Has polling itself caused the shift in Scottish sentiment towards independence?

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I think this is a classic case of how measuring something causes it to change

SCOTTISH voters are turning strongly against independence, according to the latest opinion poll, which shows the cross-party No camp charging ahead with a record 20-point lead.

The snapshot by TNS BMRB – taken after both campaign launches – puts those against independence on 50% and those in favour on 30%; the latter figure being the lowest received for independence in five years of surveys by the Edinburgh-based pollster.

Six months ago, the gap was nine points in the No camp’s favour; a year ago, it was one point in the Yes camp’s favour.

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  • Mike the First

    Interesting – I wonder does such an effect map onto referenda as well as opinion polls.

    PS Mick – ambiguous headline, I read it as a shift in favour of independence!

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s just to check and see how many people actually read what’s in the post (or even those who follow the actual link)… ;-)

  • Drumlins Rock

    can the polls change the polls?

    maybe but its a minor factor, more importantly the jubilee, olymipics, labour resurgence, poor Yes launch, a plausable No campain at last, and above all, reality dawning that the SNP proposals are more full of holes than a Rab C Nesbitts vest are swinging it firmly back towards the Union.

  • salgado

    Mick – why do you think the polls themselves are the reason for this shift?

  • Mick Fealty

    What I mean is that the first measurement tells us how people actually feel about a novel question. The second, third or forth time people begin to consider the issue in the more certain knowledge of what others think.

  • salgado

    The polling company has been surveying this for five years, why would that only kick in now? And why would it be that large.

    Surely it seems more likely that independence has simply lost support as the details have started to be discussed.

  • Drumlins Rock

    presuming poling does have an influence, possibly people tend to go with the flow and also try to back a winner?

  • lover not a fighter

    I personally always thought it would be difficult to win an independence referendum and that this would be much more difficult in hard economic times.

    But it is much more important to be ahead at the end of the process than at the beginning.

    The SNP are playing as long a game as they can in this parliament and they will be hoping to get as much Devo-max as possible with this possibly leading to independence in the long run.

    Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are formidable politicians so I would not write them off yet.

    Re; Polls effecting Polls= Perhaps.

    We hold the elections/referendums to get the result though.

  • Reader

    lover not a fighter: The SNP are playing as long a game as they can in this parliament and they will be hoping to get as much Devo-max as possible with this possibly leading to independence in the long run.
    If they want unionists to introduce a devo max option in time for the referendum they need to be a lot more scary right now. All they have secured is the chance for a referendum defeat in 2 years based on a vague unionist offer of devo-more after the next election. I bet Salmond wishes he had put devo-max in the manifesto…

  • lover not a fighter

    Reply to Reader

    They may not need devo max in the referendum to get it afterwards but they will need to do much better that that poll to achieve anything. Devolution does seem to have a life of its own in that there seems to be a path towards more devolution (unless the locals are making a complete hash of it).

  • Mister_Joe

    I think Mick hit the nail on the head in his 12.19 post. Now that campaigns are underway, people are simply thinking more deeply about how they might vote.

  • Master McGrath

    People are not yet thinking anything about how they are going to vote- itis till too far away for them – but they are still taliking about it and it remains a matterof discussion in every pub in the land.
    More that can be said about furth of Scotland where the whole thing bye and large remains of the nature of ‘small earthquake in a far away country . no English dead’ level of debate.
    the whole thing has a longtime to run yet and many more sudden findings of interest/disinterest yet to explode on the news.
    Watch Salmond – he is the craftiest politician in the UK and the Islands.
    The whole thing will not be over till the Fat Politician sings.

  • lover not a fighter

    Salmond could be the poacher alright but as for any politician he could also get poached.