stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘analysis’


The People’s Mess 282

Posted on July 18, 2018 by

Oh God. Would you look at the absolute state of this, readers?

Let’s make like everybody’s mental health and break that down.

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Don’t knows and don’t cares 419

Posted on July 16, 2018 by

The Daily Record’s politics lead story today is a slightly underwhelming poll that shows 41% of Scots believe the Tories are carrying out a power grab against the Scottish Parliament, against 34% who think they aren’t (and 25% who have no idea).

Which seems a good time to round up the last results of our own most recent poll, and some slightly disturbing revelations about the Scottish public’s grasp of devolution.

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Folding your aces 270

Posted on July 08, 2018 by

Alert readers may recall that a few weeks ago we revealed how an independent Scotland could reduce its budget deficit by billions of pounds a year – by renting out the Faslane naval base to the rest of the UK to keep their nuclear weapons in.

Voters in England, we learned, were more than happy to pay Scotland £5bn annually – and perhaps even more – for a Trident submarine park during the decades that it would take to build a replacement base south of the border.

Of course, that plan is only any good if the people of Scotland would accept it too.

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The divided kingdom 452

Posted on July 04, 2018 by

So this is an interesting one. The UK government currently finds itself in an appalling mess over the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with Ireland, due to the inconvenient fact of a small part of Ireland being in the UK, and has no idea what to do about it.

The closest thing Westminster has to a plan – and it has to be said that it’s not VERY close to a plan – is the so-called “backstop”, which isn’t a backstop at all and merely kicks everything down the road a couple of years, and which the EU has already said is a non-starter.

The fallback on the backstop, as announced last December, is “regulatory alignment” on the island of Ireland, which would effectively mean Northern Ireland staying in the EU and a border coming into existence in the Irish Sea (or to be more geographically accurate, the North Channel).

This would be, um, bitterly opposed by the DUP, on whom Theresa May’s government notionally depends, but given the absolute trainwreck of Labour’s position on Brexit it’s not at all clear that the DUP’s opposition would be enough to scupper any vote, so it could happen anyway, opening a simply massive can of worms.

That’s about the shortest rendition of the situation we can manage. But of course, in reality it’s much more complicated than that.

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Scotland versus the Tories 164

Posted on July 03, 2018 by

We noticed a recurring theme in our latest Panelbase poll. In recent years Scottish politics has of course been defined mainly by the constitution, with all three major UK parties united in opposition to the SNP more or less reflexively. But if you strip out questions about the constitution, voters have largely reverted to the previous norm of a broadly centre-left consensus against the Conservatives.

For years now Lib Dem voters have shown up in polling as essentially Tories Lite, not because individual people’s opinions had changed but because most of the party’s traditional left-leaning voter base had abandoned it in disgust after the 2010 coalition which saw Lib Dem support plunge from 23% to 8% in a single Parliamentary term.

But now – although Lib Dem support has barely increased – things are changing.

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How you make a lie 191

Posted on July 02, 2018 by

Yesterday we reported on the Sunday Herald’s bizarre and blatant reversal of the plain facts about OBFA prosecutions in its front-page lead. But it wasn’t the only paper pulling that trick this weekend.

The Sunday Times ran a major piece on results from a poll it conducted at the same time as our most recent one, spinning the outcome as voters rejecting the SNP’s plan to boost the Scottish economy via more immigration.

But as so many stories in the press do, the article simply disintegrated before readers’ eyes almost immediately after the headline.

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The worst country in the world 186

Posted on June 30, 2018 by

In our latest Panelbase poll, we asked the same independence question we asked in the last one, and got much the same answer. (Technically the indy vote went up by about a sixth of one percent, but that’s statistically meaningless.)

That’s a bit disappointing after the events of recent weeks, but also not very surprising – after all, the way the question is framed pretty much guarantees at least 38% of the population will choose the second option straight off the bat.

Much more interesting is the question we asked next.

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The half-full electorate 255

Posted on June 28, 2018 by

As alert readers will know, we’ve heard little from the Unionist parties in Scotland over the last couple of years but “SCOTLAND SAID NO!”, “SCOTLAND DOESN’T WANT ANOTHER REFERENDUM!” and “WHAT PART OF NO DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?”

That clutch of blunt, angry slogans was (and remains) pretty much the entire Scottish Conservatives manifesto, for example, and it rests on the claim – based on some extremely misleading selective reading of opinion polls – that the nation is implacably opposed to a second vote. The reality, as we know, is somewhat more balanced. But it’s never been quite THIS balanced before.

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One story, two spins 78

Posted on June 27, 2018 by

Part 1: the story.

This year’s Scottish Social Attitudes Survey has found, yet again, that Scottish people trust their government in Holyrood vastly more than they trust the one in Westminster. The figures transcend party loyalties, with far more people saying they trust the Scottish Government than vote for the SNP.

Trust in both governments was down by five points, which meant the Scottish Government had lost 7.6% of its trust (66 down to 61) while the UK government had lost 20% of its trust (25 down to 20).

Now let’s see how two newspapers owned by the same company reported the news.

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A funny kind of Unionism 274

Posted on June 20, 2018 by

In all the excitement of the torching of the devolution settlement, we forgot to mention a curious piece of data from our recent poll of English voters.

Of all the people south of the border who would gladly throw Scotland and Northern Ireland under the bus (and more to the point, out of the UK) in order to ensure England left the EU, by far the most willing were the voters of the only UK party which expressly identifies itself as standing FOR the Union – the Conservative And Unionist Party.

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The Whimper 153

Posted on June 13, 2018 by

Let there be no mistake about what just happened. Last night, Scottish devolution – an institution 111 years in the promising, just 19 years a reality – died. Iain Macwhirter summed it up concisely and accurately.

And it didn’t even go down fighting.

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The Buckaroo Principle 431

Posted on June 10, 2018 by

It’s probably fair to say that the voters of Scotland have been feeling a little put-upon lately. In the last decade they’ve been sent to polling stations on no fewer than 12 occasions (Holyrood elections in 2011 and 2016, UK elections in 2010, 2015 and 2017, council elections in 2012 and 2017, European elections in 2009 and 2014, and finally referendums on AV, independence and the EU).

And they’ve been subjected to endless weeks, months or even years of campaigning and haranguing each time. One woman – who only had to endure nine of those 12 – had famously had enough of it.

Yet Scots face possibly three more in the next 12 months or so, if various factions get their way, taking the total to 15 major votes in a decade. And if we want to secure the desired outcome in any of them, we’re going to have to ease the load on folk a bit.

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