Hi, I’m James Kelly, and I write the pro-independence blog Scot Goes Pop, which has a particular emphasis on opinion poll analysis. Earlier this year I crowdfunded two exclusive Panelbase polls on independence, and although they both showed exactly the same result (Yes 52%, No 48%), they were both landmarks in their own ways. The poll in January showed Yes at the highest level of support since the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum in 2016, suggesting that the general election result had been a gamechanger. And the poll in June was the first to show that, entirely against the initial expectations, the events of the pandemic had pushed Yes back into the lead after a slight dip. It turned out to be the first in an unprecedented string of seven polls showing a pro-indy majority.
With your help, I’d like to commission a third poll before the year is out. Once again, we’re in a new environment, and public opinion may have moved on as a result. The Internal Market Bill has trashed both international law and the devolution settlement that was so overwhelmingly endorsed by the Scottish public in the 1997 referendum. A No Deal Brexit appears to be moving closer. On the other hand, there have also been recent high-profile events that may have worked against the Yes side. So there are no guarantees of what a poll will show, but I firmly believe that polls on independence are good things in themselves. At this stage our opponents would dearly love the issue to be forgotten about, which perhaps explains why around half of the indy polls this year have been commissioned by Yes-supporting alternative media clients. If we weren’t doing the job ourselves, it’s almost true to say that it wouldn’t be done at all. The mainstream media have all but given up on indy polling.
To be clear about what you’ll get for your donations: if the target is reached (or close), I’ll commission a poll from a firm affiliated to the British Polling Council at some point between now and Christmas. It will ask the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, a party political voting intention question, and a number of supplementary questions of interest to the Yes movement. Bear in mind, as always, that there’s no way of knowing whether there’ll be a Yes lead or a No lead. It’s always a bit of a gamble, but with the right result and the right timing, the impact can be considerable.