As well as the Ashcroft and Populus polls earlier today we also have the monthly ICM poll for the Guardian tonight, reported here. Topline figures with changes from a month ago are CON 33%(+2), LAB 35%(-3), LDEM 10%(-2), UKIP 9%(-1), GRN 7%(+3). It shows a sharp narrowing of the Labour lead, but it’s almost certainly a reversion to the mean: the previous ICM poll had the Labour lead jumping up to 7 points when it had been previously showing Labour and the Conservatives pretty much neck and neck.

The poll also asked about English and Welsh attitudes to the Scottish referendum and to further devolution. As we’ve seen elsewhere, there is little support for a currency union with an independent Scotland amongst the rest of the UK – 27% of people say the remainder of the UK should negotiate a currency union, 63% they should not. Asked about more devolution in England, via regional assemblies or an English Parliament 45% think it would help their area of England, 42% that it would not.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I was expecting the ICM/Guardian Scottish poll this evening, but in fact it’s popped out already here. Headline figures are YES 49%, NO 51% – joining all the other polls in showing NO ahead, but only by the tiniest of margins.

Worth noting that this was a telephone poll, whereas ICM’s previous Scottish referendum polls were done online – so there’s no point drawing any changes from ICM’s previous Scottish polling, it could just be methodological difference.


The snap ICM poll following the second Salmond-v-Darling debate shows a convincing win for Alex Salmond. 26% think Darling won the debate, 65% think Salmond did, 9% didn’t know. Tabs are here.

In the ICM poll following the first debate last month the large majority of existing YES voters thought Salmond won, the large majority of existing NO voters thought Darling won, don’t knows were pretty evenly split – hence a Darling victory. In second debate poll existing YES voters almost all thought Salmond won, only a bare majority of NO voters thought Darling did, the small number of don’t knows favoured Salmond – hence the Salmond victory.

Will it have any impact on voting intentions? Well, that’s a different question. Amongst the respondents in the survey there was no difference in the NO lead before the debate and the NO lead afterwards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much. Remember that the instant verdict poll gave the first debate to Alistair Darling, yet of the four polls since the first debate only one showed significant movement toward NO, two showed modest movement toward YES, one showed significant movement toward YES. Instant reaction debate polls do their job of crowning a debate victor… but they don’t necessarily do a good job of predicting the impact.


There are two new Scottish polls in Sunday’s papers, an ICM poll for the Scotland on Sunday and a Panelbase poll commissioned by the Yes campaign. These are only the second and third polls that we’ve seen conducted wholly after the debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, the first one from Survation suggested a significant move towards NO, but these two paint a different picture.

Taking the Panelbase/Yes Scotland poll first, topline figures are YES 42%(+1), NO 46%(-2), Don’t know 12%(+1). Excluding don’t knows this works out at YES 48%(+2), NO 52%(-2). Changes are from the Panelbase/Sunday Times poll in July. Compared to last month it’s a slight move towards YES, but is not particularly significant by Panelbase’s standards: their penultimate poll also had YES on 48%, and they’ve have YES on between 46-48% since March.

The ICM poll in the Scotland on Sunday has topline figures of YES 38%(+4), NO 47%(+2), Don’t know 14%(-7). Excluding don’t knows this works out at YES 45%(+2), NO 55%(-2). It’s a bigger NO lead than Panelbase are showing, but the same modest movement towards YES. As with Panelbase, it’s not a massive change from the longer term trend – so far this year ICM have had YES between 43% and 48%, and YES 45% is right in line with the average of all ICM’s Scottish polls this year.

So, two polls, both show a modest movement towards YES since last month, but neither a significant shift from the longer term trend. What it does mean though is that the movement towards NO in Survations’s post-debate poll has not been echoed in other companies’ polls.

(Incidentally, I’m on leave this week, having a break before the long slog to the general election, so expect light blogging for the next few days)