Tag archives for Scottish independence


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Is the UK 2015 General Election the Most Boring Ever?

English: Graph of Ipsos MORI UK general election opinion polls, created from data at Opinion_polling_in_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I'd intended to follow the General Election coverage, opinion polls and party manifestos and the comment in them to the extent that I am allowed to given the political restrictions on my job. I haven't done this because frankly there is almost nothing to say. None of the main UK parties appear to want to be elected given the way they are campaigning. The stars of the show are the SNP, who at best will only represent the views of 45% of Scotland, about million people. Related articles General Election 2015: New poll shows increasing gap between SNP and Labour Expect Vote Rigging An #indyref2 on the back of a big SNP election win is inconceivable UK party leaders campaign hard in…
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Strategy

Opinion Polling Accuracy

In September I did a series of factual posts on the opinion polls for the referendum. There is stuff we can learn from comparing the actual result to what the polls said beforehand. Especially as we have a General Election in a few months. It is also worth pointing out that my day job is politically restricted and so I can only offer factual analysis and need to avoid political partisanship. That said I may say positive or negative things about party positions, that shouldn't be construed as support for any party. Many political positions are not supported by relevant evidence but the public doesn't often know or listen to evidence and politicians that want to be elected must listen to the public. Many people, mainly pro-independence supporters, were surprised by the 55% no vote. The polls had narrowed in…
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Scottish Independence – Predicting the Results

Earlier today someone passed me an interesting table on the expected times that each of the councils in Scotland expect to declare their results and the percentage of the electorate that they cover. As well as that there was an indication on how likely the people living in that area were to vote Yes. Prediction on how the result so far will change as they are announced So this leads me to my second from last piece of analysis on the Scottish Independence referendum. I'll look at the results compared to the predictions when the detail is available. It's going to be an interesting night. Some of the areas with the most Yes support are expected to be in the first wave to declare their results. Early on (from about 2am) it will look very much like Scotland has voted…
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Scottish Independence – Make Sure You Vote

August and September 2014 opinion poll results on Scottish Independence I've scoured the Web for all the Scottish Independence opinion polls I could find. My conclusion is that it's pretty much neck and neck in the final straight. So if you've got a vote it's vital that you use it. There was a slew of polls released on 11th & 12th September, and as you can see from the graph they basically overlap. This means that the differences between them are all down to the margin of error in the polling methodology. Given how close it is every vote will count. If you haven't yet made up your mind then it is time to do so, see my previous post on cutting through the bias inherent in every campaigner's rhetoric. ¬†You might also want to skim Robert Hutton's Would They…
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Scottish Independence – 5 Steps to Avoid Bias

Bias is everywhere. Spotting it is a key skill for voters in Scotland (and people everywhere all the time). We all have biases, even me. This is a normal part of being human. We like being part of a group and generally moderate our behaviour to conform to group norms. There is loads of material on experiments about this, notably Milgram on obedience and also the Stanford prison experiment. The Scottish Independence campaign is possibly the largest social experiment I've seen on this. Both sides and their supporters have been egregious in their attempts to scare the electorate into voting for them. The campaign has also shown that people can be engaged in politics. Low turnouts aren't because people don't care. It is because they don't feel they have a genuine choice. This engagement has a down side though. And…
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