The Telegraph has a new Scottish poll from YouGov. Looking at topline voting intentions first, Westminster support (with changes from way back in August) stand at CON 18%(-2), LAB 39%(+9), LDEM 12%(-6), SNP 24%(-2). As with the recent TNS-BMRB poll, it shows a real strengthening of Labour’s Westminster support in Scotland.

Comparing this to the last General election, Labour’s vote is unchanged, the Conservatives up just 2 points. The SNP are up by 6, the Lib Dems down by a crushing 11. On a uniform swing at a general election, that would result in the SNP gaining Ochil & South Perthshire from Labour, and Labour gaining Dunbartonshire East and Inverness,etc from the Lib Dems. The Conservatives wouldn’t gain anything.

Holyrood voting intentions CON 15%, LAB 33%, LDEM 14%, SNP 32%. The Telegraph doesn’t make clear if this is constituency or regional voting intention, but the changes from the 2007 election quoted in the article imply it was constituency voting intention, in which case it would represent a small swing back to Labour since YouGov’s last Holyrood polling in October when the SNP led Labour 34% to 31%.

Voting intention in a referendum on Scottish Independence stands at YES 29%(+1), NO 57%(nc), practically unchanged from the last time YouGov asked in October. The Telgraph compare the figures to an earlier poll back in October 2008 when the figures were Yes 31%, No 53%… but even then, their claim that “Support for Scottish independence has plummeted” is stretching things a bit!

UPDATE: The tables are now on YouGov’s website here. The regional figures for Holyrood stand at CON 14%, LAB 30%, LDEM 14%, SNP 29%, GRN 6%. The fieldwork dates are the 18th to the 20th November, so only a week or so after Glasgow North East.


139 Responses to “YouGov shows Labour support rising in Scotland”

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  1. Do you know when the fieldwork took place?

  2. I’d love to see the tables for this, especially about Holyrood.

  3. ALW – Previous thread 10.30 pm. You say you are very sceptical about AR, referring to your doubts about the first two AR polls. In fact, the first poll was 16 October, when both Ipsos and ICM also gave a lead of 17%. The second poll was 5 November, when YouGov and ComRes also gave a lead of 14%. Suggest scepticism is not justified, unless the next two or threepolls give leads much lower than the AR 17%.

  4. Duncan & James – Fraid not, but you’ll know once the tables appear on the YouGov’s website.

    Collin – it it’s a reply to the previous thread, why not put it on the previous thread? :)
    Thats why I keep the Recent Comments thing on the sidebar, so conversations in threads can continue when it’s no longer at the top of the page.

  5. This poll is very welcome and the most important thing that can be said is thank you to the Telegraph and YouGov.

    A poll that suggests the level of Labour support is exactly the same as at the last election hardly justifies it being hailed as a Lasarus like recovery. Rather it supports my view that there will be very few changes in seats in Scotland.

    Labour is in too many constituencies either in a poor third or fourth place with no support other than from hard core party loyalists, or the incumbent with a huge majority.

    In either case it will make little difference to the outcome if a high proportion of their past supporters voted for other large parties and even less if they choose not to vote or vote for Socialists or perhaps Greens.

    There are interesting things in some constituencies but the stability of the Labour and Conservative vote is not.

    For example, the SNP may take Argyll from third place, but even if they took half the previous labour vote it would make no difference. What matters is whether the incumbent LibDem loses enough votes and how these are split between Conservative and SNP.

    Another example of interest is whether local issues will TRUMP other considerations in Aberdeen.

    I have suggested before that to predict the balance of seats between Labour and Conservative, this should be done excluding Scotland and a Labour advantage of 33 should be assumed.

    That estimate may be excessive, but it will be a lot nearer than any prediction that ignores the effect of FPTP in Scotland.

    Conservatives and SNP are sure of one gain each, but the Conservatives have three more where they have a chance on a good night. Gaining all three would be a huge success. There would need to be a genuine enthusiasm for Conservative policies to produce that, and even DC acknowledges that that isn’t there overall, and it certainly isn’t in near Con-free Scotland.

    Neither will the SNP make AS’s 20 seats. Half of that would be more likely. That doesn’t mean they won’t get the largest number, even half of the total vote, but it won’t do them much good other than put them in a favourable position for next time.

    They have one certain gain, but are mostly in third place. There will be gains from third place, but only those who know the constituency well will be able to pick them out. Argyll may be one. Or not.

    The pattern in Scotland is very different. It’s as if it were a different country. Some think it should be.

    There is change. The SNP are gaining at the expense of other parties except the Conservatives who are flatlining but FPTP and the regionality of all the parties other than the Greens and including the Socialists means that there will be hardly any changes in seats in Scotland.

    Those who are making calculations of the Lab/Con balance need to take account of that.

  6. A stronger than expected boost to Labour following Glasgow NE. But with the GE coming up it is to be expected that Labour’s vote will start to close ranks.

    This is fecking disastrous for the Lib Dems. After the drubbing they took in Glasgow NE, it was expected that their share would be hit, but 11 points?!

    I think this is a consequence of an all-English leadership nationally. I’m not saying it is a conspiracy, but when Charlie Kennedy or Ming Campbell was in charge there was naturally a greater identification with the Lib Dems in Scotland.

    Tavish Scott is nice-but-dull and sleepwalking to a wipeout.

    Nick Clegg seems Cameron-lite and is concentrating too hard on Tory gains in England (how much has he bothered to campaign in Scotland, does anyone know?)

    There is an interesting dilemma now for the SNP. Salmond has been talking up a hung parliament in the (correct) belief that the SNP can use their balance of power to extract concessions. As Wee Eck himself put it, “parliament would be hung by a Scottish rope.”

    However, the greater the likelihood of a hung parliament, the greater the likelihood of the Conservatives forming the next Government becomes. That, in turn, draws Labour’s vote together and might encourage SNP voters to back Labour in order to forestall another ‘foreign’ Tory government.

    Any comments from our Scottish contributors?

  7. Any comments from our Scottish contributors?

    Not yet, well not fro me.

    This is awful for Liberal Democrats. An english leader can’t help; neither can the absence of a “not in my name campaign”.

    Are there are any Scotland-specific problems facing LibDems or are they simply being squeezed?

  8. I wonder what the impact on the Lib Dems will be of Clegg’s continued shift towards supporting the Tories in a hung Parliament

  9. What is the Lib Dems’ distinctive brand in Scotland? Tories are the staunch unionists, SNP are the nationalists and Labour are to Scotland what the Tories are to England.

  10. Well, that is just it , Richard.

    For about the last decade and a half, the Scottish Lib Dems pulled off the neat trick of being a reservoir for protest votes against Labour, whilst also being credible enough to serve two terms as coalition partners with Labour.

    It is a simple squeeze now.

  11. The LD disaster in Glasgow NE was followed up last week by another result below 3% – this time in a council election in Falkirk where Cons rose above 10% and Lab fell below 30% with SNP runaway winners.

    When looking at an 11% slide since 2005 one needs to bear in mind that this represensts about half of their 2005 vote. It is not inconceivable that LDs could lose half their Scottish seats – and certainly won’t be making many gains.

    What really matters though is those seats where LDs were third with 15-25% of the vote last time. These are teh areas where we may see some big swings with former LD voters switching to other parties to vote tactically to either shore up or defeat the incumbent.

    I disagree with John Dick about the likely number of seats changing hands, and personally think that Lab will fall below 50% of Scottish seats for the first time since the 1950s. That would put them at no more than 20-25 seats ahead of Cons.

  12. The LibDems brand image is NotLab-NotCon-&-NotSNP In much of Scotland it’s a winner. Once they are the incumbent they hang on. If they are the challenger the incumbent better not support an unpopular government or be less than a workaholic on constituency issues, or he/she’ll be out.

    If you don’t want independence, and many SNP voters don’t, you don’t need to vote for it. If the SNP seems the best buy for the voter who doesn’t want to vote for the two parties of government then he will desert the LibDems especially where the are a “wasted vote” and the SNP aren’t. In the highland seats they already hold, this won’t happen except the most urban of them Argyll where the incumbent is failing to impress with his energy and effectiveness and where the SNP have recently taken the SP seat.

    Where the LibDems are third or fourth, they won’t be squeezed so much as sqashed flat as in Glasgow North.

    Glasgow North has been Labour for 74 years. At the election before that, the voting age was 21.

    In that constituency, only centenarians have voted in an election which returned a candidate other than Labour, and at election before that one women under 30 didn’t vote. There aren’t many centenarians in a constituency with one of the wordt health records.

    Does that put the Labour “win” in perspective.

    Nothing should be read into the LibDem result. The They, the Conservatives, Greens Ukip BNP and the various Socialists were aiming to save their deposits and most of them didn’t.

    Having said that, the LibDem vote is so regional that a Scotland wide poll can’t be relied on to indicate how well they will do in an election in terms of seats or even votes and to an extent that is true of the Conservatives in a differnt sense for they are thinly spread and concentrated around Edinburgh.

    I posted recently a comment about this. Have a look at what FPTP did to the Conservatives last time.

  13. Unfortunately the LibDems won’t lose that many seats as about a third of their national vote in 59 seats last time came from the 12 they won.

    This time i’d say they will probably hold something like 10 but that will make up 50% of their vote.

    If that happens elsewhere they could be heading back to where they were in the pre SDP days of being a small almost regional party who will struggle as their high profile MP’s retire.

    Unfortunately for me the Highlands of Scotland might well be one of the last bastions. They have always done well here by putting balm on the chips on peoples shoulders and stoking a sense of grievance that its “All their fault”

    A particularly effective strategy has been ” Vote for Us and we’ll Fight to get you it it”…. not “We’ll deliver or provide it”, but “we’ll demand that they deliver or provide it”.

    The key is that by championing a popular cause while never being in a position to deliver it you can keep getting elected.

    I’ll comment more on the poll when the tables are up.

    Peter.

  14. At first glance this looks bad for the Liberals, but while they certainly wont be making any gains, I doubt they will lose more then a handful of their scottish seats.
    The Highlands are the closest thing the Liberals have to a heartland, and only Argyll has an even remote chance of falling. While most other seats have fairly strong majorities, I would say the most likely loss is Dunfuirmaline if Labour continue to revive, or even remain steady.
    The greatest loses will be in non Lib-Dem constituencies where they are unlikely to come above 4th in many, but i wouldn’t predict more then 2 seats being lost.

  15. Labours tactics in Scotland have been to blame any cuts on the SNP- almost laughable considering the shambles caused by the UK government

    All councils and the Scottish Government are facing major funding issues in the next few years

    The SNP have got to come out fighting and dispel the lies from Labour

    Either way after the GE in the summer Labour face either havinf to cut budgets further or are in opposition

    2011 I think will see the return of an SNP government

  16. Paul H-J

    “I disagree with John Dick about the likely number of seats changing hands”

    Good!

    Lets look at where the are coming from. I guess that you are looking at polling data. I am looking at insividual seats and asking “Is a change likely here?” There are three possibe answers: Yes, No, and maybe.

    Peter has already offered the suggestion that the LibDems will lose two. Would you say that the SNP and Conservatives will not lose that which we have?

    Is that likely? If so two target Con gains need to be classed as SNP holds.

    I think there are single near-certain Con and SNP gains, and a range of Con possibles beyond that. I’m assuming that not all the possibles will change.

    I’d concede that beyond that there might be two or three SNP gains from third place (as they nearly always are). I think my own constituency might be one of them. Two or three maybe four. Five? hardly. Alex Salmond’s 12? Not as things stand. (I’d throw in another two for the “Events dear boy,” of a state funeral if there is one.

    If I don’t go now I’ll miss the last diverted ferry home.

    Can we work together to pick the changes?

  17. If Labour is polling at the same percentage in Scotland than they must be even more lower percentage wise than last election in England and Wales.

    So when Labour gets 29 and 31 in two recent polls their vote concentration in Scotland has to be taken out.

    Does anyone know the math that if you take out their scotish vote how much that lowers their percentage in their overall polling positions we have been seeing. I am basing this on of course that Labour gets the same percentage in Scotland as last election.

  18. This confirms what I said about a post Glasgow by-election boost for Labour. I wonder how many days it will last?

  19. John,

    Will have to get back to you tomorrow on possible changes in Scotland – I too must dash

    Paul

  20. Once again the important point is that if Labour are doing about the same in Scotland as last time but in the UK as a whole are down by about 10% they must be doing pretty awfully in both England and Wales.

  21. Can someone on this website tell me why the Conservatives are not out campaigning in Scotland ?

    To my knowledge David Cameron has never been North of the Border nor has any memeber of the Shadow Cabinet.

  22. Can anyone explain why Labour is so much more popular in the Westminster Poll the in the Holyrood poll.

  23. This puts an interesting perspective on the UK wide recent polls. Labour is clearly up in Scotland if this poll is accurate, but with it conforming other polls in Scotland it seems safe to assume labour has staged a reasonable recovery north of the border. This may be significant in two ways. Firstly in seats. if the election is going to be tighter than seemed possible a few weeks ago, a strong Labour performance in Scotland is important for them. Secondly, does it mean there is a general recovery in Labour heartlands elsewhere? I cautioned against people assuming 2010 was going to be the final end for Labour, and if they are making some headway in their heartlands then the total meltdown doesn’t seem to be on the cards.

    It all adds to the sense that Labour are improving, but we still have contradictory UK polls and we need more of them before we can really be sure what’s happening out there.

  24. Party, Westminster, change cf 2005, SP Const, change cf 2007, SP List, change cf 2007
    Lab, 39%, (0), 33%, (1), 30%, (1)
    SNP, 24%, (6), 32%, (-1), 29%, (-2)
    Con, 18%, (2), 15%, (-2), 14%, (0)
    LD, 12%, (-11), 14%, (-2), 14%, (3)
    Green, -%, (-), -%, (-), 6%, (2)
    SSP/Sol, -%, (-), -%, (-), 4%, (3)

    What is remarkable is how little change there has been since the last relevant election – apart from the collapse of the LD vote for Westminster, and its capture by the SNP and “others”.

    On these results, the SNP would lose its largest party status at Holyrood, but largely to the Greens and SSP.

    The majority against independence has been highlighted, but what hasn’t been noted is the satisfaction with the SNP Government

    Approve 41% : Disapprove 36%.

  25. Mori and now You Gov in Scotland is saying that Labour’s heartland vote is recovering.

    Those who stayed away in 2005 [ remember turnout was 59% ] were mostly Labour voters. They will be back !

  26. Imtiaz Kabir

    The Scottish YouGov poll says nothing of the kind. Labour’s share of the vote is exactly where it was in 2005. With the collapse of the LD vote, they gained exactly nothing. SNP gained 6%, Con 2%, others (probably Green) gained 3%.

    Hardly a Labour resurgence!

  27. BS

    A quarter of those voting SNP in Scottish elections think that it matters whether the UK has a Tory or Labour Government and vote accordingly. Hence the difference.

  28. Given that many Scotts seem unwilling to support the Conservatives, I wonder why the Conservative party doesn’t adjust their election policy accordingly. i.e. give up on Scotland as a waste of effort and court more votes in England by promising to abolish the ‘unfair’ Barnett Formula.

    ..and while they are at it, resolve the West Lothian question.

    How do the sages on here believe that such a policy would affect the Conservative’s poll standings?

  29. Paul & John:

    As I see it, the following seats are likely to change hands at the GE:

    Dumfries & Galloway (L – C)
    B’shire, R’burgh & Selkirk (LD – C)
    Edinburgh South (L – C)
    Stirling (L – C) [possibly]

    Ochil & S Perthshire (L – SNP)
    Dundee West (L – SNP)
    Aberdeen North (L – SNP) [possibly]
    Argyle & Bute (LD – SNP or C) [possibly]

    [[Dunf’line & W Fife (LD – L or SNP)]] [possibly]
    [[Glasgow East]] (SNP – L)

  30. I would be wary of these Scottish opinion polls, especially with respect the supposed collapse of the Lib Dem vote.

    In the three Herald / System Three opinion polls published just before the last General Election, the Lib Dems scored 16%, 13% and 14% respectively. They ended up getting 23% of the vote in the election itself in Scotland.

    I quick trall through Scottish by-election history will also show the Liberal Democrats have a fine tradition of getting thrashed in Scottish parliamentary by-elections (see Monklands East, Hamilton South, Ayr, Falkirk West etc). These gave no indication as to the Lib Dem performance in the following General Election in Scotland.

  31. Hard to say. Feeding the poor few Scottish Tories to the sharks might be frowned upon–or cheered. As an American I have been strongly struck by an — trying to find a term that won’t upset Anthony. Let’s say a general attitude from total disinterest to outright dislike among the English. So it would go over well with some and probably not anger many in England. So I suppose such a thing might be a general positive.

    It would cost them in Holyrood, but would they care?

    But if they ditch Barnett they have to actually come up with a funding scheme which I suspect is something the Tories have no stomach for. Putting off giving Holyrood desperately needed borrowing powers (required for any functioning government) and keep hoping the entire devolution thing eventually fails seems to be their only real Scottish policy.

    Possibly too political for Anthony, but that’s how I see it from the other side of the pond.

  32. Pedant alert: it’s Argyll not Argyle.

  33. Not surprising to see the Conservatives making little progress in Scotland. The last Conservative administration made few friends there over an 18 year period – and the Scots may well have long memories.

    Be interesting to see if some urban parts of the North (of England) have a similar recall…

  34. I speak as someone with little knowledge of Scotland’s politics, but I think the collapse of Tory support in Scotland is being overcooked slightly at least in psephological terms. A party that polls 15-20% of the popular vote is definitely not a major player, that’s for certain. And compared to the support enjoyed by the Tories in England, and even in Wales, the Scottish Conservatives are the poor relation.

    But….

    For decades the Tories have done worse in Scotland than in England. That’s nothing new. And 18% in Scotland for the Tories is around the same score that the LDs quite often get for the whole UK. And the recent poll putting Labour on 22% in the UK (and therefore presumably somewhere below 20% in England) isn’t a massive distance from that. Alright that was a quite unbelievable poll but still.

    My point being that it is fashionable to write off the Scottish parties as if they were finished. An irrelevance. I think that’s wish-fulfillment to some extent. It is only FPTP that makes Scotland’s Tories seem non-existant because of the wipeout of Westminster MPs (I am not making an argument for reform – I support FPTP).

    The way Nats and Scottish socialists portray the situation, you would think that the Scottish people utterly shun Conservatism. The polls seem to suggest that there is a small but significant school of Conservative opinion in Scotland that is being wished away somewhat.

  35. To Andrew, I believe Cameron went up to Glasgow for the recent by election and he was interviewed by the local papers up there and gave his we will respect remark.

  36. The recent Angus poll showed that a third of Labour’s support is in Scotland. So while Labour may hold on to most of their seats in Scotland, in the rest of the country its looking to be a very different story.

  37. Philip JW

    “The recent Angus poll showed that a third of Labour’s support is in Scotland.”

    Hardly! The small Scots sample showed Labour with 33% of those polled – a very different thing.

    Party, GB, E&W
    Lab, 22%, 21%
    Con, 39%, 42%
    LD, 21%, 22%

    Labour in 3rd place in England 0n the basis of Angus Reid.

  38. I find it hard to believe that the Tories are not campaigning hard in Scotland.

    The issue is will the election of the tories be good or bad for scotland in the eyes of the electorate? At the moment the tories do not seem to have a message which will make a significant majority vote for them. Maybe it needs some radical re-thinking.

    I would be very surprised if the Lib dems lost at most more than 2 seats in scotland.

    Coming from outside Scotland, SNP seemed to be doing a reasonable job, but if so why is labour resurgent?

  39. This isn’t bad for the Tories because they need to get 100 seats from Labour and they weren’t really competing against them in Scotland. So if Labour’s vote is holding up in Scotland that means the tories have a better chance of getting those 100 seats in England and Wales. Labour will still be pleased because now SNP won’t be able to pick up a dozen seats from them.

    In the last poll of Scotland Labour was at 39percent in Scotland and 23 in England.

    Tories might not need a 10 percent win for a majority if the Labour vote is so concentrated in Scotland where the Tories weren’t really going to get many seats anyway. They were hoping for four at best.

    The swingometer doesn’t take into account Labour holding up in Scotland and collapsing elsewhere. So maybe the Tories will only need an 8 percent gap over Labour to get a majority.

    I keep thinking back to Norwich North and although that seat was unique with a popular MP quitting it was still a terrible result for Labour. So these polls that show Labour gaining don’t mean much to the tories if they are only gaining in Scotland. If they start gaining in England and Wales then the tories need to worry.

  40. Labour is able to run as outsiders in Scotland against the SNP and the SNP needs to do a better job of fighting back against Labour.

    Also Brown and Darling being from there is a big help to them. Brown in many ways fits the electorate better in Scotland than Blair ever did. So I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they did as well in Scotland as the last election maybe with just a slight dip and a slight gain from SNP with Lib dem voters voting strategically for them to defeat labour.

  41. James/Andy Stidwell

    That’s it. I think we can calculate Scottish marginals and see what the Lab seats majority over Con might be. For now if we assume a number not very different from what we currently have, we are looking at wheelchair and stretcher divisions again.

    There are also consequences arising from an even more Conservative England and a very Lab/SNP Scotland.

    Alec

    Whether Labour are up or down doesn’t much matter FPTP and regionalisation are what makes for safe seats in Glasgow and risible fourths in the highlands.

    Andrew

    The map they have is not very up to date. It says “Here be Dragons”

    I can’t say that it would be a good idea. They might as easily lose votes as gain them.

    BS/Imtiaz Kabir

    OldNat is right as usual

    OldNat

    I would add that the second biggest change on your figures is the change in SNP at Westminster which is over a longer timescale during which the SNP government has made its mark to the electorate’s “satisfaction” as your figures show.

    As I have said, the SNP are often seen as the ” best buy” for those who are scunnered with the big two. No doubt this is a consequence of “satisfaction”.

    Voting churn is about competence and integrity. Independence is for the referendum and quite separate and unconnected.

    It is also, a much longer term decision.

    I see nothing inconsistent or unexplained in these figures. There was no apparent reason for the Green debacle in 2007 other than “AS for FM.” So it isn’t surprising that they are making a recovery. So too may the Socialists when their legal problems are resolved.

    Tony M

    Why don’t they do it? Not bcause they would lose many votes and they would only lose one seat in Scotland.

    The Scottish Party would feel abused and morale and probably membership and party organisation would collapse.

    The SNP would gain at the expense of Labour and LibDems and independance wouldn’t be far away.

    What they should do is the Bavarian solution and rebranding. Then almost at a stroke they could be in government in Scotland. As potential coalition partners to either the SNP or Labour they are toxic as things stand.

  42. @Tony M – a couple of points re the Tories giving up in Scotland. Number one is seats – while they may or may not be heading for a comfortable majority/landslide in 2010, the last time they governed I think I’m right in saying they won a majority of 21 with 11 scottish seats. Remove Scotland then, and no Tory majority. No one knows when the Tories might really need 5 or 6 seats north of the border – maybe even in 2010? Number two is political – abandoning Scotland undercuts entirely Camerons inclusive, unionist UK wide message. He may not go down so well in Scotland, but he must campaign there, because if he doesn’t, people in Wales, the south west, the north, inner London etc will all be reminded by their opponents that at heart, those Tories are just in it for rich southerners. It doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t true.

  43. John B Dick

    Thanks for the compliment!

    “What they should do is the Bavarian solution and rebranding.”

    The Tories floated this internally in 2007 – making the Scottish Party independent. It never became a formal proposal. Any Tories here know why?

  44. I hope Anthony won’t mind be asking for help here. I am testing some prediction software that I hope to have running live on election night.
    You get to play Returning Officer for a constituency! Just enter what you think the votes will be on the night and the program does the rest. I have thirty results in form the denizens of politicalbetting.com already, and it will be interesting to throw ukpollingreport into the mix.

    http://www.titanictown.plus.com/

  45. Where to start,

    The Tory rise?

    The tories got 16% in Scotland in 2005 so 18% means they have increased there vote by 2% or indeed18% is 13% higher than 16%. They have recently peaked near 21% or respectively 5% or 30% higher.

    Given that Scotland is a four party system I suspect if the tories did come out with there vote in 2010 close to 25% higher than 2005 then it would be roughly in line with their UK rise.

    in short the Tories have recovered since 2005 and over all in votes if not seats they are the third party in Scotland overtaking the Libdems who have dropped from second to fourth.

    Tory Campaigning in Scotland

    The Tories do regularly campaign in Scotland including members of the shadow cabinet It doesn’t get mentioned much in the UK press but they are regular visitors, if not always well received ones.

    A third of Labours vote?

    If Labour are on about 25% in the mainland UK vote and a third of that comes from Scotland with only 10% of the UK mainland population then Labour should be on about 80% in Scottish polls…. I don’t think so (thank goodness).

    WS Scotland Votes.

    Put these into scotland votes and the Holyrood result would be;

    Lab 48 (+2), SNP 42 (-5), LibDem 18 (+2), Con 17 (-), SSP 1 (+1), Grn 2 (0), Ind 1 (0)

    That makes another Lib/Lab pact possible as they have 66 seats out of 129 between them.

    Although i suspect as they will almost certainly be facing a tory Government in Westminster and out of pride ( if the SNP can do it) a minority Government. equally if the SNP were to bring it down with Tory support then Labour could use it to its advantage.

    Alex Salmond isn’t Gerald Ford.

    For those of you who can remember that far back the comment made ( I think by Nixon) about Vice President Ford is that he couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

    The problem with the priority question is it assumes that Governments can or should do only one thing at a time or that we should focus our efforts the highest immediate concern.

    Not only do i think the SNP government is capable of pursuing a lot of things at once any good government should not only be capable of it, its actually essential that they do.

    If unemployment is the top priority should the UK government;

    Stop reforming the NHS, Keep people in jobs that don’t need to be done, Cut funding for the army in Afghanistan to put it into job creation, Stop all government R&D, Cancel all long term planning on renewing the grid or replacing current power stations, Cancel all non-economic legislation, Abolish the minimum wage,

    You can go on and on about things that may be a lower priority than another but still need to be done or can be done at the same time.

    Right now the national conversation is an on going project but it isn’t getting anything like the focus or resourcing that fighting the recession is. Over two years its less than £12m from a government that has spent close to £80bn.

    Just today it was announced that having set a government efficiency target of £550m in 2008/9 the actual bankable saving reached in Scotland and reinvested was £800m. In one year 60 times the spend on the national conversation in year on year savings.

    The only people saying that the focus on Independence is currently the SNPs top priority above the opponents of the SNP and Independence.

    It is something we are actively promoting as its a manifesto commitment that we think we can progress at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately Local income tax is something that has had to be delayed as unlike £12m over two years would have needed a transfer of £500m in Council tax benefit every year.

    people might not agreed but for people that believe Independence will be of huge benefit to Scotland delivering it for under £20m or so over a parliament when the Labour government secretly lent £62bn over a weekend is a bargain.

    Peter.

  46. The Angus Reid poll data for Scotland for Westminster are;

    Lab 33%, Tory 18%, LibDem 16%, SNP 25% Others 8%.

    It is only a sub sample of 137 but compared to this YouGov poll;

    Lab 39%, Tory 18%, LibDem 12%, SNP 24%, Others 7%.

    The main difference is the higher Labour vote and the diference between the LibDems, but as noted elsewhere AR do have a high LibDem figure in UK terms.

    Regardless it does seem to suggest a solid Labour recovery.

  47. Neil

    We have a large degree of agreement.

    Of your four C gains, only the first is a confident prediction, though I agree these are the possibles. Because I think that three or even two would need local factors and luck, I wouldn’t count all these chickens but maybe out of the two middle ones either one could change and I don’t think we need to choose between them for this exercise.

    I say that because as even DC has recognised that Labour are losing rather than Conservatives winning, and this applies with extra force in Scotland. I’m also assuming a no Con loss, but the MP is not highly regarded by his party leadership and if there are local issues against him there could even be a surprise Lab gain from Con. Not counting all these chickens covers us for that too.

    Of your SNP gains, Leaving Argyll aside for the moment, I agree that we can count the first two.

    The third is, as you say possible, but there there may be other eggs than these that hatch too. I would be unsurprised if there were SNP gains from third position for local reasons that we cannot predict if we do not have direct knowlege of the constituency. These would be rural and under the radar of the media.

    Richard Lochhead is the SNP’s secret weapon. Townies have no idea what he is doing, but it’s a lot.

    If not Aberdeen North, then somewhere else will make up for it and maybe even at most one more.

    Argyll and Bute, where I vote is as you say a three way marginal and formerly four way. For there to be an SNP win, the LibDem needs to lose 9% of his support last time (not 9% of the poll). That’s possible.

    No more than a tenth of that can go to the Conservatives or the Conservatives win. Labour are nowhere, squeezed already and hardly worth squeezing more, but any Labour losses would surely go to SNP rather than the Conservatives.

    It is the least rural, least highland LibDem incumbency so possibly has the least LibDem inertia.

    The Conservative vote fell the last time and they have a new, less well known candidate. There can be few who would have voted LibDem to keep the SNP out where Con were the challenger and most who were prepared to vote Conservative will have done so last time since the SNP are further behind.

    The SNP won the Holyrood seat. Some see LibDem and SNP votes as floatable. I think this is the “best buy” negative voters. They don’t vote Conservative.

    My guess is that if there is a change, the SNP rather than the Conservatives will win.

    Dunfermline and West Fife (if a SNP win) I’ve allowed for if not specifically counted. Glasgow East might very well not revert. There were local issues here, and the attention the constituency received might seem a reason for sticking with the SNP for now.

    Overall we are very much in agreement other than that I am discounting the full number of possible Con gains possibles and allowing for one or two extra rogue SNP gains.

    I don’t think your Lab/Con majority of seats is so very different from mine (33). Thomas Hall and Peter Cairns seem to be with us in respect of the LibDems if Peter counts reversions the way I think he does.

  48. Peter

    Individual small Scottish samples are pretty meaningless, but in aggregate across a range of pollsters in agreement they can suggest a trend.

    In this case, it seems pretty clear that Labour have now recovered to their 2005 level.

    However, it also seems totally clear now that UNS across GB is a meaningless concept. Indeed the collapse of LD in Scotland probably isn’t reflected in a Scottish UNS either.

    I certainly wouldn’t want to put money on which party is going to win in 4 way splits such as Argyll & Bute!

  49. OldNat

    Not recently (maybe even in 2007) I wrote to my two Con MSP’s asking why they didn’t do Bavarianisation and rebranding and I got a common answer from a staff member.

    The answer was that they are a Unionist party. I understood that the Unionist bit referred primarily to Ireland and it’s a bit out of date now.

    They also said that they wern’t preparing for independence because they were against it. The only sound reasons for not preparing either that you are sure it won’t happen, or could instantly respond without having done your thinking and contingency planning first.

    We don’t run wars like that by any chance, do we?

    After the election would be the right time to revisit these options I think. Then the change would be bedded in by the next Scottish Parliament elections when they could make a bid to either Labour or SNP or maybe BOTH as coalition partners.

    Scotland is fortunate that there are two large and two middle sized parties, but the options for co-operation are restricted by the Westminster connection.

    Now that NewLabour and Conservatives are so close, Tweedledum and Tweedledee have to make the most of their differences and half the House of Commons would be in therapy if they had to relate to a Lab/Con coalition in Scotland.

    MP’s seem to have a lot of problems they don’t need to have and I think that mostly the dysfunctional constitution is at fault, but maybe MP’s are just not quite as bright as they would like us to think they are and they can’t see why it needs fixed.

    As I’ve often said in these threads: the model is there to be followed. The better governance of Scotland, is not the primary purpose of Donald Dewar’s Home Rule parliament.

  50. OLDNAT

    “I certainly wouldn’t want to put money on which party is going to win in 4 way splits such as Argyll & Bute!”

    I couldn’t agree more, but I’d put money on the Conservative coming second and Labour coming fourth.

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