‘Not indicative Poll guru Curtice tackles survey that puts IndyRef2 support at 55 percent

IndyRef2: Poll puts support for Scottish Independence at 55%

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Professor John Curtice from the University of Strathclyde analysed a recent poll which showed support for Scottish independence was at 55 percent. But Professor Curtice was not convinced the poll showed any solid evidence support for IndyRef2 had dramatically changed as he noted Ipsos Mori had a habit of overblowing their results. Instead, the polling expert explained why the results may not be as dramatic as many people think as the Scottish independence debate rages on.

An Ipsos Mori poll for STV News put support for Scottish independence at 55 percent, the highest seen since the May election.

Polls on Scottish independence often slightly vary with support for yes or no winning by one or two percentage points.

However, the Ipsos Mori poll, published this week, showed one of the strongest supports for independence this year.

Professor John Curtice appeared on BBC Good Morning Scotland to discuss the findings but warned the poll was not as damning as some may believe.

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He explained: “Well, this poll is set against the backdrop of nine other polls conducted during the course of the autumn, which on average have put support for independence at 48 percent.

“So there is no doubt that the result in this poll is somewhat different from that of other polls that have been published recently and that’s always a reason for at least exercising a degree of caution.

“Exceptional polls are the ones that generate the headlines, they’re not necessarily the ones that are most indicative of what’s going on.

“It is worth bearing in mind that Ipsos Mori, the company that did this poll a perfectly reputable company who do a good job.

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“But there is what’s known in the trade as a ‘house effect’, that is it’s been tended to be true that Ipsos Mori has put support for independence somewhat higher than other companies in the same point in time.”

Professor Curtice noted Ipsos Mori put support for independence at 59 percent in October 2020 with other polls agreeing support had increased but “not by quite that much”.

The polling expert added the new poll needed to be seen in the context of both sides of the constitutional debate and that if the debate is as divided as pollsters believe then polls with strong results needed to be viewed with caution.

Professor Curtice was also asked his views on independence campaigning as it would no doubt have an effect on voters.

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He agreed and said voters would now be exposed to new arguments for independence in the backdrop of big political stories such as Brexit.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reaffirmed her commitment to an independence referendum during the SNP conference and said she would hold one by 2023.

Ms Sturgeon has toned down her independence campaigning and said the SNP would instead focus on the pandemic.

It comes as the SNP has come under fire from nationalists for prioritising independence over Scotland’s biggest issues.

Entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter said it was the “wrong move” to hold a referendum before 2023 as he feared Scotland would not recover properly from the pandemic.

He also warned Ms Sturgeon to focus on Scotland’s declining education rankings and said he was “gutted” to see it fall so much.

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