There were a couple of Scottish independence polls in the week, but both of these that had fieldwork that actually pre-dated Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second referendum. The Sunday Times today have the first Scottish poll carried out after Sturgeon’s speech, conducted by Panelbase between Monday and Friday.

Voting intention in a second referendum stands at YES 44%, NO 56%, similar to that in the YouGov poll in the week. As I said then, there are conflicting pictures from different pollsters. YouGov and Panelbase are both showing support for independence at a very similar level to the 2014 referendum, the most recent BMG and MORI polls have shown a narrowing of the NO lead.

Scotland also remains split over whether or not to have a second referendum. About half want a referendum in the next few years (32% while Brexit negotiations are ongoing, 18% after the end of negoiations), 51% do not want a referendum in the next few years.

Westminster voting intentions in Scotland stand at SNP 47%, CON 28%, LAB 14%, LDEM 4%, UKIP 3%.

195 Responses to “Panelbase poll on Scottish Independence – YES 44, NO 56”

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    …right…..thanks :-)

  2. @Colin

    No probs…

  3. @R HUCKLE

    “Of course QE is money printing because it is BoE buying bonds from Banks and Banks encouraged to lend the money to the public. BoE is creating the money.

    If you look at UK government debt, a good percentage is bought by BoE.”


    Indeed the QE mechanism as currently practised performs a variety of functions, including allowing banks to offload done toxic debt, and let the government sell some of its own debt.

    And yes not bring in the Euro lets us do this as well as do what we want with interest rates, rack up deficits etc. Regarding election timing, I find it non-trivial to read the minds of politicians. Partly why I’m here, and polling helps…

  4. @Carfrew

    To be honest, I think certain of Corbyn’s ‘friends’ are one of his chief liabilities. Not only are they trying to manipulate him and the membership, they are doing it unsubtly and badly.

    I am not sure how any political edfice can last if a faction takes the view that any criticism or dissent is inherently illegitimate as some of those at the top of Labour have right from the beginning.

  5. That said, it’s very good of HMG to take the focus off Labour infighting this morning.

  6. @Chris

    Yes, Article 50 has just knocked Labour woes off topic spot at the Indy. Regarding Labour woes, you may be right, but I’m outside the loop. Thats partly why I’m manoeuvring around it. Different peeps seem to have different experiences of the Labour thing.

  7. @bantams

    I think it is difficult to see how you can have a federal state with two heads of state. A loose confederation possibly but why would the English nationalists who have just decided to leave one supranational organisation want to join another new one in which England’s current determining power in the UK through its population size would need to be reduced to have any chance that Ireland would even consider joining it ( which seems unlikely in the extreme in any event).

  8. @Oldnat – “If you look at the ScotCen report, you would see that the rise in Euroscepticism has been mainly among committed No voters.”

    Isn’t that a problem for Sturgeon?

    Her schtick at the moment is saying, “I insist that people voted No because of their love of the EU rather than their love of the UK, therefore they must be forced to vote again.”

    But if they are eurosceptic and voted No because they wanted to stay in the UK (as it said on the ballot paper), then they are just going to be thoroughly irritated at Sturgeon’s attempt to force them out of the UK and back into the EU, which is the opposite of what they want.

    I wonder if she’s made this blunder because doesn’t actually know anyone who voted No and has no idea what they think.

  9. Good afternoon all from a mild but dull day here in Reigate (Sorry CHRISLANE, it’s another dull Reigate )..

    Poll Alert…

    Britain Elects? @britainelects 9m9 minutes ago
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 45% (+1)
    LAB: 26% (-2)
    UKIP: 10% (-1)
    LDEM: 9% (+1)
    GRN: 4% (-1)

    (via ICM / 17 – 19 Mar)

    I know it’s a Tartan thread but it’s also a polling site…. Excellent poll for the Tories, shocking for Labour (19 point gap) and Lib/Dems still in single figures..What a disaster for them.

  10. @Scouserlad

    Comment yesterday… What part are you disputing?

    So, big game this Sunday!

    Our record is obviously very impressive against our closest rivals, but City have looked very dangerous of late and I can see this one going to the wire.

    I’m worried about Sane and Sterling tearing our full backs apart. But then again, City’s defence isn’t exactly impenetrable!

    Henderson is ruled out, which is a blow. But hopefully Firmino and Lovren are able to come back into the starting XI.


    Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Mane

    Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Lucas, Woodburn, Wilson, Origi

  11. Ooops, please ignore my last comment. Wrong forum… I meant to post this…That’s what happens when you don’t copy & paste correctly.

    Britain Elects? @britainelects 19m19 minutes ago
    Party perceptions:
    Honest / Dishonest ratings:

    CON: 19 / 26
    LAB: 13 / 24
    LDEM: 11 / 25
    UKIP: 8 / 38


    @”Indeed the QE mechanism as currently practised performs a variety of functions, including allowing banks to offload done toxic debt, and let the government sell some of its own debt.”

    Oh dear-here we go again.

    The “Banks” didn’t “offload toxic debt” . Where on earth did you read that.?

    The “Banks” ( actually BoE bought from Insurance companies in large part) . sold UK Treasury Bonds to BoE.

    They “government” didn’t sell to BoE. That was specifically disallowed by BoE-that would be financing Government Spending.
    BoE Asset Purchase Program is an excercise in increasing market liquidity by exchanging UK Gilts ALREADY IN ISSUE- & held by their market purchasers-for newly created credits with BoE.

  13. @Carfrew “let us introduce you to the wonderful world of banking”
    I’m aware of that aspect of the world of banking, and the behaviour you describe does not change my view that the economy is harmed by such behaviour just as it is harmed by the activities of forgers.
    I read commentators concerned by the high levels of private debt on top of the enormous national debt. If banks were not allowed to lend money they do not have, private debt would be much lower.
    I’ve always taken the view that banks were places to deposit money away from burglars, with interest paid to me, so that they could lend it to encourage business, though much of that idea seems to have gone by the board lately.
    I am tempted at my time of life to withdraw my savings and spend them for my own enjoyment, rather than future security. If everyone in my position did that, the banking system would probably collapse, though eating out more might help the pub trade. Perhaps I should just offer loans to private individuals at interest rates lower than the banks’ and cut out the middle man – but if I misjudge the borrower, I might not have the clout to get my money back. I’m not really in favour of my money being lent to a borrower to buy a new necklace, or go on holiday, when some small business is thought by the bank to be too great a risk. I can see who benefits when repayments are delayed while inflation makes them less onerous. So far I’m just subsidising my son’s mortgage so that the body which lent to him doesn’t actually get a return beyond his paying down the capital.
    Pushed to extremes, on the system you describe, banks don’t really need depositors so long as enough borrowers keep up their repayments.
    As you say, it’s a wonderful world. Alice would be quite at home, though the mathematician in C.L. Dodgson might be a bit worried.

  14. @ Allan Christie

    So, big game this Sunday!

    Now I thought you could only mean the upcoming Scunny vs Bradford hugely important promotion match but you seem to be talking about yesterday’s minor match but quite entertaining game in Manchester? 1-1.

  15. @Colin

    Lol, don’t be patronising me with an “oh dear”, especially when quibbling to no good effect.

    Yes, it’s true the Banks mostly sold Treasuries to the BoE. But QE does not have to be confined to this and in the U.S., the banks also sold a good deal of Mortgage-backed Securities to their Central Bank.

    Secondly, I didn’t say that the Governent sell to the BoE. That’s an unhelpful misrepresentation. I said that it was a means of the Government to sell more debt. Which it is.

    But I was on about the govt. selling it to the BANKS, not the BoE. When the BoE buys assets from the banks, the banks can then use this money to buy more government debt.

    None of this should be news to you, I’ve seen you discuss it extensively with Amber etc.

  16. @Dave

    You are not alone in having concerns about the current arrangements!! There are a numepber of potential consequences to this system, one of them being some people inevitably defaulting on their loans. Because there may not be enough money around for everyone to repay. Because the money is issued by the banks, but they want it back with interest. This can create a demand for constant growth to keep the plates spinning.

    Regarding investing, of course now with crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending (some peeps on the board do it) you can lend to some worthwhile and quite groovy projects. Even synths!! To insure against loss one can do conventional things like diversify etc…

  17. @AC

    “Oops, please ignore my last comment. Wrong forum… I meant to post this…That’s what happens when you don’t copy & paste correctly.”


    Have you ever posted polling stuff to a footie board? Bet that’d freak them out more!! Or Indy stuff. Summat about Westminster or the Vow,..

  18. Griffin gave an interview to a Hungarian liberal tabloid news portal (444) at an identity politics conference where the journalists outnumbered the participants.

    Among other things he said that Hungary wold become the hq of the far right (he didn’t use this expression) as it built a great fence, fights Romany crime, fights Soros, who from the money he made on the attack on the UK (I suppose he meant the pound) to finance groups who would make European youth deprived in thinking, that liberalism was treason, that he liked Ashotthalom, but he prefers hills so he would move to Budapest instead within six months. Oh, and he also attacked one of the Jewish weeklies.

    In contrast, Schultz in a major speech in the weekend declared the Turkish, Polish and Hungarian government as enemies of democracy and promised that he would defeat them.

    [By the way Corbyn’s 10 pledges, which are now Labour’s are centrist, and incompetent, and his team is incompetent, and cannot compensate for the leader’s incompetence].


    It always seems odd to me, when partisan supporters of a particular party feel impelled to publicly praise one of their own.

    Doing so in the context of a debate on political leadership might have some reason or purpose, but randomly posting that “X, from my party is wonderful” seems bizarre behaviour.

    No one (I think) would question that Davidson is a good communicator, and can forcefully and loudly repeat her core message.

    When up against her main rival (that’s Kezia Dugdale, not Nicola Sturgeon) who has poor communication talents, and an inability to portray any consistency of message, that’s a huge advantage.

    That neither Davidson nor Dugdale have actually had consistency of message is neither here nor there. It’s perception that matters in politics that matters.

    If we are attributing shifts in VI to the effectiveness of political leaders (and that is by no means the whole story) then Sturgeon and Davidson may be compared with Charles the Bald and Louis the German dismembering Lotharingia in 870 – as another Empire bit the dust.

    However, I have a couple of questions for you. If Davidson is “sooo good”, is that because she currently effectively espouses policies that you agree with?

    Was she “soooo bad” when she passionately argued for the UK remaining in the Single Market and the EU? Was she a bad politician when she said that if the SNP and Greens had a majority at Holyrood, then Scotland should have an indy referendum?

    Since few politicians actually do display consistency of aims and objectives, any partisan uttering such admiration of one of their own would be subject to the same questioning.

    Of course, on a polling site, a measure of the effectiveness or popularity of a politician can be found by just looking at polling figures when such questions are asked. Have you done so?

    Bob – Over the last 50 years, I’ve met a lot of politicians from several parties. Some have been damp squibs : some create an air of excitement around them.

    It never seemed to make much difference to their electoral prospects, and certainly not to their debating ability or strategic thinking.

    While I have met both Salmond and Sturgeon (and several SLab and SCon leaders) in the past. I haven’t met Dugdale or Davidson personally – just seen them in debate, and looked at poll numbers.

    I would be hesitant at making any assertion that a brief meeting with any politician would give any credibility to a claim that the one I had met would outdo the ones I hadn’t.

    But then, I don’t go in for partisan hero worship – Salmond was very effective in a whole lot of ways, but debating wasn’t one of his strong points.

    Is there something in ECon psyche which makes you behave in this odd way, or is it a personal oddity?

  20. oldnat

    Quite a response when I was only in fact replying to Rich – I am going to leave it at that other than to repeat I liked her and thought she was fresh air to an otherwise sterile party I have often campaigned for over the past 40 years – (exclusively in marginals but I have never been on a battle bus.) I have some knowledge of Scottish politics as my mother is Scottish and I have lots of friends and family north of the border so I do not necessarily pronounce exclusively from an ignorant ECon point of view.

  21. Rational people might have expected the nationalist broadcaster to report on the SLab, SCon and SLD voting to withdraw the franchise from EU citizens and 16-17 year olds.

    It doesn’t.

    The Green amendment to the substantive motion was accepted by the SNP and was voted through, despite the three Unionist parties all combining to restrict the franchise and limit democracy.

  22. On the 4th May, EU citizens and 16-17 year olds will have the vote in Scotland.

    Some might be more motivated to exercise that vote, after today’s Holyrood vote.

    I doubt that it will be for SCon, SLab or SLD.

  23. I know two who will.

  24. NatCen/ScotCen Report “Does Scotland Want a Different Kind of Brexit?”

  25. In many ways, this doesn’t tell us much we didn’t know.

    Apart from those who argue for English or Scottish “exceptionalism” in social attitudes for the majority of the population, one wouldn’t expect there to be huge differences in attitudes to “immigration” or “free trade”.

    Indeed, the fact that voters both north and south of the border want to have their cake and eat it should surprise no one.

  26. I thought that one plank of the case for Scottish independence was that Scotland’s sociopolitical identity was different from that of England? This poll suggests that when it comes to the UK’s relationship with Europe attitudes are similar – perhaps more similar than might have been expected from the divergent EUref results.

    In a sense we can ignore the single questions on whether people want the good/popular bits of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Brexit. The interesting stuff is what sort of trade-off they’re prepared to make. Scots seem more prepared to accept freedom of movement in return for free trade. Does that make them more liberal on immigration, or just more pragmatic or better informed? It’ll be interesting to see how attitudes to this kind of trade-off shift as the negotiations progress (whenever that may be).

    Even Scottish indy supporters aren’t that keen on Scotland having different regulations on EU trade and immigration from the rest of the UK. A bit surprising that only 56% of indy voters wanted it to be easier for the EU to trade with Scotland than with the rest of the UK after Brexit.

    Not comfortable reading for Sturgeon in that properly large majorities of indy no voters want the same regulations in Scotland and the rest of the UK after Brexit.

    Overall it seems to confirm that an Indy yes vote isn’t that good a predictor of attitude to the EU.

    I’m glad to have seen these data, as I found them very informative.

  27. Sorbus

    Off out for dinner, but just a brief response –

    “Even Scottish indy supporters aren’t that keen on Scotland having different regulations on EU trade and immigration from the rest of the UK. A bit surprising that only 56% of indy voters wanted it to be easier for the EU to trade with Scotland than with the rest of the UK after Brexit.”

    Remember that l the Remainers in Scotland wanted the whole of the UK to stay in the EU! That was the referendum question.

    There’s nothing we can do to reverse the decision of the English & Welsh separatists, but the question now is “how do we make the best of a bad job?”

    The shape of the Brexit settlement (Associate membership like Ukraine?) will sway people one way or another – as will the actions of the Tory government on the Great British power Grab.

  28. Survation poll questioned 1,104 people over 16 by telephone on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

    Asked who “should have the right to decide if there should be a referendum in Scotland that would allow the people of Scotland to choose between Brexit and Independence”, 53 per cent said Holyrood, 35 per cent Westminster and 12 per cent didn’t know.

    Excluding don’t knows, the preference for Holyrood over Westminster was 61 to 39.
    Survation poll questioned 1,104 people over 16 by telephone on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

    Asked who “should have the right to decide if there should be a referendum in Scotland that would allow the people of Scotland to choose between Brexit and Independence”, 53 per cent said Holyrood, 35 per cent Westminster and 12 per cent didn’t know.

    Excluding don’t knows, the preference for Holyrood over Westminster was 61 to 39″ (Herald)

  29. Is the simultaneous operation of two threads to become standard practice? Perhaps it would help avoid a repeat of some of the less helpful exchanges of opinion over the past few days, but it does seem to me to run the risk of losing all interaction between people of differing views.

  30. @oldnat

    The Survation poll.does highlight the risky strategy of the UK Government by moving the debate on to the SNP chosen ground of “who should.govern Scotland?” . Especially now that they have in effect signalled that there will be no more substantive devolution as a result.of Brexit. It will be interesting to see

  31. The Survation poll is the start of the tide turning. People will slowly wake up to the fact that it is Scottish democracy and the authority of the Scottish Parliament being undermined. The latest social attitudes survey question: who should make decisions for Scotland 75% Holyrood 14% Westminster. So once the ‘Now is not the time’ and the consequences of the Great Repeal Bill cut through, momentum will change.

    I am looking forward to ScotGov’s next move after Easter. My guess:

    Scottish Parliament Act to transfer authority over constitution and binding referendums from Westminster to Holyrood. Holyrood is the original independent Scottish Parliament so can use ‘Claim of Right’ basically Westminster is behaving unreasonably and against the interests of Scotland so we are transferring the power.

    Of course Westminster would now have to fight in court – big constitutional argument between sovereignty of Westminster and sovereignty of the Scottish people, who knows who would win but my guess this is plan B

    Plan C call a Scottish GE for May ’19 with SNP and Greens standing on a manifesto with a commitment to independence.

  32. John B

    “Is the simultaneous operation of two threads to become standard practice?”

    That is specifically what Anthony said should happen.

    Saltire threads for Scottish matters (and anything else we want to blether about), while all other matters may be discussed on other threads.

  33. Oldnat
    I’m afraid that I don’t understand your response to my earlier comment. I’m not sure whether that’s because I was unclear or because we’re interpreting the question that was asked in different ways.

    On the Survation poll
    May would presumably say she’s not stopping Holyrood deciding if there should be an indyref, just saying that the timing needs to be agreed with Westminster. Whether Scottish opinion decides that’s sophistry may boil down to how far apart the two sides are on a date. I think, however, that if May doesn’t want to be seen to be blocking a referendum she probably ought to be clearer about when will be the time…

    The number of DKs seems quite high for a straightforward question – perhaps that indicates wiggle room?

  34. @Sorbus

    I think there is a bit of a split between Scottish Conservatives and May with SCons taking a tougher stance. I detect a bit of a cooling in the relationship between Davidson and May probably because Davidson has pushed May into an unsustainable position. Davidson was nowhere to be seen when May visited Scotland last week & Davidson lost her temper in the Scottish Parliament when niggled about May’s visit.

    I have no doubt May doesn’t want to deal with the issue of Scottish independence at the moment she clearly doesn’t want to deal with Scotland at all but if this ends up in the courts (which I think is the next move) then she will have no choice. & It will be Davidson & Mundell to blame

    The stupidity of May’s approach is that once people are firmly on Holyrood’s side in the disputes then that momentum will carry forward to a Yes win. Yes has been pretty moribund in the polls & the EU question not a huge winner for Yes as many independence supporters voted to Leave. Turning this into a question of who has authority in Scotland with social attitudes survey at 75% for Scottish Parliament is very helpful to the independence cause.

  35. @Sorbus

    In addition the great repeal bill threatens to reserve previously devolved matters, the court ruling on Sewell and May blocking the referendum put Scottish democracy at risk and highlights the democractic deficit – 58/59 Scottish MPs voted against triggering article 50. The Scottish voters are likely to vote for independence if the authority of their parliament is under threat.

  36. Tables for the Survation poll are here

    Although the age ranges are very restricted, as always, the generational divide is significant –

    16-34 : 73% Holyrood 27% Westminster
    35-54 : 66% Holyrood 34% Westminster
    55+ : 45% Holyrood 55% Westminster (doubtless with more Holyrood supporters among the “younger oldies”)

    Equally unsurprising,

    SNP voters : 90% Holyrood 10% Westminster
    Unionists : 29% Holyrood 71% Westminster

    Whether people opt for the primacy of Holyrood or Westminster on this issue because of a real conviction on the constitutional distribution of power, or whether they just want the decision they want to be taken is another matter!

  37. Couper 11.01

    A bit optimistic, methinks, though in the present climate anything seems possible…..

    and again at 11.46, though I see that what you propose is a possibility.

  38. @couper2802

    I suspect Sturgeon will announce that the SG will proceed with a referendum on its timetable but carefully avoid any substantive action by the SG which could be challenged legally. The SNP will begin its campaign unrestrained on spending by EC rule because no official campaign is underway.

  39. @John B

    Just read the letter and it uses the language of the claim of right and invokes popular sovereignty I reckon my theory regarding plan B is correct. It’s high stakes but that’s what we are playing for.

  40. @John B

    Just read the letter and it uses the language of the claim of right and invokes popular sovereignty I reckon my theory regarding plan B is correct. It’s high stakes but that’s what we are playing for.

  41. Sorbus

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. In a rush to get out to dinner – especially as the Italian couple who run it may not be here for too much longer.

    My point was that everyone, everywhere, wants to have their cake and eat it. At the end of the day, however, there will be only two cakes left on the plate.

    You may have wanted a chocolate gateaux, but that’s off the menu. Do you pick the Empire Biscuit, or the Battenberg Cake? You can’t have both.

    If someone has taken a couple of bites out of the Empire Biscuit (via the Great British Power Grab), then that option will be much less appealing.

    Over the next couple of years (perhaps longer) more will be known of the constitutional arrangements between Scotland and England, between UK and EU, the settlement of the Irish border question, and many other issues.

    For those not committed to one side or the other of either constitutional issue, there may be much to sway opinion, so talk of plans being “holed below the waterline” are pretty much nonsense at this stage.

  42. Oldnat
    Completely agree re the general fondness for having one’s cake and eating it. Just surprised that, faced with a post-Brexit choice of ‘Empire Biscuit’ or ‘Battenberg Cake’, only 56% of indy voters would opt for the Battenberg Cake. So to speak, although I’m not sure the analogy works especially well for the question concerned.*

    Only 56% said they’d like it to be easier for the EU to trade with Scotland than with the rest of the UK. I assumed that option roughly represented the situation where the rest of the UK is outside the single market, but Scotland is inside it. 38% opted for Scotland and the rest of the UK to have the same rules for trade with the EU after Brexit. Does that 38% prioritise Scotland’s trading relationship with EW over its trading relationship with the EU in spite of supporting Scottish independence? Do they think the rest of the UK will end up staying in the single market or getting a good free trade deal? That would run counter to recent WM government rhetoric and to Sturgeon’s argument for the need for a second indyref.

    *Apart from anything else you need something for the 5% who opted for it to be harder for the EU to trade with Scotland than with the rest of the UK after Brexit to eat.

  43. Sorbus

    There’s no particular reason for many Scots to want different rules for trade between any parts of the current EEA.

    Much easier all round if the rules are the same – and that’s still how they might end up!

    The difficulty I have with the ScotCen report is that it doesn’t give us any breakdown by demographics – just by votes in the 2 referendums.

    I don’t expect to see much change in position among the young (35 and under) or the old (70 plus), but the economic prospects may well be significant for the 36-69 year olds.

    If the UK gets a good trade deal (and I hope it does) then the parameters within which rUK trades with an indy Scotland in the EU/EEA will be known, and the current scaremongering on trade will disappear (to be replaced with something else, naturally!)

    Attitudinal factors will then come much more into play, and the behaviours of Westminster on matters such as “common UK trading rules”, if they include matters such as NHS Scotland, Scottish Water etc will become of mush greater importance.

    Many on my side have argued that the UK could have been made to work, had it been a genuine partnership of nations, and not the imposition of rules by Westminster.

    The opportunity for such, is long gone, and it just remains to be seen if Westminster under the rule of Tories from E&W can make even a pretence of behaving differently.

  44. Survation’s report on its poll

    One question I hadn’t looked at was whether Westminster should have the power to block a Holyrood decision on ScotRef.

    Finally, 54% of Scots said that they did not think that Westminster should have the right to block any plans for a referendum in Scotland once it has been voted for and agreed on by the Scottish Parliament. 39% said that Westminster should have the right to block such plans, even if they had been voted for in Holyrood, with 7% saying that they didn’t know; removing those shows that 58% think that Westminster should not be able to block the plans, the 42% saying they should.

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