Following Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that she would seek a second referendum on Scottish Independence there are three polls on the subject in today’s papers.

Firstly there is a YouGov poll in the Times. As with the Survation poll, the fieldwork for this was actually begun before Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement – it just happened to be in the field when she made her announcement. Topline figures on Scottish independence were YES 43%, NO 57%. While this is not a significant change since YouGov’s last Scottish poll in November, it’s the largest lead YouGov have recorded for NO since before the first independence referendum (note also that the sample here was over 18s. 16 and 17 year olds are normally seen as a more pro-Indy demographic, so might have shifted it ever so slightly towards YES) (tabs)

Secondly there was a Survation poll in the Daily Mail, also conducted over the weekend. This had topline figures of YES 47%, NO 53%, the same as in their previous Scottish poll last September. Survation also asked about whether there should be a second referendum “before the UK leaves the European Union” – 41% supported this, 46% were opposed.

Finally there were results from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in the Scotsman. The SSAS is a large scale random probability survey conducted each year – these are high quality samples, but by definition take a very long time, so this was conducted in autumn last year. The survey does not ask how people would vote in a referendum, but does have a long term tracker on whether people think Scotland should be independent and outside the EU, independent and inside the EU, have devolution with taxation powers, devolution without taxation powers or no devolution. This wave of the survey found 46% of people in favour of independence, the highest recorded so far in the SSAS and up from 39% in the 2015 wave of the survey. In John Curtice‘s paper on the survey he explains how some of that is down to the fact that in the previous wave a substantial number of those who voted YES in the referendum opted for a form of devolution when asked the multi-option question in the SSAS survey, but that in this wave YES voters were more likely to follow through with support for full independence in the SASS question.

We still have a mixed picture. Overall the picture appears to be a lead for NO, but YouGov and Panelbase’s polls have the proportion of people supporting Scottish independence broadly the same as at the 2014 referendum (though there appears to be some churn underneath that), but BMG’s last few polls and MORI’s last poll have suggested things moving towards a much tighter race. The sheer infrequency of Scottish polls means we can’t really be sure if that variation is down to methodology or just us reading too much into normal sample variation. Either way, Nicola Sturgeon has only taken the very first step towards a second referendum; there is an extremely long way to go and I’m sure we’ll have an awful lot more polling on the subject and far more time to examine differences between them.


Just to catch up, YouGov put out new voting intention figures yesterday (though the fieldwork was from last week). topline figures were CON 39%(nc), LAB 28%(+2), LDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1). While the changes since the week before are not significant in themselves, eleven points is actually the lowest Conservative lead YouGov have shown for several months. It’s also worth a glance at the “most important issues” question in the tables: the NHS has risen ten points since YouGov last asked the question back in November, making it the second most important concern after Brexit. It’s possible to interpret that as health rising up the agenda and helping Labour’s support… but it’s equally possible that the changes in voting intention are just normal, random sample variation. Still, worth keeping an eye on it. Full tabs here.

There was also a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday at the weekend. Their topline figures were CON 38%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 2%. Tabs are here


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Tuesday polls

Two more polls have been released during today, both showing the race essentially neck and neck.

Survation have released their final EU telephone poll for IG Group (not sure if that’s their final poll for the referendum itself, or just the final one for IG). Topline figures with changes from their weekend poll are are REMAIN 45%(nc), LEAVE 44%(+2), Undecided 11%(-2). Full tabs are here.

Surveymonkey also released new online figures this morning (for those unfamiliar with Surveymonkey as pollsters, I wrote about them here). Their topline figures in the new poll, conducted Friday-Monday are REMAIN 48%, LEAVE 49%. Changes are from their poll last week.

I don’t think any polls are due in tomorrow morning’s papers, most of the remaining final calls will presumably be showing up tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Finally a note about the ORB poll this morning. As regular readers will know, ORB figures have been a little confusing over the campaign – they have published two sets of figures, one for those 10/10 certain to vote, one for all voters. ORB have regarded the latter as their main figure, but the Telegraph have focused on the former. For their final call though ORB have been much clearer and put up an explanation on their site, with final projections of REMAIN 54%, LEAVE 46% – based on those certain to vote, and an assumption that the remaining don’t knows will split 3 to 1 in favour of Remain.


Opinium’s weekly poll for the Observer has topline figures of REMAIN 44%(nc), LEAVE 44%(+2), so split right down the middle. The fieldwork was conducted between Tuesday and Friday, but the majority was before the murder of Jo Cox. Full tabs are here.

This isn’t Opinium’s final poll of the campaign – they’ve got one more to come on Wednesday. Still to come tonight there is also a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. There’s also a ComRes online poll for the Indy and Sunday People, but it doesn’t include EU voting intention (it’s online, and ComRes only do EU voting intention on their phone polls).

UPDATE: There is also new Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday. In this case the fieldwork was conducted on Friday and Saturday, so took place wholly after the death of Jo Cox. Topline figures, with changes since Survation’s midweek poll, are REMAIN 45%(+3), LEAVE 42%(-3) – so Remain are back in the lead after dropping behind in the week. Interesting, but it is as yet only one poll…

UPDATE2: There is a new YouGov poll (one of two tonight) for ITV. Topline figures are REMAIN 42%(+3), LEAVE 44%(-2). Like Survation the poll shows a swing back towards Remain, but unlike Survation this poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, wholly before the attack on Jo Cox, suggesting that there may have been a swing back towards Remain anyway. There is a second YouGov poll out later tonight for the Sunday Times, with fieldwork conducted on Thursday and Friday…


Following on from the ORB and ICM polls at the start of the week, there are two more EU polls today that both have small movements towards Leave. YouGov in the Times have topline figures of REMAIN 41%(+1), LEAVE 42%(+3), DK/WNV 17%(-4), while Survation for IG have topline figures of REMAIN 45%(-1), LEAVE 38%(+3), DK 17%(-2). I’m dubious about whether this is an Obama effect, but it does put to bed the idea that the series of polls last week showing a movement towards Remain was the start of some sort of breakthrough.

An interesting thing about the YouGov poll – while their headline EU voting intention figures have changed very little over the last few months, there has been movement in Remain’s favour on the economic argument. Back in February people thought Britain would be worse off outside the EU by only a two point margin, it’s now thirteen points (35% worse off, 22% better off). YouGov’s regular EU questions have also shown increasing belief that leaving the EU would be bad for jobs, and bad for people’s personal finances. Yet this hasn’t translated into any movement in the headline figures.

This may be because it’s being balanced out by factors favouring Leave, like immigration or the NHS, or it may be that the economic argument hasn’t started to bite yet. I’m reminded of the experience of Scotland, where people swung towards YES during the campaign despite telling pollsters they thought that an independent Scotland would be worse off economically… but ended up swinging in favour of risk aversion and what they thought was their best economic interest in the final fortnight. Anyway, time will tell.

Finally YouGov have voting intention figures of CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 20%. That twenty percent for UKIP is a record high from YouGov, though I am a little dubious about it. While it seems perfectly feasible that during a referendum campaign the only significant political party backing one side of the argument may get a boost in support, we haven’t seen such a big boost in support echoed in any other polling. Wait to see if that’s reflected in any other polling before getting too excited.