PEOPLE in Scotland are changing their minds about the future of Scotland. Support for Scottish independence is now in a sustained majority. Results by different polling organisations have shown this majority in seven different polls.
What, however, is causing people to change their minds? Have they gone straight from No to Yes? Has it been a more gradual process? These and a wide range of further questions have been the subject of sustained research by Progress Scotland, the organisation I run, that focuses on people who are undecided or open-minded about Scottish independence.
Over the coming days in The National we will learn where the temperature of Scottish public opinion is. The latest super-sized opinion poll commissioned by Progress Scotland and conducted by Survation is going to shine a light on what the public thinks.
Together with our independent polling adviser Mark Diffley we set a wide range of questions which will help us understand what people are thinking about present day Scotland and the future of the country.
With plenty of other pollsters and researchers asking the straight Yes/No question about how people will vote, Progress Scotland concentrates on trying to identify voters who are open-minded or undecided.
In our poll, Survation asks: “On a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 means ‘I completely oppose Scotland becoming an independent country’ and 10 means ‘I completely support Scotland becoming an independent country’ what number would you consider yourself to be?”
Having already asked this question in past years, it allows us to understand what the direction of travel is among the electorate.
Survation also asks people directly whether their headline views have changed or not: “Thinking back to how you voted in the referendum September 2014 and your views now, which of the following statements best describes what you think?”
Responses come back to “my views have changed, and I would vote the other way in another referendum” and “my views have changed a bit, and I am now not sure how I would vote”.
Looking at the data tables, it gives a very clear indication what the relative movement is between Yes and No. People have changed their minds in both directions, but to what extent, in which proportion and why?
With much discussion about what priorities people have when thinking about their top issues, we ask that too, as well as whether
a pro-independence majority in next year’s Scottish Parliament elections should lead to a referendum, and what expectation respondents have of the likely indyref2 result.
Current developments are undoubtedly having an impact on people’s views, so we set a broad range of questions for Survation to ask around the Internal Markets Bill and Brexit, as well as the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the Scottish and UK governments, and the public perception of Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson.
OVER the next few days, I can guarantee you that you will be interested in the Progress Scotland findings from the super-sized Survation poll. You will be able to see the results on the Progress Scotland website and social media channels. I am sure that different media and broadcast outlets will also take a close interest. In the meantime, can I take the opportunity to thank all Progress Scotland subscribers who contribute monthly or make a donation for their ongoing support.
When we first launched in 2018 a well known national commentator suggested on BBC Radio Scotland that there was no successful example of a research organisation based on subscriptions.
Not only have we been able to fund polling and focus group research, but Progress Scotland also collects testimonial information from people who have moved from No to Yes.
Because of the way Progress Scotland commissions research, we have an ever-growing pool of open-minded and undecided voters who we are able to work with to understand their needs, interests and expectations. No other research organisation does this and it is an invaluable resource.
If you would like to support the ongoing research of Progress Scotland, please subscribe. All you need to do is visit the website and click the “support” button at www.progressscotland.org.
You can also have a look at past and present research, read the testimonials or see videos from people who have moved from No to Yes or who are now undecided.
Scotland is moving ever closer to independence and it is more important than ever before that we have the best research and information to understand and communicate with voters who are open-minded or undecided.
Progress Scotland is at the forefront of this work. Our latest large-scale poll will be of great interest to both supporters and opponents of Scottish independence, although there will only be one side which has anything to celebrate.
Please read the Sunday National tomorrow for first poll results.