Ailsa Henderson's blog

As polling companies try out different methodologies in the light of recent reviews of their practices, Ailsa Henderson explains how they determine who is likely to vote. 
 
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In the event of another independence campaign, says Ailsa Henderson, both sides will need to find some answers. 
 
The First Minister’s announcement that the SNP government intends to seek a section 30 order to hold a second independence referendum contained within it a few hints about the key messages of a future Yes campaign.  
 
In 2014 they had one key weakness – arguments about risk – and one key strength – arguments about a better society.  The speech shows an effort to neutralise the weakness and play up the strength.
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On the night of the 1995 Quebec independence referendum, twenty years ago yesterday, then Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau, who had campaigned for independence, suggested that the Yes side had been defeated by money and the ethnic vote, undoing decades of careful work on the part of the Parti Québécois (PQ) to emphasize its model of civic nationalism and inclusiveness.  Support has historically been low among Anglophone Quebecers and those Allophones whose mother tongue is neither English nor French.
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The most recent results of the Scottish Referendum Study have been widely discussed in the media. The research invetigated what motivated Scots to vote Yes or No in September's referemdum. We'll be following up with a blog outlining the significance of the results and will post the video of the launch of the report once it is avauilable. For now, here are the findings as they have been released to the media. 

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With two weeks to go until the independence referendum it is perhaps worth looking at what was happening in the final weeks of the 1995 referendum on sovereignty partnership in Quebec to see if there are any interesting parallels or useful lessons.

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On 18 September Scottish residents will have the opportunity to vote in a referendum on independence.  There have been numerous surveys tracking voter attitudes to independence and the website What Scotland Thinks provides a useful resource on general trends. We know, for example, that while differe... Read more
Post type: Publication
Ailsa Henderson, Liam Delaney and Robert Liñeira discuss the findings of their report on Risk and Attitudes to Constitutional Change. The report is available for download here. Any referendum on independence must confront the issue of risk and loss. For some voters, the prospect of pursuing a radica... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
This post was originally published by The Spectator on 29 April 2014 There is now a significant chance that Ukip will top the European election poll in England. But while Ukip are also on course to win an MEP in Wales, if the results of new polling are borne out on 22 May, they would likely not win... Read more
Post type: Blog entry

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