Scotland is voting on its own independence Thursday, and the conventional wisdom holds that it will ultimately vote NO — meaning the Scots will stay with Great Britain.
Polls show the NO side holding a slim, but consistent lead.
And the British Pound has been surging, which is the opposite of what it would do if the UK were about to be thrown into political chaos.
And betting markets have been giving long odds to the YES side.
So does YES have any hope?
One of the smartest analysts we know — who chooses to remain nameless — explained how it could happen via an IM conversation earlier. The theory is that it’s possible that the polls are under-estimating the pool of voters, and looking at past turnout models which won’t apply this time if the young people (who are pro-independence, largely) turn out in droves.
Here’s what he said:
The polls are good at catching the people that normally vote.
This thing looks like everyone is going to vote
Polls haven’t the first clue how to poll this
Honestly, I have no idea how the average 17 yr old is going to vote, but I know the average Celtic supporting Gorbels resident is going to vote Yes
those people normally don;t vote, and certainly aren’t getting polled. All that matters is that they turn up
So, IF the polls are wrong. and even by polling the people that normally vote they are getting close to 50:50, I think the YES side have it.
There’s some further evidence for this theory courtesy of political science researcher Diarmuid Scully, who tweets:
IPSOS MORI confirm that their opinion polls are no longer valid if turnout in Scotland hits 80% I suspect these extra voters will go for Yes
— Diarmuid Scully (@dscullylimerick) September 18, 2014
So there you have it. If turnout is massive, and if polls aren’t picking that up, watch out!
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