For many years, pollsters used to account for ‘Conservative guilt’ in general election polls, to allow for voters who were ashamed to admit they were going to vote Tory. You can’t blame pollsters in the Scottish referendum for failing to account for fear of nationalists in a one-off contest like yesterday’s. But, still, that explains why the polls were so wrong.
It’s undeniable that extreme nationalists gave the Nos a hard time. A photographer I recently worked with in Dundee has been photographing referendum posters in Scotland. The overwhelming majority of defaced posters were No posters, often plastered with extreme abuse.
No wonder some No voters played their cards extremely close to their chests until referendum day.