This is a very quick piece pulled together on the 28th of August (but backdated so it doesn’t sit out of sequence on the website), almost two months after the initial data release of this poll. It’s a much lighter analysis than usual. The reason for this is that Holyrood VI was not published at any point up until the subsequent Panelbase was released, at which point I emailed both the Sunday Times and Panelbase themselves about it, and Panelbase very kindly updated the tables with the data.
The previous Panelbase covered the 26th to 29th of April. Changes are shown as (vs that poll / vs last election). You will note that’s also a “lite” entry. At the end of the day, it’s up to the commissioning party to clear the release of data. I frankly don’t know what the Sunday Times are playing at that they seem to have developed a habit of not publishing Holyrood data, or doing so in an extremely untimely manner.
Notably the worst figure for the Greens since last year’s election – the first time they’ve come off worse than that this term. This is where we’re starting to see real differences between pollsters, as the ComRes from roughly the same time had them on 13%! It’s also the second time they’ve been behind the Lib Dems, not that we’d have noticed the first one as – guess what – it was part of poll in February which also only had a data dump on the 22nd of August.
Also some term-thus-far records here – the weakest Conservative vote share, and strongest Lib Dem. Overall, across both ballots, a significant 5% increase for the SNP.
Projecting that into seats might give us something like this:
Due to the quick, gap-filling nature of this piece, no projection map. No surprises that the weakest vote share for the Greens since last May also leads to their lowest seat projection. That loosens the pressure on the Central list enough that Labour end up with their highest seat projection.
Note that the only figures publicly reported for Westminster were from the question “If at the next UK General Election the SNP said that they would regard winning 50% of the vote as a vote in favour of independence, how would you vote?” That’s not standard VI. However, they did ask standard VI, and as part of my same query, Panelbase published those tables too. Big gains for the SNP versus the last poll, and a sharp decline for Conservatives.
A miniscule lead for Independence in the headline figures, but rounding to a dead 50:50 excluding Don’t Knows.
Timing of a Referendum
Asked whether they supported the then-recently announced timescale of October 2023, voters are almost evenly split – 44% opposed vs 43% in favour (accounting for rounding), with opposition somewhat more intensely felt than support.
Likely Timing of Independence
Divided as Scots are on Independence, the largest group of us thing it’s coming within 5 years, and a total of half thing it’ll happen within a decade.
As ever, the last little bit of analysis concerns those hypothetical and more proportional voting systems that I have a bee in my bonnet about here at BBS. The fact Westminster uses pure FPTP is an affront to democracy, and though Holyrood fares far better, AMS is still deeply imperfect. The examples here simply transpose the poll findings onto more proportional voting systems – the reality is that different systems would of course result in different voter behaviour.
For the moment, although the maps are useful for illustrative purposes, I’m opting just to show these hypotheticals as charts. It’s very time consuming making maps, and for these pure hypotheticals, it’s possibly a bit overkill.
Scandinavian Style Westminster
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