It hasn’t been formally announced, but it is being reported that the Glenrothes election will be on the 6th November, which may go some way of disrupting the media hype in the build up to the by-election now it will be overshadowed by the US Presidential election.

The full results of ICM’s constituency poll in Glenrothes are now on their website here. The full voting intention figures are CON 5%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%, SNP 43% so without doubt a two-horse race.

After previous by-elections I’ve expressed some scepticism about the use of the normal re-allocation of don’t knows (the “spiral of silence adjustment”) in by-elections. There’s good evidence that people who say don’t know before general elections disproportionately vote for the party they backed last time, but the reallocation made the polls less accurate at recent by-elections: perhaps “don’t knows” behave differently in by-elections. Without the reallocation this poll would have shown the SNP 3 points ahead.

Another question people have asked about this and the Glasgow East poll is about weighting by past vote. The raw samples here and in Glasgow East had far too many people who said they voted SNP last time, might people accidentally be saying how they voted in the 2007 Scottish elections, rather than the 2005 general election, and consequently the SNP getting weighted down too much? It is possible, but there’s no obvious way of proving it. Glasgow East was a very unusual constituency, so let’s wait and see how polls do in Glenrothes before we start discussing why they were wrong.

Moving on, the polls we are waiting for now are the first reactions to Gordon Brown’s speech: will it have had any effect on Labour’s position in the polls? With luck we’ll have something in tomorrow’s newspapers, so should have some figures tonight.

14 Responses to “Glenrothes set for 6th November”

  1. SNP are obviously going to win, however what are the bets on 3rd place??

  2. Anthony. Is adjustment being made for (what seems to me) a likelihood to vote in the next GE quite different from normal?The impression I get is that anger among Conservative and apathy among Labour supporters is likely to lead to a higher gap between the parties. Do you agree and, if so, is this reflected in the methodology?

  3. If I had any money I would put it on the Tories coming 3rd. Lib Dem were feeling a bit burned after failing so miserably in Henley where the threw the kitchen sink at it and, I can imagine, don’t want to waste the money on such a no-hoper.

  4. If that date is correct it’s a good argument for why the setting of by-election dates should be taken out of the hands of politicians, because it’s a blatant attempt to take virtually all publicity away from Glenrothes thanks to the US election.

  5. labour have little or no chance of hanging on so why pospone the kwn fact that they will lose

  6. sorry that known fact not kwn fact

  7. Andy,

    I know what you mean, but I think that media will jump all over it no matter when it is held. The fact that the date has been set and already people are commenting on the reasoning behind it just goes to show that Brown won’t avoid a media drubbing.

    The only thing he can possibly do is hide behind his wife like he did at the Party Conference yesterday!

  8. Snooze…!

    Labour have damaged the Scottish political brand irreversibly. Good luck to the S.N.P., and…

    Good-bye Scotland…! :D

  9. “…might people accidentally be saying how they voted in the 2007 Scottish elections, rather than the 2005 general election, and consequently the SNP getting weighted down too much? It is possible, but there’s no obvious way of proving it.”

    There is one very simple way of proving it one way or the other, and that would have been if ICM had asked how people voted in 2007, as well as 2005. After the inaccuracy of the Glasgow East poll, I’d suggest that should have been a fairly obvious step to take.

  10. Glenrothes has a long history of SNP victories. In 1968 the SNP controlled the old Glenrothes Development Council. In 1977 they won most seats including the biggest in Fife, defeating former First Minister Henry Mcleish and of course in 2007 won the Holyrood seat of that name.

    I see every reason why this SNP winning trend should continue.

  11. Looking at the other questions beyond the voting, Brown is more popular than Cameron by 53% to 26%. With 69% of people wanting Brown to stay on as PM.


  12. Who can tell what the expectation of losing/winning can have on the outcome?

    The SNP have a lot to gain if they win. They will seem unstoppable. Already the PR SP has ended the assumption that they were a one policy party useful as a protest vote vehicle but with no chance of getting elected. They are a new brand beating the competition from old tired brands which no longer have their customers locked in by the class system.

    Labour are expecting to lose. Many of the supporters are disheartened not just by losing, most are still used to that, but by policy and tactics with which they are more in sympathy with their opponents.If you think you are a loser, you surely will be. You need to believe, for the duration of the campaign at least, that you at least have a chance of winning.

    The morale of part members is only one factor, but everything else points in the same direction.

    Gordon Brown says he has a lot to look serious about. He’s right. AS is criticised for looking smug. It would be difficult not to be in his position.