to share the currency”. There is no demand. There is an expectation that rUK will see that as in their interests, but if they choose not to, it’s not a huge deal.

    “threatening to forego your share of the debt” – but the Yes campaign has always said that Scotland is willing to take its share of the debt that the UK built up, but obviously only in so far as the assets of the UK that we jointly built up are equitably shared.

    Language is so important in debate, that everyone should have regard to how it is used.

    Indeed the Scottish Police Federation have gone so far as to advise that “Politicians and supporters of whichever point of view need to be mindful of the potential impact of intemperate, inflammatory and exaggerated language, lest they be seen to seek to create a self fulfilling prophecy”
    http://www.spf.org.uk/2014/09/spf-media-release-independence-referendum/

  6. Candy

    I’m sure you consider it is worthwhile posting what you imagine other people think.

    The construction of straw men may be a folk ritual in your part of the world. As such it would be an interesting cultural phenomenon.

  7. @oldnat

    Top quibbling! But you still don’t seem to be getting it: you’ll never get a Nobel at this rate!!

    We share the oil now, if you take it after independence you are taking it

    Threatening to forego the debt if not sharing the currency is pretty demanding!!

    But the main point remains: you will leave us sans oil, insist on the currency union or forego debt, none of which is exactly love-bombing rUK.

  8. @oldnat

    Candy isn’t constructing a straw man, he just gave you a question you might have difficulty answering. The question of whether there is bluffing over currency etc. is an issue in polling too.

  9. Carfrew

    I suggest that you look at the logical inferences of your latest post.

  10. Candy is quite good at giving you difficult questions, he’s done it before!!…

  11. Carfrew

    Are you sure Candy is a “he”?

  12. @OLDNAT

    “I suggest that you look at the logical inferences of your latest”

    ———

    Lol, you can’t deal with my point either. Bedtime for you oldnat!!…

  13. “are you sure Candy is a “he”?”

    ———-

    I’m more worried about you getting a Nobel tbh…

  14. OldNat – I didn’t “imagine” that the Scottish finance minister said he would default on Scotland’s share of her debt – he actually said it and of his own free will too!

    It’s extraordinary.

    The most recent countries to have become independent nations are the eastern europeans in the early 90’s, and they all started off saying “We’re trustworthy, we’re stable, it’s OK to invest in us and to lend to us because we’re a good bet, we’re not going to default”.

    But Scotland’s opener seems to be “We’re going to default, so there. And we believe that you’ll still invest in us and lend to us, because we’ll somehow hoodwink you into it. We’re sly and canny and we’ll put one over you, see?”.

    If anyone is “imagining what other people think” it’s the SNP imagining this will wash with the rest of the world, with probably disastrous consequences.

    It’s actually incredible. You won’t find such a foolish attitude anywhere else on the planet.

  15. Candy is a “she”.

  16. Carfrew

    As long as you are happy with yourself.

    Nytol

  17. Candy

    Shouldn’t you be in the kitchen having a nice cup of tea rather than thinking for yourself?

    That’s the Better Together view of you,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmRvbFlcQdA

  18. OldNat – as usual you’ve avoided answering the point. Anyone would think you had no idea what to say!

  19. @CANDY

    “Candy is a “she”.”

    ————-

    You don’t happen to be interested in Thorium by any chance?…

  20. Carfrew

    :-)

    And now, definitely, Nytol.

  21. @Oldnat

    My attitude towards myself is unlikely to change the stance on oil, currency or debt vis a VI’s the love-bombing thing.

    Or land you a Nobel!!…

  22. Nite Oldnat!!

  23. Goodnight gentlemen.

  24. I have a question for an impartial moderate such as Allan Christie.

    Let’s say that there was a narrow Yes, but the outcome of the negotiations was drastically different to the predictions that certain prominent figures of the Indy campaign are making, what would that mean for Scotland?

    Speaking from the perspective of someone who considers themselves English and has always lived in England but would likely be eligible for Scottish citizenship, I see a narrow No as the worst nightmare, worse than a Yes despite my preference for a clear No. In the event of a narrow No, with the possible exception of traditional trouble hotspots I’m sure there wouldn’t be overt unrest. However I do think there would be a degree of tension with the political system, an increase in suspicion of Westminster’s motives from both Scotland and England – regardless of whether that suspicion were warranted – and profound disagreement both within Scotland and from those in other parts of the union who do not dispute Scots right to decide their future about how long a gap there should be before a second referendum. The only redeeming feature of a narrow No is that Westminster has set out what it “will” do in the event of a No, and the extent to which it does or does not deliver would pretty much determine the outcome of a subsequent (and in the case of a narrow No inevitable albeit not imminent) referendum.

  25. @ Chrishornet

    It was a very very narrow NO in Quebec (49.42/50.58) but things seem to have settled down and stabilised there. Personally I think it depends on Salmond – he’s winning the campaign for YES (despite a tricky first debate) but if he goes it depends how Sturgeon does, and if she can control the party.

  26. bloody hell…………………………………

  27. bloody hell…………………………………

  28. Fraser,

    “I think an agreement will be made for no elections in Scotland in 2015 and Scottish MPs ending as a job.”

    If we’re still paying taxes, then we should still have representation at Westminster. Of course, if politicians can give us a tax holiday from 2014-2016, that would be fine as well…

  29. It’s getting close. If they do vote yes, I’d presume a v large contingent of ScotNats will be voted into Westminster. Quite likely to hold the balance of power, so the rUK Prime Minister would be negotiating with a party that could bring down his government. Interesting times.

  30. Jamie,

    Hence why there will be a snap West Lothian-type reform to inhibit the powers of Scottish MPs, e.g. they will be able to vote on most UK-wide issues, but not negotiations and probably not non-Scottish issues generally. Such an act could even be put together before the election, as I suspect it would be widely popular (in the rUK).

  31. Interested,

    Did you know the one murder to have taken place allegedly as a result of this referendum actually happened in Quebec?

  32. BP

    Yes thanlk you for that, but a minority government would still need supporting through their budget etc without cross party support

  33. “topline figures are now YES 42%(+4), NO 48%(-3), Don’t know or won’t vote 10%(-1). Excluding don’t knows this is YES 47%(+4), NO 53%(-4).”

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this might not be the best way to look at referendum polling. When you have a referendum, the most important polling number to look at is the number that says “yes” and how close it is to the 50% threshold or whichever percentage threshold is needed (certainly a majority vote seems too small for something of this great a magnitude). If a measure is under 50%, unless it has a very large lead over no (i.e. the ballot measure is simply not that well known), the measure is in trouble.

    Now, I admit that we’re in slightly uncharted waters here. There aren’t regular referendums in Scotland or the UK that give us insight into how referendums typically line up with polling. This type of measure is certainly more than your average ballot measure. Yes is certainly gaining momentum (apparently Alex Salmond outdebated Alastair Darling). I wouldn’t say that there’s a lead of 6% or another.

  34. Outside bet but I think in the event of a Yes vote we could see this Parliament extended by a year.

    Having both the rUK and Scottish elections held on the same day in 2016, would solve the problems of Scottish MP’s, the negotiations dominating the UK election or the election politicising the negotiations.

    More realistically, the Tories look like they could lose so want more time to turn the economy round, the LibDems look like they will get murdered so want to hold it off, forty Scottish MP’s are looking at the dole so would love another £60k in wages and none of the main parties want to see an election shortly after a UKIP win in Clacton.

    Turkey’s don’t vote for Christmas. The parties would come up with good sounding reasons to delay it but it would be about MP’s in all three main parties (and the SNP) looking after themselves.

    Oh and as to Oldnats early comments about the YES campaign being grassroots and (often incoherent.) …that will be me!

    Peter.

  35. @Oldnat – re economists versus UKPR posters, be careful. Nobel laureate economists are good economists, but know very little about politics – especially the foreign ones. This is an issue about politics, not economics.

    If you read the full spread of comments on here regarding currency union, I think you’ll find myself and others are in full agreement with Stiglitz. CU is really the best option, which is why, for three hundred years, that’s what we’ve done.

    The difficulties arise when we see the contradictions within the White Paper. Yes declares CU is in everyone’s interests, and agrees that there will be agreement of certain elements (borrowing, debt) but then says that other things (corporation tax, limits on austerity, spending on NHS Scotland) will be unilateral decisions within a CU.

    Scotland won’t have operational independence if it has CU.

    On the debt, again, Stiglitz is correct, in that Scotland could renege if it wishes. What he doesn’t do, because it isn’t his area of expertise, is sift through the consequences of such a stance.

  36. Peter Cairns,

    That’s a very good idea.

  37. Perhaps its wishful thinking as I’d prefer a no, but I’ve had the thought for a while that there must be a far greater pressure, certainly in company, to say you’re going to vote yes even if you’re not or don’t want to than to say you’ll vote no. And that this pressure accounts for most of the consistent don’t knows too.

    Pressure that is from the judgement of people around you to not be condemned as unpatriotic, negative, unadventurous or in some way a Tory fellow traveller. I can imagine being heckled and berated in the pub or by your friends for saying you oppose independence by those who support it far more than I can imagine it happening the other way round.

  38. Here’s something else that complicates the analysis here. Some of you are saying that the No side’s campaign is too negative. Others disagree, I’ve seen the hashtag ‘Better Together’. I don’t know which is true. Now, I have seen a number of major local secession movements fail. Fail spectacularly. And often the the campaigns for the “no” side are very negative. In that regard, it works. Only, it doesn’t. Because often times, seccession measures are not just voted on by those who secede but those who they wish to secede from. And even when there are spectacular failures of seccession measures, the areas trying to secede often will vote to secede. I think that going negative on an area’s prospects to succeed on their own will often just move to egg on voters. Here, the entire UK is not voting. Just Scotland. Too much negativity could drive the yes vote up.

  39. CHRISHORNET
    I have a question for an impartial moderate such as Allan Christie.
    ________

    Aye I seem to be unique on the front and before I answer your question I am English myself having been born in Wokingham Berkshire but have resided in Scotland for the larger part of my 24 years of being hatched.

    Something I did learn when I moved north was that the south east really wasn’t the centre of the universe. My ole chums at Bearwood College had raised eyebrows when I shared this knowledge with them.

    Okay enough ramblings…
    ………………………………………..
    “Let’s say that there was a narrow Yes, but the outcome of the negotiations was drastically different to the predictions that certain prominent figures of the Indy campaign are making, what would that mean for Scotland?
    Speaking from the perspective of someone who considers themselves English and has always lived in England but would likely be eligible for Scottish citizenship, I see a narrow No as the worst nightmare, worse than a Yes despite my preference for a clear No. In the event of a narrow No, with the possible exception of traditional trouble hotspots I’m sure there wouldn’t be overt unrest”
    ___________

    It’s a very interesting question and in the event of a narrow Yes vote there would be no doubt negotiations and they might not meet the aspirations of most of those who voted Yes.

    The Quebec indy ref was lost by 50,000 votes or 0.5% but the Canadian government got to keep all of Canada but did that lead to unrest?

    A narrow no or yes lead will fling up some interesting scenarios for both sides such as people in Scotland and it would throw up some tensions and that is why our elected politicians have to act in a grown up manner but I expect from reading some of the dross on here people will not want that.

    It’s a consultative referendum and despite the sometimes heated exchanges between Edinburgh and London I have 100% confidence both governments will work in the best interests for all of us.

    The problem I see is not from the Tory gov but the Labour opposition in Scotland and how they will play out the scenario of a narrow no or yes lead because ultimately it will be their supporters who will determine the outcome of this referendum.

    The big question for me is…If it’s a no vote large or small and in 2015 we have a Tory gov re-elected with an ever increasing UKIP narrative in English politics and in the lead up to the Scottish 2016 election no real powers have been devolved and the SNP are retuned with a strong mandate then do we see another referendum at the end of 2020? That will had been 8 years since the last one.

    So what I’m saying is..In the event of a no vote then the UK has 8 years to sort out its constitution.

    Back to 2014 I expect if the result is very tight either way the devo max might calm things down…after all that did appear to be the favoured option for most!!

  40. @AllanChristie

    In the result of a narrow Yes vote should there be another referendum at the end of 2020 to see if you want to reunite? There are all kinds of potential political situations there: a Labour led government in Scotland following disastrous negotiations, a Labour government in the UK, a UKIP coalition in the UK etc…

    Why should this be asymmetrical?

  41. SOCALLIBERAL

    The no side has been extremely negative but so were Scottish Labour on the run up to the 2011 Scottish election and they got hurt very badly as a result.

    The BT campaign in Scotland is by in large a Scottish Labour bash the SNP thing. Ive not seen a single Scottish Tory anywhere during this campaign.

    The trick Labour see is that they are more tolerable in Scotland than the Tories so they can go down the negative road where if the Tories were to do the same then it would be curtains for the UK.

    I’m not convinced the Tories are too toxic in Scotland. David Cameron speaks a better game of keeping the union together than the entire trash that is BT. I don’t like some of the rhetoric coming from his colleagues but I really do believe a passionate David Cameron would stand a better chance at saving the union than some Labour MP standing on a soap box drawing the worse out in some people.

    Okay leave you all to it..I’m off to earn my crust.

  42. HESHEEP
    @AllanChristie
    In the result of a narrow Yes vote should there be another referendum at the end of 2020 to see if you want to reunite? There are all kinds of potential political situations there: a Labour led government in Scotland following disastrous negotiations, a Labour government in the UK, a UKIP coalition in the UK etc…
    Why should this be asymmetrical?
    _______

    Okay just caught this.. Take your question up with Better together..They are the ones saying “It’s a massive decision and there is no going back”

    I agree. Bye.

  43. This site absolutely totally makes the case of Scotland getting out and running as fast as it can from the rUK. If you leave then we will destroy you seems the general tone.

    If we are independent we will decide our terms for a the CU if rUK don’t like them fair enough we won’t have a CU. But if I had the slightest doubt that Yes wasn’t the way to go I don’t now.

  44. @AC

    “It’s a consultative referendum and despite the sometimes heated exchanges between Edinburgh and London I have 100% confidence both governments will work in the best interests for all of us.”

    Are you implying that, in the event of a very narrow yes vote (for example) the referendum will be set aside, as it’s consultative? This would surprise me greatly: I have the impression that Yes means Go, no matter how narrow.

    I do share the view that as negotiations continue after such a yes vote, things could get very messy and I’d say there would be a fighting chance of polls showing Scots swinging heavily towards no after the horse has bolted: or the opposite. These two developments are possible if they decide yes misled them, or conversely if they decide the English are being b*st*ards in the negotiation.

    As to “both governments will work in the best interests for all of us”, I think you’re quite wrong. Both governments will work in what they believe to be the best interests of their own electorate and with no regard to the other party. There may be some initial goodwill on either side but (as we are given a foretaste of on here) I strongly suspect it will quickly degenerate into bitterness.

  45. @Coupar2802 – “This site absolutely totally makes the case of Scotland getting out and running as fast as it can from the rUK. If you leave then we will destroy you seems the general tone.”

    I’m really sorry, but you’re really not getting it. No one – repeat no one – wants to ‘destroy’ an independent Scotland. You really are talking puerile nonsense. Your attitude harks back to the self identification of Scotland through the prism of victim status, with our identity defined only in terms of our relationship with those bullying English.

    No – what people are saying to you is to be realistic, and realise that negotiations have two sides. That you are a very small country with a relatively very small economy, negotiating with a country nine times bigger than you and which is one of the world’s most powerful economies, and which inherits the national rights and privileges that you seek to leave behind, should tell you something about the balance of negotiations.

    I see no prospect of any attempt to victimise Scotland, but equally it would be lunacy to imagine any politician in London, or any significant number of UK voters, wishing to accept terms that disproportionately favour Scotland. Each country will negotiate whatever is in it’s best interest.

    The best way to ensure the dominant partner digs it’s heels in and imposes a painfully one sided deal on the smaller and weaker party is to threaten things like reneging on the debt if you can’t get something that a big majority of the voters in the larger country don’t want.

    The shape of these negotiations is in Scotland’s hands. They can either be cooperative and friendly, or obdurate and difficult. So far, it’s the Scots that have made the obdurate noises.

  46. Extending the British Parlaiment is a good idea but in practise I don’t see there being cross-party agreement for it.

    @Allan Christie

    I quite agree; Cameron is a Tory but if the PM of the UK is too ‘toxic’ to speak about Scottish Independence in Scotland then that very idea itself is incredibly toxic.

    The people telling him to keep out are Labour and the SNP; both have their own selfish reasons for doing so.

  47. OldNat @ 11.10 pm:

    You failed to read thoroughly my message giving an Aberdeen newspaper as an example of what likely was happening across Scotland.

    I specified the “evening” paper, which the P&J is not.

    I agree though, on the geographically narrow influence and reporting of the Aberdeen papers.

    When the battle about Donald Trump`s golf course at Menie was raging, and the P&J paper was strongly taking Trump`s side, they suddenly decided to stop publishing any material coming from Tripping up Trump, on the grounds that their campaign was not being run by Aberdeen locals.

    Tripping up Trump was based in Banchory in Kincardineshire, 18 miles from Aberdeen.

    it would be useful to have a regional breakdown of this latest YouGov poll, and to have assessments of evening newspaper allegiances across Scotland.

  48. this morning’s youGov Poll tables aren’t up yet ?

  49. Reading PK on the Indy Poll, seems like Scottish Labour voters are more confident of a Labour Government in an independent Scotland, than at Westminster?

    Ironic or what ?

  50. Guymonde

    As to “both governments will work in the best interests for all of us”, I think you’re quite wrong. Both governments will work in what they believe to be the best interests of their own electorate and with no regard to the other party. There may be some initial goodwill on either side but (as we are given a foretaste of on here) I strongly suspect it will quickly degenerate into bitterness.

    But the whole point of the No campaign is that the two countries will be, er, better together. So that should mean the best interests of the two separated countries will be in working together as well.

    No campaigners can claim that it would be even better if union continued, but it’s difficult to then argue that if separated there will be immediate enmity because close cooperation would still be in the interests of both.

    An awful lot of the rhetoric coming from the left in this debate seems to be wanting the Scots to save the English from themselves. But “Stay with us or we’ll turn into complete psychopaths” is not really an argument to make anyone do anything but skedaddle out of here.

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