It’s been a hectic day. The other half is still in hospital. Today the nurse on the rehab ward phoned to say his health has taken a bit of a turn for the worse, and he’s been moved back to the acute ward in the Royal. We’re still waiting for the test results, hopefully it’s just a wee infection and isn’t too serious, but it’s put back the likely date that he’ll be back home. Which is a bummer. But after visiting him I felt a bit better. He’s comfortable, and resting.
My parents decided to take advantage of the sunny weather to have a family barbecue. So naturally it rained. They say you can choose your friends, but not your family. Which is only partially true. You can choose not to talk to certain family members, which is how me and my gran quite successfully arranged things until she popped her clogs a few years ago. We cordially loathed one another. Guess who I got the bitch gene from eh? However these days we are all, more or less, on speaking terms with one another, so a sizeable chunk of my extended family got together for burnt sausages and half cooked chicken in the rain.
The dug and me were only there a wee while before I left to visit the hospital, but it was enough time to speak with my maw and collate a wee poll of family referendum voting intentions. It’s not like it’s a representative sample or anything, but it was interesting to work out how many of us are likely to vote Yes. Few of us are SNP supporters, we’re overwhelmingly Labour voters, although we also tend to despair of the current incarnation of Labour. In terms of occupation and income we have a wide spread, and in terms of religion we split like most Glasgow families these days – a minority which is Catholic, a minority which is Protestant, and a majority which couldn’t care less. We even cross the great team divide, and include both Celtic and Rangers fans amongst our number. And a Clyde fan, but he keeps quiet about that.
Like a lot of Yes voters, I worry that I live in a wee bubble of Yesness, so the fact that a large majority of my friends are Yes supporters I tend to put down to a form of confirmation bias – you tend make friends with people who you agree with – you can’t say the same with family. I’m only counting friends I made outwith the Yes campaign for the purposes of gauging my friends’ responses to the independence campaign. I’ve made a lot of new friends as a result of this campaign, but of course they’re Yes voters already. But even so, you still ask yourself whether the fact you seem to have so many Yes supporting friends is a sort of self-selecting thing.
I did a wee poll of my other half’s care assistants. Not yer actual poll, but they’re all very friendly and chatty women, and of course the referendum comes up in conversation. It’s not like I’ve been pumping them for information or anything. They’re all working class, and hard working, women from the East End of Glasgow – and out of his regular care assistants, only one was a No (she’s on a different shift now, so we don’t see her). All the rest, the six whose intentions I know, are strongly Yes. So much for women being reluctant Yes voters. But then you wonder if perhaps it’s maybe a demographic thing, or maybe you’ve just by chance got the six Yes supporting care workers.
It’s interesting that it’s Yes supporters who seem most prone to confirmation bias, or being accused of confirmation bias. You’d think it ought to be the other way about. It should be No supporters. They’re the ones who have the media backing, which makes them think there’s a whole lot more Nawness going on than there really is. But it’s the fact that the media is almost uniformly opposed to independence that makes Yes supporters doubt the evidence of their own eyes and ears.
So back to the great family referendum vote. Not counting the weans who are too young to vote, the results from my extended family who were present today are: 7 definitely or probably No; 4 won’t say or don’t know; and … drumroll … 18 Yes or leaning strongly to Yes. Which gives 62.0% Yes, 24.1% No, don’t know or won’t say 13.8%.
Because this is my family and I know them better than YouGov, we can apply our own Weegieweighting to the don’t knows and won’t says. One of them is almost certain to vote Yes – according to my maw – but he’s not talking to me about it because we always fall out about politics. Another won’t say is probably going to vote No but doesn’t want to discuss it because she knows that she’ll be out-argued. The aunt with Alzheimers will most likely forget to vote, and my Yes voting uncle said if he thinks she’s going to vote No he won’t remind her. We have no idea about the final niece because she wasn’t there today and neither my maw or me have seen her for a few months. That gives us 19 Yes and 8 No and we’ll ignore the other two. So that’s 70.4% Yes, 29.6% No. Everyone plans to vote, except the aunt with Alzheimers who keeps having to be reminded that there’s going to be a vote.
All the relatives in England are in favour of Yes. They’ve not been included in the figures because they don’t get a vote. And so are all the actual English people my family members have married and the English kids we’ve produced. Our English relatives don’t seem to notice much in the way of anti-English racism. Not even the really posh one who teaches in a posh private school.
Have you been noticing more Yes signs in windows and on cars recently? Or is it just me? I walk the dug to the hospital where the other half is, or was until today. Over the past week I’ve noticed a new Yes poster just about every day. On the way home on the bus from the Royal Infirmary this evening, I spotted 6 houses along Alexandra Parade and the beginning of Cumbernauld Road with Yes signs in their windows – and I was only looking out one side of the bus. I’ve added my windows to the total. There are already a couple of others in local streets. I’m also seeing more and more cars with Yes stickers.
There’s not a single No sign anywhere, despite the fact that the Labour party recently dropped off a pile of Labour’s own No Thanks papers which had a cut out No Thanks on the back cover with an invititation to stick it in your window. Not a single person has taken up the offer. The only No posters I’ve seen – apart from the commercial advertising – are the wee Naw stickers that appeared on all the lampposts along Alexandra Parade after the Orange Walk.
So screw the opinion polls. Weegie polling tells me there’s going to be a Yes.