Saturday’s Sun newspaper had a new YouGov poll of Scottish voting intentions with topline figures of YES 35%(+1), NO 53%(+1). There’s obviously no significant change from YouGov’s previous poll, carried out at the start of February before the recent currency row, and the NO lead remains at 18 points. The referendum results are here and there are some additional questions here. In his commentary on the YouGov website today Peter Kellner suggests views are pretty solid – the currency story hasn’t made much impact because the vast majority (79%) of YES supporters just didn’t believe it and assumed the British political parties were bluffing (though a fair amount of YES supporters would also prefer an independent Scottish currency anyway).

There was a similar break when people were asked about an independent Scotland’s position in the European Union – the large majority (70%) of YES supporters think that an independent Scotland will be able to make a smooth transition to membership on day one, only 15% of NO voters think they would. The arguments that dominate the Scottish independence debate don’t really appear to be changing any minds, people are just viewing them through their pre-existing support for YES or NO.

In a similar vein there is a new Ipsos MORI Scottish poll, also timed to mark the 200 days to go point, and again showing very little change. Amongst those certain to vote YES is on 32%(-2), NO is on 57%(nc), Don’t knows 11%. Changes are from the previous MORI poll in December 2013. Full tabs are here.

143 Responses to “New MORI and YouGov Scottish polls”

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  1. As ever, can we please not speculate or discuss ongoing criminal cases.

  2. In deference to the title of this thread, a lot of the big guns have fired, and not made any discernible effect on the polling. Of course, there will be no DKs in September, so I’m guessing a final result of Yes 36, No 64. I think most DKs will break for the status quo. It reminds me of the Australian monarchy referendum in 1999 where the republicans lost by 55-45, despite polling showing a broad sympathy for a republic. Yet uncertainty of what set-up would adequately replace the monarchy, despite a general sense that it was not suited to Australia, swung it.

    Regarding Ukraine, I follow some of the posters above with my head-in-hands embarrassment at how overtly supine our elected representatives have been. Russia can be suspended from the G8 (and honestly, could the G8 gather in Sochi in 3 months now?), and leading Russian officials can have their assets frozen. It may not stop the action on the ground, but it’s better than nothing.

    But I think Putin will move slowly now. He has what he wants. Ukraine’s freedom of action, such as it was, has evaporated now. Nato will not mobilise for Ukraine. Ukraine will not join the EU (even without the Russian invasion, it wasn’t going to anyway, but Putin figures ‘why take the risk?’). He has embarrassed the EU and (to a lesser extent) the US by exposing how limited their options truly are. Most importantly, he has bolstered his own position domestically, which is what this was all about in the first place – see an article in the New Statesman yesterday.

    Looking in to the near future, it makes me nervous about energy security and reliance on Russian hydrocarbons. Yes, fracking will probably get a boost from this. But so should the renewables sector. And it does rather expose the folly of selling a good part of our nuclear sector to the Chinese …

  3. There’s no political point-scoring to be had over the Rock scandal. Bad men and women exist in all walks of life, including political parties of all shades, and despite rumour and gossip, they are usually very difficult to weed out until they do something wrong. In fact, most such people are past masters at concealment.

    I don’t suppose there was anything in Rock’s behaviour or past that suggested that he had these alleged predilections.

    Let’s all move on.


    Agreed entirely.
    The pressure that Ukrainian military have been under is immense. Holed up in their barracks, with Russian troops staring at them through the gates. Some have been visited by senior Russian officers & asked to leave their bases.
    On Sky tv this morning a group of menacing looking civilians was camped outside a Barracks gate. The wives of Ukrainian military personnel had to queue up & be vetted before being allowed in.

    One can only admire, as you say, the resolve & loyalty of those Ukrainian military-and wonder at the resentment this must be engendering.

    The Russian tv & radio dirty tricks campaign is so astounding & far fetched it must be a running joke in West Ukraine.

    But I suppose it is for consumption by nervous Russians-to make them even more nervous & anti-government.

  5. Regarding Ukraine…

    I’m developing a theory that Putin is acting in fear of political challenge from Sergei Glazyev, that vocal “aide” who has had his own presidential ambition having run for president of Russia in 2004, and having been a fierce critic of Putin. He was given his position as a coordinator of the Russian “Customs Union” proposal, as an attempt to get him inside the tent and directing the liquid stream outside.

    Glazyev has been a hardliner to Ukraine being tied to Russia, and is the one who is currently making all kind of threats about “banning repayment of Russian held loans to any country that imposes sanctions”, which is going to destroy Russia’s credit rating and devalue the Ruble even further if he doesn’t shut up.

  6. @Tark

    I’ve not had time to go through the thread so this may already have been said, but an IPSOS/Mori person was interviewed last night on STV. He said that their results suggest that a large % of DKs were, in fact, more liable to vote Yes than No. The No representative refused to say what their private polling was indicating, but the Yes representative said that their private polling, although far from predicting a Yes vote so far, was moving in the right direction for them at a pace which might deliver a yes vote in September.
    Make of private polling what you will!

    However, coupled to the fact that many people who were not previously on the voters’ register are being encouraged to get involved, this means that the situation ends up nothing like as straightforward as you seem to think.

    As for the £ and Europe, many Scots are well aware that to remain in the UK may mean leaving the EU in any case after the promised referendum; and currency stability is hardly guaranteed under any circumstance.
    I still expect a No vote, but it is far too early to predict %s. So much may well happen between now and September 18th.

  7. Looking at the 2010 identifiers that make up this latest YG poll, I have noted the following:

    1. Con 2010 voters supporting Con is 71 % (a little low compared the usual c. 77 %)

    2. Lab VI is made up of 90 % of Lab 2010 identifiers (recently at about 85-86 %)

    3. Lab VI from 2010 LD’s is at 42 % (higher than the usual 34 %)

    4. LD VI from 2010 LD’s is at 31 % (below last weeks 34 %)

    I think all of these factors have raised Labour to 41 % on this poll.

  8. “Make of private polling what you will! ”

    My advice, as ever, remains that unless the actual tables are produced for independent perusal they should be wholly and entirely ignored.

  9. I am sticking to my 47/53 yes/no prediction I made before New Year. I still have no impression that the Yes campaign has started and think they have just been soaking up pressure. At some point the positive Yes campaign will start, I imagine what they will be looking for is momentum. I am not sure when they will start the campaign sometimes I think they might leave it v late until the World Cup, Commonwealth Games – good springboards for momentum.

  10. Firstly, the polls. Today’s YouGov, whilst warming the cockles of this old Labour man’s heart, is almost certainly an outlier, as is the previous day’s Populus probably, and unless we get another couple that confirm a widening Labour lead, then we better assume that nothing much has changed from the norm to which we’ve become accustomed. I can’t see any political development, domestic or foreign, that would have caused a big jump in the Labour lead over the last few days. I’ll keep my powder dry on pet theories, self-serving or otherwise, until we get clear evidence that the polls are moving in any significant and obvious way. At the moment, no such evidence exists.

    On the Ukraine, now that dust is settling and the position is a little less opaque, I have to say that I sympathise with the Russian position a little more than some others posting on the issue. Firstly, we should abandon Cold War similes and clichés; this is no Soviet-esque Prague or Budapest clamp down on flickering flames of freedom with phoney claims from the Politburo that they’ve responded to Czech and Hungarian “progressives” to intervene to protect the revolution from Western backed reactionaries. I suspect that the ethnic Russians and pro-Russian Ukranians in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine have been genuinely alarmed by what they’ve seen in Kiev and are broadly welcoming of the Russian incursion. On this occasion it is entirely plausible that local political leaders have asked for Russian intervention and protection.

    However sympathetic some of us may be with the elements who have toppled Viktor Yanukovych’s government, and I’m not actually, certainly until I know much more about their objectives, a democratically elected government has been forcibly removed. That sounds like a coup to me, irrespective of how corrupt and incompetent the sitting government was. Coups don’t often throw up benign alternatives to what went before, and quite often usher in regimes far worse than those they replaced, so if I was living in the Crimea or other eastern areas of Ukraine, I’d very nervous and alarmed about what may lie ahead.

    Russia has ancient and unresolved claims over the Crimea and there is a significant element of the population in that province who would like to be assimilated back into what they believe to be their mother country. Putin is an arch-manipulator and not a man I’d trust, but I see no Soviet style, empire building intent behind his current actions in the Crimea. He may well have alighted himself upon a genuinely popular and populist piece of foreign policy and I don’t suppose either he or most of the Russian population give much of a hoot about what the West and the EU think.

  11. “I still have no impression that the Yes campaign has started”


    Feels like it’s been going on forever on here…

  12. Re private polling.
    I’ve just held two.

    Scottish referendum

    Ayes 20%. Noes 80%

    Should the West keep out of Ukraine?

    Ayes 90%. Noes 10%

  13. Is there any polling on whether the Yes campaign has started?

  14. I’ll pop a fiver on Putin backing off, then kicking off again, once everyone’s looking elsewhere. A slice here, a slice there. Not a shot fired.

  15. @Statto

    “Any better ideas?”


    Any to share?

  16. An extraordinary Press Conference taking place by Putin.
    He looks very relaxed-threatening those who want sanctions against Russia to think hard !

    He said Russian action in Crimea was “humanitarian” to protect Russians from aggression & “torture” (!)

    He centers a lot on the new regime . He said Yanukovych was ousted when he was away from Kiev at a “meeting”-he didn’t flee.
    He does not accept the Kiev Government.

    He sees everything in terms of Yanukovych & Russian “interests” & gives no indication of understanding the Maidan event or popular support for the new government.

    I think his main objective is the removal of the new regime. If that were pro-Russia again that would give him security in Crimea anyway . I think the occupation is a fail safe in case he can’t succeed on the Kiev government.

    The power play then is the Maidan installed regime & its national & international supports on the one hand-and Putin on the other.

    I can’t see an outcome unless Putin backs down, which seems unlikely-or unless fair countrywide elections can be held, which seems impossible.

  17. CROSSBAT11l
    Zero shots fired, minimum feasible troops and materiel, already in Ukaine under the agreement on Russian Black Sea naval installations, and no attempt to man the military airfield air control and management systems, which would take a hugely increased and hostile take-over.
    I cannot see Obama and Putin (both decision makers) on the phone, kicking it about for one and a half hours. Obama will IMO have asked for a clear statement of Putin’s intentions, and Putin will have responded.
    Both would go along with the noises off, including EU and NATO to keep it muted, while control is maintained and a transitional government can parley.
    On that basis I would anticipate an eventual Russian withdrawal with stronger Ukraine-Russian no belligeration treaty written in, Ukraine moving towards EU association with the but not NATO, unless the Russian Federation signs up, as has been mooted.
    Putin will want a controlled and peaceful transition to an elected Prssidency and Parliament, and agreements on non-discriminatory administration in the East, including restoring Russian in a bilingual official and schools language and no employment discrimination agreement for Eastern Ukraine.

  18. Putin just been asked about elections in Ukraine.
    He said he would not recognise the results of any election held under the current “terror”.

    Merkel reported to have said she was unsure whether the Russian president was “in touch with reality” and that Putin was living “in another world”.

  19. JohnP
    Simples !
    You do paint a rosey picture, let’s hope you’re on the button .

  20. “@ statgeek

    I’ll pop a fiver on Putin backing off, then kicking off again, once everyone’s looking elsewhere. A slice here, a slice there. Not a shot fired.”

    I don’t think much is going to happen in Ukraine. They will sort themselves out, if Russia and the west stop their war of words. The problems in Ukraine appear to be with state debt and the apparent corruption people believe has taken place. They need to have new elections as soon as they can and have politicians who can be trusted by most people. There are questions about Ukraines future direction of travel, as to whether they want to be closer to the EU than Russian. But that can wait.

  21. Only one by-election to report this week, and it was a rubbish one:

    West Lindsey DC, Scotter

    Conservative 577 (65.7%; +10.8)
    Liberal Democrat 301 (34.3%; +18.6%)
    [Independent 0.0; -29.4%]

    Turnout 22.8%
    Majority 276

    Doesn’t really show us anything other than how the independent voters break. No Labour or UKIP candidate to show, and a tremendously safe Tory seat.

  22. @JohnPilgrim

    A calm and sober assessment of the current situation and one I would broadly agree with. There are obvious uncertainties, and potential dangers, but I welcome your addition of calmness and realpolitik.

    Some people do seem to be getting very excited. It’s time for cool heads.

  23. Reading the Beeb report on Putin’s speech, it all seems right and proper other than the ‘terror’ description (which may be a matter of translation/linguistics).
    As CB says, cool heads please

  24. When I watched the news last night there were reports from correspondents based in Kiev, Washington, Sevastopol and London. But nobody was reporting from Moscow. Why is this?
    Are journalists banned from Moscow can’t they get visas, or are they worried they’ll get arrested?

  25. Zero shots fired is it? (Graphic)


    Inviting Ukraine into Nato for a temporary membership would have given Putin pause for thought for a start. There’s all sorts of ideas, but frankly, you and others will spend half the day looking at ways to argue about them. All that energy wasted, just so some can feel they have some sort of false moral high-ground.

    I really find it hard to communicate with people who seem convinced that Putin should be allowed to do these things. My grandfathers had to go to war for similar reasons. Hitler’s own were ready to stop him, but the Rhineland, Austria and Czechoslovakia gave him too much support, and robbed the ‘resistance’ of the time of the will to remove him.

  26. In the Commons, Hague implies in response to Alexander that the headlines in the photographed documents do not represent his views and that the governments options remain open.

  27. another question.

    NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation what does that have to do with Ukraine? I thought it was on the Black Sea.
    I suspect that many Russians might see the spread of NATO as a sign of Western expansionism.
    Just sayin.


    @”I really find it hard to communicate with people who seem convinced that Putin should be allowed to do these things.”

    Me too.

    Realpolitik can be a clever way of describing appeasment.

  29. I think (and correct me if I’m wrong) NATO is an organisation formed from those nations who’ve signed the North Atlantic Treaty, not necessarily nations which border the North Atlantic.

  30. The willingness, even eagerness, of a few people to dismember someone else’s country in response to such bullying tactics is rather depressing.

  31. @Colin

    Not often that I’m in agreement with you but I am here. For some reason, though, my comment expressing a similar view went into moderation.

  32. ROGERH

    Thank you.

    I have felt the same reading your comments on this issue.

  33. I don’t pretend to have a complete understanding of this but when all’s said and done the Ukraine president -egregious as he was – was kicked out via what amounts to a coup d’etat. Thankfully not a military one but a coup none the less. I believe he had been legitimately elected.

    Ukraine seems to be a somewhat cobbled-up state and clearly divided. Russia has not exactly invaded Crimea because – as I understand it – they were already there. They have however clearly executed a coup of their own. This one was military but has involved no bloodshed.

    I have no real clue what the ‘right’ thing to do is. I think Russia are in the wrong and some kind of sanction should be applied but over-reaction is a real danger.

    I am not looking for any ‘false moral high ground’. I think you should look in the mirror for that.

  34. @Statgeek

    “I really find it hard to communicate with people who seem convinced…”


    Many of us probably feel that way at times Statty. I can’t understand why some don’t seem much fussed about the rise in malnutrition, the bedroom thing, having to use food banks due to benefits delays etc.; on the Ukraine thing it seems so complicated and liable to break a lot of eggs whichever way you try and cook the omelette I find it hard to see how one can come down definitively on one side or another…

    Part of the reason for being here, to me, is to try and get to grips with views that are rather different to one’s own…

  35. COLIN
    @”I really find it hard to communicate with people who seem convinced that Putin should be allowed to do these things.”
    Me too. Realpolitik can be a clever way of describing appeasment.”c

    The conclusion to this discussion is not, of course, who convinces anybody on this blog, but whether any course of action leads to peace and economic restoration in the Ukraine and the resumption of international economic cooperation and peaceful relations between the countries concerned. I think there’s too much at stake for all the players not to make that happen.

  36. @Statgeek

    “I really find it hard to communicate with people who seem convinced…”

    while I could say the same about motorists who think it’s okay to break the speed limit.
    I guess communicating with people one doesn’t agree with is the basis of Diplomacy and some people are probably better at than others.

  37. Just like “some girls’ mothers are better…”

  38. Since we’re on a Scottish thread perhaps an appropriate comparison to the Ukraine might be when Charles I was overthrown in 1646 (after acting in a despotic and tyrannical manner) but then recruited a foreign (Scottish) army to attempt an invasion to reinstate him in power.

  39. @Valerie

    “while I could say the same about motorists who think it’s okay to break the speed limit”

    That’s an inaccurate inference from my accurate statement on speed being one of several factors in the causes of accidents.

    Until we have ‘careless driving’ cameras, I’ll keep nagging about them. They are tax collectors, cashing in on the fact that people are not perfect all the time. Personally I set my cruise control to the speed limit and never notice them.

    Diplomacy is fine when appropriate. In the case of Putin, gunboat diplomacy would seem more appropriate this time.

  40. Tables for the Survation poll are here

    Summary results


    In the referendum, voters will be asked, “Should Scotland be an independent country”. If this referendum were held today, do you think you would vote “Yes” or “No”?

    Yes: 39% (+1)

    No: 48% (+1)

    Undecided: 13% (-3)

    Voting intention

    Scottish parliamentary elections (May 2016) – constituency vote:

    Labour: 34% (+3%)

    Conservative: 13% (nc)

    SNP: 45% (+1)

    Liberal Democrat: 5% (-1)

    Another party (Net): 3% (-3%)

    Scottish parliament (May 2016) – regional list vote:*

    Labour : 28%

    Conservative: 11%

    SNP: 40%

    Liberal Democrat: 7%

    Scottish Green Party: 8%

    UKIP: 5%

    Another party (Net): 1%

    *Results are not comparable to previous polling because two parties – UKIP and the Scottish Green Party – were added to the responses that were prompted in this survey

    Westminster vote (May 2015):

    Labour: 36% (+3)

    Conservative: 15% (-2)

    SNP: 38% (nc)

    Liberal Democrat: 5% (-1)

    Another party (Net): 6% (-1)

  41. Oops!

    Survation poll

    Which of the following political figures do you trust the most?

    Ed Miliband: 36%
    Alistair Darling: 24%
    Nicola Sturgeon: 11%
    Alex Salmond: 10%
    David Cameron: 9%
    Johann Lamont: 5%

  42. @Old Nat

    Although I am hardly one to wish her well politically, what does Johann have to do to get folk behind her?

    And, more generally, what about the perceived reduction in Labour lead GB wide? If Labour folk in Scotland get the impression that they are not going to see a Labour government in Westminster in 2015, and if the Yes campaign can convince Labour folk in Scotland that this vote is not about the SNP but about Scotland (“If you want Labour to rule in Scotland, vote Yes”), then a lot may happen in the next six months.

    That’s a lot of ‘ifs’, but totally off the radar…..

  43. There ought to have been the word ‘not’ before ‘totally’.

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