We had a couple of questions in our poll that were quite complex and involved, so to give people a wee bit of respite we threw in a little light-hearted one as well.
Q: If this was the referendum ballot paper, how would you vote?
That made some quite odd stuff happen.
As well as asking the respondents in our latest Panelbase poll what they were thinking right now, we also invited them to have a shot at peering into the future – to be more specific, the future of the UK.
It’s fair to say that their predictions weren’t exactly overflowing with optimism.
Alert readers can’t have failed to spot that we’ve been devoting quite a bit of attention on Wings to Labour’s devolution proposals, chiefly because they’re by default the closest thing to the ”more powers” option that’s so conspicuously missing from the referendum ballot paper at the insistence of the Unionist parties.
We’ve established that the party itself doesn’t seem to have the foggiest idea what its own proposals are, and we’re still in the process of trying to get to the bottom of it. But as our latest Panelbase poll was “in the field” fairly hot on the heels of the launch of the “Devo Nano” paper, we thought we’d see what the Scottish people made of it.
Depending on which opinion poll you believe, the number of Scots who haven’t yet made up their minds which way to vote in the independence referendum is anywhere between about 11% and 33%.
That’s a pretty wide range, and when we were pondering our latest Panelbase survey we thought it’d be intriguing to probe the Don’t Know demographic a little more deeply.
If there’s one thing we – as a website rather than as part of the Yes movement – are sick and tired of hearing from Scottish people about the referendum it’s “We need more information”. Having spent two and a half years writing thousands of articles full of fully-sourced and referenced information covering every conceivable aspect of the debate, our response tends to be “You can’t be looking very bloody hard, then.”
But are we right to be so cranky, or are we just crotchety old grumpyfaces?
So anyway. Alert readers will have noticed by now that we’ve had a poll out, and earlier today we finally got the full data tables in.
It’s going to take us a while to fully analyse everything (though we’ve dropped a few tantalising snippets on our Twitter account, which many of you are now stylish enough to follow), but we’re going to start with a theme we return to often in our polls – trust.
By now you may have already seen the headline numbers for our latest Panelbase poll. We hope you don’t mind that we gave the Sunday Times a couple of hours’ lead time in return for some major coverage, but we’ve always said that at this stage the headline numbers are the least interesting findings.
(That’s why our first poll didn’t even bother asking the referendum question.)
We’re actually still waiting on the final full tables for the other 10 questions – we should have them tomorrow – so for now let’s just have a dig around in the top line.
Sorry to keep you hanging on, readers, but we figured it was worth giving the Sunday Times the exclusive in return for getting the story on the front page.
Please note that this is only the headline Yes/No finding, not the whole poll. Tune in here at 1am for our full analysis of the very interesting Yes/No data.
(We don’t have the tables for the rest of the questions yet).
Just when you thought it was safe, we’ve got one last bit of data for you from our second Panelbase poll, which seems to have really grabbed the attention of the Scottish political world (as best observed in the furious, hysterical reaction from “Better Together” activists on Monday evening when Scotland Tonight announced they were going to be referencing it in the show).
We asked people a couple of questions about their voting intentions in various circumstances, but some of the most intriguing and revealing results came when we inquired as to how they planned to vote in the 2016 Scottish general election.
Something that Professor John Curtice said in an extensive and fair review of our second Panelbase poll today gave us some cause for thought.
It’s hardly a secret that the No campaign has spent just about every waking hour of its existence frantically trying to turn the referendum into one on the SNP and Alex Salmond in particular (despite the seemingly counter-productive nature of the tactic).
For all they’re worth, they try to present independence as being a proxy for a single political party, when in fact it’s the exact opposite – an attempt to restore Scotland to a meaningful democracy, rather than the stagnant one-party (Labour) state it’s been at every UK general election for the last 60 years.
And when we read Prof. Curtice’s article, it dawned on us that we now had the tools and the ammunition to blow that particular smear apart once and for all.
The last of our poll data releases yesterday highlighted perhaps the biggest factor in deciding the outcome of the independence referendum – the views of the undecided. Cross-referencing those yet to make up their minds with the other questions in our survey tells us much about the arguments that will win or lose the vote.
So just before we make the full data tables available for any old Tom, Dick and Harry to peruse, here’s an exclusive early sight for the people who paid to make it happen.