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Two weeks to go in Scotland and NO edges up on the exchanges to a 77% chance

September 4th, 2014

The YES YouGov bounce starts to recede

The widely reported news at the start of the week of the dramatic polling changes from YouGov in Scotland led inevitably to the money on the £3m Betfair markets to edge more towards YES. At one stage YES touched being a 26.5% chance but that has now started to recede with NO moving back upwards.

The situation is nothing like as clear-cut as it was before the second TV Salmond-Darling TV when the betting split was YES 13% to NO 87%.

With so few polls there is a paucity of data on which betting decisions can be made and as I wrote yesterday there’ve only been two full surveys since mid-August. Others, including one from what has proved to be the most YES-friendly pollster, Panelbase, are said to being the pipeline.

    At times the atmosphere is febrile with protagonists desperately looking for any information that supports their position.

    Last night there was a big social media rumour that Panelbase, which polls for YES, had them in the lead. That later got squashed. There was no such poll.

Aside from the polling there are the reports “from the ground” as well and what’s coming out of the campaign HQs.

So where are we? I still think the weight of NO support amongst the older age groups will prevail. If there are signs that that segment is moving then things might be different.

My betting approach is to “bet on the betting”. So I went “all-in” on YES after the latest YouGov and then reverted to a balanced all-green position yesterday taking a profit.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble