Survation have this afternoon released the result of a poll it has conducted for the Better Together campaign. Just as yesterday ICM released the results of a poll that had been conducted by phone rather than, as the company had done previously, over the internet, so also today’s poll is a phone poll from a company that up to now has been conducting its polls over the internet.
The results appear to confirm the lesson of ICM’s exercise. Despite the change in methodology, Survation have acquired almost exactly the same result as they did in both the previous two polls they conducted over the internet. Yes are on 42%, No 49%; the only difference is that No are (arithmetically just) up a point. Once the Don’t Knows were excluded those two previous polls put Yes on 47%, in this case the figure proves to be (just) 46%. The difference has to be regarded as insignificant.
Of course what this result also means is that while reiterating the picture that No enjoys no more than a narrow lead, Survation continue to fail to find any evidence of a swing to Yes in recent weeks. That will undoubtedly be disappointing for the Yes side. But otherwise this poll clearly confirms the message of many another poll that the referendum race is now tight, albeit one in which the No side still appear to have the edge.
The poll also suggests that gaining further ground could well prove far from easy for the Yes side. Only 9% say they are undecided, far fewer than the 17% in ICM’s phone poll. That might reflect the fact that, unlike ICM, Survation asked people how they would vote now rather than how they think they will vote next week. However Survation also asked their respondents whether they thought that they might change their mind between now and next Thursday and only 7% of those with a current voting intention thought that they might. Such possible switchers (as has been the case in most instances when such a question has been asked) are slightly more likely to be current Yes supporters than No ones. Meanwhile, although when asked what they think they will do slightly more undecided voters say they will vote Yes (27%) than No (22%) the difference is too small to make up the gap that still stands between Yes and the 50% mark.
Note: This is the first of a number of polls that are expected to be released today. We will only recalculate our poll of polls when all (or at least most) have been released.
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.