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The Constitutional Question Dominates: How Scotland Voted in 2021

19th May 2021

The constitutional question now dominates Scottish politics. And on the answer to that question the country is both evenly divided and sharply polarised. This is the key lesson of the 2021 Scottish parliament election. For once the polls had a good election. The average standing of the parties in the final polls were all nearly […]


Three Lessons from the First Campaign Polls

11th April 2021

The election campaign has been put on hold for a few days as a mark of respect for the Duke of Edinburgh, whose death was announced on Friday. On Monday politicians of all parties will come together at Holyrood (and at Westminster) to express their condolences. But where will the parties and leaders find themselves […]


Is Salmond’s unpopularity definitely a barrier to Alba’s chances of success?

29th March 2021

As many commentators have pointed out, the newly founded Alba Party is facing a major hurdle in having in Alex Salmond a leader who is very unpopular with many people in Scotland. But does this mean that the party definitely has no chance of winning a noticeable number of list seats in the upcoming Scottish […]


Why Has Nationalist Support Fallen?

19th March 2021

One thing is clear: support for the SNP and for independence is now consistently lower in the polls than it was at the beginning of the year. In the last half dozen polls support for Yes (after leaving aside Don’t Knows) has averaged 49%, with No narrowly ahead on 51%. This represents a five-point fall […]


The Changed Foundations of SNP Support

27th November 2020

The SNP, whose virtual conference takes places this weekend, could hardly be in finer fettle. Its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is as popular as she has been any point since taking over the reins six years ago – primarily because of voters’ positive evaluations of her handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Polls of voting intention for […]


Facing More Difficult Circumstances? Prospects for the Scottish Conservatives

20th November 2020

At first glance the Scottish Conservatives, who are meeting in virtual conference this weekend, can look forward to next year’s Scottish Parliament election with a fair degree of confidence. In polls conducted since September, the party has averaged 20% on the constituency vote and 19% on the regional vote. That is somewhat down on the […]


Brexit, Coronavirus and the Economy: Three Key Issues in the Independence Debate

20th October 2020

The last week or so has seen the publication of three further polls of attitudes towards Scotland’s constitutional status. Two of them, from Ipsos MORI (for STV News) and from Savanta ComRes, continued the gradual trickle of polls this year of how people would vote in another independence referendum. The third, from Survation (for the […]


YouGov Confirm Yes Ahead

12th August 2020

Until now, all of the evidence that there has been a further swing in favour of independence in recent months has come from just one pollster – Panelbase. In the absence of any other polling, it was not unreasonable to ask whether, perhaps, they might just possibly have got it wrong, though the reaction of […]


A Coronavirus swing in favour of Independence?

5th July 2020

The latest Panelbase poll for The Sunday Times confirms the message of other polls that the company has undertaken in recent weeks for a variety of (pro-independence) clients. Support for independence has grown further, such that, if the polling is correct, Yes might will win any independence referendum that was held now. The poll puts […]


The 2019 Election: A Constitutional Cry or a Brexit Ballot?

22nd May 2020

The reverse suffered by the SNP in the election in June 2017 resulted in Nicola Sturgeon putting her plans to hold a second independence referendum on ice. In contrast, the recovery in the party’s position in the election last December encouraged the First Minister to claim that she now had a mandate to pursue another […]


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