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Wings Over Scotland



Faith is always blind 269

Posted on October 13, 2019 by

The first novel I remember reading is “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, shortly after it came out in 1979. I was 12, and it had a huge and lasting effect on me – it was the first thing that made me want to be a writer, and both Adams’ writing style and the worldview it deftly illustrated have been lifelong influences.

Almost every line in the book is great, but this one always stuck with me:

And so to the last of the results from our current poll.

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The broad church 183

Posted on October 12, 2019 by

Our feather-ruffling Panelbase poll of SNP voters is now almost at an end, with only one further revelation to come tomorrow. So we thought it was worth taking a moment for a little bit of closer examination of just who the respondents were.

We know, of course, that the criteria for the sample was people who said they currently intend to vote for the SNP with their constituency vote at the next Scottish Parliament election in 2021. But what else do we know about them?

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With the bomb lighting 182

Posted on October 11, 2019 by

A certain independence blog has written FIFTEEN articles in the last month-and-a-bit about Wings, with a steadily-increasing tone of purple-faced rage, since we passingly suggested the idea of setting up a 2021 Holyrood list party if and only if the SNP had failed to deliver a second independence referendum by then.

Now, we do understand and empathise. There’s really not a lot to talk about in Scottish politics at the moment, with the political scene having been utterly consumed by Brexit for the last two years, and trying to attribute significance to some piddly meaningless subsamples of UK-wide polls can only take you so far.

But since over the past few days we’ve been starting to fear that they might have some sort of aneurysm if they get any more wound up, we suppose we ought to finally reveal the results from the first of a series of polling questions we’re intending to ask on the subject of the notional party.

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Priority boarding 173

Posted on October 09, 2019 by

It’s been quite the week so far. For the vile and sickening crime of [check notes] finding out what SNP voters were thinking about the important political issues of the moment, we’ve had (especially on Facebook) a two-day barrage of stuff like this, and worse:

So, y’know, on with what we always do: reporting the facts.

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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 349

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 380

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.

We’re talking about money 283

Posted on April 25, 2019 by

…unfortunately. The hottest topic of debate within the Yes movement in recent months has been currency, and what sort of it a prospective independent Scotland should use. We’ve avoided it because it’s such a boring and pointless debate (at this stage, at least), and because the impact it had on the first referendum was vastly less than the media frantically insists.

The truth is that in 2014 most people simply didn’t believe the UK government’s claim that it would refuse Scotland a currency union, and nor did most people find it very important anyway. By enormous margins, Scots thought that an independent Scotland would keep using the pound, despite the No campaign’s assertions to the contrary.

We already live in a world of multiple currencies. People buy things seamlessly on the internet from Europe or the USA or China with all the exchange transactions handled automatically and invisibly. It can cause some issues for businesses, but it simply isn’t an issue for the huge majority of voters, however obsessively politics nerds debate it.

But just for the sake of argument, and for the benefit of delegates to this weekend’s SNP conference in Edinburgh, here’s what they think right now.

By comfortably more than two to one in our Panelbase poll conducted in March, Scots want to keep using the pound forever after independence. Yes voters marginally prefer a transition to a new currency, but only one in six want to go there on day one, and almost as many as want to transition want to stay with Sterling permanently. No voters – who are the people we need to persuade, remember – are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the pound, with only 16% wanting a new Scottish currency at any point.

Wings has no position on the subject, because to be quite honest we don’t understand it well enough. Strong arguments have been made on various sides and we’re not sure which one we favour yet. It’s a decision for an independent Scottish Government.

But what these findings tell us is what the public thinks – and therefore which options would play the best in a referendum – and the public isn’t in much doubt at all.

Scotland’s first choices 187

Posted on April 12, 2019 by

We’ve still got a few of the results from our last Panelbase poll (conducted last month) to round up, and this one seems pertinent this week:

As has been the case ever since we started asking this question about the nation’s twin constitutional dilemmas back in July 2015, the single most popular option in a four-way choice remains an independent Scotland inside the EU, which leads the impending reality (a UK Scotland outside the EU) by a clear 10 points.

Scotland isn’t merely about to get something it doesn’t want, it’s about to get the exact opposite of the thing it wants most. But oh boy, is it ever more complicated than that.

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The no-personality crisis 54

Posted on April 04, 2019 by

We were just going through our last Panelbase poll this morning looking to round up findings we hadn’t yet published when we suddenly noticed an odd thing.

We had of course previously observed that the Scottish Labour branch office manager Pritchard Leopold (SUB: PLEASE CHECK) wasn’t terribly well known in the nation, with barely over a third of Scots able to pick his name out of a list when prompted, despite a year and a half in the job.

But then we spotted something curious about the numbers.

Because the sub-party’s pseudo-leader was recognised more by voters of EVERY other party than he was by his own. While just 37% of Labour voters from the last election knew who he was, a whopping 61% of Lib Dems did, along with 51% of Tories and 41% of SNP supporters.

Or put another way: the more people could identify him as leader, the less likely they were to vote for his party.

And particularly when the extremely underwhelming act you have to follow is Kezia Dugdale, we’re pretty sure that can’t be a good thing.

The ugly game 324

Posted on March 12, 2019 by

Tonight sees what’s likely to be a highly-charged Scottish Cup quarter-final replay at Ibrox Stadium. Defeat will effectively end the losing side’s season, and games between the participants, Aberdeen and Rangers International, have tended to be fierce affairs ever since the latter club was formed in controversial circumstances in 2012, with this season’s clashes already having seen numerous red cards.

(Mainly for the home team’s temperamental striker Alfredo Morelos.)

Football authorities will be hoping for a minimum of flashpoints on the field which might lead to repeats of shocking recent scenes of abuse and violence from spectators, which have prompted the nation’s media to wring its hands in theatrical angst and demand that something be done.

The public’s view on the subject, meanwhile, has remained absolutely consistent.

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One way or the other 310

Posted on March 11, 2019 by

Good luck making sense of this one, folks.

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