This morning the Communication Workers’ Union released a Survation constituency poll of Hartlepool, the first one we’ve seen (earlier in the campaign figures were released from a Focaldata MRP of the North, but you can’t really use MRP for a by-election – it doesn’t pick up the unique circumstances). Topline figures with changes from the last election were are CON 49%(+20), LAB 42%(+4), NIP 2%(+2), GRN 1%(+1), LD 1%(-3), ReformUK 1%(-25).

I should start by saying that constituency polling is difficult. It is mostly done by telephone and often has small sample sizes (in this case, the sample was 500, but the actual voting figures are based only 302 who gave a response). Its track record has sometimes been patchy. Nevertheless, it’s the best evidence of where the race stands that we are going to get. What can we tell?

The Conservatives are ahead (though the two main parties are within the margin of error for a sample of 302). Compared to the general election the poll suggests an 8 point lead from Lab to Con, significantly better than how the Conservatives are doing in national polls.

It would be extremely unusual for a governing party to gain a seat in a by-election. There have been only two instances in the last fifty years (Copeland in 2017 and Mitcham & Morden in 1982). Few governments poll ahead of their last election performance mid-term anyway, and if anything they do worse than that in by-elections.

The reason the Tories are doing better in Hartlepool than nationwide appears fairly straightforward, and doesn’t offer any obviously transferrable lessons. In Britain as a whole the Brexit party got 2% at the 2019 election. In Hartlepool they got a very healthy 26%. That vote has almost completely vanished, presumably to the benefit of the Conservatives.

As ever, by-elections are extremely unusual beasts that do not necessarily tell much about national politics. Maybe if the actual by-election turns out like this it will be a steer on how other seats with a high level of Brexit party support in 2019 may go… but then, come the actual by-election we’ll have a glut of other data from the local, Scottish, Welsh, Mayoral and London elections due to be held on the same day, so hopefully we won’t be trying to desperately read too much into one single by-election.

Also worth noting that – given this poll was commissioned by the CWU – it also asked about some of the issues that they are concerned about like broadband, Royal Mail privatisation, nurses pay. The answers in Hartlepool were as you’d expect from national polling (people like free stuff & nurses. They don’t like privatisations). It doesn’t tell us anything particularly useful about why Labour aren’t doing better. Don’t assume because the CWU chose to ask about those issues that they are necessarily ones that are driving support in Hartlepool. Maybe people in Hartlepool care more about Corona, or crime, or Brexit, or economic regeneration, or taxes…

Finally, before this poll there was also significant social media buzz about the Northern Independence party having an impact, not least because their candidate is Thelma Walker, a former Labour MP who resigned over the party’s refusal to re-admit Jeremy Corbyn. Realistically a party that hasn’t even been registered yet may be very pleased indeed if they manage to get third place, but nevertheless, the poll suggests they are not significant players here.

UPDATE: The tables for the Survation poll have appeared, and worth adding a further caveat. At the last election the Brexit party got 26% of the vote. Among people who took part in the poll, only 3% recalled voting for the Brexit party. This does not *necessarily* mean its a duff sample – there will undoubtedly be issues of false recall, of people re-aligning their past vote to match with present circumstances (especially since the Brexit party has rebranded itself into ReformUK and no longer exists in its old form), but it should be an extra reason for caution.


There were two Scottish Parliament voting intention over the weekend, one from Panelbase, one from Survation. Topline figures are that both show the SNP continuing to cruise towards victory and on the edge of winning a majority. Both show a tight race for second place between the Conservatives and Labour.

However, these were also the first two to measure support for Alex Salmond’s new list only party, Alba. The Panelbase poll showed them at 6%, the Survation poll showed them at 3%. To understand the significance of these we need to explore the nuances of the Scottish Parliament electoral system.

The Scottish Parliament elects members using an additional member system. 73 MSPs are elected in constituencies using first past the post, a further 56 are elected on a proportional regional list system. The regional list seats effectively operate as a “top-up” to the constituency seats already won, so that overall the seats won should be proportional to the list vote. For example, if party A won 6 constituency seats, but got 10% of the list vote, they’d be awarded another 7 list seats so they had 10% of the total seats. It’s more complicated than that because it’s done by region, meaning there is an effective threshold to get any seats at all, but we’ll come to that.

Crucially people cast two votes – you don’t have to cast your constituency vote in the same way as your list vote, you can vote for different parties.

The SNP did extremely well at winning constituencies at the last election (59 out of 73). This meant that that despite winning 42% of the list vote, they didn’t receive many list seats, because they had already won almost their fair share through constituency seats. Compare this to the Scottish Greens – they don’t win any constituency seats (they barely stand), so there is nothing to set against their list vote and their list vote of 7% translates into 6 seats.

Therefore, the Alba argument goes, SNP votes on the regional list are “wasted” votes, that are unlikely to return MSPs. If a significant chunk of SNP voters voted Alba instead, it would return more pro-independence MSPs.

So far, so good. However, because the Scottish system uses regional lists, there’s an effective threshold to get any seats at all (about 5-6%). There is also already a second pro-independence party, the Scottish Greens. That means in practice Alba could have a positive or negative impact on the number of pro-Independence MSPs elected. If they get over 5% in a substantial number of regions, and do so by taking SNP second preferences, rather than taking votes who would otherwise back the Greens, they will increase the next number of pro-independence MSPs. If they get under 6% in most regions, they are unlikely to win any MSPs at all. If they get under 6%, but in doing so, take votes from the Scottish Greens, they could even reduce the the number of pro-independence MSPs.

Hence, in judging the impact of Alba, the thing to look at is the level of Alba and the Scottish Greens in the list vote, and whether each is above or below that threshold of around 5-6%. The two polls so far paint contrasting pictures – in the Survation poll, Alba were at 3% and the Scottish Greens were unchanged at 11%. In the Panelbase poll Alba were at 6%, the Scottish Greens at 8%, again comparable to their showing in previous Panelbase polls.

So in neither case was there any evidence that Alba were cannibalising the pro-independence list vote by taking support from the Greens, but the evidence on whether they’ll actually win seats of their own is unclear. On the Panelbase figures they may well do (John Curtice tentatively projects 6 Alba seats, with a total of 79 pro-Independence MSPs). On the Survation figures they probably wouldn’t, but the SNP and Greens would get 77 pro-Independence MSPs between them anyway.

And that, in itself, maybe underlines the extent to which this matters. As things stand most polls show the SNP getting a majority or getting close to one. Taking the SNP & Scottish Greens together, there will very likely be a majority of pro-Independence MSPs anyway. Whether Alba manage to scramble over the threshold to win some seats or not doesn’t look likely to change that given their present level of support.

3,381 Responses to “Polling on Hartlepool and the impact of Alba”

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  1. The Other Howard,
    “Indeed it is, apart from the WA which either requires major modification or ditching,”

    Hmm. Thats the agreement currently keeping th Uk economy afloat. So you would like to ditch it?

  2. @ ALEC – “much easier and quicker to just take it on the chin and stop pretending.”

    So is that you finally saying Macron locked down ‘too little, too late’ in Feb-Mar 2021 or are you still ‘pretending’ Macron had no need for a 3rd lockdown based on the info he had at the time (eg very effective vaccines were by they known to exist and we knew the new variants were more transmissible)

    I’m not pretending I said anything different in Feb-Mar 2020 [1] based on the available facts at that time – no idea why you think I am ‘pretending’ but your silly little games or struggle with the concept of time are so boringly predictable.

    [1] You are aware that was over a year ago – possibly why you didn’t add any dates and just selectively quoted? zzz ZZZ

  3. Election Maps UK
    Westminster Voting Intention (London):

    LAB: 47% (-2)
    CON: 32% (-1)
    LDM: 11% (+2)
    GRN: 6% (=)

    , 28 Apr – 3 May.
    Changes w/ 7-10 Apr.

  4. UK: London Mayor voting intention – 28 April 2021

    “Sadiq Khan set to be comfortably re-elected this Thursday, polling at 48% to Shaun Bailey’s 29%. ”

  5. Election Maps UK
    London Mayoral Voting Intention:

    Khan (LAB): 48% (-3)
    Bailey (CON): 29% (=)
    Porritt (LDM): 8% (=)
    Berry (GRN): 7% (-1)
    Fox (REC): 3% (NEW)

    , 28 Apr – 3 May.
    Changes w/ 7-10 Apr.
    Election Maps UK
    Second Round:

    Khan (LAB): 63% (-1)
    Bailey (CON): 37% (+1)

    , 28 Apr – 3 May.
    Changes w/ 7-10 Apr.

  6. Sadly they didn’t prompt for Count Binface :(

  7. So, the lifting up (otherwise known as let’s give more money to friends) is not applied for non-Tory voting areas.


    There hasn’t been any correlation between productivity and wages in the UK productive sectors since 1979. The gains from productivity have been realised in the non-productive sectors.

    But it is certainly true that some of the traditional manufacturing sectors need a business model change or they will be wiped out. These companies fired everyone they could (including professional departments, middle managers), so there is no saving from that and unfortunately the biological evolution creates a limit to the speed of work (it is already stretched as official figures on quality-related complaints about British (or for that matter German) manufactured goods show).

  8. Anyone seen the video of Unclear Keir hitting a punchbag? Quite amusing. He’s clearly never hit anything before. I don’t know how to post links from twitter, but it’s from a chap called Dave Higgens.

  9. Opinium London poll did however ask GE VI (change v GE’19). V003 with DKs removed:

    CON: 29% (-3)
    LAB: 49% (+1)
    LDEM: 9% (-6)
    Green: 6% (+3)
    UKIP[1]: 3% (+3)

    and approval ratings:

    Boris -3%
    Starmer +10% (well it is London!)

    [1] They didn’t prompt for Gammons (UKIP chap) in the Mayor polling so ‘all to play for’ in who comes 4-20th in that one (Count Binface hopefully beating Fox and Corbyn)

  10. TREVS

    For a fiver you can become “TRUDY” :) :) :)

    Sky News
    From today, the cost of changing one’s legal gender comes down from £140 to £5 to make it easier for transgender people to afford

  11. @Trevs – “..possibly why you didn’t add any dates..”

    Except for the bit where I, er, gave the date?


    No point trying to pretend Trevs.

    You used to be aggressively anti lockdown, and very rude to those of us who disagreed, saying it was doing untold, permanent damage to the economy and everything else.

    Now you are trumpeting the anticipated bounce back from lockdown, which some of us predicted would happen over a year ago (yup Trevs – got there first again) and you want to criticise a Frenchie because he didn’t do what you didn’t want to do last year, even though France will have come out of covid with fewer deaths and less economic damage than the UK.

    Entertaining as ever.

  12. @EoR

    “Probably very few indeed.

    Chance of finding a leave voter among two randomly selected adults in Bristol was 48% (62% among two known voters)

    Chance of finding one among three randomly selected adults in Bristol was 63% (76% among three known voters)

    (73% turnout, 62-38 split)”

    Not that few given the location though, like any city, Bristol varies and the remain % outside the wills building would have been easily 80%+, likely higher.

  13. Oh – and don’t bother mentioning hindsight. That’s always your excuse, and it’s a really, really lame one, especially when you are talking to people who work on foresight.

  14. @ ALEC – zzz ZZZ. Still going then…

    “You used to be aggressively anti lockdown”

    Yes. I have never once denied that or pretended otherwise.

    Feb-Mar’20 I was anti-lockdown and pro ‘splitting the herd’, slow hand clap for actually 1/2 remembering something accurately for once. I also thought we stayed in lockdown1.0 for too long (ie late April to July (mid point being the one and only date you gave (May 25th, 2020 at 1:44 pm)), doing unnecessary socio-economic damage and have again never once denied that view or pretended otherwise.

    Quite what that has to do with jobs post C19 is something you made up with a misunderstanding/tangent, perhaps thinking you are the only purveyor of defeatist drivel in the known universe or struggle with the concept of time?

    It was Captain Obvious we’d bounce back from C19 (and also create jobs from Leave.EU[1]) as we don’t need permission from Brussels to generate debt fuelled growth in order to ensure a ‘jobs first recovery’ from C19 (and make a success of Brexit)

    Lockdowns came with massive debt and socio-economic cost – FACT! (or do you want to disagree?)

    Now will you state Macron did ‘too little, too late’ in Feb-Mar’21 or just accept that you are a total hypocrite who always flies the EU (or EU nation) flag and finds every possible way to put down UK

    I’m not sure if Macron specifically said he’d rather let the bodies pile high than have a 3rd lockdown but ‘words to that effect’ or are you pretending otherwise?

    You are as boring as ever but if you want to keep going then why not just state Macron (and a lot of other EU leaders) messed up in Feb-Mar 2021 (ie this year, not last year)

    [1] Very convenient for Remainers to claim anything +ve is ‘bounce back’ from C19 (whilst avoiding the issue of the urgency of vaccinations) as clearly no way could you/others admit Brexit is already showing signs of being a success (and that is certainly much earlier than expected)

  15. TW: Brexit is already showing signs of being a success

    What are they?

  16. @Trevs –

    ” “You used to be aggressively anti lockdown”

    Yes. I have never once denied that or pretended otherwise.”

    But you are perfectly happy to accuse others who were aggressively anti lockdown of “defeatist drivel”.

    Don’t you get it – you’re not attacking me here – you’re beating yourself up. With both fists!

  17. I’m fairly sure we saw some 8%+ ‘predictions’ of unemployment (due to Brexit and then C19 and next TBC but I’m sure the defeatists will come up with something) but here’s a True Br-Leaver chap talking sense from Jan’21:

    “Julian Jessop, an independent City economist, says too many of us are “too keen to focus on the negatives”.

    He said: “The latest labour market data are actually reassuring. I’m now even more confident that UK unemployment will peak below 6% this year and then fall back sharply as the economy rebounds. There is a ‘good news’ story here for those willing to look.”

    “Zombie” jobs and questionable numbers: how bad is the UK employment market?

    TBC of course and there will be always be some that refuse to look at CBI surveys, PMI, etc that point to hiring but twas ever thus with the purveyors of Project Fear (or ‘Project Farce’ as would be more accurate given the Br-Armageddon predictions from some folks!)

    Current rate is 4.9% (-0.2% from Oct-Dec’20) although I’m certainly not saying 5.1% was/will be the ‘peak’

  18. Poll alert for Scotland

    Think it’s a Yougov poll for the Times according to my sources in Tehran, cough I mean on twitter.

    The Times Scotland
    Revealed: The SNP is set to secure a four-seat majority in the Holyrood elections on Thursday, according to an exclusive poll, raising the prospect of a second independence referendum during the lifetime of the next parliament

    The SNP is set to secure a four-seat majority the Holyrood elections on Thursday, the latest polling reveals, raising the prospect of a second independence referendum during the lifetime of the next parliament.

    YouGov’s research for The Times suggests the SNP has rebounded on the constituency ballot but is shipping support to the Scottish Greens on the regional list with Patrick Harvie’s party set to return 13 MSPs — by some margin its best ever result.

  19. According to RBS they would move their HQ down to England if Scots vote for independence.

    Bad news for us down here, means we would be left with RBS debt so the Scots should just tell RBS to fu#k off.

    All of this is small fry compared to this…

    More than 440 financial firms have shifted thousands of jobs and £1 trillion of assets out of the UK and into the EU because of Brexit, with more pain still to come, according to new research.

    But according to RBS (TAX PAYER FUNDED) the would move out of pro EU independent Scotland and into Brexit rUK where banks appear to be bolting from?

    RBS = Royal Bluster Shenanigans

  20. @ ALEC – “Don’t you get it – you’re not attacking me here ”

    No idea why you think I am?!?

    You ‘shifted the sands’ onto jobs then tried to go back to Spring 2020 lockdown- no idea (or interest) in why.

    I stand by my lockdown views from Spring 2020 based on info available at the time.

    More recently them I was very impressed with Rishi’s budget[1] and think it is great (even if Captain Obvious) that the ‘New Model Tories’ are going for a ‘jobs first recovery’ (genuine UK LoCs would probably agree, although I know you have an issue with British jobs for British workers)

    By all means have the last word, start a different tangent, whatever… zzz ZZZ

    PS thank you for yet another reminder to scroll past your/others comments and replies and apols to everyone else on UKPR for my na!vity in thinking you could ever admit Macron got something wrong

    [1] IMO he went a bit OTT on furlough (a comment of mine you might find in your little scrap book of my posts) but furlough is coming to an end thankfully.

  21. Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (-2)
    LAB: 36% (+1)
    LDEM: 8% (-)
    GRN: 4% (+1)

    , 30 Apr – 02 May
    Chgs. w/ 25 Apr

  22. and another one…

    Scottish parliament voting intention(s):

    SNP: 52% (+3)
    CON: 20% (-1)
    LAB: 19% (-2)
    LDEM: 6% (-)

    SNP: 38% (-1)
    CON: 22% (-)
    LAB: 16% (-1)
    GRN: 13% (+3)
    LDEM: 5% (-)
    ALBA: 3% (+1)

    , 02 – 04 May
    Chgs. w/ 20 Apr

  23. So just to recap….If the Scots do decide to bolt and join the EU then I’m sure Edinburgh being in the top 10 financial centres in the World could capitalise on the brexit fallout from London and offer a safe alternative for the trillions of poons pouring out of London.

  24. TREVS

    Thanks for the Yougov Scottish poll…My sources were correct :) :)

    Looking good for the SNP and indy majority :) :)

    UK poll confirming a narrowing between Labour and the Tories.

    Lovey evening all round.. :) :)

  25. TREVOR W and Allan C
    Many thanks for all your poll reports; the site’s main point, I seem to remember, not debating Brexit or the Virus unless polls are to do with these topics.

    Younger members of UKPR forum may not remember that there have only been three Tory leaders who were nev8er PM. (since 1868) Labour have only ever had four PM’s. We shoud perhaps not be surprised by Labour’s electoral failures, they are normal. Maudling put this in a pithy way; England is a tory country which sometimes votes Labour’


    ” Maudling put this in a pithy way; England is a tory country which sometimes votes Labour”

    And there lies the democratic deficit in the UK…What England wants the rUK has to endure. ):

    Anyway some more polling analysis…

    Election Maps UK
    My seat prediction:

    SNP 69
    CON 25
    LAB 18
    GRN 13
    LDM 4

    SNP Majority of 9
    Independence majority of 35

  27. ChrisLane 1945

    “Labour have only ever had four PM’s”


  28. @James E


    I still make it four

    You incorrectly have Blair down as Labour

  29. Replying to
    Projecting YouGov 2 – 4 May into seats (changes vs 16 – 20 Apr / vs 2016):

    SNP ~ 70 (+2 / +7)
    Conservative ~ 25 (-2 / -6)
    Labour ~ 18 (-1 / -6)
    Green ~ 12 (+1 / +6)
    Lib Dem ~ 4 (nc / -1)

  30. @ AC – “Lovey evening all round.. :) :)”

    I did try to warn you about those LDEM ‘lovey’ parties ;)

  31. James E

    What about Ramsay Mcdonald?

  32. TREVS

    :) :) :)

  33. YG article and tabs for their ‘final call’ Holyrood poll:

    TBC if we get any more polling but they are coming in with the highest call on Indy seats.

    The detail on the x-breaks of ‘Holyrood VI’ in the list vote doesn’t suggest that much planning for tactical voting from the two main Unionist parties VI.

    73% of SNP are ‘both votes SNP’ with 19% ‘SNP + SGP’ and only 4% ‘SNP + Alba’. Good game, good gaming ;)

    Not sure if they weight the regional x-breaks but Alba would look like getting a seat in Mid-Scotland & Fife but not NE (ie not in the region that Salmond is running in). High MoE on the smaller regional samples and all other caveats of course.

  34. Prof Howard

    Indeed – Ramsay McDonald makes 6.

    Bardin :-)

  35. Can you do Tax Avoidance in the Dark?


  36. Seeing as no-one has posted it even though everyone posts Guardian articles and sees them this looks as clear cut as you can get on Hartlepool:

    I suppose turnout is relevant to the 40% only promises from 2019 but still looks bad for Labour.

  37. And an important quote from this article:

    “One Labour fixer said that about half of the Hartlepool ground team was due to leave following Thursday’s votes as a cost-saving measure. “It’s not great for morale,” she said. “We would’ve made money at party conference to pay for these elections but of course they were cancelled. We haven’t got the small donors that Corbyn brought and haven’t got the big donors that [Tony] Blair had. We’re trapped between the two worlds.”

  38. Wasn’t Churchill sort of a Labour PM as well within a unity government- then he did a ChangeUK and lost in 1945 :-)

  39. YG Tables

    Obviously, not all the pollsters can be right (perhaps none of them!) but I had a look at the crossbreaks from YG.

    One can’t assume that the way folk vote in a particular ballot is their “core belief” – tactical voting (or just no candidate for what you want) happens all the time – but I looked at parties retention from 2019.

    2019 SNP voters constituency VI is – SNP 89% : SLab 7% : SGP 2% : SLab 2% : SCon 1%

    SCon voters go – SCon 69% : SLab 17% : SNP 7% : SLD 5% : SGP 0%

    SLab voters – 52% SLab : 35% SNP : 6% SGP : SCon 5% : SLD 2%

    SLD voters go _ SLD 40% : SCon 30% : SLab 21% : SNP 7% : SGP 1%

    Constituency VI often changes for the List –

    SNP Constituency voters break – SNP 73% : SGP 19% : 4% : SLab 2% : SCon 1% : REFUK 1% : Other1%

    SCon voters go – SCon 87% : SLab 5% : SLD 3% : AfU 3% : Other 1%

    SLab – SLab 71% : SCon 14% : SGP 5% : AP 5% : SLD 3% : AfU 2% : SNP 1%

    SLD – SLD 55% : SCon 25% : SLab 10% : SGP 5% : SNP 4% : AfU 1% : Other 1%

  40. “BARDIN1
    @James E


    I still make it four

    You incorrectly have Blair down as Labour”


  41. Trevs

    “Not sure if they weight the regional x-breaks but Alba would look like getting a seat in Mid-Scotland & Fife but not NE”

    I think the numbers are too small to weight by regional demographics. While YG does that for similar numbers in the Scots crossbreaks in GB polls, those demographics are used for Full Scottish polls too, so no need to calculate them separately.

    However, if that 7% in Mid & Fife was to be accurate, then I can’t see the SNP being greatly concerned about Neale Hanvey MP being Salmond’s sole mouthpiece at Holyrood.

  42. The Electoral Commission has confirmed that the number of voters registered for the Holyrood election is 4,280,785 which is the highest ever for a Scottish Parliament election up from 4,098,462 in 2016.

    There has been one change in the franchise since 2016 which is that all foreign nationals with leave to remain are now eligible to vote including those granted refugee status.

    About 24% of voters have registered for a postal vote.

    For those interested thete is an analysis by constituency here

  43. More Scots polls to come.

    By the way, I’ll update all the averages and tables on the BBS website TOMORROW evening – given I know there’s at least a ComRes and possibly one other poll due out tomorrow, not worth changing things right now just to rework them all again tomorrow evening anyway. (BBS)

  44. My Guess is that what Chris was conflating with accidentally was that only 4 Labour leaders have won Elections, if McDonald is included.

  45. Just remembered that the other change to the Scottish election franchise is that prisoners serving a sentence of 12 months or less can vote.

    Does anybody know if the list votes are declared constituency by constituency then aggregated for the region or aggregated for the region and then declared?

  46. @JAMESB

    Not that few given the location though, like any city, Bristol varies and the remain % outside the wills building would have been easily 80%+, likely higher.

    That’d take it up to four people then before it becomes likely one of them was a leave voter.

  47. Good evening all from a damp Winchester.

    Not on for long…ManCity v Paris… BT Sports.. :) :)

    Could we see crossover between Labour and the regime within the next week or so?

    Britain Elects
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (+4)
    LAB: 39% (+1)
    LDEM: 6% (-3)
    GRN: 4% (-3)
    REFUK: 3% (-1)

    , 29 – 30 Apr
    *Chgs. w/ 29 Dec 2020* <<<<<<<<Pay attention<<<<<<

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (-2)
    LAB: 36% (+1)
    LDEM: 8% (-)
    GRN: 4% (+1)

    , 30 Apr – 02 May
    Chgs. w/ 25 Apr

  48. @JAMESB

    Sorry, hit send too soon whilst doing dinner.

    Meant to add that’s four voters or probably five random people (if they didn’t have to sense to approach people who look older than students). Either way, nothing like the desperate trawling of the streets implied.

    And I think the point matters because it’s too easy (especially in Brexity things) to assume that what we know of the overall characteristics of a place apply to anyone we’d expect to meet there.

  49. @ 6.50 pm

    The only hint of the two main anti-SNP parties plotting tactical voting in the GE that I have picked up, is in the Moray constituency.

    Richard Lockhead (SNP) had a 2875 majority in 2016 over Douglas Ross (SCON), whereas in the 2019 UK GE D. Ross beat SNP by 513 votes, though the boundaries were slightly different than for the SG GE.

    In 2016 SLAB got 3547 votes and SLibD 1265, so if two-thirds of their voters go SCON it could be an SNP loss. My hint that SLAB is not contesting hard came from our regional paper`s Constituency Survey.

    For Moray, which was almost the last of these NE Scotland reports, the SLAB candidate didn`t answer any of the standard questions. Which was the first time any candidate from the 5 main parties hadn`t put out to the paper their aims, experience, positions held, etc.

    I think Johnson by his reckless behaviour has blown the SCON chance here. No wonder the Scottish Tories want rid of him.

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