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Trying to call the Scottish Independence Referendum has become a nightmare with so much variation between the pollsters

June 18th, 2014

One thing’s for sure – NO is not a certainty

There’s a new YouGov IndyRef poll out overnght which has, after the exclusion of the DKs, NO with a comfortable 20% lead. This is exactly in line with the average of YouGov IndyRef polls so far this year.

This latest survey is in marked contrast to the Panelbase, Survation, and ICM polls of recent days which have all shown a narrowing of the gap.

Above is a chart based on data presented yesterday by Professor John Curtice – the leading psephologist and chairman of the British Polling Council – at a special briefing session by leading academics organised by the Political Studies Association.

As can be seen we are getting very different pictures from each of the firms that have been carrying out regular surveys.

As Curtice observed the fact that in recent days it appeared that the gap is closing was probably due to the fact that until YouGov the three most recent polls had come from firms which have shown YES in a better position than the other ones.

    My view remains: NO is not a certainty and I’ve been betting accordingly.

Trying to work out which one is giving us the most accurate measure of the state of Scottish opinion is not easy. There has been no previous referendum like this and we have nothing to compare with.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble