Friday is the anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum, so we’ve had a flux of Scottish polls over the weekend from YouGov, Panelbase and Survation. They mostly covered the same ground – should there be another referendum and how would people vote, and how people will vote in the Holyrood election next year.

Should there be a second referendum?

In the Survation poll 43% of Scots wanted another referendum within five years, 36% said in five years or more time, 20% never. Panelbase found 36% wanted a referendum within five years, 55% did not.

In YouGov’s survey they didn’t ask a timing question, but asked a couple of questions on whether there should be a second referendum. 40% of people thought that a referendum should be a once in a generation event, and there shouldn’t be another for many years. 29% thought that a referendum should not necessarily be once in a generation, and there was no reason why there shouldn’t be another one soon. Inbetween those two groups were 24% of people who thought a referendum should be once in a generation…but that if circumstances change, an early second referendum could be the right thing to do. One potential such change could be the European referendum (15% of people told YouGov they didn’t support a second referendum, but would do if Britain voted to leave the EU), but the SNP could obviously seek to persuade Scots of the case for a second referendum because circumstances had changed in other ways.

How would people vote in a second referendum?

All three polls had very similar findings – people would still vote NO in a referendum tomorrow, but by a smaller margin than they did a year ago. Survation had figures of YES 49%, NO 51%, Panelbase had figures of YES 47%, NO 53%, YouGov had figures of YES 48%, NO 52%.

Holyrood elections

The main story across all three polls was again the same, and largely unexpected: the SNP are headed for another landslide victory in next year’s Holyrood election.

  • Survation/Daily Mail had constituency shares of SNP 53%, LAB 22%, CON 14%, LD 6%. Regional shares were SNP 42%, LAB 21%, CON 13%, LD 6%, GRN 11%.
  • Panelbase/Sunday Times had constituency shares of SNP 52%, LAB 23%, CON 14%, LD 6%. Regional support stood at SNP 48%, LAB 22%, CON 15%, LD 6%, GRN 6%
  • YouGov/Times had constituency support at SNP 51%, LAB 22%, CON 18%, LD 4%.Regional support stood at SNP 45%, LAB 20%, CON 18%, LD 4%, GRN 6%

All three had the SNP just over 50% in the constituency vote, and a little lower in the regional vote (which may be a Green party effect, the Scottish Greens don’t typically stand in the constituencies). The main differences between the polls are that Survation show the Greens doing significantly better than Panelbase and YouGov, and that YouGov have the Scottish Tories doing significantly better.

Tables for the three polls are here – Panelbase, YouGov (1),(2), Survation

99 Responses to “A year since the Scottish referendum”

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  1. Posted this at the end of the last thread.

    As I said not my words, don’t shoot the messenger and all that :)

    Carfrew and Anarchist made most of my points for me the one point they didn’t make was in response to this
    “We liked that, carry on and have another term”

    I’m afraid that’s a incredible over simplification even if we assumed the Tories got 75% of the vote. Could it not equally be “We really don’t like most of what your doing but the other guy is really weird so we will give you another chance” or “We like the other guys more than you but were scared they might jump into bed with the scary Nats so we’ll pick you to keep them out” amongst other things.

    There seems to be an acceptance even within the Tory party that they didn’t really win rather Labour lost. In fact correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t you (it might have been someone else) post an article about George Osborne in which he admitted that 2015 was in no way a ringing endorsement for his policies?

  2. From previous thread:

    Anyone fancy speculating on the effect a Sanders win in 2016 might have on Corbyn’s fate?

  3. Good evening all from East Renfrewshire or in Holyrood terms Eastwood.

    There was also two previous polls which had Yes in the lead.

    I’ve always held the view that an independence referendum should be a once in a generation vote as long as what was promised by the Pro Union side was delivered.

    Gordon Brown…

    ““During the General Election, the people of Scotland spoke loudly and clearly in favour of substantial new powers for Scotland – but the UK Government’s Scotland Bill does not even deliver on the limited powers set out on the Smith Commission. No wonder people in Scotland are questioning Westminster’s ability to represent Scotland at all”

    Hmm,,,,,, I think we might be seeing patronizing woman on our screens again…………………eat your cereal… .

  4. Thanks Antony.

    Survation also asked about some “Scots issues”. Were people satisfied, dissatisfied, or neither with the Scots government performance. The Mail selected three where it might hope for there to be dissatisfaction.

    It seems reasonable to assume that, for those who were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, with government performance in a particular area, it will have little salience for them and is unlikely to affect voting.

    Among those who are satisfied, there will be a high proportion of those going to vote loyally for the governing party anyway (even if they are carp), and among those dissatisfied a high proportion of opponents who will always be dissatisfied regardless.

    With that in mind, the SNP strategists will be quite happy with the figures on Health & Education –

    Health : 51% satisfied, 23% dissatisfied
    Education : 46% satisfied, 21% dissatisfied

    The poll confirms what they know already on Policing – that the new force got off to a bad start, but fixing the problem isn’t politically easy.

    Policing : 32% satisfied, 37% dissatisfied

  5. Cananybody translate the Holyrood VI into seats in the Parliament? I beleieve that under the Additional Member system It is the regional vote that determines the allocation of seats. I would guess that 45% would probably give a an overall majority of seats, but much less than this could result in a hung Parliament and hence a minority government – though probably SNP-led.

  6. Ooops Sorry I posted a quote from a SNP MSP..

    Gordon Brown’s quote..

    “‘The case for action is even stronger than then with the Government falling short on the delivery of the recommendations of the Smith Commission on Scottish Devolution and the case for action is enhanced if the Government is unwilling to listen to alternative views; and if, instead of discharging its duty to unite the country, and instead of seeking to build consensus, practices the politics of ‘divide and rule”

  7. RobinP

    The only seat predictor for Holyrood is Scotland Votes

    But be warned! There are some problems with their algorithm – even if you reduce the LD vote to zero, it’ll still show Shetland as a LD hold.

  8. If these polls are to be believed there is a possibility that, perhaps by misunderstanding MMP, SNP supporters that ‘lend’ their list votes to the Greens could cost the SNP their majority. They’d still be far and away the largest party, obviously, and the Greens would clearly support them on most things. But not strengthening or at least maintaining their position at Holyrood could halt the SNP momentum somewhat.

  9. Allan Christie

    YG did ask a question on the Vow (but, perhaps because the question was phrased by The Times) it is less useful than it might be.

    Respondents were asked had the Vow delivered ….

    (figures shown for “All”, Yes, and No voters)

    completely : 9%, 0%, 17%
    partly : 26%, 9%, 42%
    very little : 30%, 41%, 23%
    not at all : 22%, 44%, 4%

    But what to make of the figures?

    On the No side, a number will be overjoyed that they think it has delivered little if anything.

    On the Yes side, most are confirming their view that a document that had little promise, hasn’t even attained that level.

    The only interesting thing would have been to discover how many No voters expected more and are dissatisfied with what has resulted.

    We have no clue as to that number, however.


    There are 71 or 72 FPTP seats and I think it’s fair to assume the SNP will probably win at least 68 of them which would still give them a majority. The SNP are currently polling higher than the actual vote they achieved at the last Westminster election.

  11. Jack Sheldon

    “SNP supporters that ‘lend’ their list votes to the Greens ”

    Doubtless there will be some, but what seems more likely is that a lot of Greens are voting tactically for the SNP in their constituency (there aren’t a lot of Green candidates in constituencies), but for their first choice on the List.

  12. Allan Christie

    73 FPTP seats. :-)

  13. @AC

    A good point, well made. That could prove crucial. Some variants of MMP include provisions for ‘overhang’ seats where the situation that you describe occurs so that proportionality is guaranteed. However, that is not the case in Scotland.

  14. And just to add. The 15 FPTP seats Labour hold at Holyrood have a combined total majority of 22,00.

    Based on the polling above I think Labour’s bacon will be saved by the list seats .. the same list seats Labour were frothing at when the SNP won in 2007 mainly from the list and the same list seats Donald Dewar referred to “The SNP limped through the back door”

    Tisk tisk Karma can be a right ole bitch.

  15. Important interview with Corbyn on the BBC

    Main takeaway: Corbyn confirms he will not campaign to leave the EU.

  16. James Kelly is reporting that there is another Survation Scottish poll in the field

  17. OLDNAT

    Well if the saviour of the union ain’t happy with the lack of VoW materiel being delivered then I reckon quite a few no voters might be of the same view….

    Thanks for correcting me..Indeed 73 FPTP seats. :-)

  18. Interesting stuff in the article cited by @Omnishambles

    As part of the Privy Council ceremony, politicians kneel before the Queen and kiss her hand but Mr Corbyn – who is a longstanding republican – said he “didn’t know that was involved” and said he would discuss the matter with colleagues.

    I do find odd in modern society where people are supposed to be equal, the ceremony requires kneeling in front of another person and kissing their hand.

    I don’t think any person should have to bow to any other.

  19. OLDNAT
    James Kelly is reporting that there is another Survation Scottish poll in the field

    The results will probably be announced on Friday…exactly a year on.

  20. CMJ

    There are penalties for not observing royal protocol.

    At the opening of the Scottish Parliament, Donald Dewar actually touched the Queen’s back (while guiding her down the steep steps)!

    Within 17 months, he was dead.

    God saves the Queen, it seems.

  21. @Oldnat

    That conspiracy theory might have some legs….

  22. What has happened in the last year to English (and Welsh and Northern Irish) views on Scottish Independence?

    I have a feeling that more and more people outside Scotland are getting very fed up withe the selfishness and venality of the SNP.

    The opeining of a new railway line going Southwards from Edinburgh to some village, at a cost of many millionsis just the lates time of this. Don’t gorget that electrication of the far more important railway line from St. Pancras to the East Midlands has been “paused” (scrapped?) in the last year.

  23. If anyone else wants to comment on the Scottish polls, they had better be quick!

    YouGov/Times have a poll on how terrible Corbyn is, and Anthony should be putting the thread on that up very soon.

  24. Frederic Stansfield

    I do like satirical posts like yours – not as good as Carfrew’s links to Bird & Fortune, but few can aspire that high.

    In the unlikely event of your being serious, then those in England should have voted for a Government that chose to spend money on capital budgets.

    London has already done very well out of infrastructure projects.

    Though I suppose that being in Yorkshire, their team doesn’t give a damn about the East Midlands either. :-)

  25. previous thread on left wing and right wing – to get even a rough idea of what is going on you need to divide into (at least) economic + social

    so in simple terms (economic&social)

    Corbyn: left&left
    Blairite/Cameroon: right&left

    one set of stranded lab voters: left&right
    2nd set of stranded lab voters: left&left

    So Corbyn can get the left&left segment of stranded Lab voters back from Greens / LD / non-voters while losing the Blairite right&left

    Whether that works or not will depend on whether you think the globalist economics of the last 30 years espoused by Blairite/Cameroon are going to blow up in our faces.

    Either way I very much doubt he’ll get the left&right segment back for obvious reasons. Ukip don’t need to become left on the economy to (very slowly) get all those left&right voters they just need to be less globalist on the economy than the Cameroons.

  26. Given that Wales seldom gets a mention on here, Roger Scully is focussing on the current state of the parties in Wales.

    On Labour

    On the Tories

  27. ON
    “If anyone else wants to comment on the Scottish polls, they had better be quick!”

    OK, here’s my comment – I couldn’t give a flying monkey’s.

  28. @Oldnat

    What incisive questions are in there?

    1. Are Jeremy Corbyn’s eyes too close together?

    2. Even though you have barely heard him speak, how do you his policies?

    3. Is Jeremy Corbyn as bad as the Daily Mail says, or worse?

  29. CMJ

    I’ve only seen some extracts on Twitter – but you have the gist of it. :-)

  30. Pete B

    That’s what the Scarecrow said in Oz – and look what happened to him! :-)

  31. :-) very good

  32. @OldNat
    ouGov/Times have a poll on how terrible Corbyn is, and Anthony should be putting the thread on that up very soon.

    At this rate, Corbyn only has to survive the next month and all he’d have drawn the sting from the Print bees. They’re making this easier for him by going all guns blazing from the start.

  33. RAF

    “They’re making this easier for him by going all guns blazing from the start.”

    I’ve wondered about that.

    It could be that the meeja moguls are right and that if they throw enough muck, enough of it will stick.

    Or, enough of the public may reject the whole message because parts of it are so obviously ludicrous.

    Those on this side of the border have a classic example of a party, and its leaders, vilified in the media, capturing half the population.

    Whether those in your part of the world turn out to be the mugs that the media take them for remains to be seen.

  34. RAF

    After writing that, I came across the same point from Wee Ginger dug (though Paul has a more entertaining style than me).

    The UK media is repeating the same mistake with Jeremy Corbyn as they made with the SNP. The media demonised a perfectly middle of the road social democratic party, and actually claimed that it was just like the North Koreans, that it’s an irrational religious cult, that it brainwashes and abuses. Every action by the SNP, no matter how mild mannered or reasonable, provoked a howl of outlandish and outrageous outrage from the Daily Mailesque pug-pissers. And in so doing, the media destroyed any credibility that it once possessed, because if all you hear are hyperbolic denunciations of perfectly reasonable propositions, then you’re not going to listen to reasonable criticism of unreasonable actions. The media did this with the SNP, and now half of Scotland no longer listens to a word the media says. The Daily Telegraph could publish an expose of goat sacrificing by the SNP leadership to propitiate Satan, and half of Scotland would shrug its shoulders and go meh.

  35. @OldNat

    I don’t know we come on here we discuss things we agree and then we totally forget…

    What are the media doing? They are defining Corbyn, people will always remember he didn’t sing the National Anthem, the Times poll and other media headlines is defining him as a loser who can’t win an election. So the same way that Miliband was defined as Red Ed, supported by the unions who knifed his brother in the back, Corbyn is defined as the unpatriotic guy, whose party believes is unelectable.

  36. Times poll

    Corbyn as leader Likely to win an election 17%
    Unlikely 61% (Job done MSM)
    Corbyn trusted on the economy 23%
    Not trusted 50%

    It’s a mountain to climb for Corbyn.

  37. Couper

    As I said earlier, that may well be right.

    But it clearly isn’t inevitable. It didn’t happen with Salmond, Sturgeon or the SNP (I don’t think it will happen with Pat Harvie and the Greens either).

    Why the difference?

    A Scots electorate more savvy than their English cousins That seems wholly unlikely! I proudly proclaim that we have just as many thick voters as any other nation.

    Salmond/Sturgeon simply much better politicians and more skilled at diverting abuse? Perhaps, but let’s wait & see how Corbyn responds over time (Miliband never shook off the indecisive tag).

    Referendum effect? There’s one coming to English voters soon, and Corbyn may have created a good starting position.

    Incidentally re “we agree” – I never shared your position that Corbyn would necessarily be a disaster for Lab in England (though it is certainly a possibility).

  38. @OldNat

    “we agree” referred to everyone saying Ed was defined early on and never recovered. Now everyone is ‘what’s up with the MSM and Corbyn’ Have you forgotten they like to define folk early?

  39. @Old Nat

    I think the SNP can withstand the press assault better because they have been around for so, long people know them, Salmon, Surgeon, Swinney all have been in Scottish public life 25-30+ years. The press cannot really distort people that we know so well.

    Corbyn despite being a backbencher is a relative unknown, so was Ed M

  40. Couper

    Ta for the clarification.

    It’s the assumption that because Ed “never recovered” that the same is necessarily true for any Labour leader in England (that isn’t acceptable to the elite and the monied), that I’m not so sure of.

    Remember that the wording of the Times poll is “From what you have seen or heard about Jeremy Corbyn do you think ….”

  41. @OldNat

    I think it is just a general rule

    “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”

    Much as I hate to venture into psychology again, despite my first degree being in psychology (long time ago) – if I remember correctly we form very quick mainly emotional judgements that are our hypothesis about a person on first introduction;we then cling to that hypothesis and it takes an enormous amount of contra-evidence to shift it.

  42. Couper

    Good point about the psychology of first impressions, and the reluctance of people to shift from that.

    Still, the Times questions seem to be “wisdom of the crowd” observations, and research has shown that while these can be more accurate than traditional polling in the last few months before an election, they’re pretty useless before then.

    We need to see the tables for some clues, but I’d like to see some more objective polling on people’s own responses to the kind of policies that Corbyn proposes – as opposed to what they think other people think.

    Finally, I was thinking about the response to Nicola in England during the GE debates. It was probably the first time that many had heard an articulate anti-austerity argument put to them, and it seemed to go down well.

    Can Corbyn shift the policy strategy of GB Labour, as he sponsors an articulate successor to successfully argue the case in 2025?

    As with SLab in 2016 Scotland, Lab in 2020 England seem to have no chance whatever happens.

  43. Unfortunately then, that the Media already shot their bow on establishing Corbyn as the scrappy under-dog that took on the establishment and won. Now they are fighting back against the first impression they themselves created?

  44. Jayblanc

    Good point.

  45. I couldn’t sleep, so I took a look back at Lord Ashcroft’s last round of constituency polling (top group May 1st, bottom group April 29th) to see whether it really was a waste of time as some people were saying. Below are the Constituency voting intention on the left, and the actual election result on the right:

    Battersea: Con 50/Lab 38 | Con 52/Lab 37
    Croydon Central: Con 44/Lab 40 | Con 43/Lab 43 (Con Hold)
    Norwich North: Con 36/Lab 38 | Con 44/Lab 34
    Peterborough: Con 32/Lab 34 | Con 40/Lab 36
    Pudsey: Con 41/Lab 40 | Con 46/Lab 38
    Stourbridge: Con 39/Lab 37 | Con 46/Lab 32
    Wirral West: Con 43/Lab 46 | Con 44/Lab 45
    Cornwall North: Con 36/LD 38 | Con 45/LD 31
    DCT: Con 31/SNP 42 | Con 40/SNP 38
    Renfrewshire East: SNP 39/Lab 36 | SNP 41/Lab 34

    South Swindon: Con 37/Lab 36 | Con 46/Lab 35
    South Thanet: Con 34/UKIP 32 | Con 38/UKIP 32
    Sheffield Hallam: Lab 37/LD 36 | LD 40/Lab 36

    It seems hit and miss, but there are trends. For instance, looking at the four urban seats polled – Battersea, Croydon Central, Norwich North, Sheffield Hallam – three of them gave poll results basically within the margin of error of the actual result. Norwich North bucked that trend, but is a misleading seat name as it includes parts of the rural Broadland council area.

    By contrast, rural seats and town-based seats greatly understated the Conservatives and overstated Labour. Stourbridge and South Swindon are perhaps the worst example of this, but it’s visible in Pudsey, Peterborough and DCT as well.

    Seats that don’t conform to that trend are Wirral West and East Renfrewshire. I would put this down to the heavily incumbent-focused nature of the races there: Esther McVey and Jim Murphy being highly visible and controversial incumbent MPs, which meant there was less of a tendency towards A) a late swing affected by the national race or B) misleading pollsters for reasons of virtue signalling.

    Quite why there’s this disparity I’m not 100% sure. It’s pretty clear Labour did disproportionately badly in town and rural marginals this year, but that’s no reason for respondents not to tell the truth. If they did for whatever reason, why was that not the case in urban areas where polling was accurate?

    My personal theory is that there was a late swing towards the Tories in rural areas and towns, spurred on by fear of Miliband and the SNP, which for whatever reason was ineffective in urban areas, rendering some polls inaccurate but not others.

  46. With the certainty that made my prediction of it here superfluous, Carney indicates to MPs in Select Committees that he would not serve under a government which removed BoE independence.

  47. It seems the new media trend is to put words in Corbyn’s mouth with the hope of either forcing him to do stuff or look like he is going back on his word – see the anthem thing and EU campaigning.

  48. JOE

    If you are going to stand as The People’s Tribune in HoC , espousing “bottom-up” policy making by Party Members , then it is inevitable that your utterances will swing back & forth between your own beliefs & those of the unelected selectorate from whom you keep claiming your mandate.

    If you downgrade the relative importance of your own MPs in policy making, and disown the very concept of party “leadership” , then there will be uncertainty & changes of direction until /unless you can resolve the tension between your elected colleagues & your Party Membership.

  49. “There seems to be an acceptance even within the Tory party that they didn’t really win rather Labour lost.”

    The Tories are developing an astonishing record of failing to win and yet somehow getting into government. They’ve been doing it, on and off, since 1951, apparently.

  50. I think we can safely say the Tories actively won in the 80s, when at least they had a positive message to sell (along with all the negative ones) and Thatcher was adored by a significant number (and loathed in equal measure) much though I personally would disagree with the veracity of those messages. Now there is no love for them even from most who voted for them.

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