Why was there a sharp increase in the margin of support of independence in Scotland in August/September 2014?

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Why was there a sharp increase in the margin of support of independence in Scotland in August/September 2014?

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user4012

Posted 2014-09-10T20:32:20.947

Reputation: 84 347

No, it is within the margin of error. A single poll tells you nothing. We need to repeated polls showing the same thing. – user1873 – 2014-09-10T23:58:54.267

1@user1873 - unless I'm mistaken, the squares represent separate polls. So there's a very clear long term trend since mid-August – user4012 – 2014-09-11T00:26:19.227

@Avi Oh yeah, me too, you have no idea - I couldn't sleep for weeks because I was dying to know the answer to this question. – Shahar – 2014-09-11T19:36:32.780

3@Shahar you're on a politics SE. You're likely to find people here who really do care about politics. – Publius – 2014-09-11T21:38:37.020

@DVK - I looked at the most recent version of that graphic, and I can't find that crossover point on it.

– Bobson – 2014-09-12T20:39:37.593

To get a useful answer would require an in-depth look at each specific poll, and then further analysis from there. The specific poll results are here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_Scottish_independence_referendum,_2014

– aVeRTRAC – 2014-10-21T02:55:34.490

1That same poll timeline indicates that the most significant jump occurred after the Salmond/Darling debate, but further research would have to be done to link that to the rise. – aVeRTRAC – 2014-10-21T02:59:46.403

Answers

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Any answer to this question will inevitably be somewhat speculative. However I think there were two main factors:

  • The approaching referendum, meaning that previously undecided people started picking a side. Many seem to have come down on the "Yes" side.

  • The second Salmond/Darling debate, which Salmond was widely viewed as having won.

It also seems likely, given that the final referendum result was 45-55 whereas the preceding opinion polls were more like 47-53 if you ignore the undecideds, that there was a degree of polling error.

GS - Apologise to Monica

Posted 2014-09-10T20:32:20.947

Reputation: 512