Scotland on Sunday poll revealed as flawed and unreliable

Scotland on Sunday

Esteemed psephologist James Kelly, the thinking man’s James Kelly, has posted these comments on the Savanta Com Res poll for the Scotsman which purports to show a clear lead for NO, for the first time in more than a year:

“these figures are not weighted for voter turnout, with further polling expected this week to show a clearer impact of the inquiry on Scottish independence voting intention..these figures on Scottish independence are not directly comparable with previous polls on the subject, due to this and the nature of the poll.”

In other words this is not a standard poll, and we have absolutely no idea whether a poll conducted in the normal way would show a Yes lead or a No lead.  Which begs the obvious question: why on earth has this poll been published?

The other two polls giving NO a lead, in the last few days, from Survation/Daily Record and Panelbase/Sunday Times, returned a non-significant 1% lead.

MSM_Monitor has some thoughts on why the poll was published at all:

Why might a failure to weight the figures for voter turnout matter? Well SNP and Conservative expressions of turnout tend to be higher, 82% and 80% in the last Savanta ComRes poll for Westminster voting intentions, while Labour and LibDem turnout tends to be lower, 70% and 59% in the same poll. The same pattern can be found in the poll before.

14 thoughts on “Scotland on Sunday poll revealed as flawed and unreliable

  1. James Kelly, AND Prof John Curtice, have pointed out that the Sunday Times poll is 50:50.

    Not only is the Scotsman poll not turnout weighted, but the unweighted poll from the same source in early February had identical results of 43:46 – again pointed out by the Prof. When properly weighted, the February poll delivered a Yes result at 47:42, so the new poll is likely to be similar. i.e. 53% Yes, 47% No, which is well within the polling error compared with other polls.

    So currently the 50:50 Sunday Times result is a bit of an outlier, but could still be due to sampling and other errors.

    Turnout weighting is a big deal, and is vital for comparison as pointed out by Britain Elects, who have deleted the Scotsman poll from their website.

    Having said all that, I won’t be that surprised if the Sturgeon/Salmond affair and other SNP issues have a real negative effect on the election!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Less Lab/Lib turnout. Equal SNP/Tory turnout. Less SNP opposition.

    10-20% less opposition. Less unionist support. Not considered. No weighting undertaken. False poll data.

    Pollster poor data. The Pollster censored and fined many times. Criticism of the governance. Polls used to influence the outcome. Used by politicians and their associates to waste public monies. During purdah. Especially in narrow political electorate outcome situations . They can get it wrong. What are the bookies predictions. More likely to better informed. They make monies out of it. Too early to call? So much going on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So the once mediocre Scottish/English SCOTSMAN PAPER



    1. Robert, surely someone must’ve told you that ALL UPPERCASE IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING on the web? Mind you if you only post on sites like this one, where contributors are generally polite, perhaps not.

      Even if you aren’t intending to shout, it really isn’t a good look and will tend to overshadow whatever point you’re trying to make. Take Petra’s example, below, where she renders a single word in majiscule for EMPHASIS.

      Not having a pop, just offering some friendly advice. You’ll be doing yourself a favour of you stay away from the caps lock.


  4. Lets face it
    Nobody can say
    They dont know why this poll was released
    Its all part of englands propaganda war on Scotland

    Just because something has the name Scotland in it does not mean it is Scottish
    The Scotsman is not a Scottish newspaper it merely has the name but is a newspaper that does what it can to harm Scotland
    No proper Scotsman would do that
    The Scotsman is an english newspaper controlled by what westminster requires of it

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Scotsman – Johnston Press sold to National World – David Montgomery. (Ex Mirror). £10Million December 2020. Loans borrowed £8Million. Further loans to follow. Asset stripped?


  6. “Our” colonial press wants to damped pro-Indy enthusiasm by fake news/news management.
    Tell a lie in a “Scottish” newspaper, and the BEEB will happily repeat it–indeed embellish it.
    This is an obvious problem–we are prisoners of a State which wants to keep us prisoners in their corrupt oligarchy.

    Lord Baron Ffoulkesakia questions the term ” colonial press”.
    Well, wrapped in Ermine, wined, dined and accepting of the Queens shilling, his neutrality might be a tad suspect.


  7. When partisan Unionist/Tory politics is in the gutter and utters blatant provocation:

    On Twitter today:
    ‘Murdo Fraser @murdo_fraser
    Has the constituency MSP for Ibrox been on to congratulate her local team on their success today? Usually quick off the mark on such occasions?
    #Champions #55
    3:02 pm · 7 Mar 2021·Twitter for iPhone
    408 Retweets 62 Quote Tweets 2,616 Likes’

    And then retweeting the above::

    ‘Adam Tomkins MSP
    Just one more thing she’s forgotten…
    3:44 pm · 7 Mar 2021·Twitter for iPhone
    58 Retweets 371 Likes’

    And even faced with this, – and with all that has happened in Glasgow yesterday and today – individuals within the Yes movement seem determined to stoke internal division.


  8. Ontology is the branch of philosophy that seeks to understand existence, being, becoming, and reality. Ontological security refers to the stability of one’s sense of self. Quite simply, the yoons are panning it, and are in desperate need to establish ontological security. So they will happily distort reality if it helps re-establish their habitual world-view, and prevent substantive change. This was a major driver of Brexit, which was sold as re-establishing (white) Britain as it was before integration with the EU. Obviously, Scotland is simply a bystander in this process, and will have to take what it gets, as Westminster only recognises the political needs of English nationalism.

    Anxiety, Time, and Agency


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