Already 51% of Scots want independence depending on how you ask the question


Although the Sunday Times Panelbase poll result, last week, was at first sight disappointing, with Yes at 45% and No at 55%, there was a wee encouraging detail they didn’t mention at first. When they asked the question with three possible answers including ‘Independence within the EU’ and ‘Independence outside the EU’ as separate options they got 41% for the former and a further 10% for the latter giving a total of 51%.

What’s happening here? Well, of course, I can’t be certain but my guess is that some of the respondents responded No for independence because they don’t like the SNP enthusiasm for the EU but then responded Yes for independence outside the EU. When Referendum 2 comes around we have to hope it is a simple Yes or No for independence with the promise of consultation on EU membership after that or ideally with no mention of it at all given its divisive nature. Mind you, we can probably also expect some of those Europhobes to vote Yes for independence regardless once they’ve had a year of unconstrained Tory abuse and the Yes campaign gets underway properly.

So, really, it’s still neck-and-neck as in the other polls which is a brilliant place from which to start a campaign against a party of government that will have shown its full contempt for us in the Brexit deal it does at great expense for London’s financial sector, for Nissan, for Gibraltar and for Ireland. See this for more detail on these factors:

Good News: Theresa May is ready to risk losing Scotland to win concessions from the EU that really matter to England

Also, this poll excluded the Yes-dominant 16-18 year olds and the now likely to be Yes-supporting EU nationals seeking the right to stay that Theresa won’t give them. There were 100 000 of the former in 2014 so there will be an extra half million extra youngsters by 2018. I won’t speculate insensitively on how many No-dominant older folks will have passed away in the same period but this will be a factor. There are also around 400 000 EU nationals living in Scotland. Finally, the English-born Scots who helped in the No victory must be having second thoughts now as they watch NHS England collapse and Theresa fail to get anything worth having for the general public out of the Brexit negotiations. It can’t fail.

I can’t source the original Panelbase report and took the above data from the excellent scotgoespop:

If you want longer and deeper go there.


8 thoughts on “Already 51% of Scots want independence depending on how you ask the question

  1. Peter A Bell May 1, 2017 / 9:24 am

    What John Robertson refers to as “SNP enthusiasm for the EU” is actually the Scottish Government’s respect for the wishes of Scotland’s people. Scotland voted 62% Remain in the EU referendum and elected a parliament which is overwhelmingly in favour of Scotland remaining a member. We won’t get a better test of Scottish public opinion on the EU issue until after independence. It would be both remarkable and unacceptable for the SNP administration to ignore the wishes of the electorate in this matter.


    • johnrobertson834 May 1, 2017 / 10:43 am

      Yes I know but you see the poll data. I doubt pro-EU Tories are going to vote Yes for independence on any basis.


      • Peter A Bell May 1, 2017 / 10:49 am

        I’m not so sure about that, John. There are ‘Scottish Tories for Independence’. Whether their numbers are, or can be, significant is another matter. But we can’t really afford to write off any possible support.

        But the real point that I want to make is that Scotland’s EU status is not an issue. It has been decided, as decisively as it can be this side of independence. That really should be the Yes campaign’s message to anybody who wants to talk about the issue in the context of the current election campaigns.

        Liked by 1 person

      • stiubhart May 1, 2017 / 5:04 pm

        Thought this was a great post, fair cherred me up.

        Agreed John, I might have changed the last 3 words to …… In large numbers. …….suppose we need to welcome any folk moving to YES…… Given that currently things are tight, small numbers could well prove to be significant…..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. broadbield May 1, 2017 / 10:50 am

    I regularly visit James Kelly’s blog – another excellent website. Re the exclusion of 16-17 year olds and EU nationals, when these pollsters ask the question on Independence it doesn’t make sense to exclude these groups. Conspiracy? It must show the Yessers as being lower than actuality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter A Bell May 1, 2017 / 11:02 am

      There was a time when the general public would have been kept totally in the dark about such dubious methodology. I guess the mainstream media and the pollsters just haven’t got used to the fact that we now have alternative sources of information.


  3. broadbield May 1, 2017 / 11:02 am

    PS – I also visit Peter’s site – another well-argued and illuminating website.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. johnrobertson834 May 1, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    Wouldn’t a newly independent Scotland then outside the EU require a new referendum to be fair? The vote was about keeping the UK in the EU specifically.


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