Scotland Poll result: 53.9% Yes

Here are the results of a poll run on a sample of Scottish web users between 7-9 September. The poll reported – when weighted to match the Scottish internet population’s general makeup – a 53.9% ‘Yes’ vote for the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The poll results were from 1,000 people in Scotland (for context, the last YouGov poll was of 1084 poeple). The poll was displayed to web users as they browsed media, mobile, arts & entertainment websites. The question was displayed to 2,873 people, from which 1,000 responded. The “Yes” result was reported with 95% significance (meaning if the same poll were run 100 times, the answer would be “Yes” on at least 95 occasions).

Weighted Results:  “Should Scotland be an independent country?

  • 53.9%  ‘Yes’

  • 46.1% ‘No’


Unweighted Results: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The 1,000-person sample didn’t exactly match the makeup of the Scottish population (by age & gender), and therefore the above ‘weighted’ results have been altered to take that into account. For complete disclosure I’ve included the ‘unweighted’ results below, which actually lean further toward ‘Yes’. By unweighted results, I mean the results below are the ‘raw’ data, ignoring whether or not the age/gender of respondents matched the general internet users of Scotland.

  • 55.1% ‘Yes’
  • 44.9% ‘No’.


Do share this with others if you think they would find it interesting. Feel free to leave any/all comments below.

Appendix: Further Detail:

  • The poll ran & as displayed to a random sample of users within Scotland between 6:36pm on September 7th to 5:31pm on September 9th.
  • There was no “Don’t know” answer displayed.
  • The answers were displayed in the same order each time: ‘Yes’ first, ‘No’ second.
  • The question was worded as per the official question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?
  • There are lots of caveats with data such as this. It is a ‘snapshot’ rather than a ‘prediction’.
  • I have asked the specific ballot question, rather than framing it as “If you were to vote today, would you vote for Scotland to be an independent country?”.
  • I’ve left error bars on the results so that you can see the variability.
  • I included a series of caveats & additional notes on a previous similar poll I ran. You can read those in the ‘caveats’ section of this post.
  • For full clarity, here is the breakdown of respondents, and their bias vs the general ‘Internet Population’ of Scotland

Do share this with others if you think they would find it interesting. Feel free to leave any/all comments below.


8 replies
  1. Pierre-Alain Coffinier
    Pierre-Alain Coffinier says:

    Hello Dan,
    Very interesting poll, but :
    – do web users not tend to be more politically engaged and therefore more inclined to vote Yes ?
    – do polls take into account the differential in turnouts for Yes and No ?
    Thank you very much for your answer. PIerre-Alain.

    • Ben Meldrum
      Ben Meldrum says:

      I’m a student in Scotland and I was actually at a debate with my school and they made us vote at the start and it was around 80 percent to the no vote and 20 percent to the yes vote, why? Because they weren’t informed, they used very descriptive language and I don’t think people understood so much so the percentages only differed to about 70% to no and 30% to yes, but it’s clear for that example, ill-informed people are willing to go for no for the security of not losing ties to the UK.

  2. Jude Collins
    Jude Collins says:

    Besides being cheering news for those of us who favour Yes, it is wonderful to see people outside the mainstream mass media doing their own research. This should be made available to as many people as read/heard about the poll yesterday, showing No in the clear lead….Maith thú – well done! This is what I call public service internet work.
    – Jude

  3. Ian
    Ian says:

    Dear Dan,
    Very interesting. I am biased in favour of Yes, I have to say before I start.

    I wonder how you could introduce the stanard deviations of the results so as to provide some sort of confidence intervals. With sample sizes of 1000 the two standard deviations are about 63 (1000^0.5 * 2), which in my rough and ready calculations works out at about 6%. So the 95% confidence interval is around +or- 6%.. My knowledge of this is a bit rusty but I do know that it is important to include confidence intervals. This is very seldom done but I am sure the researchers calculate these even though they are not published. Without them, it is impossible to say if there is any significant difference between the Yes & No counts. Of course, the undecided should be included in the calculations but this is more difficult, as should the weighting which you have introduced.

    On the basis of the above, I think most of the polls quoted recently show no statistically significant difference between the Yes & No. How much would the difference have to be in your sample of 1000 with your calculations to be significant? It seems that is is all up to how we vote on the day, with the undecideds vote being really important.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
    Kind wishes,

  4. adrian
    adrian says:

    Thanks for taking the time do produce this! I would know what your thoughts are regarding the question from Pierre-Alain Coffinier, I imagine that if this were the case, the Yes result would be far greater!


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