Support for United Ireland ‘surges’ with Belfast based researchers while support for Scottish Independence remains ‘hesitant’ with Hexham based researchers


In the Sunday Times today based on a survey of 1 0128 voters by Northumberland-based Panelbase:

‘Scottish independence ‘better than Brexit’ A majority of Scots believe Scottish independence would be better for the country than staying in the UK after Brexit, a new poll reveals. The Panelbase survey of 1,028 voters for The Sunday Times Scotland and LBC, before a crucial Commons vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, found that more believe leaving the EU will be bad for Scotland than not. Scottish independence would be better than a no-deal Brexit, say 59%, with 41% disagreeing. While 53% say independence would benefit the country more than staying in the UK but outside the EU under a negotiated Brexit deal, 47% take the opposite view. But there is still a hesitancy to actually vote for independence. Now backed by 47% — the highest level seen by the polling company in more than two years — 53% want Scotland to remain in the UK.’


In the Express today based on a poll of 1 334 Northern Irish votes, by Belfast-based researchers, LucidTalk

‘END OF UK: United Ireland support SURGES as May’s Brexit crisis deepens. In case the poll took place in 2019, right after a Brexit spelled out by Mrs May’s agreement, 48 percent of the surveyed said they would vote to remain in the UK while another 48 percent of them said they would want to join a united Ireland. And if Britain left without a deal the number of people ready to back a united Ireland would reach 55 percent of the surveyed, including 11 percent of unionists. On the other hand, 42 percent said they would prefer to remain part of the UK, while 3 percent said they didn’t know.’

Now, our younger and better-looking (not hard) psephologist, James Kelly, has noted that Panelbase have ‘of late slotted in at the No-friendly end of the polling spectrum’. I don’t suppose he’d support any conspiratorial explanation any more than I’d suggest one. But, could  location and staffing of the research team have some subtle effect?

Many Yes-supporters I know remain puzzled by the support for Yes in these polls being stuck below 50% when their own experience tells them otherwise.

We can only hope that at least some of the 12% who feel sure that a no-deal Brexit would be worse than independence yet would vote No, or even some of the 6% who feel the same about a negotiated Brexit, begin to see the logic of then supporting an actual Yes vote on independence.



Scotland’s exports boom to keep our trade surplus high especially with EU



Scotland continues to export more than she imports. Our trade surplus is up 6.2% to £14.2 billion while England’s deficit has risen 1.8% to £129 billion. That’s why the UK has massive debt of $21.4 trillion (!) which Scotland, it seems must share the costs of, if we separate. A country with an historical trade surplus, like Scotland, would have had no need of debt.

Note the note. Scotland’s trade surplus may be even greater if all exports that ‘cannot be allocated to a region’ were to be so.

Also, see:

‘Scotland’s good exports to the EU rose 18% to £15.7 billion in the year to September 2018, making up more than half of overall goods exports, which rose 6% to £29.6 billion. Goods brought in from the EU to Scotland also increased in the same period, up 7.5% to £9.6 billion.’

So our trade surplus with the EU alone is £6.1 billion!

See these for a fuller account:


13% increase in number of people working in Scotland’s tourism sector since introduction of National Tourism Strategy


(c) WallpapersHome

In Insider today:

There has been an increase in the number of people working in Scotland’s tourism sector since the introduction of the National Tourism Strategy in 2012, according to VisitScotland. The new report shows a 13 per cent hike in numbers between 2012-2017, from 181,500 to 206,000, in contrast with a decline of five percent from 2009-2012.’

Has tourism featured much in Talking-up Scotland much before this? Whit!? I’ve had to get up even earlier than my usual 05:30, at times, to cope. See these few recent ones:

Humungous 45% increase in Scotch Whisky tourism!

Glasgow and Edinburgh push London into third place in tourism hotspots survey

Scottish tourism growth outpaces that in UK

Whisky tourism boom expected to add to record year for Scottish tourism in 2018

‘BLOODY HELL Robert the Bruce movie Outlaw King will feature some of the bloodiest battle scenes in cinema history’, put Braveheart in the shade and boost tourism like Outlander.

Glasgow wins two first places in global tourism awards and comes 4th out of 50!

As Scottish Tourism soars, Outer Hebrides to become major centre of marine tourism with funds mostly from SNP-led Scottish government

Boom in Scottish Tourism and in Film and TV production to be enhanced by Edinburgh University and National Museums of Scotland’ MOOC

‘Scotland enjoys tourism boost thanks to interest in Gaelic’

Scotland’s surging tourism is sustaining many of Scotland’s rural communities


No GP Crisis in Scotland but..


I do hesitate to make these comparisons between NHS Scotland and NHS England as they always go one way and I then start to feel a bit uncomfortable. However, if I want to talk-up NHS Scotland in a defence against our Loyalist media bias, it’s the only readily available comparator with a Tory government to blame for it all.

Anyhow, the Guardian piece above, does carefully and unusually, state that this is about only England, based on NHS England research.

So dear reader, how do you think things are in Scotland? Could be better, but health provision like education or policing is infinitely improvable and so could always be better. What is clear though is that there is no crisis in general practice in Scotland.

1. 93% of Scots can get an appointment in two days!

From research published in the Scotsman on 25th April 2018:

‘More encouragingly, it also found 87 per cent of people found it easy to contact their GP practice, while more than nine out ten (93 per cent) were able to get an appointment within two days.’

2. GP vacancies in Scotland are only just over one-third of the level in England

Based on a survey by the GP magazine on 6th July 2018, Pulse, the Independent reported today:

‘GP vacancies (in England) rise to record levels despite recruitment pledge, survey suggests. Long patient waits and unsafe, rushed appointments are unlikely to end any time soon as vacancies have risen from 9.1 per cent to 15.3 per cent since the (UK) government pledged 5 000 more doctors.’

In sharp contrast, the GP vacancy rate in Scotland was only 5.6% at the end of 2017.

3. There are significantly more GPs per head of population in Scotland

So, the ratio of GPs to overall population is:

  • England 1 GP for every 1262 people
  • Scotland 1 GP for every 999 people
  • Wales 1 GP for every 1060 people
  • N Ireland 1 GP for every 1421 people

4. The Scottish Government is taking steps to ensure there are more GPs, and doctors in general, coming through the system.


88% of elderly patients begin psychological therapies within 18 weeks


As a Silver Surfer, the important statistic seems the one above. However:

16 613 started treatment for psychological therapies in the quarter ending September 2018. 78.2% were seen within 18 weeks, up from 76.3% in the previous quarter.

1 040 people aged 65+ attended and 88% were seen in 18 weeks, up from 85.5% in the previous quarter.


As winter begins Scotland’s A&E departments still see 91.4% of patients within 4 hours


There were 25 861 attendances at Scottish A&E departments in the week-ending 25th November during which there were several freezing nights and mornings. Despite, this 91.4% were seen in 4 hours and only 0.15% spend more than 12 hours.

There are no official figures for NHS England’s November performance published as yet. They will be released on 13th December.

92.2% of NHS Scotland A&E patients treated within 4 hours in October 2018 nearly 10% more than in NHS England


137 905 people attended Scottish A&E department sin October 2018 and 92.2% of them were treated within 4 hours. Only 0.1% spent more than 12 hours in an A&E department.

In NHS England, Type 1 A&E departments (comparable to NHS Scotland), 83.2% were seen in 4 hours.