It’s the last Sunday before the referendum so we can expect several polls tonight (in fact, the chances are we’ll get lots today, and then comparatively few until Wednesday when there will be a glut of eve-of-referendum polls). I am expecting at least three today – Survation, Panelbase and Opinium – and I’ll update as they appear.

First out is Survation, conducted for the Better Together campaign. Their topline figures are YES 41%, NO 47%, Don’t know or refused 12%. Excluding the don’t knows and won’t says that works out at YES 46%, NO 54%. Full tables are here. I haven’t included any changes since last time as unlike all Survation’s previous Scottish referendum polls this one was conducted by telephone rather than online. It means we couldn’t confidently conclude anything from any change, though for what it’s worth it wouldn’t be showing any significant change anyway, Survation’s last online poll had YES 47%, NO 53%.

Later on we have an Opinium Scottish poll for the Observer, due at 8 o’clock, and a Panelbase for the Sunday Times.

UPDATE: The second Scottish poll of the evening is one we weren’t expecting – an ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph here. The fieldwork was done at pretty much the same time as the telephone ICM poll for the Guardian yesterday, but this one was conducted online and has significantly different figures. Topline figures with changes from ICM’s last online poll are YES 49%(+11), NO 42%(-5), Don’t know 9%. Excluding don’t knows this works out at YES 54%(+9), NO 46%(-9). This echoes the large shift towards YES over the last month that YouGov and TNS have shown, but the significant lead for the YES campaign is in contrast to other polls, which are showing a small lead for the NO campaign.

Note that the sample size for the poll was only 705, smaller than usual but not obscenely so (a sample size of 705 increases the margin of error to 3.7%, so less precise than 1000, but not by a vast amount). Update with the Opinium poll coming up very soon….

UPDATE 2: The Opinium poll for the Observer is also out and has figures that are very much in line with the main pack – YES is on 45%, NO is on 49%, 6% say don’t know. Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 47%, NO 53%. This is Opinium’s first outing in the Scottish referendum campaign, so no trend data. Full results are here, and Opinium have a note on methodology here – in Opinium’s usual GB polls they do not use any political weighting, but in their Scottish polling they are weighting by both 2011 recalled Holyrood vote AND recalled 2010 Westminster vote.

Still to come tonight we have at least a Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times.

UPDATE 3: What is presumably the final Scottish poll of the night is Panelbase for the Sunday Times, and has a wafer thin NO lead. Topline figures appear to be YES 49%(+1), NO 51%(-1) (they are being widely quoted at 49.4% to 50.6%, but quoting decimal places when you’ve a margin of error of plus or minus 3 whole percentage points always seems downright silly to me!). I’ll update again shortly with a roundup of where we stand.

230 Responses to “ICM, Opinium and Survation Scottish polls”

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  1. I see the BBC are getting into the Scottish mood.

    The order of football fixtures on the BBC website was:

    English PL
    English Chsmpionship
    Scottish PL
    Scottish FA Cup Qualifying Round
    English League 1.
    English League 2.

    So, apparently, matches involving, say, Banks O’Dee or Civil Service Strollers are higher profile than a game in Sheffield attended by nigh on 20,000 people.

  2. @ RogerMexico

    Thanks for all your answers to my questions from what seems like 3 threads ago but perhaps only one!

    As one of the whingers about the lack of Scottish Polls I trust you are happy for today at least!

  3. Thanks for the replies re OO. I just thought that in a close race, the march might just tip enough votes one way or the other.

    BBC manipulation of the news is nothing new. Some years ago I went on to a march in London protesting about some EU thing. There were over 10,000 people on the march, but on the coach back the BBC radio only reported that a delegation of 100 people had presented a petition to Downing Street about something else entirely. We live in 1984.

  4. @Starry
    SF are officially neutral. There are 2 BT campaigns in NI, one BT with Britain and the other BT with Ireland. If they argue that Scotland is better off apart from its larger neighbour then they could hardly argue the opposite for NI.

  5. Oldnat: It’s the Public Order Act of 1936 no more, which was a surprise to me too. The legislation you’re after is the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (especially section 62) and the Public Order Act 1986. Not that I’ve read them yet.

  6. Any tabs up for Panelbase yet? Anyone, anyone, Buehler??

  7. @Amber

    Well that leaves us without a reason for Rupe’s visit. Any lizard conferences in Scotland at the moment?

  8. Old Nat:

    Choosing Robert Gordon`s for the final Any Questions before the poll was not the BBC`s most sensible idea.

    I think most of the BBC staff have tried hard to be neutral, but too many of them are clueless about anywhere outside the Home Counties.

    RGC, where I have quite a few friends, could have been expected to have a more Tory mix than the NE average, and much much more Tory than the whole-Scotland average.

  9. The problem The Orange Order have in Scotland is that politics is not defined by sectarianism and religion unlike their own little band of pathetic looking wretches.

  10. David: I’m not sure since the Opinium poll is somewhat dated. ICM and Panelbase seem to suggest a last-minute surge of the Yes vote, which might push it to victory on Thursday.

  11. “then many around Aberdeen will be after a second referendum or other means of frustrating peacefully the apparant win.”

    Perhaps in those circumstances Aberdeenshire (and Orkney and Shetland for that matter) should exercise their democratic right to declare independence? I can’t imagine someone committed to the sovereignty of the people could have any objection to that?

  12. opinium poll was 9-11 September and Survation same time frame as ICM and panelbase

  13. In the end it wouldn’t surprise me if certain parts of Scotland pushed to remain in the UK, it would be very hard to say no given all the talk about the will of the people etc. I think it will be very messy, and anyone pretending otherwise is delusional.

  14. JMCOO7
    In the end it wouldn’t surprise me if certain parts of Scotland pushed to remain in the UK, it would be very hard to say no given all the talk about the will of the people etc. I think it will be very messy, and anyone pretending otherwise is delusional

    What a delusional post.

  15. The international standing of the UK will obviously be affected by Scottish independence, not least because the removal of Trident and the break-up of the British army will cast doubts on the UK status as a military power. In the long rum, however, I think the UK will recover just like Russia recovered after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Scotland will be pretty much isolated in the world though as several countries or international organizations (Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States the IMF, etc.) have expressed reservations about in an independent Scotland.

  16. ICM is 9-11th Sept too, so really not taking into affect anything from Black Wednesday onwards.

  17. JMC007 – It will be messy; and I agree its pretty delusional to think otherwise. In terms of parts wanting to say in the UK you’d have to ask a diff q – something like, do you want to be part of the UK or Scoltand? struggle to see people voting for that.

  18. As regards Rupert Murdoch and his links to Scotland and Alex Salmond it may be worth highlighting to people the surprising importance of Sky to the Scottish Economy.

    Sky is around the 10th largest private sector employer in Scotland and all those ahead of it are retailers (Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Kingfisher) banks (RBS, Lloyds) (although some issues over Public v Private here these days) and transport/utilities (SSE, Scottish Power, First, Stagecoach) who to a greater or lesser extent have a fairly fixed Scottish employee base.

    Sky on the other hand employ in the region of 8,000 in Scotland with the vast majority working in Contact Centre and customer service roles (in Fife and West Lothian) that could be outsourced / offshored by a disgruntled owner.

    Sky currently has around 80% of its UK employees in Scotland but is headquartered in Isleworth, SW London. I know discussions over moving that HQ function to Scotland have been part of the discussions between the SG and Murdoch.

    Now I’m not saying no Scottish First Minister would be concious of the media power of Murdoch but a half decent government should certainly be doing their utmost to ensure major national employers are on board with any proposed changes and safeguarding jobs where possible.

  19. It depends really, what if the Borders votes 70/30 for no what happens then I doubt they will all just roll over and say ok then we are happy. It’s just a bad feeling i have, and just cause I have a different opinion to yours Allan Christie, it hardly makes me delusional.

  20. One difference in methodology that ICM has compared with all of the other companies, judging from their previous poll, is that they downweight by 50% the responses from all of those who say that they did not vote in the 2011 Holyrood elections.

    Table 6 from their previous poll (not the latest, for which we don’t yet have tables) gives us a bit more detail about the characteristics of the respondents who did not vote in 2011:

    12 voted SNP in 2010
    102 voted for any party other than the SNP in 2010
    189 did not vote at all in 2010 (or 2011)

    So 114 or 38% of those people did show some past propensity to vote, which I think calls into question the decision to downweight the responses from those 114 by 50%. And since only 12 of those 114 recall voting SNP in 2010, I think that downweighting decision could have skewed ICM’s results a little.

  21. Perhaps if Orkney opts out (and it’s not really in Scotland anyway) Trident could be moved to Scapa Flow.

  22. New thread.

  23. actually Survation poll giving No 8 point lead is slightly more recent than two ICM polls one of which was based on very small sample.

  24. Angus McLellan

    Thanks for that!

  25. Opinium has a Westminster VI (at long last, we get one!)
    Their tables are a bit difficult to follow but here’s what I think they are showing:

    Current % (2010 GE actual %)

    LAB 42% (42%)
    SNP 25% (20%)
    CON 18% (17%)
    LDEM 6% (19%)
    UKIP 5% (1%)
    GRN 4% (1%)

    So no evidence here of a Labour collapse but I’d think there’s a fair bit of churn going on beneath the surface.

    If I have misunderstood the Opinium tables, I’m sure somebody will let me know! :-)

  26. JMCOO7 – Sorry, I didn’t meant to imply you were delusional – when I said delusional I was agreeing with your prev point about it being messy and that the denier are delusional.

  27. 3 year old registered to vote as 16/17 YEAR OLD:

    I wonder how all those “extra” 16 & 17 year olds affect the vote?

    If it is a close run thing, the result could be challenged in court (by either side) if there has been systematic abuse of the register of voters.

  28. The whole voting system in the UK is wide open to fraud. I’d expect dodgy registrations on all sides.

    From March this year – latest in a long line – “Postal voting is open to fraud on an “industrial scale” and is “unviable” in its current form, a top judge has said.”

  29. Could someone advise me on the citizenship/voting/work permit aspect. Maybe I’m missing something but why wouldn’t citizens of iScotland have the same rights to vote and work in rUK as those of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. Whose rights are not derived from the EU?

    Surely as a rUK citizens I could move to an independent Scotland without having to claim asylum?

  30. It all reminds me of the AV referendum…

    Lots of glowing stuff about how much better everything could be which just dissolved under analysis. I’m just surprised that Salmond has basically got away with not answering any of the awkward questions, and rides along the populist wave. I actually think this will be a good one for him to lose so that he is never brought to heel, but emerges the hero.

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