THE results of the ScotGoesPop / Panelbase poll, commissioned after a crowdfunder that many readers of The National contributed to, certainly haven’t disappointed.

Not only is the Yes vote slightly higher than in the first post-election polls from YouGov and Survation, it’s also higher than in any poll conducted by a member firm of the British Polling Council since just after the EU referendum was held in June 2016.

It’s particularly striking that Panelbase are suddenly producing better results for Yes than Survation, because throughout 2017 and 2018 Panelbase were one of two firms (along with YouGov) who were consistently reporting lower Yes figures than other companies, and indeed were often showing a Yes vote lower than the 45% recorded in the 2014 indyref itself. Survation’s figures, by contrast, tended to be more on the Yes-friendly end of the spectrum.

But virtually all pollsters are now revising their methodology in the aftermath of the 2019 election, most obviously by ceasing to weight their results by how respondents recall voting in the 2017 election, and instead weighting them by 2019 recalled vote.

That could turn upside down all of our assumptions about who the Yes-friendly and No-friendly pollsters are. It certainly seems to have made a big difference as far as Panelbase are concerned, because in their last poll of 2019, there was an extremely substantial downweighting of respondents who voted SNP in 2017.

READ MORE: Converting No voters to Yes must be our top priority

In the new poll, there is still a downweighting of SNP voters from the 2019 election, but it’s nowhere near as severe. It may well be that the disproportionately large number of natural SNP supporters who abstained in the 2017 election has had a distorting effect on polls for the last couple of years, and that the Yes vote has been slightly underestimated throughout that period as a result.

The SNP may have been suffering in a similar way in Scottish Parliament polls. For a long time we had got used to polls suggesting that the SNP and Greens in combination were at risk of falling short of a pro-independence majority at the 2021 election, but the new poll is radically different. It implies that the SNP are on course to have an overall majority of seats in their own right. Once the Greens are taken into account, there would be a truly commanding pro-independence majority at Holyrood, well in excess of what we have at present. Most astonishingly of all, there would be a clear majority for pro-independence parties in the popular vote on both ballots – something that wasn’t even achieved in the 2011 landslide that paved the way for the first indyref.

The bolder elements within the SNP may look at these numbers and think there could be a golden opportunity to win an outright and unambiguous mandate for independence itself in next year’s election, if Nicola Sturgeon accepts that a Section 30 order isn’t coming and decides to use an election to double as a de facto referendum.

The most important caveat about all of the results in the poll is that the fieldwork was conducted just before Brexit actually happened.

READ MORE: Survation poll shows Yes support hit 50% for independence

Although everyone knew the appointed date and time, it may still be that the reality of waking up in a non-EU country will prove an emotional shock for Remainers that will drive Yes support higher still. Alternatively, the relatively benign nature of the transitional period could lead (temporarily) to complacency about the long-term impact of Brexit, and No support could start to creep up again.

As ever, all we can do is await further polls to discover which way it will go.