By G.A.Ponsonby

The level of support for independence has been thrown into confusion with the emergence of a poll which puts the Yes campaign marginally ahead.

A new survey carried out by Panelbase puts support for Yes on 44 per cent with support for No one point behind at 43 per cent, with 13 per cent yet to decide.  However the poll is at odds with a YouGov poll released this weekend which claimed support for a No vote was over twice that of Yes.

The YouGov survey, carried out on behalf of the so called DevoPlus campaign group, put support for those opposed to independence at 59 per cent against 29 per cent for Yes.

That apparent lead for the No campaign was seized on by pro-Union commentators who claimed it showed the Yes campaign struggling.  However today’s new survey has witnessed counter claims from those in favour of independence who are insisting that momentum is very much with the Yes campaign.

In support of their claims, the SNP has pointed out that Panelbase was the first polling organisation to show the SNP in the lead during the 2011 Holyrood election campaign.  Alex Salmond’s party eventually recorded an historic majority despite having having been well behind Iain Gray’s Labour party for several months leading up to May 2011.

This most recent Panelbase poll was commissioned by the Scottish National Party.  It was sampled between 23-28 August, among 1,043 people aged 18 and over in Scotland.

It is the first poll to indicate Yes ahead since the question which will be asked in the referendum was finalised last year.  The last poll to show a Yes lead was a TNS poll in the Herald newspaper in August 2011, which showed Yes at 39 per cent and No at 38 per cent, with Don’t Know at 23 per cent.

According to this latest survey, support for a Yes vote has increased by 7 points since the last Panelbase poll in July.  Support for No has fallen by 3 points.

A detailed breakdown of the poll shows that 24 per cent of people who voted Labour in the Scottish Parliament constituency vote in 2011 intend to vote Yes in 2014.  It also reveals that among women aged 35-54, Yes leads No by 45 per cent to 41 per cent.

Responses to the survey suggest that 93 per cent of Yes supporters are very likely to vote in the referendum, compared to 88 per cent of No supporters.

The poll also asks two key questions which appear to point to the strength and potential of the Yes vote.

In response to whether people trust the Scottish Government or the UK Government to take decisions for Scotland, 60 per cent trust Holyrood compared to just 16 per cent who trust Westminster – a lead for the Scottish Government of nearly four-to-one.   This far greater trust in Holyrood over Westminster is reflected in every single demographic of gender, age and social class.

Among people who backed Labour in the 2011 Scottish Parliament constituency vote, 44 per cent trust the Scottish Government compared to 20 per cent who trust the UK Government, and among Lib Dem voters the figures are 41 per cent to 28 per cent in favour of Holyrood.

And the poll asked whether people agree or disagree with the statement that Scotland could be a successful independent country – finding that 52 per cent agree, compared to just 37 per cent who disagree.

The detailed breakdown shows that these same figures of 52 per cent to 37 per cent apply to women aged 35-54, compared to 44 per cent agreeing and 43 per cent disagreeing for all women.  Among people who voted Labour in the 2011 Scottish Parliament constituency vote, 34 per cent agree that Scotland could be a successful independent country, compared to 51 per cent who disagree.

Responding to the Panelbase poll, SNP Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“It is game on for next September’s referendum.  With just over a year to go, this poll indicates that the positive case for Yes is capturing people’s imagination, while the No campaign’s ‘Project Fear’ is running out of steam.

“The poll also shows that a clear majority of people back the Yes campaign’s contention that Scotland could be a successful independent country – a common-sense proposition which the No campaign daily denigrate. And they trust the Scottish Government rather than Westminster to take decisions for Scotland by a margin of nearly four-to-one. These findings all underline the strength and potential of the Yes vote.

“Polls will move up and down between now and next September as the debate over Scotland’s future gathers pace, but these very encouraging figures show that Yes can win and I believe will win. Certainly, the No campaign can no longer take the people of Scotland for granted.

“As we move closer to the referendum voters are beginning to make up their minds – and this poll suggests that as undecided voters find out more about the opportunities of independence, they are backing a Yes vote in increasing numbers.

“Scotland can be a successful independent country, and it is better for all of us if decisions about Scotland are taken by the people who care most about Scotland – the people who live and work here. That is the essence of the case for Yes, and it is a compelling and positive case that the No campaign has no answer to.”


2013-09-02 11:54

Very encouraging news: more like whats on the streets not in the state sponsored media.

Great Stuff
2013-09-02 11:54

It is very important that carefully worded polls are done regularly to combat the sort of poll that YouGov just did with a question designed to produce a NO result.
Better still, widely varying polls undermines the effect of all of them. Inthe balance we would be better off without them as we can overwhelm the NO campaign by continuous real contact while they have to rely on media distortion.
2013-09-02 11:57

But what specific question was asked in the YouGov poll? Was it a simple Yes/No question, or was there some mention of DevoPlus in their question(s). It’s so important for these poll results to be reported in full, including details of the specific question asked, rather than cherry-picking specific results out of context.
call me dave
2013-09-02 12:28

The question:
If there was a referendum tomorrow on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom and becoming an Independent Country and this was the question, how would you vote?
Should Scotland be an independent country?
YES = 29%
NO = 59%
DN = 10%
Wont vote = 2%

It’s the preamble that is leading the Q.

The panelbase poll even with a pinch of salt is very encouraging.
Scots voters are not daft and are canny in giving out their intentions. YES have more to do but it is already clear that the grass roots have a story to tell and it is not ‘NO’. They will wake up, smell the jam, and reject it on the day.
Jamie Black
2013-09-02 15:08

Leading? Hardly. It was giving a context on how people feel right now. The Yes vote is losing serious ground. i must live in a parallel universe, because virtually no-one I know or meet wishes Independence.

I cannot understand the favourable Yes polls because they are completely at odds with my experiences.

But heyho, everyone can believe what they want.
2013-09-02 20:54

If panelbase carry out their survey by voting intention, then it is wide open to manipulation. It would be far too easy for an organised group to register and claim they were ( for example) Labour supporters when they were nothing of the sort.

2013-09-02 18:56

The same form of words are used in this ‘Ashcroft’ poll..…/

2013-09-02 12:56

No Panelbase Poll on the BBC as yet but found this: Malcolm Bruce to stand down at next election.…/…

Not that it makes much difference anyway, after March 2016…. all the rest will.
2013-09-02 13:03

I have little faith in the polls this far out. I do believe a degree of manipulation is taking place to maintain the NO vote. However this has a downside for them – the longer they hold back the bad news the worse it will appear. A change is taking place, it is taking longer because we have to do it by word of mouth against a bias media. I believe 40% YES is about right at the moment and the swing is steady and positive.

The timing has proven perfect which was why the NO campaign were so keen to have an early vote.

I look forward to a fairer Scotland, a healthier Scotland, a wealthier Scotland and a re-industrialised Scotland.
2013-09-02 14:15

From the feedback I’m getting I find yesterdays poll hard to believe, there’s no way the Yes vote has gone down.
Today’s poll is much more realistic. In fact I’ve been blown away recently as I know some one time definite No voters who are now Yes voters.

Ot, I had a wee glance at the Gordon Brown article in the courier & apparently he is going to be telling us we need to stay in the UK to secure free NHS treatment as that’s what our national insurance pays for.

Unbloodybelieva  ble!

Ot again sorry, Well done Yes Fife I’ve had two lots of leaflets in this week & both included flyers on the Edinburgh indy rally on 21st.
2013-09-02 14:24

For polling geeks the PDF tables can be downloaded from below:…/…

Stu over on WoS also has a interesting twist on one part of the table results:…/
2013-09-02 16:09

I think the Better Together lot are also using the Devo whatever factor to boost a No vote.

There is NO Devo anything in the Referendum; it is rule by the Scots or rule by the English.
2013-09-02 16:24

This poll is more in line with the visible increase in YES SCOTLAND stalls at various gatherings and events all over Scotland. I have long wondered exactly who the “pro-Union” resulting polls are actually polling, as the majority of folk I speak to in around my home city of Perth on the subject of independence, are mostly in favour.

Maybe these pollsters who consistently produce results in favour of the staus quo, are polling mainly in the old Labour fiefdom of the greater Glasgow area. You know, the ones who continually and inexplicably vote for the likes of Lamont, Curran and Davidson (the misogynist bully, not the silly wee sixth former leading the Holyrood Tories).
Angus Baird
2013-09-02 16:32

At last positive news. Hopefully the tide is turning and people are waking up to the media manipulation that is engulfing the independence debate.

I feel we are on the cusp of a real breakthrough!
2013-09-02 16:34

I believe it is to do with ‘weighting’ – yougov do their weighting against voting in Westminster elections so, for example, some SNP voters will vote Labour (tactically) in Westminster elections but for Holyrood elections (and with PR) they vote for the SNP.

Weighting against Westminster can add, I believe, up to 20% for No.

I read a Wings article and a poster, Scottish Skier, explained it far better than I can.
2013-09-02 16:38

Scottish independence: BBC appoints John Mullin as referendum editor John Mullin will join the BBC on 9 September

Will this mean the BBC will have a more balanced view and bring back Isobel Fraser.
2013-09-02 19:17

Shouldn’t think so RTP, Mullin worked at the Scotsman for about 6-7 years.

Boothman is delighted to have him on board, which probably means Mullin will report as he is told!

call me dave
2013-09-02 17:28

Yet another product on the market today I see, Gordon’s gooseberry jam, only on sale from 19th September 2014.

He also want’s to ensure that the Scottish Parliament is permanently written into a legal framework!

What does he not understand about Scottish Labour not having the power to gift this, never mind Ed (if he ever gets into power) agreeing to this.

As AS said on the radio a few minutes ago Independence is the only way to retain a Scottish parliament.
2013-09-02 18:04

Surely only someone with serious undiagnosed mental health issues would accept anything YouGov reports?

A polling company set up by Tories to support a Tory agenda that is then commissioned by Tories (well Devowhateverthe  yarecallingthem  selves) to do the same is only going to be one thing and it starts with B and isnt a sweary word, although it should be.

Quoting Rafiki:

I think the Better Together lot are also using the Devo whatever factor to boost a No vote.

There is NO Devo anything in the Referendum; it is rule by the Scots or rule by the English.

Rule by Holyrood or Westminster please. Nationality is nothing more than were your parents decided to drop your mewling little cabbage head (to paraphrase Bill Hicks).

From The Suburbs
2013-09-02 18:46

No mention of opinion poll showing a Yes vote ahead by BBC Scotland TV this evening.

Funny how other polls are regularly headlined.
call me dave
2013-09-02 18:51…/…

Gordon and then AS on the video that goes with the story.
2013-09-02 19:49

YouGov polls should be greeted with derision. Their record in calling Scotland is appalling and is probably a result of the “weighing” they do (ie a process in which the polling company can produce any result it is paid to produce).
They used a “weighing” method in the past which auomatically reduced the SNP figure by 20% and increased the Labour figure by the same amount. On complaint they agreed it was producing unreliable figures – but continued using it and the press continued printing their guff. Which was probaly why they were out by a factor of about 18% on lots of their polling of the last Scottish election.
They are used by unionists to produce figures favouring the unionists.
We have people who were unionists because of complacency now coming into our YES shop and signing the declaration because the NO campign is an insult to their intelligence
2013-09-02 19:55

The question must be why didn’t Brown propose this when he was PM ?
Devolution was meant to stop the independence movement in it’s
tracks and was never seen by Labour as an ongoing process.
There is no way that a government in London is going to give up power over it’s branch office in Edinburgh.
The fact that Westminster refused to consider significant additional powers for the Scottish parliament should tell us all that following a No vote,that will be the end of the Scottish problem as far as they are concerned.
Browns,along with Darling are yesterday men who can promise anything because they know they are not going to be around to face the music when it doesn’t materialise.
Don’t think Scots will be gullible enough to be taken in by vague promises from these people.
2013-09-02 20:57

what happened to Scottish_Skier not seen him post for a while. :
2013-09-02 21:27

He posts at WoS.

2013-09-02 22:01

Makes this a little spooky……/
2013-09-03 14:34

Angus Baird thinks we are on the ‘cusp of a real breakthrough’. I agree. I think it will begin with Nicola demolishing Anas Sarwar on Thursday (STV 10.30pm)then a loud bang at the Rally on Sept 21st, then build slowly to the release of our Government White Paper – at which point it will pick up steam as we move into 2014.

The psychological effect of moving into the Referendum year will be profound. And with each passing month the atmosphere will become more and more charged.

The voting public will be screaming for facts – facts which we have but which NO doesn’t have. 2014 is going to be a great year to be alive in Scotland.

VOTE YES in 380 Days
2013-09-03 16:22

I worry about the rally and the possible effect bad weather could have on it.

I warned last year when they announced the date for this year’s rally that it was scheduled to take place smack in the middle of the September Equinoxial Storms.

Calton Hill is no place to be in a howling gale and horizontal rain.

We were lucky last year to get a good day but if the weather is bad this year the whole thing could turn out to be a very damp squib which would be leapt upon with glee by the Guys In The Black Hats and their pals in the media.

I would hope that contingency plans have been made for alternate arrangements in the event of inclement weather.

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