YouGov released a new Scottish poll last night, their first poll on Scottish Independence since the EU referendum. Voting intention in another Independence referendum stands at YES 47%(+1), NO 53%(-1). Changes are from May and don’t suggest any significant difference from before the EU referendum (tabs here).

There were several polls before the European referendum suggesting that a Brexit vote would push a majority of Scots towards supporting independence, but people are not necessarily good judges of how they would respond to hypothetical situations.

On the weekend straight after after the EU referendum there were snap Scottish polls from Panelbase and Survation that had suggested a majority in favour of independence. That may be down to methodological differences, or may simply be down to timing – one can easily imagine that a poll taken in the immediate aftermath of the unexpected EU result would produce different results to one taken a month later when the news has sunk in (and indeed, that we might well see different results once British exit has been negotiated and its full impact is clear to the Scottish electorate)

610 Responses to “YouGov Scottish Independence poll”

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    Thanks for the heads up on both polls. Glad I refreshed before posting the YouGov link.

    Interesting times.

  2. Why can’t YG do “proper polling” like this?

    Q21 Do you think Hillary Clinton has ties to Lucifer, or not?
    18% Hillary Clinton has ties to Lucifer …………………
    61% Hillary Clinton has no ties to Lucifer …………….
    21% Unsure

    Asked about Corbyn, some (even on here) would enthusiastically vote Yes. :-)

  3. The Yougov poll is sobering. Not only do French and Germans not like the idea of curbs to free movement but a quarter don’t even want us to have a free trade deal!!

  4. @Robin

    and for even just the rhetoric to change suggests electorate has moved leftwards, towards Corbyn’s policies, if not Corbyn…

  5. @ OldNat

    “Why can’t YG do “proper polling” like this?”

    Back in 1959, Lou whatever was his surname did a survey in the more conservative districts for Kennedy. One of the questions was:

    “Do you think if Kennedy was elected, he would get a tunnel built between the White House and the Vatican?”

    Then Kennedy used this, and similar questions when he took on the good Presbiterians in a TV debate.

  6. @Muddy Waters

    “Did you order more of those UKPR straws? It looks like demand is growing.”


    demand is ever present, because reality has a way of confounding expectations.

    Not many thought someone like Corbyn would wind up with the leadership, or that Osborne and Cameron would soon both be out of the governmental hot seats…

  7. or that Gove would scupper Bojo…

  8. Re the new YouGov EU polls, it’s interesting to note that EEA Norway were asked the same questions and polled 35% for [UK] free trade & free movement vs 30% for free trade & no movement.

    PDFs of all three polls are linked to just before the comments on

  9. Laszlo

    Thanks. I’d forgotten the Kennedy one!

  10. @Carfrew

    demand is ever present, because reality has a way of confounding expectations.

    For sure. But the reality right now is pretty clearly laid out in the polls – a huge gulf between the perceptions of a mobilised, highly supportive movement and those of pretty much everybody else. These are the data we have. Everything else is ifs and buts and maybes – which if you string them together creatively enough can be made to tell even the most unlikely story.

  11. The PLP must have consulted Mystic Meg because they seem so sure that Corbyn is unelectable. Just like they were so sure every would vote to stay in, in the Referendum.

    @Alec did you listen to the lecture Mandelson gave at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore? He blamed Brexit on New Labour. I suppose you are not interested in that because then leaves nothing to bash Corbyn with.

  12. @ Robin

    “Membership is only a good thing if they then do something effective – knock on doors, staff stalls, deliver leaflets”

    I disagree. I’m not that up on what current membership income is but their accounts for 2014 was £5.97 Million on a membership figure of under 200,000. If we are talking 500,000 plus then that is a significant increased income stream at a time when there is further legislation for a tightening of Union funding. This is without the potential to grab some more donations off members when holding out a begging bowl. It also makes for good politics if a party is funded by individual members rather than a few individual businesses with perhaps less than squeaky clean profiles.

    Also surely even if it is not as many as you’d hope then there must be some of the new membership that are volunteering for stuff or might do if given the right encouragement?

  13. @Laszlo

    My comments were directed at Alec. I have no intention of attempting to persuade the unpersuadable, that there is not some vast conspiracy such that every account of Corbyn’s incompetence can be dismissed, no matter what the source…

  14. Shevii

    You are right about party membership.

    It isn’t all about activism, though. The SNP’s 120,000 members mean that (although branch meetings on conference resolutions are still unlikely to be packed out), most folk in Scotland probably personally know at least one SNP member.

    That’s makes it more difficult to demonise a party in the important places – the workplace, the pub, the golf club (at least in Scotland, where fees are usually quite reasonable) than if they are some “cult” that nobody knows any members of [1].

    Naturally, those who move in only the rarefied circles, where they don’t know any members of a particular party, will still demonise them! However, in areas where there is a large membership, it makes support for that party even more “normal”.

    [1] I did like the comment, reported on Twitter, overheard in Glasgow during Saturday’s march of 6-7 thousand folk in Glasgow – “They’re like some kind of secret society!” :-)

  15. @ Robin

    Fair enough. I’m sure the LSE is ingrained too[email protected]/research/pdf/JeremyCorbyn/Cobyn-Report-FINAL.pdf

    Not to mention Birkbeck this week.

    Well, who lives in a bunker?

  16. @Thomas and @BZ

    ‘re the Scottish Six, not sure if there has been any polling on that but its reappearance as an idea is down to the BBC ‘s national audience surveys which showed such high levels of dissatisfaction in Scotland with the BBC’s coverage that even the BBC at corporate level.thought that something needed to be done!

    The Scottish Six as an idea is at least a decade old and originated in BBC Scotland as a response to devolution. Some pilots were commissioned. Ian McWhirter, a shrewd and respected journalist, was one of the privileged few to see the pilots. He wrote recently that they were so good he knew immediately that the BBC at UK level would bury them as if they had wider exposure there would have been irresistible pressure to have introduced the Scottish Six.

    The Scottish Six would certainly save us from so much of the UK news being taken up by English only issues which should free up.time for better coverage of Scottish ones.

  17. @Laszlo

    Is that a trick question?

  18. MUDDY


    Yes-I’ve tracked down the Manufacturers name-Lansman & Co.

    Thinking of a big investment because this thing is really taking off.

    The “Clutcher” has outsold all forecasts. In Liverpool only yesterday 5000 of the Left Handed version sold out in minutes……….or was it 50,000?. Reports vary…………anyway it was BIG.

    I hear that the Range will be expanded beyond the traditional “In The Wind” and the massively successful “Clutcher”. Insiders hint at ” The Straw Man” for use in difficult conversations-and “The Cheese”-an addition to the Straw stable of products aimed at the Veggy Demographic.

  19. @Lizh – yes thanks – I did see reports of that.

    I would agree, and much more besides. New Labour did many decent things, but failed to address the central problems in the post 1979 economic settlement. It was OK while the money lasted, but we can see the deformed skeleton in plain view now that there isn’t enough flesh to go round.

    You, and other posters presumably imagine I am rabidly anti Corbyn because he is not new labour and too far to the left. How wrong you would be, if that is indeed what you think.

    My personal fear is that Corbyn will destroy what limited chance we have to form a genuinely left government, because he isn’t good enough either at basic politcs or at providing effective leadership for the Labour party.

    Anyway, as others have said, we veer close to waking AW’s ire. I will fall silent now, but retain my initial confusion; Namely that for a man so apparently inspiring and brilliant, for whatever reason, polls suggest that most voters do not have confidence in Corbyn, which suggests dark days ahead for labour, even were they to unite behind him as leader.

  20. I go to work for a day and find I’ve missed a whole discussion on my favourite topic of voting systems!
    Re choice in STV: in reasonable sized seats (5 or 6 members) the larger parties will put up at least three candidates and the great thing is that e everyone gets a chance to choose between them, not just their main supporters. I am firmly of the opinion that STV was the main reason for the incredible softening of the rhetoric of NI politicians like Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams, as they realised the voters wanted peace…

    However STV creates such a strong constituency link (entirely contrary to popular opinion) that the bigger picture of national interest can become obscured, so my ideal parliament would have one house elected by AV+ and one by STV..

  21. @Colin – you are slightly wicked, at times.

    However, I did hear on Twitter that Lansman & Co were working on a new addition to the straw family – ‘The Poll’.

    [it’s the one where you ask you friends what they think, concluding that 100% support means a landslide is coming].


    or that Gove would scupper Bojo…

    Which he didn’t. Gove’s support and that of his backers wasn’t really that essential to get Boris into the final ballot. Gove only got 48 on the first MP ballot and Boris would have kept many of those, as well as many that went to Leadsom. He would have been a long way behind May in the MPs’ vote and under pressure to withdraw, but he would have been on the ballot to members

    What made Boris give up was the polling that showed he would lose that ballot and badly. His vanity would be hurt and his political capital as the golden boy of the country undermined. Gove was just an excuse – but one that the media loved because Gove and his wife, Sarah Vine, seem generally loathed among their fellow journalists and casting them as the Macbeths made great copy anyway.

    The person who scuppered Boris was Anthony.

  23. ALEC

    THAT will outsell the lot.

    Great insider knowledge.

  24. Before AW puts up a new thread on the EU polling, I’ll make another comment on the YG Scottish poll.

    One of the candidates for the SNP deputy leadership, Alyn Smith MEP, has suggested that the EU issue should be included in any indyref2 question.

    The complexity of including two constitutional issues in a single referendum is rather well summed up in a tweet from ex-MSP Marco Biagi.

    Mentioning EU in an indyref2 question would lose more 45ers who were 38ers than gain 55ers who were 62ers. Bad plan.

    In other words, some who voted Yes don’t support EU membership (and might have voted Yes because they has been told that Scotland would be out of the EU as a result of a Yes vote).

    While some who voted No do support EU membership (and might have voted No because they has been told that Scotland would be out of the EU as a result of a Yes vote).

    That might help to explain the rather high (13%) the poll shows of both sides switching positions.

    It’s always unwise to assume that people form nice neat homogenous groups on binary questions.


    That one YouGov poll question I linked to is certainly the only one I am certain I have seen before, although I have a vague recollection of a similar question being asked during the 2011 GE campaign, but it could have been in the early days of the referendum campaign.

    McWhirter is certainly a very good journalist by any current standards. If he thought the pilots were good then I believe him and accept his view.

    I suspect that BBC Scotland [+Wales +NI] understand the differences in devolved areas very well, and would fear that comparisons between national NHS policy or whatever would be compared to the situation in other home nations, which is something the BBC news website studiously avoids wherever it can.

  26. @Alec

    “you, and other posters presumably imagine I am rabidly anti Corbyn because he is not new labour and too far to the left. ”

    I do think that if you believe Owen Smith is leadership material. Owen Smith is New Labour who has made a damascene conversion to socialism. As Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, Owen Smith was directly involved in Pfizer giving £53,000 to Blairite group Progress.

  27. Hireton

    I have never seen an explanation from the Unionists as to why a “Scottish Six” would be so dreadful, when Radio Scotland News (with its different parameters from the BBC) has been providing such an integrated news service for decades.

  28. Hireton forgets that many of us in Scotland are English and/or have close relatives living/working there. We want to know about the English NHS, schools and sport.

    A Scottish Six News will merely feed Murdoch with more customers, and waste BBC Scotland`s resources.


    “For sure. But the reality right now is pretty clearly laid out in the polls – a huge gulf between the perceptions of a mobilised, highly supportive movement and those of pretty much everybody else. These are the data we have. Everything else is ifs and buts and maybes – which if you string them together creatively enough can be made to tell even the most unlikely story.”


    Well it’s easy to snipe from the sidelines with summat suitably vague, not addressed to anyone in particular that doesn’t actually help much.

    And while it’s true that it’s possible to cobble together summat fanciful, that doesn’t mean it’s inevitably happening.

    Sure we know there’s a gulf in the polls, but everything else is not just maybes. It’s not a maybe that Tories used their members to win the election. It’s not a maybe that Corbyn hasn’t had very long or that the plot was choreographed even a while before. It’s not a maybe that Blair had Murdoch backing him and you have to be quite impervious not to see how media changed tack last term and how polling changed alongside.

    It IS currently unknown whether the left will find someone good enough to replace Corbyn, but you can’t dismiss the possibility. I would contend, it is wise to consider a broader range of possibilities, including the more realistic maybes. I gave a couple examples, here’s another: before the election, many, citing the polls, could not see a Tory victory. I explained how it was possible, and it turned out to be so.

    Given forces ranged against, from within and without, one might consider it wise to bet against Corbyn. But the interesting thing is nonetheless if expectations get confounded. That’s what interests me.

    And in this context, the interesting thing is if if Corbyn’s gang find someone more palatable to hand over to. Are you saying that couldn’t happen, and if you think it couldn’t possibly, is that clutching at straws?

    Equally, it may well be membership doesn’t get harnessed. But if it does…

  30. @Roger M.

    You don’t happen to have Boris’ polling before and after Gove switched on him, to see just wot effect it had or didn’t on Boris’ numbers?

  31. @ Oldnat

    I went to Arran recently and it seemed like 50% of the island was taken up with golf clubs!

  32. @carfrew

    if you think the Murdoch papers backing Blair was down to policy I fear you’ve misunderstood the way Murdoch’s endorsements work. He backs the side he thinks is going to win (and if it’s close he backs the Tories). He then takes credit for the result.

  33. @Funtypippin

    That’s one way of looking at it. But has he ever backed Corbynite policies anywhere around the world?

  34. @Funtypippin

    I should add, that such is the power of the media, that usually only parties with policies he likes are in contention, making it easier for him.


    You don’t happen to have Boris’ polling before and after Gove switched on him, to see just wot effect it had or didn’t on Boris’ numbers?

    It would hardly be possible. Gove only announced on the morning of the 29th and Boris stepped down by lunchtime – nominations closed at noon so he had to decide one way or another. So no time to even think about polling.

    As to the MPs, there was no time for the Boris camp to find out how many Gove had taken, most of his supporters were shocked when he announced he wasn’t standing. Even if he had lost a lot, it’s not like Labour where you need a lot of MPs to nominate you – I think it’s only two. So he could still have put a nomination in if he was determined to go for it and then looked at the situation. The fact he pulled out so easily suggests that he was looking for a way to bale out and Gove provided him with one. The idea that Michael Gove, of all people, had hoards of Tory MPs who would do his every bidding and abandon Boris on his say-so is a little far fetched.

    Meanwhile lovers of schadenfreude should relish this gushing piece from the Standard, Boris’s ever-faithful lapdog, written on that very morning:

  36. @Carfrew

    Well it’s easy to snipe from the sidelines…

    Sniping? Maybe. But definitely not from the sidelines.

    I think your comparisons with the pre-2015 Tories situation. Sure there were plenty (including me) who set too much store by the polling headlines. But the contra-indicators was there all the way through the last Parliament. For those with more detachment it was possible to see in Miliband’s leadership ratings, economic competence and a raft of other indicators that Labour’s underlying position was more vulnerable than the headline numbers suggested, and the Conservatives ran a competent campaign to exploit them. I don’t see any such mixed messages about the current position. Everything points to the same conclusion.

    I agree that there are things that might make the trajectory a bit better than it looks at the moment – a new, more plausible leader; lots of new members getting stuck in to campaigning, or whatever.

    But IMO it is clutching at straws to see in any of these variables as a pathway from the dismal public perception to presentation of a plausible alternative government.

  37. Sorry, clumsy editing – that last sentence should read:

    But IMO it is clutching at straws to see in any of these variables a pathway from the current dismal state of public perception to presentation of a plausible alternative government.

  38. We do have some polling on the Scottish Six from this spring:

    Thinking about how the evening news is broadcast on the BBC, which of the following would you prefer to see?

    The BBC in Scotland should continue to show the same 6 O’clock News as the rest of the UK, followed by half an hour of specifically Scottish news aimed at Scottish viewers 63%

    The BBC in Scotland should show a different 6 O’clock News programme to the rest of the UK, with an hour of news aimed specifically at Scottish viewers, including international, British and Scottish news 23%

    Not sure 14%

  39. Shevii

    I played all 7 (8 if you count the Crazy Golf) in the same week with my son.

    You are allowed to clear a path for your ball when putting through the deer and sheep droppings on the Lochranza greens – but that assumes you are capable of calculating the appropriate line!

    My favourite was Askernish on South Uist. When I played it, the greens were like normal fairway, the fairways were like normal rough, while the rough was wild machair!

    Having driven into the rough, I set off in search of the ball, laid the bag down – and lost the bag!

  40. COLIN

    We still want to Leave:-

    It’s even closer than the actual result though – either 49-51 or 50-50 depending on the exact details. And YouGov’s previous time of asking the question (3-4 Jul which I don’t remember seeing) was also tied.

    This is the problem with referendums – rather than putting the question to rest they leave it open for ever – especially when they’re as close as this.

    This poll, like a lot of YouGov’s recent ones, has been weighted to the EU Referendum result. The original sample was 52.8% Remain[1], which suggest that YouGov is still having some problem with getting to ‘low information’ voters – those who aren’t very interested in politics – who we know are more likely to be Leave voters (if they voted at all).

    Of course what we don’t know is if these sort of voters on the YouGov panel are typical of the vast majority of such people who are too unengaged to join such a thing. By definition it’s difficult to find out how people who don’t want to be interviewed, think. This may especially apply to those who don’t normally even vote in general elections, but did in the EU Referendum. Are such people more likely to stay with their vote (being less informed and so voting emotionally and unlikely to be swayed with or notice extra info) or are they more likely to be volatile and change on a whim (because they are voting emotionally). Pollsters simply don’t know.

    [1] I don’t know if YouGov have now recorded how and if all their panellists voted, though if that wasn’t done quickly there may be problems with false recall

  41. @Roger M.

    Fair dos, just wondered if there was ote. I do think it was tricky for Boris to continue and attempt to try and rein in Theresa, given Gove had also taken some of his campaign team, but it’s certainly possible he saw a get-out opportunity…

  42. @Muddy Water

    Well of course it’s a big ask, but what other strategy do they have other than cave to the media and quasi neolibs?

    All I am saying, is that the only chance they have is to grow the membership, try and bypass the media, and find someone suitable to replace Corbyn in due course, which seems to be what they are trying. Whether they’ll achieve it in the face of opposition inside and out is summat else, but thus far in a year they’ve grown the membership, had a healthy financial boost, and are seeing off the plotters, and the debate is shifting leftwards…

    He also saw his preferred outcome in the EU ref.

    In comparison, Cameron and Osborne are gone, Gove shot himself in the foot, numerous PLPers are worrying about deselection…

  43. @ Carfrew

    “PLPers are worrying about deselection”

    They should be worrying about deselection. According to the Party Rule Book they should be expelled from the party. It may happen to some.

  44. @Alec

    “My personal fear is that Corbyn will destroy what limited chance we have to form a genuinely left government, because he isn’t good enough either at basic politcs or at providing effective leadership for the Labour party.”

    That’s the nub of it, I think. There are many policies that Corbyn espouses, when you can cut through the sloganeering fog and confusion to be able to understand them that is, that I agree with. He’s a genial enough fellow too and there are some aspects of his style that are refreshingly different to the dreary men and women in suits who infest a lot of high level politics in this country these days. But that’s not enough; nowhere near enough to make an effective politician. If you lack real eloquence, that is the ability to make political ideas fizz and come alive through language, then you lack the essential skill of persuasion. Corbyn has neither eloquence nor that other key communication skill; genuine wit and humour. He simply doesn’t resonate with Joe Public. They see a nice enough fellow, if a little strange, but they see no leadership, energy, vigour or passion. It saddens me to say this, but nor do, I and these aren’t dyed in the wool conservatives saying this about him to me, these are Labour voters, some past, some present. It’s now, fatally, also being said about him by formerly enthusiastic supporters who have worked closely with him since he was elected leader almost 12 months ago. Owen Smith, of all people, wrote a devastating piece about his disillusionment with Corbyn the other day.

    So the game appears to be up; or is it? I suspect Corbyn will win again in September, primarily by dint of the Momentum wing of the Labour Party detesting their fellow non-Corbyn supporting members more than their real political foes. In their heart of hearts, most of the 55-60% of the membership who will vote for Corbyn as leader again know that he’s entirely unelectable, but that’s not the point. He’s their long-awaited revenge over the centrist and social democratic Labour MPs and members who they feel have hijacked their party these last 20 years. McDonnell and Abbott, to name but two, are having their day in the sun and 15 minutes of fame and I suspect they’re enjoying it hugely. So’s the originally reluctant candidate Corbyn. He never dreamt he’d win last September, nor did he particularly want to either. All changed now and they’re having fun, suddenly catapulted into big boys and girls politics. In from the fringe.

    The only problem is that essentially trivial and inadequate politicians have suddenly got hold of one of the great political parties in Western Europe and they’re about to crash it.

    Terminally, I fear.

  45. A Freudian slip indeed in my previous post. That should have read Owen Jones, not Owen Smith!


  46. @Laszlo

    “As Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, Owen Smith was directly involved in Pfizer giving £53,000 to Blairite group Progress.”

    This is one of those slurs which doesn’t stand up to inspection. These “donations” were apparently sponsorship of Progress events in 2002-2005 (as declared by Progress to the electoral Commission). Smith only joined Pfizer as Head of Policy and Government Relations in 2005.

  47. @Laszlo

    “According to the Party Rule Book they should be expelled from the party. ”

    On what grounds?

  48. @ Robin

    I think your prejudices carried you away.

    I did not write that about Smith.

  49. @ Crossbat11

    There is pretty good (although still far too soft) response to Owen Jones in H. post. It’s still worthwhile reading it.

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