Polling attention today will unavoidably be concentrated on the Scottish YouGov poll, but for the record the regular YouGov/Sunday Times GB poll is also out – results here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%. That too had a large chunk of Scottish questions aimed at English and Welsh respondents.

English and Welsh people now oppose Scottish independence by 61% to 17%. In the event Scotland does vote YES, only 22% of people in England & Wales think David Cameron should resign, 54% think he should not. On one hand that makes Cameron’s position look safe, but my suspicion is that public opinion could be radically different if it actually happened – people are not always very good at predicting their response to hypothetical situations. YouGov also asked people what they think should happen to Scottish MPs during that interim period between voting YES and actually becoming independent – 56% of people in England & Wales think Scottish MPs should not be allowed to attend and vote in the Commons during that period, 62% think Scotland should not elect MPs in the 2015 election if they are becoming independent (the same questions were asked in the Scottish poll with, as you might imagine, somewhat different results – 55% think that Scottish MPs should continue to vote in the interim period, though the 2015 question is quite close – 47% think Scotland should return MPs, 41% think it shouldn’t).

Turning back to the headline Scottish poll showing YES ahead, the full tables are now up here. Peter Kellner also has a commentary here, which amongst other things highlights how the biggest shift in opinion over the last month has been amongst under 40s and Labour voters.

Looking at how some of the other tracker questions have changed, the Yes Scotland campaign continues to be seen as more positive than Better Together, but now it is also seen as more honest (back in June people thought YES was more positive than NO, but thought NO was being more honest. Now YES leads on both measures). There’s also been a narrowing in the economic questions – back in June 49% thought an independent Scotland would be worse off, 27% better off – now it’s finely balanced, 40% think Scotland would be better off independent, 42% worse off.

It remains quite strange that YouGov have shown this sharp narrowing in the race while Panelbase haven’t. The difference is not just an outlying poll – while one single poll could be a freak result, YouGov has shown a consistent narrowing in the face over three polls. It’s not down to any methodological change – this poll was conducted using exactly the same methodology as YouGov’s previous poll. The only recent change in methods was four polls ago, introducing weighting by place of birth, and both YouGov and Panelbase introduced that at about the same time. Things like a differential willingness to respond to polls (people who support a campaign on the up being more likely to click on the email) should affect both Panelbase and YouGov the same – they are both online companies using a panel based system. One possibility is simply that the different trends are down to the same reasons behind the previous differences between Panelbase and YouGov. Both use weighting by Holyrood recalled vote as a core weighting variable, but YouGov also break out a proportion of people who voted SNP in 2011 but Labour in 2010. Perhaps if those people – people’s whose loyalty at Holywood and Westminster is divided between the SNP and Labour – had previously been more NO, but have moved towards YES this month, and are more represented in YouGov’s sample? It’s a possible contributory factor, but such things are rarely so neatly explained. We shall have to wait and see what sort of trend TNS and Survation show in the week.


A new YouGov poll of Scotland in tomorrow’s Sunday Times has YES nudging ahead in the referendum race. Courtesy of Tim Shipman at the Sunday Times, the topline figures excluding don’t knows are YES 51%(+4), NO 49%(-4).

The last month of Scottish polls from YouGov have been remarkable. Almost exactly a month ago, before the two debates, YouGov were showing a 22 point lead for the NO campaign, YES 39% NO 61%. This was fairly typical of their polls for most of the campaign, which had been floating at around about a 40-60 split. Since then three polls in a row have shown sharp movements towards the YES campaign, culminating in today’s poll giving the YES campaign a tiny lead.

51%-49% is, of course, well within the margin of error, the smallest lead you can get once rounded to integers. It doesn’t mean YES will necessarily win, and as ever it’s only one poll. There’s at least one other poll to come tonight, which may or may not echo the Yes lead. What will be fascinating to see is how a campaign that has, up to now, show a consistent NO lead for months changes in response to polls showing YES could actually win. Will people recoil from the risk of it actually happening? Will it enthuse people now it could be a reality? I’ll update later with the other polls.

UPDATE: There is also a new Panelbase poll out tonight, conducted for the Yes Scotland campaign. Throughout most of the campaign YouGov have tended to show some of the largest leads for NO, Panelbase have tended to show some of the smallest leads for NO. Given the movement towards YES in YouGov’s recent polls many people reasonably expected that Panelbase would be the ones to show YES ahead, in fact they still show a small lead for NO. Topline figures with changes from the last Panelbase poll in mid-August are YES 44%(+2), NO 48%(+2), Don’t know 8%(-4). Without don’t knows it’s YES 48%(nc), NO 52%(nc). In contrast to the collapsing NO position in YouGov, Panelbase are showing no real change – strange. We should have TNS and Survation polls in the coming week (and should be due an ICM at some point), so we’ll see what trends others pick up.


Scotland is likely to be the focus of polling for the next fortnight, but a brief update on the latest GB voting intention polls. Populus this morning has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 4% (full tables are here). Meanwhile today’s edition of the daily YouGov poll has toplines of CON 32%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16% (full tables here).


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.