As well as the GB voting intention figures in the Telegraph, the SNP also released figures for voting intention in Scotland from their latest YouGov poll. Topline figures, with changes from YouGov’s last Scottish poll in mid-March are

Scottish Parliament constituency voting intention: CON 15%(+1), LAB 30%(-4), LDEM 13%(+1), SNP 37%(+2)
Scottish Parliament regional voting intention: CON 15%(nc), LAB 28%(-4), LDEM 13%(+2), SNP 37%(+7)

Westminster voting intention: CON 21%(+1), LAB 32%(-5), LDEM 13%(+2), SNP 30%(+3)

In every case we have Labour dropping, with the SNP the largest beneficiary, albeit the other parties also gain. Asked who would make the best First Minister Alec Salmond is dominant, picked by 36%. He is followed, perhaps surprisingly given the Conservatives comparatively poor position in Scotland, by Annabelle Goldie on 10%, with Ian Gray on 7% and Tavish Scott on 4%.

50 Responses to “Latest Scottish Voting Intentions”

  1. Encouraging- that would see Cons with 5 seats, SNP with 10, Labour on 35 (?)

    But the most interesting is that it leaves sooooo many scottish seats suddenly within a margin of 2% could change hands to other parties. This blows open Scottish politics

  2. i’ve just been through the figures and on UK ELECT the figures are:

    LAB 35 -6
    SNP 9 +3
    CON 6 +5
    LD 9 -2

    casulty’s will be alan raid (lib dem),michial moore (LD)
    russel brown (LAB) jim mcgovern (LAB) nigel griffiths (LAB) des brown (LAB) GORDON BAnks (lab) anne miguire (LAB)

  3. The 21% figure for the Conservatives for a Westminster election will be very encouraging for them.

  4. Goldie [often referred to as Aunty Bella] is popular because she’s sensible and not a spoiler but prepared to work with the SNP “in the interests of Scotland”. Lab’s Gray is so far behind his party because he’s shackled to Brown and Murphy and not even as good as Bendy Wendy.

  5. Picking up on Brownedov’s point, re Annabel Goldie, her rating is not surprising to anyone who has watched the political situation in Scotland over the past couple of years.

    Goldie has probably done more to “detoxify” the Conservative brand in Scotland than Cameron himself.

    Based on those Westminster figures, we could see a very tight contest at the Euros with the SNP likely to pip Labour to first place and the Tories fairly hot on their heels – expect all three parties to be in the 20-25% range, with LDs a fair way behind.

    LDs should be encouraged by this poll since it looks like they should manage to stay in double figures at the Euros and so could hold on to their MEP.

  6. 21% is rather good in Scotland this far out of a G.E., however 24% is the preferable target; as if we can’t back to 1992 levels what real hope is there?

    Auntie Bella- yep, she’s a good leader and I hear she may be standing in the Eastwood Constituency next Holyrood Election, that should be enough to see it captured at the Scottish Parliament?

  7. I wonder what the betting odds are for the Tories to come first in the Scottish Euro election. Might be worth putting five pounds on.

  8. I note the SNP regional and constituency votes are now equal at 37% and that, within a whisker, that is true for all the other parties. Why was the SNP so low in the regional votes last time? Any ideas? (Rogue?)

    It strikes me as logical that for the types of ‘devolved’ voting (regional and constituency) that people would basically vote the same way (I can easily understand a different vote for Westminster). AS such , the previous SNP regional vote just seems oddly low.

  9. Well this has brightened up my day seeing as we came a poor second in the Inverness Council by election.

    We got just over 500 out of 2,500 with the LibDems geeting 1,500. Ouch.

    The big issue was that the SNP Government has decided to only part fund the Inverness bypass and the unfunded bit runs through the ward.

    Leaving aside the fact that the previous execuitive didn’t agree to fund any of it and that the Libdems are unlikely to be in aposition to put in any more post 2011, as in Glenrothes we got saddled with the blame of having made a hard choice locally that our opponents could exploit.

    As to this poll, making some guesses for the samller parties you get a seat breakdown of;

    Lab 40 (-6), Tory 17 (0), LibDem;16 (0), SNP 52 (+5), green 2 (0), Ind 2 (+1).

    I have my doubts about these figures as it really underestimates the others vote, particularly with the regional vote.

    The vote for Alex isn’t surprising and when you take out the Don’t knows and None of the above he acytually gets more than everyone else put together. He also scores better amongst libdems amd labour supporters than Tavish Scott or Iain Gray

    Finally twice as many people (though short of a majority) think that the Scottish government cares most about their needs,

    60% think Labour will lose the next election (including a third of labour supporters) and

    40% (again 2 to 1) think the SNP holding the balance of power in Westminster would be good for Scotland.


  10. Two stunning results for LibDems in Scotland yesterday with real votes from real people . An overall majority in Inverness and a gain in Aberdeenshire in what is reputedly the Conservatives 2nd or 3rd safest ward in Scotland . The English results were pretty good too .

  11. Does any one know when the next poll is out?

  12. Andy,

    Indeed ! If you can get decent odds from a bookie who doesn’t understand differential turnout you could make a bundle.


  13. Anthony’s spelling test: 25% = fail

    You only got Tavish Scott right.

    Here’s the others:

    Alex Salmond
    Annabel Goldie
    Iain Gray

  14. Mark Senior

    So the Lib Dems will be marching towards the sound of gunfire and preparing for government next year then Mark? Naturally huge gains in the Euro and English County council elections will herald this new dawn. Pity I am not a bookie…

  15. Mark Senior,

    You mean like these “real votes from real people”?

    Glenrothes by-election, Nov 2008
    Lib Dems: 4th place; 947 votes; 2.6% -10.1%

    Glasgow East by-election, Jul 2008
    Lib Dems: 4th place; 915 votes; 3.5% -8.3%

  16. Con 1144 (31.5; -18.3)
    LD Rosemary Bruce 969 (26.7; +0.6)
    Ind 842 (23.2; +23.2)
    SNP 617 (17.0; -3.1)
    BNP 44 (1.2; +1.2)
    Ind 19 (0.5; +0.5)
    Turnout 43.7%
    LD Rosemary Bruce won on the 5th count
    LD gain from Con
    Percentage change is since May 2007

    this is the by-election result from aberdeenshire council UA. SEAMS A BIT ODD THAT THE CONSERVATIVES WON 1144 VOTE, YET THE LIB DEMS WIN THE BY-ELECTION WITH ONLY 969 VOTES awnsaws anyone

  17. Stuart.

    The scottish councils use single transferrable vote if you look at the result declaration you’ll see the final result after the transfer of votes. It is available from

  18. Stuart

    It is called the alternative vote. The Lib Dems were about 175 votes behind on first preferences. When candidates were eliminated and second preferences redistributed the Lib Dems won by a margin of 98 votes at stage 5 of the count.

    Two gains by Lib Dems in Scotland today, one from Ind and one from Con, give the Lib Dems a good start for their Euro camapign.

    Two bad results for the SNP – in Aberdeenshire they fell to fourth place.

  19. I don’t like that system. It means the person who voters don’t like least is elected.

    It’s ironic the Tories fail to win one of their best chances in Scotland when a poll comes out giving them 21% support in Scotland, which is one of their best polls there for about 15 years.

  20. I don’t like the alternative (First past the post) where the candidate which the majority of voters didn’t want to get elected gets elected. In the Aberdeenshire election less than a third of voters wanted the Tory to be elected. The alternative vote allowed the two-thirds who didn’t want a Tory councillor to decide which of the others they should elect.

  21. A LIB DEM- i have to agree with andy stidwill that the FFP system of voting is the best way forward, if england adopted the STV or SPV voting system there would be an out cry most of all beacuse of the confussion made by the STV and SPV systems and it takes longer to do that way a move back to FFP in scotland would be best for them and every one ells in scotland.

    point: if you vote for X candidate and he gets 50.1% of the vote and candidate Z gets 49.9% candidate X wins not well his vote went up by X amount and hers down by X amount so he wins, there is something wrong there.

  22. The Conservatives would have been virtually wiped out completely in Scotland without the introduction of STV . There is no confusion , if a party gets 50.1% of the vote they win whether it is FPTP or STV , STV gives the voter a better choice to express their preference between parties who in some cases none of whom can poll 40% of the vote .

  23. No system is perfect. FPTP is certainly unfair in some ways because you don’t need 50% to win but at least it is based on positive first preferences unlike STV.

  24. ” Glenrothes by-election, Nov 2008
    Lib Dems: 4th place; 947 votes; 2.6% -10.1%

    Glasgow East by-election, Jul 2008
    Lib Dems: 4th place; 915 votes; 3.5% -8.3% “

  25. This is a seriously great poll for the SNP.

    YouGov is a tried and tested polster and these sort of figures blow the General Election in Scotland wide open. They also confirm what the Scottish samples of UK polls have been suggesting of late.

    If there is a further vote exchnage of 3 or 4 per cent between Labour and the Nats before the elction then the SNP could emerge as the dominant Scottish election force.

  26. Excellent poll for the SNP and strategically good for the Conservatives as well.

  27. JJB exactly , in weak seats LibDem vote down , in strong seats LibDem vote up , in the same 2 seats quoted Conservative vote down , in Inverness and Aberdeenshire Conservative vote erm down . Well at least that is consistent .

  28. Mark Senior,

    If you are trying to convince yourself that the Conservative vote will go down and the Libdem vote up in Scotland at the GE you are barking. That is plainly Gloy Plopwellism.

  29. The Gloy Plopwellism is coming in posts from Peter Crerar for example who forecasts a Conservative vote of 10,000 plus in Inverness etc and others forecasting a Conservative gain in Aberdeen South where they will do well to finish above 4th .
    FWIW , my opinion is that the Conservative vote will go up a smidgen with perhaps 1 seat gain and the LibDem vote will go down overall but end up with a net gain of 1/2 seats .

  30. Back to the Aberdeenshire vote. It seems to me that if the second preferences of the Conservative candidate had been marked 100% for either the SNP or Independent candidate then that candidate would have won, unlikely I know but we will never know because it was not tested.

    What this does mean is that those who vote for the weaker parties are likely to have more of a say in the outcome than those who don’t which seems somewhat undemocratic. Is this why certain parties are so keen on it?

  31. The YouGov poll would be excellent at any time of a Parliament but in the mid term it’s quite phenomenal.

    Better still its results were almost duplicated by another poll within hours of YouGov: Scottish Opinion.

    The by elections were great for the Lib Dems but local factors e.g. the Inverness by-pass played a major role in the results.

    The LDs can have these local by elections, we’ll take the polls thank you very much.

  32. Completely off topic but is there another poll coming out this evening please?

  33. Brian Hill

    Anything further on the detail of the poll you mention or a weblink?


  34. Fact: the poll highlights a return of floating voters whom are naturally inclined to voting liberal back to stating so.

    Fact: the liberals on 13% Westminster voting intention is hardly signifcant, as they are presumably going to get around 13/14 per cent anyway; and the track record of decline still makes a possible case that this might be a temporary blip in support in Scotland, before the SNP and Tories really put the georgraphical boot into liberal votes (I’m thinking Aberdeen South, Ediunburgh SW/W/S, Argyll and Bute etc…)

    Whether the liberals have managed a local government win is not exactly demonstrative of an ability to win at Westminster levels where turnout is higher and the electoral system doesnt favour them as the local gov. example as referred to above.

    What is unexpected is the large upsurge in SNP votes; as everyone keeps saying they won’t do as well in terms of votes in westminster elections- well this poll seems to contradict such sentiment doesnt it? (Making such sentiment even complacent? And to me as a Stirling Tory, that complacency could cost us seats!)

  35. The SNP have now released some more from the poll which is in the YouGov archive.

    Among the findings are;

    53% thing the SNP government cares most about the Scottish economy. 22% Labour *% Tory and 7% Libdem. To an extent that fallows party share and alegience but it is worth noting that when they do it by party the Tory score is 44% to 41% meaning marginally more tories think the SNP cares more than their own party.

    For Labour it’s 31% to 65% and or LibDems it’s 47% to 35%, meaning that almost half oc LibDems think that we care more about the economy than their own prefered party.

    Another good result for the SNP was who is doing the best Job, Brown or Salmond. Alex got 37% to Browns 28% with 27% neither. Given that Brown is still relatively popular in Scotland I am happy with those figures.

    Finally they asked about the effects of a Tory government on support for Independence.

    24% said much more likely, 11% slightly more likely and a total of 6% (3% each) slightly or more likely to vote no. 11% said don’t know and the wouldn’t have an effect was 14% yes anyway and 34% no anyway.

    Given that the Poll showed support for Independence at 37% for and 52% against this is an interesting result.

    The 37% for was made up of 18% of the Tories, 25% labour 24% Libdem and not surprisingly 81% SNP.

    The combined 35% who said a Tory Government would make them more likely to vote “Yes” were made up of;

    4% of Tories, with 10% less likely 64% no anyway and bizarrely 18% yes anyway…( Tories for independence from a UK tory government?).

    45% of Labour supporters, with 7% less likely, 2% would support it anyway and 41% who would always vote no.

    Libdems had 30% more likely 7% less, 9% yes anyway and 47% always no.

    Just for the record the SNP had 58% more likely 3% less, 29% always would and 4% always wouldn’t ( they are in the Ward next to the Tory yes voters).

    Now I will refrain from trying to work out what that would do to the referendum vote, but clearly it might give it a boost, but what it does show is that the SNP strategy of calling for the referendum after the UK general election probably gives the best chance of getting it through Holyrood and of us making a contest of it.


  36. Just referring to browndov, not one to talk up the tories, that bella is winning support for them because she isn’t just attacking the SNP at every turn but working with them when it’s beneficial to their cause and pointing out their flaws when apparent and giving alternatives. Where was labours LIT alternative? What scotland needs is healthy debate and not scaremongering and it’s a strange feeling knowing it’s coming from the conservatives

  37. Peter,

    If you compare the headline figures for Holyrood v Westminster it seems pretty clear that there must be a fair number of people in Scotland who intend to vote Con for Westminster and SNP for Holyrood. The only other explanation would be some contorted mechanism whereby Tory Westminster voter support Lab or LD for Holyrood, but an equivalent number of Lab / LD westminster voters switch to SNP for Holyrood. Tory for UK, SNP for Scotland sounds far more plausible to me.

    When combined with the analysis on the Scottish economy, this would suggest that Salmond has managed to project a centrist position on the economy , which has allowed him to pull in Tory support. That is consistent with wht we see anyway at Holyrood, with Annabel Goldie providing reasoned support to Salmond when his policies are not vastly different from the Tory position.

    To me, that suggest that for Holyrood elections in 2011, we could see an increase in combined SNP / Con share of the vote, but that we may also see some interest split ticket voting as between Consituency / Regional sections. After all, it would be in SNP interest for Tories to win FPTP constituencies in the Borders, Edinburgh or in suburban belt around Glasgow where SNP are less well positioned.

    While an SNP minority administration is still the most likely result at 2011 election, Salmond must surely prefer being able to rely on Tory votes alone to ensure passage of his budget or other important measures (excluding a referendum) rather than having to run around at the whim of minor parties.

    It is difficult to say what would happen in a referendum on independence, but you need to get a bill through parliament first, and unless either Lab or LD suddenly have a major change of strategy, that is not going to happen unless SNP can secure an outright majority (or form a coalition with Greens, SSP etc).

    You may think that this could be possible at the 2015 Holyrood elections, but who knows how the Scottish people may react when they find that the nightmares they have been fed about nasty Tory governments turn out to be ill-founded.

  38. Paul,

    “When combined with the analysis on the Scottish economy, this would suggest that Salmond has managed to project a centrist position on the economy , which has allowed him to pull in Tory support.”

    An equally plausible theory is “my enemies enemy is my friend”. In the same way as people elsewhere have speculated on a two pronged attack on brown by Cameron and Clegg, like the one Major suffered at the hands of Blair and Ashdown, so we could see Tories choosing the SNP for no better reason than to damage Labour.

    Would this continue under a Tory government or would Tories in 2011 go home and actually make it harder for the SNP to win marginal seats without Tory votes.

    Equally how would Tories vote in SNP LibDem marginals where labour weren’t a factor. For an SNP government over a Labour one, or for the Union over Independence.

    Whatever the permutations and the Tory tactics I am pretty sure that there is far less chance of SNP supporters voting Tory even if it means Labour losing a seat. We’d be more likely to vote Labour or Libdem than Tory.

    Just because it is in one parties interest to vote tactically for another doesn’t mean that the other parties supporters will reciprocate.


  39. Peter,

    Equally plausible indeed. But perhaps you should consider whether that is a less comfortable position in which to be since it can easily shift to “my enemy’s friend is my enemy”.

    The key issue here is that for so long as it is seen as unlikely that teh SNP can assemble a pro-independence majority at Holyrood, it may be preferable to have the more moderate policies of the SNP than those of Labour. If the SNP chooses to pursue general policies that are more closely identified with Labour, then the attractiveness of an SNP minority administration wanes and the desire to protect the Union will take precedence.

    If potential Tory voters see little difference between Labour and SNP policies on the ground (leaving aside the issue of independence) then they have no motive for supporting the SNP in SNP/Lab marginals.

    As for SNP/LD marginals, since the most prominent of these are seats where Tories can make a credible challenge in their own name, I suspect that the SNP has already reaped any benefit from tactical voting at the 2007 election where Tories wanted to see the back of the discredited Lab/LD coalition. Come 2011, the SNP may well find that its potential challenge in LD held seats will fall back as potential Tories choose not to lend the SNP their support.

    If the SNP proves itself ungracious in response to the support it has received to date, then they will indeed go home and vote Tory (as opposed to staying at home). For Holyrood in 2011, this may mean an increase in the Tory vote both at constituency and regional level – even if it does not win many constituency seats.

  40. How political maps for Scotland have changed in just two short years! Suddenly the SNP are the odds on favourite to remain the party of Holyrood governance, and the Scottish Con Unionists seem to be back as a credible political foe to be considered.

    I wonder if SNP votes can be sustained as the G.E. campaigning really gets underway however, as the media papers, news broadcasters etc- will all have a tendancy to water it all down to “Brown or Cameron?” and Goodness only knows how the Scots electorate would react to that. One thing is sure, the suburbia of East Renfrewshire for one will feel little cumpulsion to remain with Labour given that as suburbian voters they never vote for old labour. The Tories might stage a recovery in such places as they are once again the major suburban party voter choice, and such local support changes invariably never reflect on the Scottish regional polling figures.

  41. Dean,

    I doubt the Tory revival will be anywhere near what you hope for.

    If I was to llok at the voting preferneces of the different parties in a UK general election it would be;

    SNP supporters; SNP, Lab, LibDem, Tory.
    Lab Supporters; Lab, SNP, LibDem, Tory.
    LibDem Supporters; LibDem, Lab, SNP, Tory.
    Tory supporters; Tory SNP, LibDem, SNP.

    Of course that’s just a general rules and they will all get votes from the other parties supporters particularly in marginal seats and when they are very much an also ran there will be defections, but by and large the other three parties supporters see the tories very much as a last choice.

    You may get more focused tactical voters from party members and those who follow politics closely but they are very much a minority of voters.


  42. Ooops,

    That should be;

    Tory supporters; Tory SNP, LibDem, Lab.


  43. Peter,

    That might be your view but it is not borne out by the poll referenced here.

    Based on a comparison of Scottish Constituency vs Westminster voting intention, the pattern would appear to be:

    SNP supporters:- SNP, Tory, Lab, LibDem.
    Lab Supporters:- Lab, LibDem / Tory, SNP .
    Tory supporters:- Tory, SNP, LibDem, Lab.
    LibDem Supporters:- LibDem, Tory, Lab/SNP.

    So, the only one of your estimates that was accurate was the one you corrected !

    What I think this shows is that there is indeed a body of voters who are prepared to vote SNP for Holyrood, but prefer Tories for UK government, while at the fringes, supporters of the unionist parties prefer another unionist party over the SNP.

  44. Paul,

    I am not sure about your logic ( although it could be mine that’s flawed).

    Looking at the tables 100% of people who vote SNP at westminster only 75% vote for them at constituency level so if we say that the 75% are true SNP who are the other 25%? That is approximately 7% of the total vote if the SNP are on 30%.

    Of the 100% who vote Tory at westminster 90% vote Tory at Holyrood, which works out at about 2% of the total electorate.

    The 10% of Tories who don’t vote Tory at Holyrood split roughly 3% Lab, 4% SNP, and 3% LibDem. The 25% SNP who vote differently at Holyrood vote 10% Tory 9% Labour and 5% LibDem.

    I suspect that the Hoyrood vote of 30% for Westminster represents close to SNP core support and that the 7% extra it gets at Holyrood is made up of about 4% Tory.

    Likewise the Tory drop from Westminster to Holyrood from 21% to 15% sees 4% go to the SNP.

    What for me is happening is that Tories give support to the SNP at Holyrood to defest Labour but that it isn’t really reciprocated by the SNP who are as likely to vote for Labour.

    This shows in the second table where only 67% of Tories vote Tory in the Constituency while a full 18% of tories (4% of the Holyrood vote) switch to SNP. The equivelent switch from the SNP to Tory is 2%, (about 1%) of the electorate.

    Obviously it makes a big difference what is happening in a particular seat but I think Tory support to the SNP is very much a one way street.

    And so on to todays TNS/System three poll for Scotland;

    This is from the SNP web site but I’ve edited out the gloating and just give the figures,

    Details of today’s poll TNS/System 3 are as follows:

    Holyrood Constituency Vote (with change from 2007 in brackets)

    SNP: 41% (+8%)
    Labour: 29% (-3%)
    Tory: 15% (-2%)
    LibDem: 11% (-5%)
    Other: 3% (1%)

    Holyrood Regional Vote (with change from 2007 in brackets)

    SNP: 40% (+9%)
    Labour: 30% (1%)
    Tory: 13% (-1%)
    LibDem: 10% (-1%)
    Green: 4% (nc)
    Other: 4% (-7%)

    Holyrood seats analysis

    Running those figures through the Weber Shandwick seats predictor gives the following result (with change in brackets):

    SNP – 58 (+11)
    Labour – 41 (-5)
    Tory – 16 (-1)
    LibDem – 12 (-4)
    Green – 2 (nc)

    Westminster voting intentions (with change in brackets)

    SNP: 32% (+14%)
    Labour: 36% (-4%)
    Tory: 19% (3%)
    LibDem: 9% (-14%)

    I wonder what the impact of the 9% for the LibDems would do for their 12 Westminster seats in Scotland. Anyone have any ideas.


  45. They would take a pelting; holding just 5 MPs.

    Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey- SNP gain Dunbartonshire East- Labour gain
    Gordon- SNP gain
    Argyll and Bute- SNP gain
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk- Con Unionist
    Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine- Con Unionist

    A big change in Scottish electoral map- with Labour only making a net loss of 1 MP.
    Tories making a net gain of 2, plus a Mundell hold
    SNP, at 11 MPs.

    Unlikely quite honestly, but definately possible; I for one believe the expected swing to the SNP is over rated.

  46. Peter,

    I started from the Scottish Constituency vote (in top right part of the Table rather than from the Westminster vote. If you look at this part, it is clear that a chunk of the SNP vote at Holyrood opts for Tory (10%) / Lab (9%) then LD for Westminster.

    Strangely, the reverse cross breaks do not quite follow the same percentages (especialy for LD), but the patterns are broadly the same.

    My point is simply that the clearest flow one can identify is that a sizeable share of those who would vote Tory for Westminster vote SNP for Holyrood – and vice-versa. As you note, this may not account for a large number of actual voters (2-3% in either direction) but it is probably enough to make the difference in a handful of seats.

    As to the likely impact of the fall in the LD vote – it is probably not that simple to translate since the fall in the lD share is most likely to be in those areas where they are no longer seen as the prefered alternative to the present incumbent. Where they are teh incumbent, they will probably retain a greater share of their existing vote – but could well lose seats like Argyll, Gordon, Inverness and WAK – not to mention the Borders seat.

    Certainly it makes it less likely that LDs will win their key targets. It could also mean that in those seats where LD are in a strong third place (15-25%) the LD vote may well shift to the incumbent/challenger – a typical example may be Edinburgh SW where a sharp fall in the LD vote could see Darling out.

    So, on balance, I think LDs may find themselves down to 7-9 seats, but not the wipe-out that a similar collapse had on Tories in 1997.

  47. I’d doubt it too, but not because of the swing but rather incumbency.

    The Libdems would get wiped out across Scotland but where their vote did hold it would be in the seats they hold.

    I just can’t see how even on these figures anyone ( even die hard SNP) can predict the SNP taking Gordon, overcoming, from just over 7,000 votes in 4th place, Malcolm Bruce 13,000 votes ahead……

    Even Berkshire and Aberdeenshire would need the Tories to get a lot of tactical support from Lab and SNP voters and I just don’t see that happening.

    Apart from anything else there isn’t a huge Lab or SNP vote in either seat so it would need to be from large numbers of Scots switching straight from libDem to Tory which I think is unlikely especially as the SNP seems to have been the biggest gainer from the fall in the LibDem vote.

    Inverness is still one of the more likely SNP gains although we did just get badly beaten in a local by election. We do however have a first rate candidate and Danny alexander isn’t exactly Mr dynamic.

    Of all these predictions I’d say the SNP’s best chance is in Inverness as it’s from third with two parties we have gained on in the polls ahead of us. If anything I’d say the Tories were better placed in Argyll than the SNP.

    All of this shows why what we need is a proper Scottish calculator that like Anthony’s predictor builds in things like incumbency.


  48. Peter – I trust you mean Berwickshire – some Tories might like to think it is “Berkshire”, but those of us living in the County that had its county town pinched would beg to disagree! It still stings.

    Holyrood List votes in 2007 across those areas which make up the BRS seat indicate that the true support for the Tories is around 29%, Lib Dems about 24% and SNP around 23% and Labour about 14%. Greens have around 4-5% who probably tend to vote Lib Dem when there is no Green candidate. Tactically tends to inflate the Lib Dem’s support – we are finding it very soft here.

    As a local SNP member, I am not claiming we’ll win before people start to call we “Plopwell”, but we are putting up a much more serious fight locally than we did last time round.

    We will certainly be making this a tighter fight for all and hoping we can also benefit from increasing support nationally and a flow to us of disaffected Labour voters and Lib Dems.

  49. No surprise that The Bella is more popular than her party. She has learned to play the minority government game. The LibDems havn’t lived up to their self image as the star players at coalition deals.

    If Scottish Conservatives could point to some policies which distinguished them from the UK party, it would do them a lot of good.

  50. John

    I agree that Goldie has played the game well at Holyrood. Indeed, I suspect that in general, Scotland may prefer things as they are now than a return to the old Lab/LD coalition or even an SNP majority administraion.

    The implications for 2011 are likely to be that both SNP and Tories will make some gains such that Salmond remains First Minister as leader of a minority government, with Goldie as the restraining hand on his separtist ambitions.

    But, for that to work well, Goldie will need to show that she is not just the Edinburgh office of a Conservative government in Westminster. How Goldie manages relationships between Tories in Scotland and the party in England next year will be critical.

    I think it is significant that leading Tory MSPs are not also standing for Westminster. This was a mistake that Labour made in the first Parliament when they simply translated a large number of their Scottish MPs into the respective Holyrood seat, thereby confirming that they saw Holyrood as an adjunct to Westminster.