YouGov have a new Scottish poll out tonight, done jointly for the Sun and the Times and YouGov’s first since the second debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling. YouGov’s previous poll showed a significant four point shift towards YES, narrowing the NO lead from 22 points to 14. Today’s poll doesn’t just confirm that, it goes further – topline figures are now YES 42%(+4), NO 48%(-3), Don’t know or won’t vote 10%(-1). Excluding don’t knows this is YES 47%(+4), NO 53%(-4).

This means that over a month YouGov have shown the referendum race coming right in from a pretty consistent NO lead of around twenty points right down to just six points. The sharp narrowing of the gap echoes the Survation poll after the second debate which had looked as if it was just a reversion to the mean. This suggests something more is afoot.

As ever, we should be careful of reading too much into a single poll – it’s the wider trend that counts – but it looks like this may go right down to the wire (and considering that YouGov tend to show some of the less favourable results to YES, does make one wonder what the next poll from a company like Panelbase might show).

UPDATE: Also out tonight is the monthly ComRes/Indy telephone poll which has topline figures of CON 28%(+1), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 17%(nc) and the daily YouGov/Sun poll which has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 7%, UKIP 14%


The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Voting intentions are CON 32%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%. The 16% for UKIP is the highest YouGov have shown them at for three months, just after the European elections. It’s likely that the publicity over Douglas Carswell’s defection may have helped this, but remember YouGov have updated their methodology since then which has also boosted UKIP by a point. A defection is pretty quickly forgotten though, the real kicker from the Carswell defection is the by-election that comes with it, if UKIP win that by anything like last night’s Survation poll suggests expect a much more concrete impact on the polls.

YouGov also asked again about Western intervention in Iraq. Support for humanitarian intervention (77% support) and American air strikes against ISIS (56% support) are broadly unchanged. Support for RAF participation in air strikes is 43%, down 2 points since a week ago. It’s not a significant change, but it suggests the steady growth in support for British airstrikes that YouGov had been recording has now halted. People are slightly less supportive of extending air strikes against ISIS into Syria – 45% would support US airstrikes in Syria (24% opposed), 37% would support British airstrikes in Syria (37% opposed).

86% of people think that British citizens going to fight for Islamist forces pose a threat when they return here, and 79% think British citizens fighting for ISIS has increased the risk of terrorist attack on Britain.

Turning to the situation in Rotherham, 75% of people think that Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire Police Commissioner, should resign from his post. 74% think any other people in senior roles in Rotherham council or police at the time of the child sexual exploitation scandal should also resign. More generally YouGov asked if people thought that when an organisation commits serious errors the people at the top should resign anyway, or should they only resign if they are personally at fault. It was an even split – 42% thought an organisations leaders should resign in the case of serious error even if they were not personally to blame, 43% that they should only go if they were personally to blame.


The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is out tonight. Topline figures are CON 30%(+2), LAB 36%(+4), LDEM 7%(-3), UKIP 16%(-5).

The sharp fall in UKIP support probably isn’t meaningful at all, the Opinium poll a fortnight ago had them jumping five points to a rather incongruous 21%, today’s poll is probably just a reversion to the mean. For those looking for a “Carswell effect” don’t look here: the fieldwork for this poll started on Tuesday, so most of the responses probably came before his defection.


This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%.

All very normal, but worth noting a slight update in methodology. As regular readers will know, YouGov’s political weighting is based on panelists recorded party identification in May 2010, meaning they don’t have to worry about changes in party ID over time – they weight people’s 2010 ID to 2010 targets. However, over the years new people join the panel, so the target weights need to adapt to this and reflect to some proportion that Lib Dem ID has fallen and UKIP ID has grown – hence once a year YouGov update the weights to reflect this. The changes this year decrease the target weight for Lib Dem ID and increase the target for Other (primarily UKIP) ID.

The end result is that the new weights tend to show UKIP 1 point higher, the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems very slightly lower (less than a percentage point in all cases).


I’ll be back blogging properly after the weekend, but for now here is the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%.

There is now clearly more support than opposition for the RAF taking part in air strikes against Islamic State/ISIS – 45% support Britsish air strikes, 31% are opposed. There is a pretty even split over supplying arms to Kurdish forces, 37% support the the idea, 39% are opposed.