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Indyref polling round up – Could the NHS be what wins it for Yes?

August 17th, 2014

Tonight sees two Indyref polls out.

First up Panelbase for Yes Scotland, historically Panelbase have produced some of the smallest No leads. The fieldwork was this week, between the 12th and the 15th, The first question asked was the referendum question, in the past some Panelbase polls have not done this.

Whilst the figures are the same as Panelbase produced in June with a slightly different methodology, politics is often about momentum, and the smallness of No’s lead, that could be wiped out with a swing less than the margin of error, will cause all sorts of anguish at Better Together HQ and lots of joy at Yes Scotland HQ (this is why it is would be silly to dismiss this poll as just a margin of error change.)

Other salient points from the polling

Among Labour voters, 37 per cent intend to vote Yes – which equates to over Labour 230,000 voters, in terms of their constituency vote in the 2011 Holyrood election.

Men are 52 per cent Yes and 48 per cent No; women 43 per cent Yes and 57 per cent No. This 9-point gap in Yes support between men and women represents a significant narrowing of the gender gap compared to previous Panelbase polls – in July it was 14 points and in January 18 points.

To me, the most interesting bit of the polling are these findings, the NHS could turn the tide in favour of Yes.

Does the prospect of an increased role of the private sector in the NHS in England having an adverse effect on the Scottish budget which funds NHS Scotland make you likely or unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland in the referendum?

Very likely to vote for an independent  Scotland: 37%
Quite likely to vote for an independent Scotland: 9%
TOTAL LIKELY: 46%

Quite unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 9%
Very unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 26%
TOTAL UNLIKELY: 35%

Don’t know: 18%

Excluding ‘don’t know’ would give these figures:
Likely to vote Yes: 57%
Unlikely to vote Yes: 43%

Compared to the headline figures, the NHS argument generates a 9% swing in favour of Yes.

What will give Yes even more confidence is the following polling.

Do you trust x to stand up for Scotland’s interests? As we can see out of these four, only people from the Yes side have a positive net rating on this question, and Salmond has a 33% lead over Darling, which going into the debate a week on Monday should give Salmond confidence, and expect the NHS to get many mentions.

Meanwhile an ICM poll also looks good for yes.

UPDATE – ICM FIGURES

At the time of writing, the best odds on a Yes vote is 11/2, in light of this Panelbase poll, in my opinion that represents value.

TSE