The Last Lap: Ipsos MORI’s Final Poll

Ipsos MORI released the very final poll of the referendum this morning (conducted for the Evening Standard) as voters were already heading for the polls. Conducted over a two day period that ended 24 hours later than the company’s poll for STV that was published last night, it adopted the same methodological tweaks to estimating the outcome used in that poll.

The poll put Yes on 45% and No on 50% while just 5% were classified as Don’t Knows. That represents a two point lower estimate of the Yes vote than in the company’s STV poll, while No’s tally is a point higher. When the Don’t Knows are excluded Yes are put on 47% (and No on 53%), two points lower than in the earlier poll. There is evidently no evidence of a last minute swing to Yes here, though the poll leaves our poll of polls unchanged on Yes 48%, No 52% – but with every single final poll putting No ahead.

The poll contains a couple of questions that asked people the motivations for their choice. First of all, in line with much of the research evidence uncovered during the referendum, no less than 74% say that they have made their choice on the basis of what they think would be the practical consequences of independence while just 19% say they are voting because of their feelings of identity (19%). Mind you the latter are clearly there in the background. No less than 84% of those who say they are Scottish and not British propose to vote Yes compared with just 26% of those who say they are equally Scottish and British (and just 14% amongst the small group of people who feel more British than Scottish).

Second, as we might anticipate, most of those who propose to vote No (58%) say they are voting out of fear for the future if their side loses. In contrast most of those who are voting Yes (80%) claim to be doing so because they are hopeful for the future if their side wins. Tonight we will see who has won this apparent battle between hope and fear.

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About the author

John Curtice is Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, Senior Research Fellow at ScotCen and at 'UK in a Changing Europe', and Chief Commentator on the What Scotland Thinks website.