Why are the polls so stubborn?

polls-2016

I was looking at What Scotland Thinks poll of polls today (see above) and wondered why the polls really haven’t shifted at all in favour of YES. Currently we are looking at 52% No and 48% Yes, very close I accept that, and not requiring a large swing, but should we be expecting more?

On the back of Brexit, the most right-wing Conservative Westminster Government in a long time, the implosion of Labour, ever-increasing demands for social protections and the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor, we are just not seeing any great change in the polls.

Many commentators feel that the perceived collapse in the economic arguments have had an impact on the case for independence. Even with the fall in Oil prices Scotland’s GDP is roughly 1% behind that of the UK as a whole, not the end of the world at all. It is fair to say that economics plays a huge part in how many people will decide their vote but have we underestimated the feelings that people have for the union.

I’m not talking about the yoons, there is no changing their minds I don’t think, but what is it with the others. I know people who have little but would still vote no and I don’t think it can be only down to fear.

I am at a loss as to why the polls have not really moved from the 2014 figure. I would not be expecting a huge lead but I am surprised the difference is still 4%, any ideas?

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21 comments

  1. Ken Gilmour

    It could be that Brexit hasn’t even begun to happen and won’t until Article 50 is triggered. Some may be thinking that things are much the same as they have been so Brexit is no big deal, others that Brexit is waiting in the wings and it would be worth waiting to see what happens when it comes. I reckon that, in either case, people are going to get such a shock at the implications of Brexit in practice that they will soon enough make up their minds as to which way to jump and the only sensible option will be to kiss goodbye to our crazy friends in the south.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Ken

      Good points, I saw that Fox got a hard time at the WTO on top of talking a lot of crap seemingly. Brexit won’t be a good deal, the EU can’t afford to give the UK on due to the pressures the EU is under with other member states and impending elections in some many of the countries and many have their own leave movements. Hopefully people will actually pay attention to the deal the Tories come up with and look past the undoubted spin that come with it.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. Bill McDermott

    The polls will move in response to voters having a clear vision of what might happen after Article 50 has been lodged.
    It will be up to Nicola to show where we are going and if we can either show progress in maintaining membership or access to the SM or advise that our only option is independence, in contra-distinction to England going for a hard Brexit.
    Given that scenario, Scotland will have an immediate boost in GDP as firms re-locate to Scotland to maintain free access to the SM and given that we will have a range of opportunities in different fields to grow our economy with all the levers at our disposal, The future looks bright.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Bill

      I have no doubt that Nicola S will have a well thought out plan but we also need to be ready for Project Fear 2 and lies like no country has ever exsperienced before. I don’t think the Brexit deal will be good at all and we will have to get people to look past the spin but it could be a good deal for Scotland in that we get independence and I hadn’t thought of companies who might want to move here to take advantage, good call.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

    • grumpyscottishman

      Bill

      That sounds positive, I have spoken to some people who are swithering but have also spoken to some who just won’t consider the idea at all in any shape or form. I think the polls are close either way and I think we can win also but we will have to be prepared for the battle as I really do think it will be dirtier with greater fear than the last time.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. bjsalba

    I would agree that many folk don’t realize that this is a phoney war period. Some do, but are cautious about moving over in case WM manages to twist the EUs arm into a good deal.

    Has anybody else noticed that the current meme BBC R4 is pushing is that the EU will break up and the Euro will crash. I suspect they are trying to ward off what is more likely to happen – the UK will break up and the pound will take a hammering.

    • grumpyscottishman

      bjsalba

      I don’t listen to R4 at all but I did see a report during the EU Ref, on Euronews I think, it was implying that the EU is closer to collapse than many think. It stated that the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary etc were all split on membership and would be keeping a very close eye on how the UK gets impacted. The Euro was also mentioned as being a massive problem for the EU due to Germany/France being so much stronger and dictating the terms. I am totally exspecting Scotland to come out with it’s own currency option, the pound is a non starter full stop and one of the biggest fear tactics.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  4. East Neuker

    Bruce,
    I’m finding, in my continued attempts at gently influencing No voters to reconsider, that there are a substantial group of otherwise reasonable people who seem to become unreasonable and sometimes even aggressively dismissive when independence is suggested, even where it is a clear alternative to a right wing xenophobic UK government which they SAY they dislike.
    They can rarely produce any kind of reasonable argument for their position, often resorting to some variant of the “too wee, too poor, etc”.
    But it goes further. Some are willing to admit that independence is quite possible, but that would still ALWAYS vote no, for personal, emotional, gut feeling reasons. They don’t feel they need another reason. Independence is just wrong, and, by the way, SNP BAAD. When challenged even gently, on the illogicality of their position, they will often accuse me of dismissing their deep feelings and get quite upset.
    I can only postulate that they are so deeply psychologically conditioned to dependence that they will do anything and say anything to avoid confronting the emptiness of their position.
    If they are slightly more aggressively challenged, for example by being asked to say if they prefer the most right wing neocon Tory government in living memory to the possibility of a, for example, centrist or centre left Scottis government, they will tend to either go in the huff, walk away, or get very angry.
    I wouldn’t classify these people with the out and out unionist loons at all, but I have no idea how to influence them. Perhaps they will be influenced by events.
    What I’d depressing me a bit is that there seem to be more of them tha I thought… Perhaps we can only just keep trying.

    • grumpyscottishman

      East Neuker

      Sounds like jockholme syndrome and I know a few people who hate getting told that but I think there is a lot of truth in it. As you say some people have been conditioned to feel dependent and they are the saddest of them all. Yoons I can live with, they are wrong, but at least there is a weird logic to their faith in Britain, but not those that know they are wrong but something stops them from doing what’s right. I have had the walking away and agression, I even had one guy who wanted to hit me in 2014 for suggesting that YES was the way ahead and this was a professional, educated, articulate man, but you mention Scotland and he was foaming at the mouth and losing the plot. Actually a little scary if I am being honest and someone I used to work with and I remember thinking I won’t be working with him again.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  5. daviddrawsandpaints

    I think East Neuker has got to the nub of it here: It’s psycholigical – it simply comes down to some individuals propensity to be either positive and welcome change, and those whose outlook in life is more reticent (negative)/dislike change and certainly won’t go looking for it. Perhaps Indyref1 just largely sorted us out into those two camps?

    • grumpyscottishman

      David

      I think Indy1 definately split the country into YES and NO. The no’s are moving to the Tories as the Union is what they want and no matter what the Tories do to them they will now vote for them to defend their belief in broken Britain. I know Labour and Liberal voters who have shifted to the Tories, how anyone can do that is beyond me. There is definately a psycholigical thing going on with some people, I do not doubt that at all. Indy2 will be very interesting but also the dirtiest political debate any of us will have ever seen once it gets really going, even though for me Better Together have not went away. They are raising money and have the yoon media, we really need to start getting ready for the fight because I fear we are already behind.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  6. tris

    I agree with those who suggest that at the moment there has been little evidence of Brexit. I was in Europe just after the referendum and the pound had fallen big time against the Euro and the Hungarian Forint. But since that, nothing has really happened.

    There have been hints of companies moving to Ireland or the mainland and the Japanese have made their terms very clear. But there’s not been much publicity. And populist papers like the Mail and the Sun, and the dreadful Daily Diana (Express) continue with headlines telling us how everything is looking totally rosy here and dreadful in Europe.

    It’s not true of course but people read this rubbish and believe it. If they lie about MPs taking business class flights from Edinburgh to London (and illustrate their story with photographs of first class seats available only on long haul to Australia, China or SouthAmerica) the likelihood is that they will be lying about Europe.

    Trade deals, no matter how willing countries are to sign them, take years of negotiation. The idea that Britain will somehow be able to circumvent these negotiations are ridiculous. And the three Brexitee ministers have been, thus far, spectacularly useless.

    Once their uselesness is seen to bring bad deals, I’m pretty certain there will be a change.

    The idea needs to be got through that the UK is in a mess. That Iceland, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland can be successful independent countries but that somehow Scots are too lacking in brains, resources, or skills to be able to do it, is plain silly.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Tris

      The deal will be bad, no doubting that and I don’t believe for one minute that we are getting the truth. I am off to madrid next week for a week so that will be interesting, maybe I should buy a Scotland top to wear. I can’t see the Tories getting any good deals at all but the Express will demand May become a saint while we are told we continue to be even more stupid, poor and tiny to cope in the big bad world. What a mess, the EU may well face difficulties in the near future if they won’t change but the UK will be the last thing on their minds.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  7. Derick fae Yell

    The headline polls have not changed much. But underneath that there has been churn in both directions. The recent Wings article on the 11% is germane. The Brexit vote has moved 10-12% Yes to No, and 10-12% No to Yes. The 28% who want both UK and EU are waiting to see what happens.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Derick

      I voted leave on the UKs membership of the EU but will vote YES in any vote for an independent Scotland to join. The EU needs to change but an independent Scotland would at least have a voice, which we don’t right now. I think, from looking at the comments, people do appear to be waiting to see what happens and that makes sense for the longer game. Interesting times.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  8. George Trist

    Has nobody realised that these polls are taken by people who want to take part and they will continue to do so. Unfortunately for us the majority of them happen to be unionists.

    I feel to get a true reflection we need a much wider poll, a poll conducted face to face all over Scotland. We need a few hundred people willing to give up a weekend to stand around town centres and shopping centres asking how people would vote in Indyref2. That way we’d cover 10s of 1000s of people and we’d gauge the True feeling of Scotland.

    • grumpyscottishman

      George

      I see what you mean, this is a poll of polls but I guess we can only take so much from them and people do play it smart now when they take part. They are interesting, but only to a point. Maybe the SNP consultation will shed some more light on the true state of affairs but no doubt it will be rubbished if they release the results.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  9. Kenny

    Many of whom we need to convert are being brainwashed by the MSM. every day there is an SNPBAD story in one of the outlets. We need to get control of media to have our points put across. Also many no voters who just wont think of changing fall into the I am alright jack category and do not wish to change because they are comfortable with their lot. Big problem.

    • Anonymous

      Kenny

      I don’t know how you get control of the media, I just can’t see that happening. I think the best we can do is use the alternative media and continue to support The National as much as we can. I think many are comfortable with what they have, I think many are afraid also and too many remain ignorant on the no side. Of course we will never change yoon minds but there are many soft no’s out there and we need to keep trying.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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