There have been 47 Scottish independence polls by major pollsters in 2021. 22 have given a No majority, 5 have been tied and 20 have given a Yes majority.
Savanta ComRes, who only appeared for the first time in August 2020, have done 12 of them with 10 returning a No majority, 1 tied and only 1 with a Yes majority, in January. That’s a very negative set compared to Opinium with 2 Yes and 1 tied or Panelbase with 4 Yes and 3 No, or Ipsos MORI with 2 Yes and 1 No.
Savanta ComRes has attracted concerned comment before. On March 7th, I posted:
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.
A pattern suggests something different being done, perhaps in the construction of their sample?
ComRes has been accused of an ‘inbuilt conservative bias‘ in the past: https://www.ministryoftruth.me.uk/2013/05/02/comres-polls-an-inbuilt-conservative-bias/