The less-deserving pro-independence website

Wings Over Scotland

Unreliable sources 235

Posted on March 21, 2017 by

It seems counter-intuitive – given Rupert Murdoch’s often-overstated (despite endless and fevered speculation, the Scottish Sun didn’t back a Yes vote) but still seemingly real support for Scottish independence – that Sky News should be seen as the most hostile of the nation’s broadcasters to the Yes movement.

Yet such it is.

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More than numbers 208

Posted on March 09, 2017 by

First Minister’s Questions today (featuring stand-in FM John Swinney in a theatrical mood) was one long howl of “TOO WEE AND TOO POOR!”, with both Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale using all of their questions to hark back to oil revenue forecasts from 2013 and insist that an independent Scotland would face economic apocalypse.


It was a dispiriting spectacle, and we found ourselves experiencing (not for the first time) pangs of sympathy for the remaining tiny rump of Scottish Labour voters, who must surely watch in broken despair at the antics of the hapless pack of squawking diddies representing their views in the Parliament.

But on the day that a new Ipsos MORI poll for STV found support for independence leaping to fractionally over 50%, we wondered how big a deal the economy really was for voters. And fortunately, we already knew the answer.

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A flock of albatrosses 270

Posted on March 06, 2017 by

Last year, as we’ve done a number of times in the past, we wrote about the dangers of handcuffing the independence movement to a particular narrow political agenda. Conflating a Yes vote with a number of hardline ideological positions which are more or less unquestioned within the liberal commentariat and the radical left, but actually highly unpopular with the general public, is self-evidently a huge strategic mistake.

Many of those positions are ones which this site supports in their own right, such as abolition of the monarchy and the abandonment of nuclear weapons, but our stance has always been that those arguments – like membership of the EU and NATO – are ones which ought properly to be conducted among the people and elected politicians of an independent Scotland in their own good time, not imposed without debate as part of the package of independence.


This weekend the notionally pro-independence Sunday Herald newspaper – as well as taking part in a media-wide Unionist smear campaign against this site and defending a “Better Together” activist who’d written a deeply offensive clickbait Guardian article claiming that Scottish nationalism was racist – carried a front cover and inside spread on the heated topic of mandatory gender quotas, which the paper supports.

As it happened we’d asked about the subject in our Panelbase poll last month.

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The views from where you are 108

Posted on February 23, 2017 by

Today seems a good day to bring up the latest snippet of data from our poll.


Less than a third of Scots of all parties and persuasions think BBC Scotland provides “balanced” political coverage. Even among Unionists, twice as many feel it’s biased in their favour as the frankly unhinged group who think it’s pro-independence.

Remarkably, more Tory voters think the Beeb is biased in favour of independence than think it leans towards the Union, which is quite some feat of self-delusion. Among Labour and Lib Dem voters it’s three-to-one the other way, and more than 17-to-1 among SNP supporters.

Meanwhile, 5% of respondents claimed to have “never heard of” the state broadcaster, which just goes to prove what Panelbase regularly tell us about how you can get 5% to 10% of people to vote for ANY answer you put in a poll, up to and including “Would you like us to come round right now and shoot you in the face?”

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In their back yard 77

Posted on February 22, 2017 by

We thought you’d like a wee cross-tabbed update on yesterday’s Trident poll news:


Of all the people who wanted to retain the UK’s nuclear weapons, just over HALF of them (56%) were prepared to have them kept in Scotland. 15% did a total U-turn when confronted with the thought of having them in the same place they’ve been for the last 30-odd years, and nearly a third suddenly weren’t so sure nukes were a great idea when they were reminded they’re kept about half an hour from Glasgow.

It’s an interesting stat to keep in mind when the subject is debated.

The tyranny of majorities 288

Posted on February 21, 2017 by

The reliably-wise Stephen Bush of The New Statesman said something perceptive yesterday on the subject of an EU referendum, although it applies much more widely.


It’s a view we’ve held for many years, most often in relation to UK governments ruling with huge majorities won on pretty tiddly pluralities of the vote (often in the mid-30%s), where the bulk of the electorate has no defence against a party it didn’t vote for.

Despite an electoral system that makes such events far rarer, the phenomenon crops up a lot in Scotland too, and both sides are guilty, often on the same subject. Scottish employment figures, for example, alternate with almost metronomic regularity between being higher/lower than those in the rest of the UK, and whichever it is in any given month one side or the other will trumpet it as conclusive and permanent proof that Scotland’s governance is better/worse than that of London.

(Even though Holyrood in fact has almost no power over the economy, so deserves little of either the blame or credit, whichever applies that month.)

The most common case, though, is Trident.

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In concrete boots 313

Posted on February 18, 2017 by

From today’s Herald:


It seems a good time to bring up another piece of our poll data.

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Doublethink of a number 119

Posted on February 17, 2017 by

The one great pillar of the argument against Scottish independence – greater than not being allowed into the EU, greater than being forced to barter with beads and potatoes because we wouldn’t have a currency, greater than losing Doctor Who or having the Chinese take their pandas back – is the economy.

Scotland is far too wee and too poor to be independent, they say – while indignantly denying that they’re saying it – because we only survive now thanks to a vast bailout every year from the rest of the UK, by which they in fact mean England. (Because it’s sure as heck not coming from Wales or Northern Ireland, which by any measure you care to choose are far poorer than Scotland.)


The name and size of this bailout vary wildly. Sometimes it’s a “deficit”, sometimes it’s a “black hole”, sometimes it’s a “fiscal transfer”, and it can be £8bn, £9bn, £10bn, £15bn, £28bn£32bn or any other figure up to a hundred and eleventy thousand million bajillion squillion depending on who you’re talking to.

(The last one’s probably either David Coburn or Jackie Baillie.)

And while there are a dozen separate and compelling reasons why that argument is complete rubbish, none of them have any traction with diehard Unionists determined to believe that one of the richest and most blessed nations on Earth couldn’t possibly manage its own affairs like, say, Latvia or Ireland or Kuwait or Slovakia can.

But it turns out there IS a – surprisingly simple – way to get Unionists to categorically deny that England subsidises Scotland. You just have to ask them.

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Every revolution starts with a lone voice 256

Posted on February 16, 2017 by

From these small beginnings shall our ultimate victory come.


The votes for “God Save The Queen” being driven by Tories, English-born residents and supporters of a particular football club probably won’t come as the biggest shock in the world to anyone.

(Alert viewers will of course have noticed that due to MI5 INTERFERENCE in the poll, there were actually two votes for Hoots Mon, which have been suspiciously rounded down to one. We are conducting an investigation, by which we mean brutal purge.)

Dumbing it down for Ruth 71

Posted on February 16, 2017 by

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson managed to make a bit of a balloon of herself earlier this month when she contrived to get THREE fairly key facts wrong in a single tweet about a poll on a second independence referendum.


(We’re not sure who the guy in the picture with her is. Probably a colleague.)

We suspected the reason she’d so badly misunderstood the data was that there were two options for “have another indyref in the next two years” and only one for “don’t have another indyref”, so when we were putting our latest poll together we thought we’d try to make it easier for her by having an equal number on both sides.

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A close shave 71

Posted on February 16, 2017 by

There’s a nice piece in today’s Scottish Sun about one of the findings of our newest Panelbase poll, on who was Scotland’s all-time best First Minister.


We thought you’d want a more detailed look at the data behind it.

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Local colours 135

Posted on February 15, 2017 by

Just for fun.


(The combined figure for all football fans, incidentally, is Yes 52% No 48%.)

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