A reminder of the mountain of polling evidence that the Scottish public strongly support the “Plan B” options for seeking a mandate for independence if the UK Government continue to refuse a Section 30

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve used several of the full-scale Scottish opinion polls that I’ve commissioned for Scot Goes Pop over the last two-and-a-half years to test public opinion on a range of “Plan B” options for seeking to secure an independence mandate if the UK Government remains intransigent on a Section 30 order.  It might be worth refreshing our memories of the exact results of those polls in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement.  As you can see below, no matter which “Plan B” option was presented and no matter how the question was posed, there was consistently clear public support for the proposition that the Scottish Government should circumvent any attempted Westminster veto and find a way of giving Scottish voters the promised choice on independence.

Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 28th-31st January 2020: 

There are differing legal opinions on whether the Scottish Parliament currently has the power to hold a consultative referendum on independence without Westminster’s permission. If the UK government continues to refuse to give permission, do you think the Scottish Parliament should legislate to hold a referendum and then allow the courts to decide whether it can take place? 

Yes 50% 
No 39% 

With Don’t Knows excluded:

Yes 56% 
No 44% 

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Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 1st-5th June 2020: 

If Boris Johnson and the UK Government manage to block an independence referendum, do you think that pro-independence parties such as the SNP and the Greens should consider including an outright promise of independence in their manifestos for a future election, to give people an opportunity to vote for or against the idea? 
Yes 49% 
No 29% 

With Don’t Knows excluded: 

Yes 63% 
No 37%

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Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 5th-11th November 2020:

Imagine that the pro-independence parties win a majority of seats in next year’s Scottish Parliament election, but the UK Government still refuses to agree to an independence referendum. In that scenario, do you think the Scottish Government should ensure the Scottish people are given a choice on independence over the course of the next parliamentary term, or should it accept that the UK Government has a veto on an independence referendum? 

The Scottish Government should ensure the Scottish people are given a choice on independence: 63%

The Scottish Government should accept that the UK Government has a veto on an independence referendum: 37%

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Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll, 11th-13th January 2021:

The UK Government has stated that it will seek to prevent a Scottish independence referendum taking place for several decades, regardless of whether Scottish voters elect a Scottish Government committed to holding a referendum. In view of this stance, do you think pro-independence parties, such as the SNP and the Scottish Greens, should or should not include an outright independence pledge in their manifestos for this year’s scheduled Scottish Parliament election, to give people the opportunity to vote for or against independence? 

Should: 45% 
Should not: 36% 

With Don’t Knows excluded: 

Should: 55% 
Should not: 45%

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Although there’s been a certain amount of coincidental convergence in recent times between Stuart Campbell’s analysis of the political situation and my own, as a matter of principle I really must call out the dodgy graph he keeps punting as supposed proof that support for independence has remained static at 47% during the entirety of Nicola Sturgeon’s reign as First Minister.  It’s an absolute embarrassment which makes a typical Lib Dem bar graph look statistically robust.  Judging from the small print, what he appears to have done is cherry-picked six individual polls, which are not even comparable with each other due to being conducted by different firms, and which just happen to all show a Yes vote of 47%.  The problem, of course, is that those individual polls are not representative of the state of polling in each given year.  The average Yes vote in 2019 was significantly higher than the average Yes vote in 2018.  The average Yes vote in 2020 was significantly higher than in 2019, and was in the majority for the first time.  There was then a sharp dip in 2021.
This is what is so self-defeating about what Stuart is doing.  The actual trend would give him the perfect basis for charging the Scottish Government with building up a sizeable Yes lead in 2020 and then losing it again in 2021 due to a number of mis-steps.  But instead he wants to peddle a fantasy of a flatlining trend which the facts simply do not even come close to supporting.  If you want to look like you’re putting together a forensic case, it’s always best to underpin it with the truth, rather than doing a Donald Trump. 
(And of course Stuart is also wrong with his claim – that he’s repeated yet again – that the SNP had some kind of arithmetical leverage in the Commons prior to the 2019 general election which they could have used to gain a Section 30 in return for facilitating Brexit.  The reality is that Theresa May wouldn’t have touched a deal of that sort with a bargepole, but I’ve rehearsed that point multiple times.)

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