At last..a non-internet Scottish IndyRef poll

At last..a non-internet Scottish IndyRef poll

TNS-BMRB due to be published a day early

One of the features of the referendum polling is that so much of it has been Online. Survation, Panelbase and, of course, YouGov poll in this way. In addition the ICM polls that we see are the same – unlike the firm’s long-standing phone poll series for the Guardian.

The problem that online polling creates is that there is a level of self-selection in who takes part. The very fact that you are on a political polling panel suggests that you’ve got a greater than normal interest in the area and, I suggest in the case of the referendum, greater engagement.

This has the potential to make samples non-typical of the overall audience that they are supposed to represent.

The other pollster that does monthly Scottish polling is TNS-BMRB operates in a manner that makes it less vulnerable to this problem. Its main concern is not politics but consumer research much of which is carried out face to face. Added on to these surveys are political questions.

So it is being argued that this approach gives them access to views of a wider segment of voters.

What we have seen with the firm that its polling has generally produced more don’t knows than anybody else. Their last poll, at the start of August had YES 32: NO 45: DK 23.

The firm’s latest referendum finding will be published overnight.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble

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