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How Salmond Could Win

John Rentoul

salmond 300x201 How Salmond Could WinI must apologise to my thoughtful and courteous respondent in the Scottish National Party, Kevin Pringle, for the delay in correcting my error in my post last week, which he pointed out.

I said that the last time an opinion poll in Scotland showed support for independence greater than opposition to it was in April 2008. He drew my attention to an excellent, if somewhat selective, compilation of every opinion poll that has ever shown such a thing, and there was indeed another TNS System Three poll for The Herald in August 2011, which found that 39 per cent supported independence and 38 per cent opposed it.

The error was mine: I went back to my source, Anthony Wells’s compilation of polls on Scottish independence, and it is there: I missed it.

Pringle also drew my attention to an opinion poll for The Sunday Times (Scotland) (pay wall) on 20 October, which I had also missed. It found that “a majority of Scots would vote for independence if they believed the Conservatives were going to win the next British election“.

The poll was carried out by Panelbase, which is a member of the British Polling Council, and asked:

Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?

Yes, I agree 37%

No, I do not agree 45%

If you felt the 2015 UK general election was going to result in a Conservative-led government, or another Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition at Westminster, would you be likely or unlikely to vote for Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum?

Likely to vote for Scottish independence 52%

Unlikely 40%

And if you felt the 2015 UK general election was going to result in a Labour-led government at Westminster, would you be likely or unlikely to vote for Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum?

Likely to vote for Scottish independence 44%

Unlikely 48%

Panelbase interviewed 972 Scots between 9 and 19 October 2012.

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  • captaintallywag

    If the Conservatives pointed this out to English voters in the run up to the next election, they’d probably get a landslide!!!! Bye bye Scotland!!

  • Pacificweather

    Who’d have thought it? Well, almost everyone actually.

  • Toocleverbyhalf

    I’d never bet against Alex Salmond, he’s almost as smart as I am.

    For David Cameron this is a win, win. If the Scots vote Yes his party gets an everlasting majority at Westminster, if they vote No he’s the saviour of the United Kingdom.

  • jemblue

    I don’t buy it. That’s just bluster. There is already (for all practical purposes) a Tory government right now and only 37% support independence.

  • greggf

    Perhaps “Nate” Silver should be engaged to get to the bottom of polling opinion here. He, through his PECOTA system, has gained a reputation for reading polls accurately.
    I’m sure his services will be sought soon enough….eh JR?

  • creggancowboy

    Saor Alba. Scotland will regain her freedom and at least there will be one part of Blighty that is not a de facto police state.

  • ajb888

    Just plain common sense really. All Alex need’s to do to push the swinging voters over the line is increase and amplify the threat of the Tory’s winning again. Somehow I don’t think the Tory’s winning again is going to transpire. In all due respect the conservatives are finished, so the UK is still safe.

  • Pingback: That Surge in Favour of Scottish Independence | John Rentoul | Independent Eagle Eye Blogs


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