There were a couple of Scottish independence polls in the week, but both of these that had fieldwork that actually pre-dated Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second referendum. The Sunday Times today have the first Scottish poll carried out after Sturgeon’s speech, conducted by Panelbase between Monday and Friday.

Voting intention in a second referendum stands at YES 44%, NO 56%, similar to that in the YouGov poll in the week. As I said then, there are conflicting pictures from different pollsters. YouGov and Panelbase are both showing support for independence at a very similar level to the 2014 referendum, the most recent BMG and MORI polls have shown a narrowing of the NO lead.

Scotland also remains split over whether or not to have a second referendum. About half want a referendum in the next few years (32% while Brexit negotiations are ongoing, 18% after the end of negoiations), 51% do not want a referendum in the next few years.

Westminster voting intentions in Scotland stand at SNP 47%, CON 28%, LAB 14%, LDEM 4%, UKIP 3%.


171 Responses to “Panelbase poll on Scottish Independence – YES 44, NO 56”

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  1. IMHO you are misreading TM. I do not think she will allow a indyref before 2020 and probably 2021if still required.
    what has TM got to lose?Will delaying a referendum turn a no in 19 to a yes in 21/22?

  2. DAVE

    I was on about the popular vote and not those eligible to vote. I understand your post and I was only highlighting the different electoral systems when TM reminded us that the SNP are a minority government.

    TM is right of course but the SNP won a much larger share of the popular vote (and bigger mandate) at the Scottish election than the Tories did and at the Westminster election but under FPTP parties only need to poll just over a 3rd of the electorate to win a majority whereas under PR a party needs to poll nearer to 50% of the popular vote.

    Just imagine if the Scottish parliament used the same electoral system as the one which delivered the Tories their majority.

    SNP 59 seats.
    Tory 7 seats.
    Labour 3 seats
    Others 4 seats
    ………………….
    “That said, on your basis 70% rejected Labour as a governing party, 87% rejected UKIP, 92% rejected the LibDems, 95% the SNP , 96% the Greens.
    Who then should be entitled to form a government?”
    ____

    It’s a great question and only highlights the flaws under FPTP.

  3. Back to the independence referendum. Scots are repeatedly being told that the last indy vote was divisive and another vote would be just as divisive.

    Please tell me…What referendum was the most divisive…The Tories EU referendum or the SNP’s independence referendum?

  4. Of course, allanalogies have ahortcomings …

    The tone, the language, the arguments on independent Scotland (in newspapers and here) are becoming more and more familiar from my A-level history exam revision – reading the arguments of keeping together the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy or let it go (cc 1890-1918).

    But then the argument wasn’t between the Hungarians and the Austrians, but the Hungarians and the Slav peoples. It was the Hungarian lobby that forced the declaration of war in the summer of 1914 (the war would have happened at some point), and they were the ones who insisted on no peace treaty.

    Now English nationalism, under the pretext of anti-EU surge ignores the relevance of the Scottish combination of independence and various versions of nationalisms (back in 1849, threatened by Austria and Russia, the govenor of Hungary, Kossuth, told the Romanian delegates, who wanted some autonomy, that weapons will decide. Surprise, surprise, the Romanians joined the Austrians against the Hungarian independence war.).

  5. RTE had an interview today with a spokes man for the The Institute of International and European Affairs (a Dublin think tank).

    Now think tanks often get things wrong, but the non-partisan ones are usually worth at least listening to.

    Suggestion was that the Irish Border question was too difficult for the UK to deal with, and there was a distinct possibility that Britain would just “dump Northern Ireland”, so the Republic should be planning for that contingency.

  6. @Bill P

    “You might be right, but that sounds a little like overthinking things. I suppose the way to tell would be to have some polling on questions like “Do you think that Holyrood has control over policy area X?” to test the Scottish people’s knowledge of how devolution works now.”

    ———-

    Lol, over thinking… More like business as usual. That’s what parties do, try and put blame on someone else. In similar fashion EU is sometimes blamed for having more powers over Westminster than is the case.

    Of course I’d be up for more polling, but in this instance, even if people made clear they didn’t think Westminster very much dominated, that wouldn’t mean SNP weren’t doing it in the hope of trying to change their opinion on that.

  7. @Bill P

    Another example might be immigration, where we had more power to reduce it than we used, with EU getting the blame.

  8. “Of course I’d be up for more polling, but in this instance, even if people made clear they didn’t think Westminster very much dominated, that wouldn’t mean SNP weren’t doing it in the hope of trying to change their opinion on that.”

    Fair point. I agree with your analogies re: immigration and the EU.

  9. @Oldnat

    “If you look at the ScotCen report, you would see that the rise in Euroscepticism has been mainly among committed No voters.”

    ———

    Yes, we could see your relief once you spotted that!!! But I think you know it’s still a worrying trend that could worsen. If you were Nicola would you take the risk? The number of Yes voters who think EU should have it’s powers cut has risen recently for eggers. And you do need ideally to swing some No voters rather than just depending on Yes voters from last time. And what if some of the Yessers who are Euroskeptic decide to prioritise that over Indy and switch as a result?

    Regarding the Chinese panels, it wouldn’t necessarily be ideal if they take off. Because it might mean you have cheap energy but so would others, and it would put a further downward pressure on oil prices. You could do with the oil price going up, rather than down!!

  10. @Bill P

    “Fair point. I agree with your analogies re: immigration and the EU.”

    ——–

    Cool. Similarly I agree about more polling. I hope Neil A is seeing all this agreement…

  11. Carfrew

    I think its some time since there was polling in Scotland as to “which Government is responsible for what?”

    Scully reported much more recently on polling in Wales on that topic.

    As one might expect, in both countries, the results showed very poor understanding. I don’t know if a similar question was asked about the EU but there was a TNS poll in 2013 in which only 21% thought that people knew how the EU worked.

    Back in the days of Regional/District councils, again surveys showed that people had little idea about which powers were exercised where.

    The refrain from some people about “the SNP blaming Westminster” is, however, either naïve or politically motivated. Of course they do! Just as every other party at every level of government tries to take the credit for the good stuff and blame someone else for the bad things.

    I’m not suggesting that one shouldn’t be cynical about the SNP – just that you should be equally cynical about every other party and government!.

  12. @Oldnat

    Yes some peeps may not be up to speed about where powers reside and that is exactly the kind of thing that might be exploited by parties wishing to put the blame elsewhere!!!

    And dunno why you of all peeps are chiding me on the need to be equally cynical about other parties on the matter when I have already done that in the immigration example for Bill P.

  13. Carfrew

    “Yes, we could see your relief once you spotted that!!!”

    Since the “rise in Euroscepticism” was identified in the ScotCen report, and located within the political spectrum at the same time, that is one of your sillier ad hominem comments.

  14. (That’s some more agreement there on the “powers residing” thing. I didn’t know how much I agreed with peeps…)

  15. @oldnat

    Lol, the polling became the focus after the Single Market switch. And indeed you only mentioned it some time after being exercised by the Single Market thing, whereupon you calmed down a tad. It’s not an ad hominem anyway, it hasn’t been used to diss any of your arguments, was a bit concerned actually…

  16. Carfrew

    I hadn’t seen your immigration comment when I wrote my comment, but the reference wasn’t directed at you, but at the “some people” whose comments suggest that this is a unique SNP phenomenon.

    However, I realise that saying “you” in my last sentence could have been taken to mean that – for which I apologise. It was directed more generally at those that are simply partisan and pretend that “their” party never does such nasty things as to try to shift any ongoing blame onto others!

    As a Scots Tory, Bill should be well aware of that tendency as I am.

  17. Carfrew

    “And indeed you only mentioned it some time after being exercised by the Single Market thing,”

    You are making things up again!

    I “mentioned” it on the day that the ScotCen report was issued.

    To anyone who had looked at polling, it was obvious (and still is) that there was more support for an indy Scotland being in the Single Market than just by being in it as an EU member.

    I’m aware that Sturgeon is currently focussed on the SNP policy of EU membership, but I think that is a mistake. Better IMHO to go down the EFTA route first.

    However, I don’t have the same access to the views of the EU states that she has, so there may be assurances to come that I am ignorant of.

    If not (though it wouldn’t be my preferred end point) I’d go down the EFTA path.

  18. @oldnat

    Thanks for the apology, no probs etc.

  19. @oldnat

    “You are making things up again!
    I “mentioned” it on the day that the ScotCen report was issued.”

    ———

    No, you’re throwing in a straw man. What you say may be true but I didn’t contest it. My point was that your comment to me (on the Yes voters not being as Euroskeptic) came after the Single Market thing. Obviously you could only do that once the report was issued, not before!! You’ve got that in the bag!! Not that it helps, but still…

    What will you think if Euroskepticism worsens and Nicola ditches Single market too?

  20. @oldnat

    While you’re here, why do you think Scots are becoming more Euroskeptic?

  21. I think if would be interesting if not perhaps helpful for someone to poll opinion on the areas devolved to the various devolved Governments and assemblies.

    Which of the four do people believe is doing best on, Education, Health or Transport.

    As to Polling on how people would vote or if they want a Referendum, I think right now it’s a bit of a phoney war.

    Still half expecting the EU to make some positive Scotland Remaining comments if only to unbalance the UK. These may be negotiations amongst Friends but from an EU perspective, having the UK be seen as the loser while coming out stronger themselves is something worth considering.

    Taking the top third off a leaving UK could be a plus for the EU. Personally I don’t like the idea of Scotland becoming a pawn in the Brexit battle but I doubt we’ll have much say on it.

    Peter.

  22. Carfrew

    If we’re into hypotheticals, I’m much more interested in how UBI (Universal Basic Income) might come about.

    There’s a fascinating article here

    http://evonomics.com/basic-income-conversation-make-sense-charlie-young/

    which tries to disentangle the different philosophical assumptions and purposes for which UBI is being proposed.

    A number of pilots are being proposed to test the idea out, though there are elements of it that could be equally attractive to both right and left – though probably not to the traditional “statist” Left.

  23. Carfrew

    “While you’re here, why do you think Scots are becoming more Euroskeptic?”

    Wrong question. Why are some Scots becoming more Eurosceptic, and why are they primarily No voters?

    There isn’t evidence, but it would seem fairly likely that loyal Tories have mirrored Ruth Davidson’s damascene conversion, and moved from supporting Remain to being Leavers.

  24. Has the ComRes poll for the Independent been mentioned?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scotland-split-independence-referendum-before-brexit-poll-survey-a7637201.html

    Its headline “Scottish people split over independence referendum before Brexit, poll suggests” has to be a candidate for Anthony’s list of journalistic innumeracy – given that only 185 Scots were in the GB sample!

    (and we all knew opinion was split anyway).

  25. @oldnat

    “Suggestion was that the Irish Border question was too difficult for the UK to deal with, and there was a distinct possibility that Britain would just “dump Northern Ireland”, so the Republic should be planning for that contingency.”

    If Tony Blair was still in power this might be an issue, but no Tory will ever let the Republicans win after the attacks the IRA carried out against them.

  26. Carfrew,

    I still think this idea of growing Scots Euroscepticism is just a reflection of people saying post Brexit that it should go ahead and mostly No and Leave voters.

    A Post Brexit increase in those saying we should leave after that’s what was voted for isn’t so much a rise in Euroscepticism as an acceptance of the inevitable!

    Peter.

  27. Forever Unpolled

    Have a look at this article on Slugger O’Toole’s site

    https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/03/19/why-unionism-has-a-problem/

    In the medium to longer term, it isn’t actually a decision for British Tories.

  28. Isn’t the situation in Scotland, that Labour have taken on an analogous mantle to that of the LDs in E&W?

    Effectively, the LP went into ‘coalition’ with the Tories in IndyRef1 and their Scottish vote imploded, just as the LD vote imploded across E&W constituencies in 2015GE.

    It seems to me that there is a shared sense of betrayal felt by many Labour voters in both Scotland and in rUK. It’s just that in Scotland, former Labour voters have turned to the SNP whereas in E&W Labour supporters have withdrawn their tactical votes from the LDs.

    In both cases, to a lesser and great extent, the Conservatives benefited.

  29. Syztgy

    “in Scotland, former Labour voters have turned to the SNP”

    In very large numbers, they did.

    However, of recent months the polls tell us many of the remnant have haemorrhaged to SCon.

    With (it seems) up to 30% of rump supporters ( I mean those who are left – not those who are keen on that steak instead of ribeye) prepared to vote Yes in a ScotRef, SLab just seem increasingly irrelevant to anything.

  30. @ Peter Cairns

    Things will inevitably turn nasty if EU bureaucrats try to use Scotland as a pawn in the big chess game soon to start.

    It’s very hard to read where the Scots stand on both Indy2 and Brexit, there seems to be churn happening now but how much is the big question.

  31. Regarding the polls, there is a phenomenon that enthusiasm effects polling, so people that feel strongly are more likely to respond so there is an enthusiasm gap.

    ‘No’ voters are undoubtedly angry – Davidson is tapping into this anger. However these are the strong ‘No’ voters who aren’t going to vote Yes anyway what Davidson might gain is more councillors in May.

    Canvassing the divide is now Yes v No rather than left v right – although there is crossover with left folk more likely to be Yes.

    I have no idea what Nicola’s real plan is – but I do know a few things. Independence support in SSAS at 46% from 23% a few years ago, 10 years as the Scottish government, 56/59 MPs and poling at 47-51%. And all this against a hostile press, hostile establishment and without being able to dangle honours in front of donors.

    My MP lost 11 elections before he finally won, Nicola lost Govan several times. One thing about SNP they are fighters….

    May by contrast; safe Tory seat, cabinet place on account of her similarity to Thatcher, PM without a contest and up against the weakest Labour Leader of all time.

    Nicola will run rings round her – just wait and see.

    SNP ministers have spent countless hours on the continent & in the EFTA countries those ducks will be in a line. My guess is EEA transitional period & Indy Scotland applies for EU after first Indy election. They have been working on the growth commission my guess is the currency will be the Scottish Pound (own currency) guaranteed to not fall below GBP or pegged.

    Indyref1 was the dress rehearsal – they have learnt and they will avoid the mistakes next time.

    Meanwhile May is fighting on multiple fronts Scotland, NI, Gibraltar, EU.

    So as I said some time ago – Yes will win & my guess is Alan Christie is probably about right on the % result.

  32. @ Couper2802

    I chuckled loudly while reading your SNP adoration piece, talk about see things through rose tinted glasses.

    You might just see this come back and bite you on your derriere!

  33. In the referendums I have seen in my lifetime there has been a clear status quo.

    This can be positive and safe (the first Scottish referendum and the AV referendum) or a negative (the EU referendum).

    The Scotchexit referendum 2 (nicked from the excellent Last Leg) has no status quo, with both options being a step into the unknown.

    I think it is so wide open, and things can change so much, I don’t think current polling offers any clue to what will happen.

  34. @Bantams

    My point is that the SNP are proven formidable politicians. Teresa May is not. So in a political battle between Nicola Sturgeon & T May there is only going to be one winner.

    I am not sure if you live in Scotland but whether you do or don’t here is a prediction for you – Pro-Indy Greens will make big gains at council elections via SNP transfers. Pro-Indy parties will increase their number of councillors. Labour will be lucky to break into double figures in % of first preferences. Tories may reach 25 % of first preferences – the media will hail the council elections as a massive Tory win ( despite Tories polling at 15-20% behind the SNP)

  35. @ Couper2802

    I agree about the likely council election results though we’d all have laughed 5 years ago if someone had suggested the Tories might get north of 30% in a Scottish poll and they just might!

    The council elections are just a taster though for the main course and that could be a different story altogether.

  36. It sounds like Theresa May is Scotland bound next week, let the fireworks begin!

  37. @Carfrew – “Not much to ask is it. But on this occasion I have to stress that I wasn’t actually defending Corbyn. I’m just pointing out that the Nulab alternative also has issues, …”

    Oh dear. Despite @Guymonde’s noble efforts on the last thread, you still just don’t get it.

    This idea that it’s either Corbyn or ‘Nulab’ is what is killing Labour.

  38. “The Scotchexit referendum”

    ——

    Surely it should be Scotcheggsit? Been staring us in the face all along…

  39. @Alec

    You and Guymonde keep trying to reduce my posts to a caricature, that it’s just about some Blairite or Nulab branding.

    It isn’t, it’s about a collection of policies and Im just using Blairite and Nulab as a shorthand for those policies. And outcomes, I might add. I’ve already made clear the kind of policy issues I’m talking about, and shouldn’t have to keep listing them every time.

    It’s a convenient way for you of dodging the problem, except it doesn’t work. It remains the case that there will be issues for voters concerning things like increasingly inaccessible house prices, the ramping up of tuition fees due to Labour opening that Pandora’s box, the replacement of jobs with benefits easily ditched, the growth in inequality, etc. etc.

    Hence it’s no surprise the younger like Corbyn, since they’re taking a bigger hit on Nulab policies. In any case, I don’t see why I can’t use Nulab, to describe policies during that period in government 1997 – 2010 and under Ed M. It’s acceptable to use terms like Tharcherite to describe policies favoured by Thstcher and so on.

  40. On Scotland, I suspect an awful lot depends on what happens with Brexit. I posted Larry Elliot’s piece from the Guardian earlier today which offers a sensible analysis of the possible trade options.

    He quotes the former WTO chief as saying that basically agreeing a zero tariff trade deal is pretty straightforward. What is more problematical is the agreeing of standards and regulations.

    Ideally, this will be equally straightforward, as we currently all share them within the EU. The choice effectively is for the Brexiteers to make as to whether they wish to continue abiding by these regulations in exchange for what would be in effect the single market without the free movement of people bit.

    This could mean accepting ECJ jurisdiction over trade matters, but if not, some other agreed enforcement mechanism.

    If the headbangers can accept this, then we get a decent Brexit deal that doesn’t hurt the UK that much (other than accepting current and future EU regulations without any input in their drafting) and Scotland would be a bit daft to break the union.

    But if the headbangers really don’t rate the single market access as important and dig in on standards and regulations, then I suspect Scotland will see a better future in the bigger union rather than the much smaller UK version.

  41. “You and Guymonde keep trying to reduce my posts to a caricature, that it’s just about some Blairite or Nulab branding.”

    No, @Carfrew – you keep writing your posts as a caricature.

  42. “Surely it should be Scotcheggsit?”

    Be careful.

    In some parts of the country, a ‘Scotch Egg’ means something entirely different, and not altogether pleasant.

  43. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    “I still think this idea of growing Scots Euroscepticism is just a reflection of people saying post Brexit that it should go ahead and mostly No and Leave voters.

    A Post Brexit increase in those saying we should leave after that’s what was voted for isn’t so much a rise in Euroscepticism as an acceptance of the inevitable!
    Peter. ”

    ——–

    Well you may have a point. On the other hand, growth in even Yes voters saying EU powers should be reduced suggests the possibility that might actually becoming disenchanted with the EU.

    And if this effect were the case, then it ought to apply to Indyref too of course.

    I don’t recall that too many were expecting it anyway!! I certainly wasn’t. But then I didn’t expect the storage tax rise…

  44. Bantams

    “we’d all have laughed 5 years ago if someone had suggested the Tories might get north of 30% in a Scottish poll and they just might!”

    Seems rather unlikely – if only because Independents will get a large share of the vote in some areas where the Tories might hope to do well in a party based election.

    Still, with the collapse of their allies in SLab they will inevitably do much better than the 13% they got last time – just as polling suggests that SLab will fall back from their 31% in 2012 and SNP will progress well beyond their 32% last time round, and the SGP will quite possibly push the LDs into 4th place.

    All of that on 1st preference votes, of course. The actual number of councillors will be down to 3rd and subsequent preferences in many wards.

  45. @Alec

    “No, @Carfrew – you keep writing your posts as a caricature”

    ————

    Nah, you’re just dodging the issue. In a rather crass way I might add. The issues remain…

    – The previous policies saw a chunk of Labour voters seeing their situation worsen in various ways long-term

    – including several Trojan horse measures like tuition fees, privatisations etc. that meant it would continue even after Labour were replaced

    – and neither you, nor the party are engaging with lowering the nominations as a means of replacing Corbyn…

  46. @Alec

    “Be careful.
    In some parts of the country etc….”

    ——–

    Is Breggsit ok?…

  47. Alec

    Re the Brexit deal and Scotland.

    I agree. the terms of that will be critical, though it may not be quite as simple as you suggest.

    If Westminster continues with (what seems to be) its current agenda – that all EU powers go to there, and aren’t reasonably divided, then that might be a problem for the Noes.

    Of course, if May and her Government adopt a partnership approach to the other parts of the UK, then they might be able to dampen down independence for a few years.

    The likelihood of that may not be high, however.

  48. @Alec

    Oh, and there’s also the issue of the media relentlessly going for leaders who move to the left. Miliband got a fair bit of this, despite even a mild shift. Obviously Corbyn gets more. Problem for Labour now is if they move right wards again they risk losing more support, like they lost a chunk to UKIP etc.

    Getting rid of Corbyn still leaves this dilemma…

  49. Another reason I think May is being played by Nicola

    1. Monday NS announces indyref blames UKGov intransigence
    2. Tuesday NS uncharacteristicly enters a battle of mandates with May – I thought this odd at the time
    3. Wednesday SNP MPs give May a doing at PMQs including raising mandate again & laughing at the ‘is the UK too poor to be indy’
    4. Thursday May announces ‘Now is not the time’.

    It seemed May was goaded into it.

    I think Davidson is actually behind May’s position but the goading made May comply with Davidson’s plan. I think Davidson will get chucked under the bus by May in the same way Hammond was – when May can’t sustain her position.

    I don’t know why the SNP MPs & MSPs are so unworried about May’s stance but no one I spoke to seemed in the slightest bit concerned by it. Maybe there is legal advice we don’t know about.

  50. Another reason I think May is being played by Nicola
    1. Monday NS announces indyref blames UKGov intransigence
    2. Tuesday NS uncharacteristicly enters a battle of mandates with May – I thought this odd at the time
    3. Wednesday SNP MPs raise the mandate again & laugh at the ‘is the UK too poor to be indy’
    4. Thursday May announces ‘Now is not the time’.

    It seemed May was goaded into it.

    May is probably being (badly) advised by Davidson – however the goading pushed May to comply with Davidson’s plan. I think Davidson will get chucked under the bus by May in the same way Hammond was – when May can’t sustain her position.

    I don’t know why the SNP MPs & MSPs are so unworried about May’s stance but no one I spoke to seemed in the slightest bit concerned by it. Maybe there is legal advice we don’t know about.

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