Update with full data and thoughts on ‘don’t knows’: BBC Scotland ignore poll showing majority support for Scottish independence strong despite anti-Salmond/SNP media feeding frenzy

Not mentioned in the TV broadcasts and absent from the website, the Deltapoll survey shows support for independence at between 50 and 52%, depending on the question. The 52% for Yes (49% for No when don’t knows are removed) headline being featured is, of course, compromised by the leading question which asks if respondents would vote Yes once the UK has left the EU. I’d imagine BBC Scotland are working on debunking the results using this reservation.

However, another question asked:

‘In a referendum on independence for Scotland held tomorrow, how would you vote?’

This more neutral question still drew an encouraging response:

Scotland to remain as part of the United Kingdom: 50.6%
Scotland to become an independent country: 49.4%

This is too close to call and is clearly the best result for Yes-supporters so far, though, given the Brexit context, it can’t be compared directly with earlier polls.

Is this the beginning of the expected shift toward support for Independence we’ve all been expecting to happen as the Tories stagger from one disaster to the next and as Labour show their inability to exploit them. I’m sure, like me, many have been thinking it should have happened long ago.

The timing of the fieldwork is not apparent so we cannot be sure of this, but it is now ten days since the beginning of the media feeding frenzy on Alex Salmond, so it is possible that it was done in that time period and so suggests that support for independence has not been damaged by it.

Update: What might the ‘don’t knows’ mean? See this from Prof Curtice in 2013:

The precise meaning and accuracy of each of these questions is perhaps open to question. But all in all the pattern of responses they obtain suggests that is not unrealistic for the Yes side to believe the Don’t Knows could eventually be persuaded to swing disproportionately their way.

At the same time those who have yet to make up their mind seem more favourably disposed to those who are advocating independence than they are to those are arguing the case for the Union. As many as 51% think that Alex Salmond has ‘been acting with the best interests of the people of Scotland at heart’, while only 18% feel he has not. At 41% and 15% respectively the equivalent figures for Nicola Sturgeon are also clearly positive. In contrast, David Cameron emerges with a negative balance of 5% to 60%, Alistair Darling with one of 16% to 33% and Johann Lamont, 7% to 28%.

The SNP’s top duo evidently have a credibility in the eyes of undecided voters that no unionist politician currently enjoys. That could well prove invaluable in the Yes side’s efforts to win them over.


Update 2: The full data:

8 thoughts on “Update with full data and thoughts on ‘don’t knows’: BBC Scotland ignore poll showing majority support for Scottish independence strong despite anti-Salmond/SNP media feeding frenzy

  1. Raghnall September 3, 2018 / 7:12 am

    They are talking about it on the morning radio version of distorting Scotland. Saying that 47% would support indy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Cruickshank September 3, 2018 / 12:12 pm

    You’ve written support for Independence at between 50 and 50%. Btw.


      • Alasdair Macdonald September 3, 2018 / 4:24 pm

        I had actually thought you were being smart, since the data show that it is too close to call.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ludo Thierry September 3, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Interesting that beeb Scotland and beeb UK pages not carrying obvious info on the Deltapoll results (I’m not saying it’s not hidden away somewhere – but I couldn’t see it). HOWEVER – on the beeb N. Ireland page there is, indeed, a short report highlighting the Irish angle of the poll: edit below:

    Brexit ‘could create a majority for a united Ireland’

    A campaign group is claiming that Brexit could create a majority in favour of a united Ireland.

    The group ‘Our Future Our Choice’ says an online poll it has commissioned suggests a majority in favour of reunification once the UK leaves the EU.
    It says 52% of those surveyed backed a united Ireland with 39% showing support for Northern Ireland staying in the UK.

    Whilst I was on the beeb N. Ireland page I noticed the info re. the Depute Chief of PSNI being appointed Commissioner of the Garda: see edit below:

    The Irish justice minister has defended the new Garda commissioner saying Drew Harris is “noted very much for impartial policing”.

    Charlie Flanagan made his comments to Irish national broadcaster RTÉ on Sunday.

    He said he was satisfied with the vetting process of the incoming commissioner.

    Mr Harris, who takes up his new post on Monday, was PSNI deputy chief constable prior to his appointment.

    Mr Flanagan said Mr Harris would be a member of An Garda Síochána (Irish police) from Monday morning, and would be subject to the full range of legal regulations as any other garda member would.

    He said said he did not think there was a conflict between Mr Harris being bound to the UK Official Secrets Act and to the Irish Official Secrets Act.

    I seem to remember during Indyref 1 all sorts of stuff about an Indy Scotland being blackballed from international intelligence sharing and having the RAF (part funded by Scottish taxpayers) being used to bomb Scottish airports to prevent them being used by space aliens etc. Well, well – it appears that the world doesn’t actually cease to turn on its axis when the Depute Chief of PSNI becomes a member of An Garda Siochana and signs the Irish Official Secrets Act as well as the UK Act. Funny that isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ludo Thierry September 3, 2018 / 4:48 pm

    Just for info – Douglas Fraser has actually provided a wee nugget of useful info that I was unaware of: In his piece on the general collapse of the ‘Scottish’ print press he identifies the ‘false’ headline figures for the Scotsman but adds a comment revealing that – of the actual daily ‘sold’ copies (approx. 13,100) – five thousand of these are at discounted prices due to a ‘sales drive’ offering discounts for those taking out subscriptions: see edit below:

    Latest newspaper figures show that The Scotsman saw a 20% drop in print circulation compared with last year.

    It was the heaviest faller in the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation – down to just 16,300.

    Of those, more than 3,200 were bulk sales, given away free at hotels and airports.

    As one of the papers encouraging readers to take out subscriptions, nearly 5,000 of The Scotsman’s sales were at a discounted rate.

    Well done Douglas – keep up the good work – You’re info tells us that the days of the Hootsmon (in its current incarnation) are even more numbered than we knew.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ludo Thierry September 3, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    Oops – just re-read and saw I put a ‘you’re’ when I meant to type a ‘your’ – naughty rapid typing fingers – apols to all readers of a sensitive disposition.

    Liked by 2 people

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