Can The SNP Meet The Three Conditions For An Independence Yes Vote?

The message from the polls continues to be promising for the SNP, who are gathered this week in Aberdeen for their autumn conference. But the path towards holding a second independence referendum that delivers a majority vote for Yes still potentially contains many sharp corners and diversions. Three conditions are likely to have to be […]

Twenty Years of Devolution: A Lesson in the Law of Unintended Consequences?

Twenty years ago today, Scots went to the polls to elect their new devolved Scottish Parliament. Although in specifying that the new parliament should be elected by a system of proportional representation Labour had accepted that it might not be able to win an overall majority and might need to share power with the Liberal […]

A Tale of Two Scenarios: Actual and Hypothetical Independence Polling

Almost inevitably, the SNP conference has occasioned something of a flurry of polling. After nearly three months without any polls of voting intentions in an election or any future  independence referendum, yesterday two polls commissioned by newspapers were published, one by Panebase for Sunday Times Scotland, and one by Survation for the Sunday Post In […]

Raising An Anniversary Glass?

How should a poll be reported when it finds that around half agree with something while half do not? Does it mean the glass is half full or half empty? Does the answer, perhaps, simply depend on your political perspective? Last week marked the twentieth anniversary of the 1997 devolution referendum in which voters in […]

Polls Swing High, Polls Swing Low

One indication of the dominance of the SNP in the Scottish political firmament these days is that, in what currently is otherwise a climate of relatively infrequent political polling north of the border, no less than four polls have been published during the run-up to the nationalists’ spring conference in Aberdeen this weekend. Two of […]

The Legacy of IndyRef1 and the Implications for IndyRef2: New Scottish Social Attitudes Report

The focus of much opinion polling is on the short-term. Has support for this party or that party gone up or down since last month? Which leader’s popularity is increasing, whose is on the wane? Is there any evidence of swing towards or away from independence since the last time the question was asked? As […]

Does Scotland Want a Second Independence Referendum?

The Prime Minister comes north tomorrow to address Scottish Conservatives at their spring conference. She does so on the back of reports that the UK government is beginning to get concerned that Nicola Sturgeon might opt to pull the trigger on a second referendum, an expectation since heightened by a speech by the First Minister […]

On Sampling Error

Much excitement was caused this week by a poll from BMG Research for The Herald which was reported by the newspaper under the headline ‘Support for independence surges on hard Brexit vow’. There was then even more of a flutter when in an interview for UK Business Insider I suggested that the three-point increase in […]

YouGov Mark St Andrew’s Day with Poll on Independence (and more)

Today is, of course, St Andrew’s Day and the deadline for responses to the SNP’s ‘National Survey’ on how Scotland should be governed. To mark the occasion, The Times commissioned a poll from YouGov on attitudes towards Brexit and indyef2 together with Holyrood vote intentions. Nicola Sturgeon must be wishing that it had not bothered. […]