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Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘analysis’


Honest dirty hands 320

Posted on October 08, 2019 by

Yesterday’s poll results attracted quite a surprising amount of anger from people who apparently don’t consider it at all important to the cause of independence to find out what people intending to vote SNP at the next Holyrood election think.

They’re probably not going to like these ones much either.

A third of SNP voters are unconvinced by the First Minister’s constant assurances that a second indyref will be delivered in the next 18 months. But the related question posed by several readers yesterday was “If you don’t think the SNP has a coherent strategy for securing a new vote, what would YOU do, Mister Smartypants?”

Which is annoying, because it’s a question we’ve answered in various contexts half a dozen times in the past year and a bit. So we thought we’d see if voters had been paying any more attention.

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What you want to believe 350

Posted on October 07, 2019 by

This site has repeatedly – much to the displeasure of some readers – expressed the view in 2019 that the SNP doesn’t know what it’s doing with regard to Brexit. But it turns out we’re not the only people who feel that way.

Last week we commissioned a Panelbase poll of SNP voters only (specifically those currently planning to use their Holyrood constituency vote for the party in 2021), and these were the results.

In other words, nobody has a clue what the goal is, let alone the strategy.

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Movers and shakers 381

Posted on October 04, 2019 by

So we’ve done a new poll, and this one’s a little different than usual. The sample was 1007 Scottish voters who said they would vote SNP with their constituency vote at the next Holyrood election.

Which makes these findings pretty interesting.

The fact that 10% of SNP voters would either vote No in a new indyref or aren’t sure isn’t the surprising part – in fact those numbers are unusually low for that question. Historically around 15-20% of SNP voters have been opposed to independence. While that seems mad, they simply feel that the party are the best option for running the Scottish Government and are willing to gamble that independence won’t happen.

The curious part is the significant proportion of the sample – 15% – that voted No in 2014 but supports the SNP now, but of which only two-thirds has also come over to Yes. At a time when Scottish politics is supposedly completely polarised around the constitution, and when cracks are beginning to show in the party’s domestic record (under, it should be said, very difficult circumstances) and the First Minister’s personal approval ratings struggle to register a net positive, significant numbers of people still appear to be switching to them, yet are unconvinced about independence, yet the party’s voters as a whole are becoming MORE strongly pro-indy rather than less.

And if you think THAT’S confusing, folks, wait till you see the rest of the poll.

The counsel of despair 968

Posted on September 28, 2019 by

He’s got no right to shoot from there.

There’s less than half an hour to go and we’re holding the previous year’s World Cup finalists on their own patch. A point would be a great result, but we’ve got men up. Try to thread it through on the left. Turn, hold it up for a second and knock it out wide to the overlap on the right and get forward for a cross or a cutback. If we just wait, if we take it slow, the situation can only get better for us.

But definitely don’t waste it on a wild, optimistic punt.

Right?

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Lord Pannick on the streets of London 721

Posted on September 24, 2019 by

So the Supreme Court has delivered its brutal verdict. The prorogation of Parliament was completely unlawful and now, in effect, never happened. Parliament is officially still in session. The same Parliament that has stupendously failed to solve Brexit for three years can reconvene and continue to fail to solve it. What now?

Jeremy Corbyn stood up a few minutes ago at the Labour conference and demanded that Boris Johnson stand down immediately and hold a general election, as did several other opposition leaders. Which, alert readers may recall, is what Johnson tried to do, twice, barely a fortnight ago, and was blocked by the opposition.

Presumably if he tries again, they all now have to cooperate and vote for it, even though the dissolution of Parliament would render the Benn bill requiring him to ask the EU for an extension first null and void. So there’ll be a general election held on the subject of “Who rules the country – the people or the courts?”, which is what Johnson wanted all along. Um, victory?

.

PS Fun trivia fact: UK electoral law requires 25 working days between the dissolution of Parliament and the date of a general election. There are exactly 27 working days (inclusive) between now and 31 October.

Flying with Wings 618

Posted on September 18, 2019 by

As the mandate for a second independence referendum currently sits gathering dust in the SNP vaults, discussion has started on ways to generate some movement. One of these has been the possibility of a Wings political party being set up to campaign for Holyrood list seats, which has generated rather a lot of attention.

Various pundits have been loudly vocal about the perceived pros and cons, but I’ve been extremely dissatisfied – in particular with those dismissing the value of a Wings party – with the quality of evidence and analysis that they’ve produced to justify their negative opinion. So I thought I’d use my day-job skills in commercial data science to analyse and understand the benefits, or otherwise, of the idea.

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Why the Lib Dems are idiots 264

Posted on September 16, 2019 by

Yeah, we know, that could be a really long article. But we have a specific thing in mind.

Over the last few days, Jo Swinson and Willie Rennie have both endured toe-curling interviews trying to defend the comically-indefensible hypocrisy of the party’s positions on Brexit and independence.

(If you haven’t been following, official policy now is that a Lib Dem election win is a clear and unimpeachable mandate to carry out their manifesto promises, but an SNP election win isn’t a mandate to carry out theirs.)

But it’s not the mere crass, transparent hypocrisy that makes them stupid.

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Wet Blanket Department 253

Posted on September 11, 2019 by

In normal times we’d at least find today’s landmark defeat of the UK government in a Scottish court amusing. But these are not normal times, and at the present moment our toxic loathing of every politician in Westminster makes it a bitter fruit.

Although we must admit this bit still did manage to raise a smile:

(The reason, incidentally, is that the English High Court wasn’t sitting in August.)

What does it all actually mean, though? Well, nothing good.

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The letter 278

Posted on September 10, 2019 by

We saw this earlier, and thought “Oh God, what now?”

So we had a look.

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Narrow windows 433

Posted on September 08, 2019 by

Supporters of the opposition’s plan to block a no-deal Brexit have been proclaiming vindication this weekend over a couple of polls which show significantly lower support for the Tories, and a lead for Labour, in the event that a general election is called after 31 October with Brexit not having happened.

In that scenario, Tory voters tell pollsters that they’re more likely to defect to the Brexit Party, and the resulting split in the Brexit vote appears to point towards a Labour-led government if you plug the figures into a site like Electoral Calculus.

The reality is much more complicated than that. But what we’re specifically interested in is how it would affect the chances of securing a second indyref, so let’s take a look.

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Chaos and conspicuous lounging 441

Posted on September 04, 2019 by

So, British politics, eh? We’re basically on strike until things make at least an iota of sense, because there’s no point in attempting political analysis right now when events can overtake you before you’ve finished typing a sentence.

But let’s just have a quick recap on what we know.

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The inverse miracle 140

Posted on August 21, 2019 by

We really can’t be bothered with having the GERS “debate” again, in which all the same people make all the same exactly opposite spins on the exact same data. Minor annual fluctuations aside, the core reality is the same as the one we repeat every 12 months, and serious economists on both sides of the political divide still treat the figures with the disdain they properly merit.

One such person is Richard Murphy, and in an excellent piece today he posted a version of this graph which did catch our jaded eye. It purports to show the share of UK debt supposedly accounted for by Scotland – which has, let’s remember, just 8% of the UK’s population – in each of the last 16 years, and which immediately prior to the SNP’s 2011 majority stood at almost exactly that of our population share.

(Which is itself a gross calumny against reality, but let’s stay focused.)

How very remarkable, some readers may feel, that the extent of Scotland’s supposed responsibility for the UK’s debt should have rocketed so very dramatically at the exact point when independence became a live political question.

It does rather make you wonder why the UK government, scraping as it is for every penny of possible savings, seems more and more desperate to hang onto Scotland as the terrible economic burden we become on the rest of the country grows ever heavier.

Truly, our partners in this great equal and bountiful union must be the most generous and forgiving people on Earth. We don’t deserve them.



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