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Wings Over Scotland



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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The Stereotypes 150

Posted on July 01, 2018 by

Much of central Cowdenbeath was closed down for several hours by the police yesterday to facilitate an Orange Order parade attended by DUP leader Arlene Foster. (Curiously, Ruth Davidson, who’d been vocal in her complaints about traffic disruption in Glasgow due to the recent Yes march, had no objections this time.)

Foster made an audaciously ironic plea for a nation “free from intolerance and hatred, right before the next speaker stepped up to denounce large sections of the local population as “enemies of Christ”.

The rest of the parade took its usual form.

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The worst country in the world 187

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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Going strong 105

Posted on June 27, 2018 by

We’ve just got the results back from a new Panelbase poll of Scottish voters. As ever there’s some fascinating stuff in there, but we’ll start with the headline voting numbers:

HOLYROOD VOTING INTENTION (excl DK, chgs vs Dec 2017)

SNP 41 (+2)
Con 27 (-1)
Lab 22 (-3)
LD 6 (-)
Grn 2 (-)

(1018 Scottish voters, fieldwork 21-26 June 2018)

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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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Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough 74

Posted on June 05, 2018 by

We’ll shortly round up the last pieces of data from our Panelbase poll of English voters last month, but this one merits singling out, we think.

Wait, what?

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Being silenced is golden 80

Posted on May 31, 2018 by

The findings of Lord Bracadale’s report into hate-crime law in Scotland were published today (tl;dr version: OBFA’s coming back), and we couldn’t help observing them in the context of an interesting Guardian article on the alt/far right yesterday.

Because we’ve discovered something slightly odd about the subject.

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The Bank Of The Clyde 192

Posted on May 24, 2018 by

Of all the dishonest memes regularly put around by the Unionist side in the Scottish constitutional debate, the most bare-faced is the notion of the “fiscal transfer”. Part-time pretend economists harp on endlessly about how the UK “transfers” money (the current popular figure is £9bn) to Scotland to balance the books every year, as if it was a munificent gift out of the sheer kindness of Westminster’s heart.

The reality, of course, is that it’s a loan, which Scotland has to pay back with interest. If an independent Scotland ran a deficit – like almost every country on Earth – it could take that loan out from any number of possible lenders and carry on as normal.

It is in no sense whatsoever an argument for Scotland staying in the Union, because it’s completely irrelevant to the Union, except in so far as that the only reason Scotland needs to borrow money at all is because it’s been part of the UK for the last 40 years and has been left impoverished as a result while a very similar neighbouring country has become wealthy beyond imagination.

But still, let’s indulge them for a moment and assume there really is a £9bn hole in Scotland’s finances. Is there anything we could do to reduce the size of it significantly? Well, since you ask, we have some poll data on that.

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Girls And Boys 257

Posted on May 23, 2018 by

The phrase “the Labour Party has gotten itself into a catastrophic mess on [X]” is a sentence you can complete with almost any subject these days, whether it’s Brexit or anti-Semitism or anti-Asian racism or factionalism or Venezuela or just about anything else under the sun, so it should be no surprise that its gender policy is no different.

The party’s stance regarding all-women shortlists is now that men can be on them, so long as they say they’re women, with no questions asked, except when Labour decide arbitrarily that they aren’t really women at all because they’re obviously really men, except for all the other occasions when they’re obviously really men.

Which seemed like a timely moment for some more new poll data.

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Guess who’s coming to dinner? 250

Posted on May 22, 2018 by

Last week we revealed that English voters would happily see Scotland and Northern Ireland leave the UK if it was the price of securing Brexit. But one of the odder things was that those figures included a sizeable number of Remain voters, who don’t want Brexit to happen at all.

We were a little perplexed, so we did a follow-up question asking those people if they’d elaborate a bit and got some interesting replies. One person, for example, answered “The Scottish people are very arrogant and although they want to be separate from the rest of the UK they are happy to take money from England”. Charming.

But there was also another stream of opinion on the subject, and it was revealed in the responses to another question in the original poll.

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Tomorrow’s man today 108

Posted on May 21, 2018 by

Michael Gove has been saying some words today, to the general astonishment of all.

Which seems like a good time to bring up some more data from our latest poll.

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