With what I assume are all Sunday’s Scottish polls in, where do we stand? Looking across the board at all six companies polling, two of them using two different modes, we actually have a broadly consistent picture. Excluding don’t knows, the Yes shares in the 8 different companies/methods are:

ICM (online) 54%
Panelbase (online) 49%
ICM (phone) 49%
TNS (face to face) 49%
YouGov (online) 48%
Opinium (online) 47%
Survation (online) 47%
Survation (phone) 46%

Seven of the polls are clearly clustered around a small lead for the NO campaign, with the one exception that rather odd looking ICM online poll with a smaller sample size than their usual online efforts. A lead of just a couple of points in a single poll is within the margin of error, but in this case all but one poll is showing NO ahead, so I think we can reasonably say that the polls are giving NO a genuine but small lead.

If the polls are broadly correct, and if nothing changes in the last five days, then NO look like they’ll have a narrow win… but of course those are two very significant ifs. It’s certainly possible for a race this tight to change within a few days and there have certainly been occasions in the past when the polls have had a systemic error of a couple of points in one direction or the other.


556 Responses to “Scottish polling round up”

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  1. Roger Mexico

    All true – except that a lot of Asian-Scots were born in Scotland, so the assumption that they are born elsewhere is wholly flawed.

  2. @Alan – “Seperately, I’m wondering if it’s possible to renounce your “Scottishness” as clearly some UK jobs requiring natural UK citizenship will be held by Scots. I guess they might be in for a shock if their clearances get revoked due to suddenly becoming a foreigner.”

    Well, according to the following article, a paper put out by Salmond’s govt assumes that all Scots will continue to have UK citizenship i.e. all five million will be dual citizens!

    As the article points out there are problems with this, not least Scots voting for a Westminster that doesn’t concern them any more. Small numbers of dual citizens are not a problem, but vast amounts are.

    Here’s what they think will happen:

    Quote:

    “it may be the case that the UK, at independence, will not initially permit its citizens to hold dual citizenship with Scotland. People alive at the moment of independence may have to choose: they can be either UK citizens or Scottish citizens. Such a requirement need not be permanent. Once the two citizenries are relatively well-defined, people born after independence could then benefit from the normal rules that govern joint citizenship – with a modest number of dual citizens emerging over a long period of time.”

    http://futureukandscotland.ac.uk/blog/citizenship-question

  3. “Downweighing by 50% for failure to vote in a low-turnout election when we know the referendum is going to be high-turnout is self-evidently a terrible methodological choice, but shouldn’t it skew the poll in the opposite direction?”

    That depends.

    Among first-time voters over the age of 21, as well as those who have voted but decided several elections ago that it’s not worth bothering anymore, certainly I’d expect that segment to lean quite heavily towards Yes. On the other hand, I would expect those who voted in 2010 but not 2011 to lean disproportionately towards No (although I stress not overwhelmingly, perhaps in the 60% region among those who have decided).

    On balance I still agree that the 50% downweighting probably underrepresents the appropriate Yes VI from that sample, but not by as large a margin as you suggest.

  4. Pete B

    I posted on a previous thread about the Isle of Man currency. They print their own banknotes in pounds, pegged to the UK pound, and their government backs these pounds with UK pounds that they hold. […] Why can’t the Yes campaign stress this simple point – there already is a currency union for the £, and they could follow the same model.

    Oh we’re complete sluts. We’ll even take Scottish money. (Naturally I’ve been pointing this out for months, but no one takes any notice).

  5. Pete B

    “I have to admire Salmond’s political skills. If ‘No’ wins, he will still get a form of DevoMax whoever wins the next UK GE. Isn’t that what he really wanted all along?”

    What an odd observation.

    A single shred of evidence that Salmond/the SNP membership/the wider Yes movement would have preferred sovereignty to remain with the Queen in the UK Parliament instead of the people in Scotland might have been usefully deployed in such an argument.

    Did you just forget to provide that evidence?

  6. Oldnat

    There are jobs in this country that are restricted to UK born nationals. I’m pretty sure even marriage to a foreign national would be enough to disqualify a person from certain positions.

    EU laws don’t extend into every sector.

    Robin

    It’s sad for the persons who find themselves in that position, but if the position is not open to a Frenchman who has lived in the UK 40 years, it won’t be open to a Scotsman either.

  7. @ Pete B

    I have to admire Salmond’s political skills. If ‘No’ wins, he will still get a form of DevoMax whoever wins the next UK GE. Isn’t that what he really wanted all along?
    —————
    The current proposals for the Scottish Parliament are not devo-max.

  8. @Oldnat Quite possibly if your work involved a lot of spreadsheets.

    Quite genuinely the Mid Year estimates are least accurate for 16-24 year olds.

    We know this as every 10 years the census comes along and tells us what mistakes we’ve made as the estimates get increasingly inaccurate the further away from the Census we get.

    At the last census we had some local authorities with big under and over estimates for population.

    Analysis of why this was threw up the major issues around young people registering at the wrong GP and never “leaving home” in a way that shows up in an officially traceable way as all correspondence, driving licence etc is still registered at their

  9. Candy

    There still is the issue they might be a UK citizen, but not born in what is now the UK. Certain jobs have a requirement of being UK born, naturalised citizens do not qualify. What status these hybrid Scots/UK citizens class as would be uncertain at best.

  10. parents address. Very tricky to get these numbers exactly right and I certainly wouldn’t use them to make accusations of voting fraud unless I had more convincing evidence.

  11. Roger Mexico

    “Naturally I’ve been pointing this out for months, but no one takes any notice”

    Oh, come on! That’s just Manx cringe! Alastair Darling said quite clearly that “Of course, we can use the pound”. I assumed he based that on your statements.

  12. “What an odd observation.

    ON

    “A single shred of evidence that Salmond/the SNP membership/the wider Yes movement would have preferred sovereignty to remain with the Queen in the UK Parliament instead of the people in Scotland might have been usefully deployed in such an argument.

    Did you just forget to provide that evidence? ”

    I assume that “I don’t agree with because…… ” doesn’t allow you to write so many words?

  13. Amber Star,

    No, right now they are totally inadequate pseudo-reforms that can’t be taken seriously or trusted.

    It’s only if there’s a Naw vote that they’ll become devo-max and that anything less will be a breach of trust…

  14. Oldnat
    I’m sorry I don’t have evidence usable in court, just a vagueish memory of Salmond making speeches where he mentioned DevoMax a lot. Didn’t he invent the phrase? Also, and I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he/SNP want DevoMax on the ballot paper, but were overruled?

    Amber
    Ok, I didn’t realise there was an exact definition of DevoMax, but I understand both Tories and Labour have offered slightly different versions of extensions to Scotland’s powers if they vote ‘No’.

  15. Northumbrianscot

    “if your work involved a lot of spreadsheets.”

    Yep. Though I did fail in my attempt to program Excel to make me a really good cup of coffee. :-(

  16. Oldnat

    It’s even more difficult to programming a good cup of tea. Brownian motion is tricky like that.

  17. As far as I can tell voters like me who want a Federal UK with a written constitution and wide ranging powers for a Scottish parliament should now be voting UKIP as Nigel Farage appears to have changed their policy from “Abolish Holyrood” to embrace Federalism…

    Not sure I’ll be jumping on board yet though.

  18. Pete B

    “Didn’t he invent the phrase?” No

    “didn’t he/SNP want DevoMax on the ballot paper, but were overruled?”

    If those who were advocating Devo-Max had put forward a proposal for that, then the Scottish government were open to that being included.

    The UK Government refused to allow that possibility.

    You haven’t produced even a shred of evidence that Salmond/the Yes side would prefer Devo-Max to independence. That our side would prefer Devo-Max to the status quo is transparently obvious, but your assertion is frankly silly.

  19. @CHASGLAS:

    “The Westminster roadshow this week has achieved nothing.”

    Who knows? Perhaps it stopped or slowed a drift to Yes.

    “The No vote is boosted by English voters in Scotland…”

    It’s possible that those who’ve chosen to settle in Scotland will be more pro-independence (and ex-patriate Scots less so).

  20. Oldnat
    I bow to your superior knowledge. However, perhaps you can excuse my confusion if you look at this link:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/9369801/Alex-Salmond-Devo-max-instead-of-independence-is-very-attractive.html

    I’m off to bed now.

  21. I have no need for tea or coffee preferring an Orange fizzy refreshment instead.

    It’s possibly this fact that caused me to move north in the first place although as a child I didn’t realise it was a particularly Scottish drink as my local village shop only sold Barr’s glass bottles for many years, with Coca-Cola products not being on sale until I was about 11.

  22. OldNat

    Roger Mexico

    All true – except that a lot of Asian-Scots were born in Scotland, so the assumption that they are born elsewhere is wholly flawed

    Actually I thought that was what I started by saying! And of course we have no poll for such groups. My comment was about all those born outside the UK but entitled to vote.

  23. Northumbrianscot

    ” Voters like me who want a” Confederal EU with maximum subsidiarity don’t have any party to vote for! Scottish Greens are probably closest.

  24. Pete B

    Sleep well. If you rely on the Telegraph for your understanding of Scottish politics, then I wholly understand your confusion.

  25. ““it may be the case that the UK, at independence, will not initially permit its citizens to hold dual citizenship with Scotland.”

    The UK government has no power to prevent people from holding as many citizenships as they wish. This isn’t America.

  26. Roger Mexico

    Apologies. I obviously missed that.

  27. Indeed, Scottish Greens tend to be closest to my ideal constitutional outcome too. In theory Scottish Lib Dems should be a natural home for both you and I but they often appear to be doing their utmost to put off voters who believe in Subsidiarity despite it supposedly being one of their core policies.

  28. ON
    That was the oddest part of the 2nd debate – AS seemed elated when AD said that as though it was a major admission. But it was just the equivalent of saying “yes you can drop your trousers in the street if you want to…… but i wouldn’t advise it.”

    Pete B. Money printing i.e. QE by the BoE/UK is a completely different thing from somewhere printing its own banknotes based on pre-existing reserves. The BoE can invent pounds, the IoM cannot, and nor could an iScotland using sterlingisation.

    In terms of polls can i ask which polls, if any, take the best account of novice or returning voters. That is, if there are significant numbers of people who haven’t voted in years re-registering and one might expect them to vote Yes, then to what extent are they being included or not? Would telephone polls find them?

  29. RogerH

    The US doesn’t prevent its citizens from having more than one citizenship. It simply prioritises US citizenship over all others, which is perfectly fair.

    States can refuse to grant citizenship to people unless they renounce other citizenships. They just can’t leave people with no citizenship by their actions.

    In the event of a Yes vote, the rUK Government would be perfectly entitled to play silly buggers and force their citizens to renounce all others (isn’t that the wording in English marriages?)

    Whether such a decision would be wise is another matter.

  30. Thomas ,

    Yes activists , especially from traditional Labour / Left / Green are reporting astonishing levels of voter registration amongst lapsed voters . Over 4.2 m are now registered to vote .

  31. Thomas

    The previous position of the UK/BT had been a relentless “you can’t drop your trousers in the street, even if you want to.”

    The admission by the UKOK head that Westminster had absolutely no power to stop people dropping their trousers, simply exposed the silliness of their claim that trouser verticality was solely a matter for Westminster.

    Kilt wearers were, in any case, unaffected by Westminster’s position on trousers.

  32. 97% of eligible voters have been registered.

  33. @ Chas
    Yes that may well be true. So my question is if volunteer panels will tend not pick these people up then will the random phone polls get them. This group feels like the biggest unknown.

  34. I find it ironical in the extreme that Salmond accuses others of ‘scaremongering’ when he has spent his entire career doing little else. His comments relating to the NHS and Labour ties to the Tories were utterly disgraceful and bear all the hallmarks of the Goebbel’s lie – ‘Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it.’ I am sure Dr Goebbels would be very proud of him – after all, he was also a Nationalist.

  35. Thomas ,

    I doubt if random phone polls pick up anything of worth , maybe a trend if they’re lucky.

    The carnival atmosphere in towns and ciities is amazing and says a lot

  36. Amber

    Whatever position people take on the indy queastion, that’s a staggeringly high endorsement of the democratic process.

    While, I doubt that the actual turn-out will be that high, it does mean that we all have to accept whatever the decision that people make, and work to produce the best outcome for Scotland and rUK, as the Edinburgh Agreement said.

  37. Graham

    I suspect that you have very little idea about anything, other than your own prejudices. That was a really silly post.

  38. @ ON
    LOL – i didn’t read enough of the white paper to know what the Yes position is on trouser verticality!

    What i mean of course is that there are certain things that iScotland CAN do without needing permission from anyone else and certain other things that could only be done by agreement. So CU falls into the latter category whereas sterlingisation and new currency are the former. That seems self-evident and thus a surprise that saying that out loud constituted anything other than a natural part of a debate exploring the relative challenges of each option.

  39. On voter registration – the high levels of voter registration for the referendum in certain parts of the country might be at least partly due to the difference between the referendum and the more standard elections.

    In elections (particularly those for the UK and Scottish Parliaments), there are quite a few constituencies where it’s pretty much inevitable that one party is going to win – Labour in large parts of Glasgow in UK Parliament elections, for example – so quite a few people might think that there’s no point in voting, as they won’t have any impact on the result. In the referendum, every individual vote counts towards the national total, so a vote in the one of the safest constituencies in the country has exactly the same value as a vote in the tightest marginal.

    (There are other factors involved regarding voter registration, of course – the importance of the referendum, and the efforts of the campaigns to get people to register – but I thought that it was worth noting this difference.)

  40. “You haven’t produced even a shred of evidence that Salmond/the Yes side would prefer Devo-Max to independence.”

    How terrible of him, what with all the evidence-based statements on the central issues that we have had from “Salmond/the Yes side”.

    For once I’ll be less cynical about Salmond’s motives than someone else, in saying that I believe he truly wants and thinks this referendum can deliver independence from Westminster, and that he would very much see anything short of a Yes vote as less attractive.

    Where I think my newfound nationalist friends will once again start disagreeing with me is how I have reached that conclusion. Firstly the tone of the campaign – if he took the view that the result is less important than uniting Scotland afterwards, he would probably be looking to take some of the recent heat out of the campaign.

    Things have gotten so toxic that I’m not so certain that a narrow No would be good for those who truly do want independence, because if that happens and tensions don’t cool relatively quickly, there might be a lingering feeling of “let’s not go there again for a long time”.

    As an aside, I think it is important to use “from Westminster” after “independence” when discussing the extent to which the SNP truly wants independence, given its stated commitment to continued political union with Berlin, monetary union with London and defensive union with Washington.

  41. “Salmond attacked the narrow focus of the no campaign: “Their people have decided there are certain special categories that they can target, such as the rich, the powerful and the landed aristocracy. I want to go for every vote.”

    I read that in the Telegraph so, following previous comments, have to assume its not true.

    I s’pose it can’t be really ‘cos its a really stupid thing to say isn’t it?

    Viz: “We don’t want anyone voting for us oootwith those categories ta very much, so sodoff and vote yes.”

  42. Thomas

    It’s all to do with the language that the No campaign chose to use. Of course, what you say is wholly true, but BT chose to say “Scotland can’t use the pound”.

    We both agree that was wrong, so Darling contradicting the language that his side had chosen to use was what was important.

  43. Not sure if anyone posted this already, if yes, sorry for the repeat

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/scotland-independence-referendum/

    “Anthony Wells, associate director of the political team at YouGov, a polling company, also said that most of those who say they are registered to vote by mail say they have already done so. In a phone interview, Wells estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of the individuals in the firm’s most recent poll said they had already cast their votes, even though they have until 10 p.m. Sept. 18 to do so”

    That was on Sep 11, so before the kitchen sink, although it is assumed in the article that is mostly the older voters who are voting no anyway.

    The Guardian also has a story up saying Darling is confident of a no victory, he thinks he is already over 50%, but of course he is a politician, so normal caveats apply.

  44. @ Chas
    I don’t doubt the thrill of the carnival, but it is the people at home with curtains drawn and no sticker in the window who can be more easily missed. Their vote is worth the same as the enthusiasts and I’ll bet they outnumber the activists on both sides.

  45. Their people have decided there are certain special categories that they can target, such as the rich, the powerful and the landed aristocracy.

    Let’s take the comment at face value, because neither the Torygraph nor Salmond would ever dream of distorting something for their own interests.

    If the rich, the powerful, the landed aristocracy and others who fall into similar categories comprise a majority of Thursday’s voters, how unhealthy can the union be for Scotland as a whole?

  46. Candy

    Well, according to the following article, a paper put out by Salmond’s govt assumes that all Scots will continue to have UK citizenship i.e. all five million will be dual citizens!

    As the article points out there are problems with this, not least Scots voting for a Westminster that doesn’t concern them any more. Small numbers of dual citizens are not a problem, but vast amounts are.

    Well given that all Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK have the right to vote for Westminster, it’s a bit odd to suggest that the Scots should be barred unless you’re planning to have them expelled from the Commonwealth. There’s probably 1.5 million or so with Commonwealth passports only (if you include the Irish) so another 800k Scots would make little difference, especially as they could all quickly (re)claim British citizenship.

    And presumably Scots living in rUK would still be extremely concerned with Westminster what with it being the government they live under.

  47. Chrishornet

    I haven’t seen much evidence that “things have gotten so toxic”.

    it does seem likely that there has been an increase in anxiety, but then that was the choice of some campaign strategists.

  48. Fair enough ON. I’ll take your point on that. The challenge for everyone is getting an informed decision that can stick. However, if a sizeable chunk of voters have, or that that point had, no clue what the difference is between CU and sterlingisation then it is tough to debate that properly without almost having Robert Peston popping up midway to explain it.

  49. @Pete B

    “…I posted on a previous thread about the Isle of Man currency. They print thgeir own baknotes in pounds, pegged to the UK pound, and their government backs these pounds with UK pounds that they hold. (I picked this up from Guido Fawkes originally). Why can’t the Yes campaign stress this simple point – there already is a currency union for the £, and they could follow the same model…”

    What you are describing is a currency peg, not a currency union. The IOM can print their own banknotes and peg it to GBP (a currency peg), but they cannot print GBP banknotes. The distinction is subtle but important.

  50. Citizenship?
    The UK government has the same powers as others to remove citizenship which is legally unproblematic unless, as others have said, it is that person’s only citizenship. When I used to deal with citizenship the rather splendid phrase I remember was that your UK passport was the personal property of the Home Secretary and could be removed for any reason or none by unchallengable decision. Of course there will be many caveats now but Denmark for example does not allow dual citizenship and it is made very rare in the Nordic countries and the Czech and Slovak Republics. I don’t think it is allowed in Austria. The US used to dis-allow but while that has changed they make it clear that it is frowned upon.

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