Poll puts SNP at 52% pro-Indy parties at 55% and Labour at 8%

(c) Getty

Based on fieldwork on 9th and 10th September with 146 Scots adults (no 16/17-year-olds) and within a larger poll of 1 619 showing a Labour and Brexit increase over the previous poll on 5th and 6th:

  • Con                        19%
  • Lab                         8%
  • Lib                          11%
  • SNP                     52%
  • Brexit                    7%
  • Green                    3%

YouGov has been the most frequent pollster on Westminster with 20 since the beginning of June including this one. They have consistently, 15 out of 20 times, scored the SNP at 4% of the total poll and averaging 4.1%. This puts them slightly below Opinium at 4.33% but well above ComRes at 3.1%

The Labour score of 8% when they seem to be climbing nationally is disastrous.


NHS England urged to follow Scotland’s more inclusive bowel screening and save thousands of lives but it’s not newsworthy here

There’s no breakdown of Scottish figures. When I ask for one, I get either ignored or I’m told ‘the Scottish sample is too small to be significant so we’re not telling you.’

However, there is a bit of news of interest to us if not to Reporting Scotland:

Across the UK, only around 60% of people invited to take part in bowel screening do so. A new screening test called the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) is already in place in Scotland and is rolling out in Wales and England in 2019, and Northern Ireland have pledged to introduce FIT screening in 2020.

However, for cost reasons, NHS England plan a less effective test:

Wales and England are planning on rolling out at a threshold of 150ug/g and 120ug/g respectively. A lower threshold is more sensitive and will detect more cases of cancer and advanced adenomas (pre-cancerous growths) but requires more colonoscopies and an increased demand for pathology.

The introduction of FIT has been shown to improve uptake in Scotland, particularly in groups with low participation. Similar increases will be expected once the test is rolled out in England and Wales. It will be important to monitor inequalities and continue to remove barriers to participation.


For any Scottish journalists reading this, the Scottish data is:

Statistics show that from November 2017 to April 2018, 64% of those eligible returned their FIT. In the same period the year before, uptake of the old test (the Faecal Occult Blood Test) was 56%. The biggest improvement in participation with FIT has been amongst those living in the most deprived areas – up from 42.0% to 51.8%.


NHS Scotland: Despite increased demand more chronic patients seen within target time

From the NHS Scotland Information Services Division yesterday:

The number of new patients referred to Chronic Pain clinics has increased [3%]. Between 01 April 2019 and 30 June 2019, there were 5,424 new patients referred to a pain clinic, compared to 5,249 referrals in the previous quarter.

Of the 2,961 patients who attended (were seen) for their first appointment, 1,927 (65.1%) attended within 18 weeks of referral. This compares with 63.8% the previous quarter.


SNP Westminster voting intentions support and the ‘rogue’ pollster

Do pig farmers tend to conservatism and unionism?

Though many of us have a healthy skepticism about opinion polls and recognise the limitations in interpreting Scottish sub-poll samples of between 90 and 180 respondents, the results of a series by the same pollster can still be suggestive of real distribution in intended voting behaviour.

So, when a pollster repeatedly diverges significantly from the others, we can reasonably suspect that there is something in their sampling or other methods causing that. From 1st June 2019 until last week and ignoring those with only one poll in that period, we get:

Pollster                       Number          Scores                           SNP average

ComRes                       7                      Six 3 and one 4                      3.1%

Deltapoll                     3                      One 5 and two 4                     4.33%

YouGov                        19                    Three 5, fifteen 4, one 3        4.1%

Survation                     5                      Four 4 one 3                            3.8%

Opinium                      3                      One 5 two 4                            4.33%

Ipsos MORI                  2                    Two 4                                      4.0%

BMG                            3                      Two 3 one 2                            2.66%


As five pollsters cluster around 4% of the full sample and thus greater than 40% SNP support in their Scottish sub-poll, ComRes and BMG are clear outliers. Not only are their averages notably lower but they repeatedly record support at 3% when this is a rare result for the other five pollsters. The non-inclusion of 16 and 17-year-olds may be keeping the scores down but, as far as I am aware, all of them do that. I can’t tell easily whether ComRes and BMG have a sample skewed toward the older respondents known to be less supportive of the SNP but that might do it.

ComRes has attracted criticism recently. See this from the Independent in June::

Predictions of a Margaret Thatcher-style landslide for the Tories under Boris Johnson has prompted a row among data experts. The new poll, conducted by ComRes for the Daily Telegraph, said Mr Johnson was the only leadership contender who could offer victory for the Tories in a general election, translating to a majority of 140 seats……Analysis by Electoral Calculus, a separate firm, translated this support into a 140-seat majority if Mr Johnson was prime minister – only four less than the party won under Mrs Thatcher in 1983…..However several experts cast doubt on the interpretation of the figures, with one saying it was “bonkers” to project national opinion polls onto constituency results during such political uncertainty.

ComRes also hit headlines earlier suggesting that Labour’s anti-semitism problem was a big electoral threat.

I welcome comments from readers of a psephological bent, or anyone, really.

A clue from the Scotsman in 2014:

Scotland drifting away from nasty place as SNP Government launches funeral benefit for those on low income

From holyrood.com:

A new benefit to help people on low incomes pay for the costs of a funeral will be available from next week, the Scottish Government has announced. The funeral support payment launches on 16 September and has three elements: burial or cremation costs; a flat rate £700 toward expenses including funeral director fees, coffin and flowers; and some transport costs. It will be available for recipients of universal credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, pension credit, housing benefit, child tax credit and disability or severe disability elements of the working tax credit.


It’s only one thing, but together with many other emerging differences between Scotland and rUK, the first days of a better country are surely in the past. See these:

Different NHS Scotland and Wales reject England’s hostile environment for vulnerable migrant mothers-to-be

Scotland IS a different place as its universities offer guaranteed places to care leavers

Abuse of women and the disabled far higher in England than in Scotland

Less homicide, less knife crime, less domestic violence, safer cities and now much lower alcohol problems: should Scotland’s old stereotypes be sent south?

Racial hate crimes increase by 33% in England & Wales while falling by 10% in Scotland: Who says we’re not different?

Scottish Muslim students far less likely to report abuse or crime?

Only in Scotland! ‘A review of small country’s approaches to public policy reform in response to economic, demographic and other pressures found that only in Scotland could this ‘golden thread’ be so clearly discerned’

With 1 in 4 living wage employers already in Scotland, the Scottish Government aims to make this a ‘Living Wage Nation’

8% of the UK population and 28% of living wage employers. More evidence that we are different enough to want to run the whole show?

80 000 lowest paid workers in NHS England still on poverty wages as NHS Scotland follows Scottish Government policy to pay a living wage to all public-sector employees

Scottish care workers to receive Living Wage for ‘sleepover’ hours while English care workers receive only the National Minimum Wage.

Different Scotland in the UN report on ‘Workhouse Britain’

Scottish values making oil and gas firms a tad different too?

Are Scotland’s employers also different – more willing to pay a decent wage?

With 1 in 4 living wage employers already in Scotland, the Scottish Government aims to make this a ‘Living Wage Nation’

8% of the UK population and 28% of living wage employers. More evidence that we are different enough to want to run the whole show?

Another difference as UK small and medium-sized business people prefer Boris while Scots prefer…

Another difference between Scotland and rUK?

Scottish Government support for small businesses superior to that in non-Scottish parts of UK

Glasgow to host largest summit ever in UK

The venue for COP26 (Image: SEC)

From the BBC website yesterday:

A major United Nations climate change summit will take place in Glasgow. Up to 30,000 delegates are expected to attend the event at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC) at the end of next year. Glasgow will host the main COP summit while Italy will host preparatory events and a significant youth event, as part of the agreement. The conference has been described as the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015. Lasting for two weeks, it would be the largest summit the UK has ever hosted, with up to 200 world leaders expected to attend for the final weekend. 2020’s conference is seen as a major crossroads in the battle against global climate change. It will likely be held just after the next US presidential election.


Earlier evidence that Glasgow is ‘going places’, so to speak, has been reported here:

153% increase in Glasgow conferences puts it above Chicago!

Glasgow getting miles and miles better with help from that ‘Sturgeon’s SNP’

Glasgow Gallery and Museum beats Edinburgh and London

‘Glasgow’s blistering commercial property market’

Miles Better? Glasgow hotel revenue growing eight times faster than UK average

Massive increase in spending by international visitors to Glasgow

‘Edinburgh and Glasgow in top five cities to work in UK’

More real economic strength revealed as demand for Glasgow office space increases dramatically

NHS Scotland increasing mental health discharges by 33% in 10 years with 95% treated near to home

This trend suggests improved treatment of what can be difficult and complex conditions against a background of increased demand as, for example, opioid painkiller addiction soars. From the ISD yesterday:

In 2018/2019 there were 47,790 mental health discharges, an increase of 3% from 2017/2018 and the highest number of discharges since 1997/1998.

In 2018/2019, the most common diagnosis for mental health discharges was mental & behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance (including prescription painkillers and anxiety medication) use.

In 2018/2019 most mental health inpatients were treated within the NHS Board area in which they lived with approximately 5% treated elsewhere.