The Doldrums

Where nothing moves.

Average Yes in 12 polls* following Sturgeon becoming leader = 45.25%

Average Yes in 12 most recent polls to 5 December 2022 = 46.00%

SNP/Scottish Government under Sturgeon has failed to advance Scotland’s cause at all in eight years!

#DissolveTheUnion #ScottishUDI

*Polls using 2014 Referendum Question

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42 thoughts on “The Doldrums

  1. Good analogy there , I had been thinking , painting the Forth Bridge and Sysyphus were apt but yours better describes the complete inaction of the situation. Will Stephen Flynn break out the oars or have they been ditched overboard long ago?


    1. It’s not clear what Stephen Flynn could do. He can’t go against the party leader. That’s one of the problems with holding a position like that. It’s why I didn’t want Joanna Cherry in the job. A lot of people disagree with that. But being Westminster group leader would have effectively have gagged her.


      1. There has to be an effective challenge to the intransigence of Sturgeon in not leading any meaningful campaign to deliver Scotland’s Independence from whatever quarter and if it has to come from the group leader at Westminster whoever that might be then so be it.

        Joanna Cherry chose not to present herself as a candidate citing her Westminster (non Scottish) committee engagements taking apparent precedence over desire to lead the case for Independence from the floor of the Westminster Parliament.

        Scotland’s voice at Westminster can no longer be gagged in deference to a failed strategy, crafted, or otherwise and Stephen Flynn would do well to remind himself of that fact when he advocates on behalf of our Nation.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes but the SNP faithful are lapping up the latest ‘soaring’, ‘surging’, ‘shooting upwards’ and ‘sky rocketing’ support in favour of Independence from the latest Ipsos survey… just look at the bulk of the comments btl in The National.

    It’s a godsend for Nicola Sturgeon and her team – a fabulous Christmas present of a distraction from their abject failure on the constitution for 8 years and counting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. UDI❗

    Scots Recognising realism: #DissolveTheUnion #ScottishUDI
    Regarding realities, and the ‘UK’, dispassionate, if you try?
    Unilaterally Declaring Independence feelings, starting to fly
    Unravelling Kingdoms shouldn’t be considered; that’s why!

    Ewenart 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Average Yes in 12 polls following Sturgeon becoming leader = 45.25%

    This is absolute garbage. You do NOT average the YES votes without removing the don’t knows first, otherwise your result means absolutely NOTHING. I have told you this before but as always, you don’t listen.

    For instance, if you had 12 polls with the don’t knows all at 33% same as the YES and the NO, your ridiculous ignorance of statistics would make you say “Average Yes in 12 polls – 33%”, Whereas, compared with No, it’s 50% in that illustrative example.

    Can you not get that into your mathematically and statistically challenged skull?



    1. I already had this from another idiot. How do you remove the DKs from a figure which doesn’t include DKs?

      PS – I’ve copied that question. I’ll keep posting it until you answer.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ermmm …. the link you supplied to the list of opinion polls does actually contain the DKs though they are described as undecided.


          1. I know you are not this stupid Peter. I believe you are being deliberately obtuse. You know perfectly well that you simply remove the DKs/undecideds from the calculation and work out what %age of those who expressed a preference plumped for YES and NO respectively. It is standard practice …. as you are very well aware.


            1. Ah! I see you’ve decided to join the other idiots of that bandwagon. So, I’ll go along with your idiocy for the purposes of exposing it. Tell me what the figures would be if you “remove the DKs/undecideds”. Let’s see how you get on with removing figures that were never there in the first place.

              Liked by 1 person

      2. Peter, I’ve actually tutored people in statistics, highers and even Uni (modules) – and they all passed. I probably succeeded because I was patient, and being actually good at stats was quickly able to see where they went wrong. No, I didn’t charge, though I did consider being a paid tutor for stats, maths and physics – I did help people with the last two as well.

        Now then, as you say, the average YES in the last 12 polls is 46.0%. But the average NO in the last 12 polls is 45.8%, which you didn’t say.

        That totals 91.8%, leaving – how much unaccounted for out of 100%? And where do you think that unaccounted for percentage is, in the table for the last 12 polls on this page:


        1. I pity your students. The first thing I taught my students was that you have to understand the question. You simply cannot comprehend the question I am addressing with that calculation. Largely, I suspect, because you’re too desperate to score petty points. You shoot off your virtual mouth without any grasp of what is being discussed. You do this all the time. It is a trait. It makes you appear an idiot. Very convincingly.

          And don’t you fucking dare ask me now what the question is or to try and explain it to you. You should have done that BEFORE shooting off your idiot mouth.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The students I tutored in stats all passed, and went to Uni (or passed the Uni module).

            There’s no petty point, your use of stats is total garbage.

            Here: show this page to 12 statisticians and tabulate the results. All of them will laugh at you, so that’s 100% with that set of statisticians.

            Now, show this page to 12 other statisticians and 100% of them will laugh at you.

            According to your incredibly shrinking brain, that means the statisticians have FLATLINED


      3. It’s my tea-time and I’ve been working for money I’ve already been paid (payment with order these days). So here’s the next question:

        How do you direcly compare these two results:

        YES 53%, NO 42%, Undecided 4% with this one:
        YES 39%, NO 45%, Undecided 15%?


        1. I didn’t. Once again you make a total arse of yourself because you can’t read what’s on the page. You only see what’s in your head. So, for the most part, you see shite.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You didn’t understand my question. I didn’t ask you what you HAD done, I asked you to do something now. But you avoided it. Here’s the question again:

            How do you direcly compare these two results:

            YES 53%, NO 42%, Undecided 4% with this one:
            YES 39%, NO 45%, Undecided 15%?

            There IS an answer, and guess what, it involves removing the don’t knows (undecideds for those like you who don’t understand it’s the same thing when there are three variables in a table).

            I’m waiting for your answer, show all your working.


  5. To say there has been no progress is disingenuous. Statistics can be used to prove almost anything. Such as you have shown here.

    But how about a different take?

    In all the polls taken between the 2014 referendum and the Dec 2019 UK election, NO got 50% or greater of the sample on 33 occasions while YES achieved it on 1 occasion.

    In all the polls taken since the Dec 2019 UK election, NO got 50% or greater of the sample on 2 occasions while YES achieved it on 13 occasions.

    That looks like progress to me. NO has pretty much flat-lined in the mid-40s. The undecideds appear to broadly fluctuate between DK and YES. Again, that looks like progress to me.


    1. Statistics cannot be used to prove almost anything if you have access to the data and the methodology. It is not thr numbers that lie, but the way the numbers are presented.

      If there is something you don’t understand, why not act like a grown-up and just ask.


      1. Everything is a potential statistic Peter. You are not the statistic police. I compared the number of times each constitutional option obtained 50% or over in every poll listed in the link you gave us, with reference to two distinct time periods. Those are verifiable statistics. The fact the linked site “coloured the boxes in” does not negate them.

        What you do not like is the way it shows there has been a clear improvement in the performance of YES relative to NO in the polls between 2014 and now. It contradicts your narrative so you lash out with nonsense like “You are not comparing numbers. You are comparing pictures of numebrs”.

        I would also like to draw your attention to another set of polls on the same page of your linked site. The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey chart. That chart shows support for independence at only 33% in 2014 but rising to 52% in 2021. A rise of 19pts (or 57.5% when expressed as a percentage). Independence took the lead in 2016 and has gradually increased it since then. Again, looks like progress to me. I will admit they have used colours to “jazz up” their chart, so perhaps that negates them as credible statistics …. somehow.

        Progress has been made. As an Indy, you should be happy about it. Not gleefully doing the unionists work for them by trying to downplay it.


        1. The problem is it isn’t just on his own blog he does this, he has a 4 line 2 by 12 polls – FLATLINED cut and paste he puts below the line on the National day after day and even on multiple threads, and if you watch as I do sometimes when taking a break or a cuppa, you can see it get 30 or more upvotes in 10 minutes flat. His garbage matches SiU’s nonsensical polls with Remain and Leave so they’ll be delighted.

          Observation of similar on the Herald for postings such as that, or “Nippy stinks”, shows them to go up very quickly as well, you don’t have to have a subscription to upvote, and it’s upvote, refresh, upvote, refresh, in perhaps 3 or 4 tabs can do that with just one person.

          In that respect the Indy Movement is losing the battle of the MSM forums, and it only needs one committed unionist to achieve that.


          1. Agreed. But the Malcontents wont have it. They’ll believe every crazy conspiracy theory going in respect of the SNP …. but point the obvious opportunities their own tactics offer to unionists to sow dissent and despondency within the Indy movement and they go into mass denial. We can only hope it doesn’t damage the Indy cause too much.


            1. Well, in fairness it’s Pete Wishart has given the Unionist media their best laughs at a time when there’s precious (union) little for them to feel good about with the recent poll at 56% YES (excluding Don’t Knows!!!). The Express, Speccie and the usual suspects are all over this, where Wishart ignored the Thewliss Unity message with, for instance: “I remain bemused as to the reasons why you felt it neccessary to seek a change in our leadership …“. He’s also a liability these days, sad to say.

              I do remember how visibly upset he was during the introduction of the Scotland Bill, when Labour were all sneering and sniggering, even including Curran who should have known better as leader of the Westminster group. With the notable exception of Mark Lazarowicz, a very decent guy. Charles Kennedy made the best speech, but Wishart’s was very good. Labour were punished in 2015 for that, and a lot of other reasons.

              I think Wishart lost his way, hope he finds it again from the back benches.

              Anyways, a lot to do tomorrow. Errr, I mean today 😦


        2. What I did not like is the methodology. How do we know, for example, that this is not an artefact of the differences in methodology of the different polling firms. We know that there are some firms which tend to poll higher for Yes and some which tend to poll higher for No. For your ‘method’ to be telling us anything useful you’d have to ensure there were equal numbers of each in both the groups. Or maybe use some form of weighting to compensate for the difference.

          My own methodology answers the two questions that need to be answered if we are to know whether support for Yes has increased since Sturgeon took over, as claimed by apologists for the SNP. What was the level of Yes support at the start of her tenure? What is the level of support now?

          That’s it! That’s all we need to know. Taking an average of the support for Yes in a sample of polls from the start of the period and comparing it with the average of an equal number of the most recent polls is as good a way as any of ascertaining the answers to those questions. I don’t claim it is the only way. It may not even be the best way. But it has the advantage of being simple enough that even people who are not particularly numerate can easily understand it and perhaps even replicate it.

          Frankly, I’m amazed at the number of supposedly intelligent adults who completely fail to grasp the idea. It is strange. But I suspect the explanation may lie, not in their numeracy, but in their psychology.


          1. It’s kind of sad, really, if you were more open to criticism you could get help from people to improve your offering – a lesson hard learnt by many businesses. Instead of that you insult and bluster and antagonise people. As it happens, I like criticism of the SNP and Sturgeon – as long as it’s well-founded, and accurately put. I don’t think the head honchos get much in their hermetically sealed ivory tower.

            Anyways, you can improve the integrity of your 4 line cut and paste simply by stating that the YES percentages are taken from data that does not have the Don’t Knows removed. One extra line for accuracy. However, that may well make it easy for people to just dismiss it.

            But better than that you could do the same for NOes as you do for YESses, and simply put those results in your 4 liner without the line about not removing the DKs. If you do those two calculations you might be surprised at the result, considering the point you want to make. For good measure you could do the same with the DKs, and put an aside comment in that for some results the total of the 3 values is just 96%, pretty damn stupid – it might be because they didn’t bother putting in “refused”, which makes whoever compiled that list not much of a statistician either.

            The key Peter, in the reporting of stats, is openness and completeness, then your opinion stands on its own merit. As I say, considering the point you are trying to make, you will be pleasantly surprised – and way more effective.

            Here endeth the (yet again unpaid) tutoring.


          2. What are you wittering about Peter? Every caveat you apply to my “methodology” applies in spades to yours. In actual fact, the second example I drew your attention to, the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, was carried out by the exact same company, asking the same number of people, the exact same question. A perfect “methodology” that blows your pessimistic conclusion out of the water.

            Neither one of us has applied a “methodology”. I’ve just taken the results of nearly 200 polls to illustrate how YES has gone from being very much the underdog to a near dominant position. I used EVERY poll over the entire time period. You picked just 24 polls from an assortment of organisations, using disparate methodologies, to get the result you want.

            Why didn’t you pick polls from late 2016 to compare with late 2022. Support for independence was down to 39%, according to the last three polls of 2016, due to the anxiety caused by the Brexit result. The last three polls of 2022 show support is over 51%. That would show progress however, and we all know how you like to suppress any positive feelings Indies might have as a result … for some reason.


  6. I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone so unable to admit they’ve made a mistake, so unwilling to learn how to handle statistics correctly, or someone so ready to shout at others for his own ignorance as Peter A Bell; and the reason for that ignorance is of course a complete inability to learn. I’m wasting my time as ignorance that wants to learn is intelligent, whereas ignorance that insists it’s right and the rest of the known universe is wrong, is just pig ignorance. I asked:

    How do you direcly compare these two results:

    YES 53%, NO 42%, Undecided 4% with this one:
    YES 39%, NO 45%, Undecided 15%?

    The answer is you remove the don’t knows (DK = undecideds).

    You DON’T say the average YES is (53% + 39%) / 2 = 92% / 2 = 46%.

    You DO multiply YES by 100% divided by (100% – DK) for all items in the table (two in the example).

    so you get for the two results:

    YES 53% * 100% / (100% – 4%) = YES 53% * 100% / 96% = 55.2%
    YES 39% * 100% / (100% – 15%) = YES 39% * 100% / 85% = 45.9%

    So the average is (55.2% + 45.9%) / 2 = 101.1% / 2 = 51% rounded.

    Clearly the 46% average of just the YES without the DK’s removed (from the results) is totally meaningless, as even the lower of the 2 values was 46% rounded.


  7. Wings have quoted that 40% of Scottish Labour voters want independence. Those people would mostly come over to the SNP for a one off Holyrood plebiscite on independence.

    Yet Sturgeon persists with a WM GE plebiscite. Where those same Labour voters would likely vote Labour in a UK election.

    I know you hate conspiracies. But it certainly looks like she doesn’t want to win. So the waiting goes on, and on and on. Inertia!


    1. You make a very good point. The reasons for NOT choosing a Westminster election are so overwhelming that the decision to do so does look rather suspicious. But we should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. My take on the matter is that it was all done on the spur of the moment with precious little thought. The ‘plan’ had to look at least superficially plausible. That meant it had to be imbued with a certain sense of urgency. So, she went for what would be the first election. That’s it! No other factors taken into consideration. It looks plausible. It looks urgent. Fine! Let’s go with that!

      And it worked. People bought it. They allowed themselves to be bought off with a ‘plan’ that might have been cobbled together in the ten minutes before it was announced. We see the same absence of reasoning in the decision to make the referral to the UKSC. It hadn’t been gamed at all. It was perfectly obvious that Sturgeon just hadn’t thought it through.

      Liked by 1 person

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