Forecast update: 26 September 2014

Forecast b 140926 Continue reading Forecast update: 26 September 2014

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What the Scottish Independence Referendum results tell us

Stephen Fisher, 19th September

Alex Salmond claimed that there were no No votes, just deferred Yes votes. They were deferred too late for the independence cause. But taking that attitude is possibly the best way of explaining the overall No vote in yesterday’s Scottish Independence referendum.

It is much easier to ask what factors led so many people to vote Yes than it is to ask why more people voted No. Up to a month ago the polls showed large leads for No. Voting to stay in the union was the default position. The key question is how the Yes camp managed to come so close even if they still did not actually manage to win. Continue reading What the Scottish Independence Referendum results tell us

Which councils are most likely to be indicative of the overall result in the Scottish Independence Referendum?

Stephen Fisher, 18th September

The results of today’s referendum on Scottish independence are being counted and announced by local authority area. Every vote counts equally. It is not like a British general election or even Scottish Parliament election, at which votes for some parties in some places have more chance of influencing the overall outcome than others.

Given the polls suggest the result could be close this means we might need to wait until all the results are declared before we know the outcome, especially if the two big cities (Edinburgh with 9% of the Scottish electorate and Glasgow with 11%) are among the last to declare. Unless the results strongly favour one side or the other, it will be difficult to interpret the early declarations to say what they imply for the overall outcome. Continue reading Which councils are most likely to be indicative of the overall result in the Scottish Independence Referendum?

How accurate will the Scottish independence referendum polls be?

Stephen Fisher, 11th September

The vote intention polls for the Scottish independence referendum seem to have been taken largely at face value by commentators, politicians and even the financial markets. In particular, the roughly equal split of the vote between Yes and No in several recent polls is being interpreted as if it implies that the result of the referendum is likely to be close. But how accurate are opinion polls as predictors of referendum outcomes and how accurate are polls for elections in Scotland more generally? Continue reading How accurate will the Scottish independence referendum polls be?