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Wings Over Scotland

Points of convergence

Posted on February 10, 2014 by

As we always say, we don’t set a lot of store by polls at this stage. We didn’t get all overexcited by the ones showing big jumps towards independence in the last couple of weeks, and nor are we downcast by the newest Panelbase showing a small drop.


But there WAS something interesting and potentially significant about it.

Compiled by alert reader Robert “Yes, that’s his real name” Bruce, the chart above tracks the last 15 months’ polls from five different polling companies, and there’s one obvious trend in the lines – not towards either side, but towards each other.

For two years now, psephologists – well, okay, Scotland’s only psephologist plus a lot of amateurs like us – have had to scratch their heads trying to make sense of polls showing spectacularly diverse results, often within days of each other. (We suspect all that head-scratching might explain Prof. Curtice’s excitingly untamed hairstyle.)

The most glaring discrepancy came around September last year, when a Panelbase poll gave Yes a 1% lead on almost exactly the same day as YouGov put No a whopping 31 points in front. Yet now the two companies are within 5% of each other, and barely 10 points separates all five pollsters.

As the polling companies refine their methodologies over time, it’s hard not to conclude that the convergence of their results is a meaningful development. With everyone now finding the gap between the two sides within about 3 points either side of 14%, it seems reasonable to assume that a 7% swing between now and the referendum will nudge Yes over the winning line.

That’s a modest target of a 1% shift a month, with the No camp’s scare stories falling apart on a near-daily basis and several important events (including the European elections, and Labour and others finally having to stop stalling on their “more powers” offer) on the way which could give Yes a major boost.

We’ll be watching the next Ipsos MORI poll with a little more interest than usual.

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  1. 11 02 14 09:42

    On opinion polls | The Science of Independence

127 to “Points of convergence”

  1. Si A says:

    It looks like a shark. Cool.

  2. Seasick Dave says:

    Steady as we go.

  3. J. R. Tomlin says:

    Frankly, I am anxious to see a poll with fieldwork done after the Cameron speech.

  4. Morag says:

    Stu, have you seen what James over at Scot Goes Pop just said about Panelbase using a preamble for the referendum question which he thinks is leading to a No, and that they used it with our poll as well as with the Sunday Times ones?

    He thinks that the SNP one with Yes ahead might be the only Panelbase poll not to have used that preamble. Did you know about this? Comments?

  5. TheGreatBaldo says:

    As astonishing as it is the only high profile Unionist who has consistently pointed out things will narrow and be very tight, even when there were 30 point NO leads was Lord Forsyth !!!!

    I still like Alex Massie’s analogy of there being 2 Scotlands.

    ‘Murrayfield’ Scotland is already engaged and will make it’s decision based on it’s interpretation of the evidence available (generally trend to NO)

    ‘Hampden’ Scotland will probably only become engaged in the final few weeks/days of the campaign and will make it’s decision based on whether it feels ‘British or Scottish’.

    Thing is Hampden Scotland vastly out numbers Murrayfield Scotland…we need to encourage as many as possible to visit here before Sept 18th.

    PS Rev

    Seen this on The Guardian ?

    Disagree with how the vote should go but he pretty much nails it !

  6. MajorBloodnok says:

    That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Prof. Curtice (or any part of him) described as “excitingly untamed”.

  7. TheGreatBaldo says:


    Oh and on the Euro Elections…..

    That will be that ‘othering’ thing Aaronvitch is always banging on about

  8. squarego says:

    Interesting stuff here explaining the Panelbase ‘correction’. That taken into account means it isn’t actually a dip – Panelbase would have been followed a similar path to TNS.

  9. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Watch out MajorB – I think he heard you…

  10. Ian Brotherhood says:

    …and here’s the man back in the day, when his crowning glory was something to behold and he was regularly auditioning for cigar adverts. (Don’t look at his eyes!)

  11. Morag says:

    If I’m reading what Scot Goes Pop is saying correctly, it may be that the SNP poll, the fin of the shark that seems to be the outlier, may be the only one not to have included a biassed preamble. They confirmed to James that they used that preamble for the Wings poll as well.

    Waiting for Stu’s take on this.

  12. mogabee says:

    I try not to look at polls, they just get folk awfy excited or deflated.

    As for Professor Curtice. What would Scottish tv do without him?

  13. Morag says:

    If what James says is true, that the SNP poll is the only one without the biassed preamble, it could have enormous implications. If could be that far from being an outlier, the SNP one is the accurate one.

  14. Calum Findlay says:

    I was the one that spotted the stealth preamble on the Panelbase polls. James Kelly got an email from them which seems to confirm they used the biased preamble on the Wings poll as well….. Pretty disappointing of them.

  15. scottish_skier says:

    My own plot / interpretation.

    Hope the link works.

  16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    The preamble doesn’t appear in the tables I got from Panelbase. On the other hand, the referendum question was asked by them, not by me, so I can’t say for sure. I’ll ask Ivor.

    I don’t think it’s massively significant anyway. It doesn’t seem terribly biased or leading to me.

  17. Morag says:

    Mmmm, not sure it’s not leading. And if it wasn’t used in the one poll that is the fin of the shark, maybe there’s a message there.

  18. Croompenstein says:

    Robert Bruce LOL, chairchoob willnae like that it might make folk think aboot killing thoosans of English people..

  19. Morag says:

    O/T Just watched Jimmy Reid’s iconic 1971 speech, on BBC4. Never saw it before, only read it. My God that man had charisma. And not a note in his hand. If he’d still been with us, the referendum would be a shoo-in. Sorry, but Tommy Sheridan isn’t fit to tie his shoe-laces.

  20. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Ian Brotherhood at 8:48 pm

    When you begin to look like your passport photograph, it is time to go home.

  21. Ian Brotherhood says:

    That photo-booth snap of Curtice reminds me of this:

    ‘Trust in me…’

  22. Clootie says:

    You can only manipulate the polls for so long and you cannot mask a long term trend.

    At the <5% swing point requirement you will see a piece of rotational cooling equipment engulfed by excrement.

    At that point it will be time for some serious party planning for September.

    3rd addition of YES paper out April – Smile and ignore the pain (More recognition to those those who do the bloody folding)

  23. Clootie says:

    bloody auto correct – edition
    must proof read before submit

  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Ivor’s just confirmed that the preamble WAS used in our poll. I still don’t see anything sinister in the wording at all.

  25. Ian Brotherhood says:

    O/T – A couple of folk have e-mailed me asking about the April 4th meeting in Glasgow. Yep, it’s still ‘on’ but I haven’t booked it – have been confined to barracks for a few weeks, and don’t want to do it over the phone.

    Will make an effort to get up there this week and have a swatch, see what’s what. Have a feeling that there is no disabled access for that lounge in McGinn’s. If so, we either carry people up if need be (with their consent, preferably) or find elsewhere.

    Would access be a problem for anyone? Please let me know. or drop a note in Quarantine.

  26. Luigi says:

    On the 18th September, a large number of people, off the radar, who have never voted, or hardly ever vote, will be popping down to the voting station. Was this group represented in any way by any of the polls mentioned?

    If so, how? If not, then all the poll results to date may be way off the mark.

  27. JLT says:

    It is happening, Rev. There’s been a definite shift in attitude in the last 4 or 5 months, and I’m finding people who kept quiet and didn’t want to know, coming out and asking quietly, ‘What do you know, Jamesie? What does this mean? What does that mean?’
    I’m finding more people are coming out and either saying ‘Yes’ …or hinting at it.

    Sure, the ‘No’s’ are still out there, but nowhere near as dominant.

    And one thing I have noticed. The ‘No’s’ have doubts in their minds. When pushed for answers, they struggle. When I’m pushed, I give them answers which are quickly dismissed as ‘fantasy’.
    There is no discussion on my answers. It’s a straight dismissal. They laugh quickly, and then their head is straight back into the computer. To me, that’s a sign of denial.

    You can tell now. They are easily rattled. They are not liking this debate now. What was once a mocking joke, has now become a frightening reality to them. The ‘easy’ victory that was apparently going to happen is no longer there.

    For Better Together, defeat is an apparition that looms large and takes greater form with each passing day.

    And what terrifies them most …they don’t know how to stop it. The Fear that they promoted with great verve at the start of it all is now slowly turning on them.

    At the end of the day, Rev, a helluva lot of this is down to you. You have passed me, as well as every other person who comes here, with so much brilliant and truthful information, that when people do finally begin to take it in, they are turning and envisioning a better future. ‘No’ is no longer a serious option.
    For the last year a half, I told people, this; that; and everything. I was laughed at and mocked and my information dismissed.
    But then, very slowly, people saw it now and again in the media, reported on TV, discussed in Parliament, and saw, that things that they had once dismissed, were now turning out to be true, and things that Better Together had told them, had turned out to be lies.

    We are going to win …and Rev, a lot of that is down to you.

    So, cheers Rev.

  28. Thepnr says:


    My thoughts exactly, there are a great many ordinary working class people out there (YES voters) who whether they own a computer or not would never register on a polling website.

    The polls are skewed towards the middle classes is my opinion. Hence the 2011 result.

  29. MajorBloodnok says:


    From your plot I see what you mean about the trend being the thing.

  30. Murray McCallum says:

    The Panelbase preamble:

    “As you may know, the Scottish government intends to hold a referendum this year on Scotland becoming a country independent from the rest of the United Kingdom.”

    Would be better simply

    “As you may know, the Scottish government intends to hold a referendum this year on Scotland becoming an independent country.”

    There is surely no need to mention “United Kingdom”?

  31. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Agree Luigi

    Hence the YES side enthusiasm for Bite the Ballot to find that missing million and to get them to vote.

    As you say they won’t show up at all in any opinion polling before Sept 18th.

    To be honest I’m fine with all the poll showing a NO lead right up until the last weekend as long as YES is within 5 points.

    Meanwhile, in the Telegraph Benedict Brogan urges Cameron to unleash his 2 best weapons on Scotland….

    Gordon Brown and…….John Major !!! 🙂 🙂

  32. A2 says:

    “I still like Alex Massie’s analogy of there being 2 Scotlands.”

    The implication being that your Rugby types are thinking intellectuals (although the Idea they will come to a No based on the evidence seems to contradict that) whereas your football fans are a bit thick and think with their errr hearts. hmmm

    what about those of us that can’t be bothered with competitive sport? are we the don’t knows?

  33. @Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    10 February, 2014 at 9:36 pm
    Ivor’s just confirmed that the preamble WAS used in our poll. I still don’t see anything sinister in the wording at all.

    Well why waste time and money in doing it if it has no effect?

  34. Keef says:

    Hey Morag,

    dya know anywhere I can get a copy of Jimmy’s speech from BBC4 or anywhere else for that matter? I have the transcript but would love a visual copy to save for prosperity.

    I recall the New York Times compared it to Lincoln’s Gettysburg address at the time. Which was pretty impressive considering the diametrically, opposed political viewpoints they both had.

  35. kininvie says:

    Just back from a Yes roadshow in Addiewell in which we were basically offering folk the chance to sit around and ask questions or discuss indy stuff in general. We were a bit concerned that people in a small ex-mining village would be looking to a Q&A session and might not want to engage – but far from it. One and a half hours later people were still going strong and reluctant to leave. Not out of any general love for Yes – but just wanting to express their thoughts, worries, hopes.

    People’s renewed engagement with Scotland’s future is not going back in its box.

  36. Mary Bruce says:

    Thepnr/Luigi – I’m on the computer all day long and I’d never heard of these polling websites until this morning.

    Do they really only interview people who voluntarily enroll to these sites? If so then there is no way they can ever be representative. Surely it would only be people who are politically savvy who would sign up to them?

  37. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @A2 –

    ‘…what about those of us that can’t be bothered with competitive sport? are we the don’t knows?’

    Good point. And what about the masses who can’t afford to attend either?

  38. Morag says:

    I’m surprised Stu is so sanguine about that preamble being used. I’m not. The whole point of us crowdfunding this was to get a straight answer without biassed preambles and things like that. It might not be quite as bad as the YouGov one, but it still has the “from the United Kingdom” part in it.

    I think we’ve been cheated by Panelbase. Stu took so much trouble with these questions and got Jim Mitchell to look at them and everything. All to see what was really going on without smart-aleck leading questions. And they put one in anyway without telling anyone.

    I hope Stu thinks about this a bit more and then gets mad. I feel cheated and betrayed.

  39. clochoderic says:

    Sorry for the early OT.

    I could swear i just saw Eric Pickles on the BBC news just stand up at the despatch box and say:

    ” In my admiration for the work of the Environment Agency I exceed no-one.”

    The newsreader seems to think this is high praise and a change of heart – am I missing something here?

  40. Alastair wright says:


    I like that concept, It sounds like Scots in general would enthusiastically engage and be more open to understanding the ins and outs of the debate.

  41. ayemachrihanish says:

    Well said Morag, more’s the pity.

    I watch the first 10mins of TS in Kirkcaldy – business like – but he seems to have lost his mojo

  42. ronnie anderson says:

    @Ianbrotherhood, whit wrang could you no find the Moon Shadow song,so you hit us wie Cunice wie a 7 o clock shadow, whit his address, ah think ave goat a auld open razor,I,ll even strop it fur a sharper cut.

  43. scottish_skier says:

    A preamble is approriate if you want to judge how people will vote in the future rather than tomorrow. It sets the scene. The panelbase one is not ideal as it is somewhat misleading.

    The ICM one is decent IMO.

    As you may know, a referendum on independence will be held in Scotland on 18 September 2014. Voters will be asked,
    “Should Scotland be an independent country”. Do you think you will vote “Yes” or “No”?

    It states nothing more than needed, therefore can’t be argued with really.

  44. Croompenstein says:

    @the great baldo – WTF has that guy Benedict Brogan been drinking? Please send Major and Broon they should be worth a ton of yes votes.

  45. scottish_skier says:

    Anyway, the latest poll will not tell us what will happen. For that, you need to look back at least to the beginning of devolution and even beyond. It’s not an election, but the culmination of a something 70 odd years in the making.

  46. A2 says:

    Crikey that Benidict Brogan is somewhat out of touch, perhaps we could get him a job at BT?

  47. Cankert Callan says:

    The ‘cool gay shark’ should’ve been the icon for Sochi! #fuckputin

  48. kininvie says:

    I wouldn’t write off the Murrayfield lot so easily myself. Business for Scotland now has over 1300 members…

    Administrators & civil servants will be weighing up the expansion of jobs as we take our powers into our own hands…

    Financial people may be wondering whether helping to invest the oil fund might not be quite lucrative..

    The oil industry may be considering the implications of Scotland doing its own licensing rounds and considering what the opportunities may be..

    Construction firms may be looking at what increased investment in infrastructure could mean for them..

    All that’s assuming that people are taking an entirely self-interested view. But I wouldn’t write off the ‘heart’ element among the middle classes either. If you go back to 1707 you find the convention of Royal Burghs (maybe the closest equivalent to the middle classes that we have) arguing only for a federal union and the independence of the Scottish parliament. I don’t think it’s correct to think the Murrayfield is a guaranteed No.

  49. jingly jangly says:

    O/T BBC HIGNFY repeat of lovebombing, Saying that Osbourne would not let them (us) use the pound as they (us) will drag our economy down and main exports, oil, whisky, haggis and tramps…

  50. Morag says:

    The ICM one is decent IMO.

    And look where ICM is on that chart.

  51. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @kininvie –

    You’re clearly a bit of a History buff, and there are others here who know their stuff. (Hey, that rhymes!)

    I’ve been reading the Tom Devine and Michael Lynch histories for the course I’m doing, and right now we’re covering the 1707 Union. I find it all very tangled and difficult to ‘picture’, but one aspect of it really bugs/fascinates me and I keep going back to it…

    The ‘Squadrone Volante’?

    What was that all about? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, as I find it hard to believe that such a tiny group of men ended up (inadvertently or otherwise – Clegg, Cable, Alexander spring to mind) having such power.

  52. scottish_skier says:

    And look where ICM is on that chart.

    TNS is even closer if folk stopped telling porkies.

    “There will be a referendum on Scottish Independence on the 18th of September 2014.
    How do you intend to vote in response to the question:
    Should Scotland be an independent country?”

    Prof C tried to argue that the really oddly high DK in TNS (which is the reason for a strangely low Yes but he didn’t say that) was down to them asking for September, rather than ‘tomorrow’. Odd then that ICM get something different when they are asking almost what is an an identical question. Na, no really. TNS chap your door, sit you down and watch you as you answer… Makes folk a little reticent shall we say.

    ICM gave you privacy in contrast (online).

  53. scottish_skier says:

    The only way to get a truly accurate answer in terms of what people are thinking is to make a poll completely anonymous and participants sure that their responses are exactly that.

    Like when it comes to voting day.

  54. Keef says:

    Hey Morag,

    did you miss my last request at 10.03Pm or are you just giving me the cold shoulder?

  55. Macandroid says:

    Usually at least one scruffy tramp on HIGNFY

  56. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @scottish_skier –

    I was about twelve, my sisters were ten and eight, and we were summoned to the ‘good room’ to speak to a lady who was doing some kind of survey.

    It was horrendous. She was only asking us about musical recording equipment and primitive video games e.g. tape-recorders and that great tennis game with the wee bats. She showed us a tired Xerox of a 7-inch single: ‘Have you ever seen one of these?’ etc…

    But it was all quite traumatic. It felt precisely the same as when the priest paid an impromptu visit and we were all required to assume positions of brainless inactivity, as if piously pondering the doings of this or that saint.

    The old dear hung about while we were being ‘surveyed’, thus compounding the impression that we were undergoing some test no-one had warned us about.

    The only other time I was ‘surveyed’ was on Sauchiehall Street, when a charming woman invited me into the McLellan Galleries, and spent half an hour asking me in tortuous detail what I thought of Japp’s new design for their liver-salts container. (You’re quite sure you prefer the old tin version with the potentially lethal sharp edging?) She gave me a Mars Bar when it was all over, and visibly resisted the urge to pat me on the head.

    Face to face surveys? Pah!

  57. Flower of Scotland says:

    What a nasty interviewer Gary Robertson is on news night and GMS ! Clipped questions and interruptions is his only way ! Hamza Yousef doing a good job on immigration on Newsnight , but Malcolm Bruce has obviously been dragged out of retirement and just talks over everyone for BT .

  58. TheGreatBaldo says:


    I can see where yer coming from and it can be interpreted that way

    But I think it’s an excellent of how any election works really.

    You have those who are engaged every day into politics of an election cycle and you have those who only pay attention in the final week(s).

    It’s essential the old High/Low Info voter thing in highland dress in our case.

    And the Murrayfield/Hampden thing works because whilst you go to support Scotland at both the atmosphere and vibe are very different….one polite and sporting, the other tribal, partisan and in yer face.

  59. Murray McCallum says:

    Flower of Scotland
    I only caught the end of Newsnicht, but I thought Robertson was fair to both the politicians.

    I do find the presenters talking over the interviewees very annoying, especially when they seemed to be trying to keep on point and answer the question.

    Hamza Yousef came across very well and got some good hits on Malcolm Bruce who seemed to be defending the shambles that goes by the name of Westminster immigration “policy”.

  60. Marcia says:


    I wasn’t watching tv so don’t know what programme it was, I saw this on Youtube

  61. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    As most polls are using people who have indicated an electoral preference over the last few elections it means they are not picking up people who haven’t voted in recent years. I suspect all polls are far from a typical cross section

  62. Morag says:

    Hey Morag,

    did you miss my last request at 10.03Pm or are you just giving me the cold shoulder?

    I only know what I already told you. I was watching BBC4 and the programme showed at least a part of the speech. Marcia has posted something.

  63. kininvie says:


    The whole of the 1707 business is fascinating, especially when you consider the weird parallels (the anti-union pamphleteers = today’s cybernats & attempts to ban them = Daily Mail)

    As far as I understand it (which is only on a very amateur level) at the start of the debate there was a majority for No to the Union, and the ‘flying squadron’ was reckoned to be part of that – although a soft No. The Duke of Hamilton was reckoned to be the most important influence, with many of the squadrone prepared to follow his lead – which was No to Union to begin with.

    Then all kinds of strange things started happening as the debate wore on. Various people failed to turn up for votes: the Duke of Hamilton got ‘toothache’ at a judicious moment etc. Sounds just like today’s Labour party if you ask me.

    Now, which individual members were corrupted, or came to put their self-interest first after little chats with the Court Party, or simply grew disheartened, it is hard to say after this passage of time. But it’s worth remembering that 67 members voted against the union (as against 110 pro) and they should be remembered for holding to their principles against all temptation.

  64. Jamie Arriere says:

    Disagree with the idea that Scotland football supporters are “tribal, partisan and in yer face”. My only period of duty in the Tartan Army (at the World Cup in Italy 1990) was largely like an extension of the diplomatic service,with much fraternisation with people of other nations.

    Plus football supporters of the national team are much further travelled than rugby fans (half of whose games are against our neighbours)

  65. HandandShrimp says:

    Nice graphic, the point when No jumped the shark?


  66. Gaavster says:

    Ian B

    Not sure if you’re a Facebook user or not, but there is a brilliant group on there called Scottish History and Culture which is run by historians and may give you some different aspects for your course

    I’ve asked the administration to add you to the group so you’re welcome to have a wee swatch and see if it’s something for you or not

  67. Murray McCallum says:

    You have to laugh at the knots unionists get themselves in in their campaign of preventing Scotland being a country running its own affairs.

    You can just about take any subject, e.g. interest rates, exchange rates, immigration, global trade agreements, EU treaties, …

    The unionist belt-and-braces “just say no to everything” has them arguing that Scotland could never manage to defend its borders, let alone have an immigration policy.

    Oh and if Scotland did have an immigration policy (which it couldn’t) it would never be truly independent because it would have to concede some ground to the other parties to the Common Travel Area.

    So it doesn’t matter if Scotland is part of the UK or not – it will never control immigration! Just how uniquely unlucky are we, eh?

    Robin McAlpine addresses the crazy unionist view of Scotland the hopeless dependent in “The difference between having and using”

  68. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Serious question –

    Has anyone ever seen Professor Curtice’s Swingometer?

    Doesn’t he have one?

    If not, surely – surely! – one will have to be in place for Sept 18th?

    Will Scotland’s only psephologist be consulted regarding which style of device he would prefer? Will we see him out of his seat, gesticulating a la Snow/Vine?

    Will they provide him with a wind-machine for dramatic effect?

    In all fairness to the man, he may need some training. It’s like those weather-announcers. Tough job. A lot harder than it looks I (don’t be fooled by the devil-may-care attitude of the likes of your Shafernakers). When they point right they’re actually indicating left, and when they say South they really mean North…or something like that. (It’s like trying to trim your own eyebrows whilst looking in a mirror.)

    Get real BBC! – give Curtice a fighting chance! Send him on a course toot-sweet!

  69. Papadocx says:

    Newsnight Scotland

    Hamza Yousef: proud of you Hamza very good performance.

    Malcolm Bruce: Bitter old establishment mouthpiece.

    Garry Robertson: beware loud and aggressive persons. Loudmouth.


  70. TheGreatBaldo says:


    What I meant was there is a different atmosphere.

    At Murrayfield on Saturday God Save the Queen was sang with gusto….

    Compare that with the last time England played at Hampden.

    That’s what I meant by tribal and partisan.

    Nae suggesting fitba fans are animals (and I agree wi ye on the Tartan Army), just there ddifferent ways of approaching the same thing.

  71. Caroline Corfield says:

    @keef the Jimmy Reid speech is probably in this programme;

  72. willie morrison says:

    Here is the Jimmy Reid link, the work in section starts just after 42mins.

    Great documentary with insightful comment from Jimmy all the way through.

  73. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @kininvie & Gaavster –

    Thanks both, very much.

    I’ve never been a student of history, at all, at all, but chose, for this semester, to take a ‘module’ dealing with 1603 onwards. I’ve ended up spending more time on it than the Lit mods, and can’t quite believe I’m learning about all ‘that’ stuff just as ‘this’ is all unfolding right now.

    Ain’t kismet a beautiful thang?

  74. Murray McCallum says:

    I remember watching TV with both hands in front of my face when Jeremy Vine was dressed as a cowboy and talking in a strange accent (a Texan Australian or something) – and all towards better explaining what was happening in an election.

    It was as if the BBC bosses had said, look Jeremy, you’ve got an unlimited budget and we want you to do something different.

    I think he should have built a real, full-sized Ark and loaded animals on and off.

  75. Morag says:

    I’ve never been a student of history, at all, at all, but chose, for this semester, to take a ‘module’ dealing with 1603 onwards. I’ve ended up spending more time on it than the Lit mods, and can’t quite believe I’m learning about all ‘that’ stuff just as ‘this’ is all unfolding right now.

    Fires you up for a Yes vote far more than the Wars of Independence, doesn’t it?

    I believe that period is the section of our history which is being deliberately suppressed, especially in schools. You can tell the kids about Bruce and Wallace (no not the LibDem ones!) and the Declaration of Arbroath, because we won that time. It doesn’t illuminate how we got to where we are. 1603-1707 is the horror story.

  76. caz-m says:


    I think a few of the Murrayfield elite have already made up their minds. I Remember Gavin Hastings backing the Union a few moths ago.

    And tonight on the STV Six O’clock News, the sports presenter had an interview with ex-rugby player Andy Nicol.

    He was asking Nicol his opinion on the state of the Scottish game and would he consider taking over as manager.

    For all the time the interview running, I couldn’t take my eyes off of his lovely Union Jack pillow sitting beside him on his sofa.

    So I guess a potential future manager of the Scottish Rugby Team has already shown where his priorities lie.

    Link starts 21.30 in. (couple of ads before it starts).

  77. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Might be a good time to remind ourselves of this:

    NB: Lamont at 2.22

    Ponsonby at 3.50

    Salmond at 5.20

  78. Morag says:

    Yes we had that Sheridan link two or three times in the last thread. I can’t watch it. The pursed lips and aggressive manner are a complete turn-off for me.

    He’s not fit to tie Jimmy Reid’s shoelaces.

  79. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Morag –

    ‘Fires you up for a Yes vote far more than the Wars of Independence, doesn’t it?’

    ‘Kin right it does!

  80. Calum Craig says:


    I understand your reservations but to see someone speak for our cause with such passion is to behold.

    (I wasn’t living in Scotland during the court case and have no Socialist links so am coming at this with a pretty fresh slate and just love the speech for itself.)

  81. Yesitis says:

    This has been a very illuminating thread. Thanks everybody. Fair cheered me up 🙂

  82. Truth says:

    Could the convergence be anything to do with the question now being known and adopted by the polling companies?

  83. The Man in the Jar says:

    Looking at Scottish skiers chart I am impressed by the fact that he can read and write in Vulcan. Is there no end to this mans talent.

  84. Calum Findlay says:

    TNS and YouGov seem to be the ones that have recently come into line with the others, and I’d say the main cause was that they started weighting by 2011 past vote.

  85. Thepnr says:

    A wee “debate” between Me and mspenelope BTL on the Telegraph.

    Hold my hands up and maybe? should have ignored it but it’s hard to ignore such an ignorant sod. The hate just spews out, makes me sick.

    If your interested, you have to go about halfway down. Starts with Mac78.

  86. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Thepnr,I read it the 1st time it was posted,another anglo Scot spreading shite, their no worth the bother of a comment.

  87. Alba4Eva says:

    Breaking News:

    Regarding Pamela Gilles of Glasgow Caledonian University…

    If you have not heard of ‘Common Purpose’ Youtube it!

  88. Alba4Eva says:

    Every time you see some Establishment Lackey like Gilles, they are almost certainly ‘Common Purpose’… this is a huge threat to Democracy, as these people are not elected.

  89. Alba4Eva says:

    ‘Gillies’ (correction)

  90. Alba4Eva says:

    Finally, if you do not recognise the threat of ‘Common Purpose’ to Democracy, they are ‘Collectivists’… it is explained exceptionally well here…

  91. john king says:

    “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Prof. Curtice (or any part of him) described as “excitingly untamed”.

    Its been a long time since I could have been described as “excitingly untamed” 🙁

  92. ian foulds says:

    Murray McCallum says “As you may know, the Scottish government intends to hold a referendum this year on Scotland becoming an independent country.”

    Question – if they must use UK – are we not intending to be POLITICALLY (with full powers)independent from the rest of the UK (as we, as Scots, will still have a Sovereign)?

    O/T regarding our aspirations, as true Scots, we all must follow our heritage and (re-)learn to be respectful and truthful in all our dealing with all people, in order that we can hold our heads high and earn respect in the World

  93. ian foulds says:

    clochoderic says:

    10 February, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    ” In my admiration for the work of the Environment Agency I exceed no-one.”

    I think he was referring to the staff ‘on the ground’ rather than the management/bosses

  94. alexicon says:

    From the Herald.

    “THE SNP will turn on the Gallic charm as it continues its bid to quell international hostility to independence.”

    Does anyone know of ANY international hostility towards Scotland’s Independence?

    A subtle sub headline the bbc would be proud of.

    There’s no name to the article, but you can bet your bottom dollar who the author is.

  95. Seasick Dave says:

    OT but interesting…

    The output of the Cruachan hydro electric power station in Argyll could be more than doubled under plans revealed by Scottish Power.

    Speaking during a visit to La Muela, the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: “The Scottish government recognises the potential for future development at Cruachan and other similar proposals for hydro-electric storage, to contribute to a balanced mix of energy generation across Scotland in the years ahead.”

    Proposals for an expansion of pump storage facilities have already been included in the draft National Planning Framework.

    But the first minister pledged any application from Scottish Power to upgrade Cruachan would be “considered on its own merits”.

    During a news conference at La Muela, the chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galan, rejected suggestions that Scottish independence would threaten any plans to invest in Cruachan.

    And he declined to comment on the referendum campaign.

    Mr Galan said: “I will not interfere in respect of the decision the British will take on that one.

    “We will serve British citizens, Scottish citizens, and Welsh citizens because that is our duty.

    “We have to provide electricity in an economical and environmental manner. That is our goal.”

  96. kalmar says:


    We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

  97. Johnny come lately says:

    Blair Jenkins was reported in an interview as saying “canvassers are getting extraordinary results on the doorsteps”. This has been backed up by the comments online of many yes people.
    The poles are wrong, skewed, twisted, corrupted , bent, lacking and any other word you chose to mention.
    It will be a landslide for yes on the 18th:)

  98. sneddon says:

    Thepnr- Blimey mspen is some piece of work? Probably spends all day being nice to people she despises and the BTL comments is therapy to expose the bile fuelled core at the heart of their being without consequence…just saying likes 🙂

  99. Juteman says:

    Ot. Radio ‘Scotland’ seems to have become Radio South England, going by there news every hour about the southern flooding.
    Do you think folk in south England ever have snow in Scotland as their lead story?
    Not so subtle use of ‘we are all in this together’.

  100. Another Union Dividend says:

    Very good article in to-day’s Herald by Harry Reid “SNP are a Party of unity and maturity.”

    Alex Salmond and Co joined when SNP had only one MP and membership for some, if known, was a certainly was a barrier to promotion and not lets become an MP and get on the gravy train.

    Whereas joining Labour for many was career advancement in certain professions in certain parts of Scotlasnd and for some “toffs” is it was the done thing to join the Tories.

    Above all the SNP is still true to its principal ideas.

  101. desimond says:

    The Massie Hampden and Murrayfield comparison is a bit rich, to pardon the pun. Paints a horrid “Them and Us” picture, which I thought was exactly the thing Scotland didnt go in for.

    Theres a charming piece in todays Metro with New Zealand born ex Scotland player Cammy Mather lambasting SRU for spending money on “‘pyrotechincs and haggis’ Stunts befitting an SNP conference” before Rugby games to get the travel-rug bearing crowd gee-ed up.

    He cites the rugby crowd as ‘an educated buynch” and says the stunts( fireworks, kilted warriors, Red Hot Chilli Pipers) was “okay for The Tartan Army”

    Now thats one read I was seriously cringing at.

  102. Flower of Scotland says:

    The difference between the SNP , especially the last 40 yrs , and the other Scottish parties is that the SNP have truly been working for the people of Scotland . Whereas the other parties have been working for THEMSELVES !!

  103. kalmar says:

    The Massie Hampden and Murrayfield comparison

    I do wish people would stop using football metaphors. I’ve not the slightest idea what the above means and it’s somewhat offputting.

  104. Vronsky says:

    From the department of You Couldn’t Make It Up:

    The BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, has made an outspoken attack on the corporation’s global broadcasting rivals – accusing them of compromising editorial standards. Writing in The Independent, Lord Hall claimed some international networks were willing to “tilt their editorial compass” in order to court favour with the host countries in which they broadcast.

    Not, of course, anything the BBC would dream of doing.

  105. Papadocx says:

    @Another Union Dividend says

    Well said, nobody joined the SNP to become a career politician, or to win influence, power and treasure. Ermine was not on the agenda.

    The Tory party is embedded in the establishment, and labour in Scotland went from the party of the people and home rule to what we have today. It is in the Establishment maze and doesn’t know which way to go.

  106. Caroline Corfield says:

    clochoderic says:

    10 February, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    ” In my admiration for the work of the Environment Agency I exceed no-one.”

    I think he was referring to the staff ‘on the ground’ rather than the management/bosses

    Hmmm, if you exceed no-one then everybody exceeds you, therefore your admiration is well behind everyone else’s admiration

  107. jingly jangly says:

    Jamie Arriere
    Totally agree with you re Tartan Army, my brief two week period of service also coincided with Italia 90.
    Remember the hype, Italian authorities greatly concerned about violence from British Fans and they banned alcohol from the vicinity of the statdiums, at the Cota Rica match there were as nearly many Italian Police as Fans, at half time according to a local paper which a local translated for me the Chief of Police said, open the bar’s the more the Scots fan’s drink the better the atmosphere becomes.
    Who can forget the march through Genoa from the Stadium to the buses parked at the other side of town, it was like a liberation march, Scots and Swedes and Italisn’s in their thousands with pipes at the front. All the locals in their balcony’s flying Saltires, the crescendo of the local’s cars horns, it was amazing. One Italian came up to one of my friends and said, can you explain, I know this Jimmy Hill , but what is a poof!!!

    Probably the best night of my life. Amazing.

  108. kalmar says:

    Did he say “exceed” or “accede to”?

    O/T fairly good article in the Guardian:

  109. Training Day says:


    Aye, the two lead stories on Radio ‘Scotland’ this morning concerned Somerset and Lancashire.

    Ed Milliband’s One Nation.

  110. Garry Henderson says:

    I enjoy the football and the rugby, what does that make me. I would say there will be many YES amongst both crowds who frequent football and rugby as long as there is more than the NO’s we will win!

  111. G H Graham says:

    I’m convinced that there are many people who secretly intend to vote YES but publically declare that they don’t know or that they are a NO vote.

    Such is the chronic effect of unionist propaganda, there are many small business owners for example who may feel they would be economically punished by pro union stakeholders, clients & customers if their true intentions were made known.

    And there are many yet who feel socially uncomfortable to declare their intention to vote YES due to unionist peer pressure & the expectation to conform to standard pro union narratives.

    The media has done an effective job of making it difficult for many undecided voters to articulate a convincing argument against the firmly established, status quo.

    It is to the few sites like this that they must come. We can give them the confidence to reach a considered, measured conclusion that they will be doing the right thing for themselves, their family, their children & their country by voting YES in September.

  112. CameronB says:

    OT, Re. bumping into Wings posters on other forum. Is there a code of conduct? I tend to let them get on with things themselves, as I don’t know the history of the discussion they are having. I do tend to vote for them though, but only if I agree with them, of course. 🙂

  113. john king says:

    “I watch the first 10mins of TS in Kirkcaldy – business like – but he seems to have lost his mojo”

    Where did you see it? I was at it and Id like to have a look

  114. chalks says:


    I believe the poll’s are weighted to include those who don’t vote.

    Most of them ask whether you voted in the last election or not.

    It’s also why a lot of them expect the turnout to be around the high 80%

  115. alexicon says:

    Looks like Simon Heffer is Nat baiting over on the mail.

    This must rank as one of most dirty slanderous attacks ever.

    Any undecided viewers out there? If this doesn’t make you vote YES then there’s no hope for you.

  116. The Penman says:

    Alexicon: check the date. It’s old news, old jibes, old hat. We’ve all moved on, even the Unionists.

  117. Another Union Dividend says:

    Jingly jangly

    About 10 years ago, my mates and I went to see Hearts play in Stuttgart. There was a very heavy police presence and when we asked why they said it was because Hearts were a British team and they had four time as many police on duty than for the recent Derby game with Bayern Munich. Another Union Dividend I would say.

    However there was no trouble whatsoever as fans mixed before and after the game. We were treated to amazing hospitality which was reciprocated when the German fans came to Edinburgh many staying in our homes.

  118. alexicon says:

    @The Penman.

    Oops! Anyway the undecided can still read it. :ok:

  119. Linda's Back says:

    Where were the front page banner headlines for CBI director general John Cridland’s claims that a future Labour government and a future referendum on European Union membership threatened increased business investment?

    Of course he mentioned the independence referendum as well but the CBI and business leaders always rail against “uncertainty” but if every thing was certain in life big business would not make vast profits.

  120. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    CameronB says:
    OT, Re. bumping into Wings posters on other forum. Is there a code of conduct?

    There needs to be secret Cybernat codewords ….


  121. heedtracker says:

    All the English BetterTogether press, ITV, ever more aggressive vote no BBC etc can’t make any difference or at best, they’re holding down the YES vote. Their last hurrah must be the WW1 celebrations the day after the Commonwealth games but that will be the last of them in Scotland, land of the sweaties:-)

  122. clochoderic says:

    Thank you Caroline Corfield, that was my (obviously badly made) point about what Pickles said.

  123. Robert McDonald says:

    Alba4Eva: Interesting that Ed Griffin had a book behind him called, “The Intelligent Traveller’s Guide to Historic Scotland”

  124. MochaChoca says:

    Going by SS’s graph YES will overtake NO in the polls early to mid March.

    Sounds good to me, but going by what others have said this may well just be the polls catching up with reality.

  125. Stuart says:

    Re IM poll these figures 48 N 36 Y 16 DK no adjustments made. This private poll done for cabinet not sure if this useful info but is accurate from today based on q in ref. Pass on to ss not sure if preamble to q. If crudely broken down this shows -12 a significant drop as shown in chart which looks more than 10 % higher. Somethings spooked them 🙂

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