Just realised I’ve missed an Ipsos MORI poll of Scottish voting intentions here, MORI’s first Scottish voting figures since the general election.

Westminster: CON 14%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%, SNP 29%
Holyrood Constituency: CON 11%, LAB 37%, LDEM 13%, SNP 34%
Holyrood Regional: CON 12%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, SNP 29%

The poll also asked if people in Scotland supported the release of Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi one year on. 35% think it was right, 54% wrong. This compares to 42% right and 45% wrong when MORI orginally asked back in 2008.

264 Responses to “Latest Ipsos MORI Scottish poll”

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  1. Perhaps the most striking feature is the very low figure for the Tories. Will this intensifytheir already acute self-examination?
    It is not as bad as it might have been or might be yet.
    The concentration of votes on Labour and SNP is striking. A much bigger proportion I would think than in any of the Scot Parl elections. While it will give a little hope to the SNP following a very low vote in the UK election, it would still mean if repeated in an election a major loss of seats to the Labour Party who on this showing would be in the upper 50s of seats. Of course the SNP will be determined to change that but perhaps the most significant decision in the lead up to the election will be where the SNP put their resources. Last time the fought the most focussed campaign in uk history but where to focus now.
    The megrahi figures are interesting because of the movement and the gender factor. There seem to be two stories about this issue. One focusses on compassion but women (in particular) seem to understand it more as a high-risk freeing of a terrorist to satisfy macho politics. Webber Shandwick carry an inteesting article on the scotlandvotes site explaining this.

  2. How does this play out in terms of possible seat tallies next May ??

  3. Early morning OZ update

    78.2% counted.

    Updated Mon Aug 23 10:49AM

    Labor 38.0 won 73 predicted 73
    Coalition 43.9 won 70 predicted 73
    Greens 11.5 won 1 predicted 1
    Others 6.6 won 3 predicted 3

    The Green MP has indicated for Labor and one of the IND’s is a greenie-lefty not an extreme right winger like the other two.

    So it could well be the case that there is a 75-75 tie !!

    But the Labor vote plus the green vote and that other Ind takes them over 50% as a coalition…..what a turn up if so after the early returns yesterday !

  4. @Rob….what dya reckon’re the chances of a grand coalition if it does end up even?

    @Poll…..I’m surprised so many still think Als release was ‘right’ given he still ain’t popped his clogs…

  5. Anthony, I’m surprised that you have also missed that YouGov have also conducted a Holyrood voting intention poll on behalf of the Scottish National Party. The findings were published yesterday:

    (1212 people on the 17th and 18th August )
    (+/- change from YouGov/Scotsman, 4 May 2010)

    Lab 36% (+5)
    SNP 35% (+1)
    Con 14% (n/c)
    LD 12% (-5)
    oth 3% (-1)

  6. So, if I’m coming to campaign for Labour, where do they need me most?

  7. These polls are slightly better for yellows than the TNS-BRMB poll.

    If the YG poll is accurate, then are those figures for constituency vote? I’ve been on YG’s website and not seen it. They are otentially bad news for red….

  8. These were augusts TNS figures (constit.)

    10 46 11 32

  9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/7959320/Cameron-to-push-ahead-with-cold-turkey-drug-policy.html

    This was one of the things I was most interested in during the debates. I was astounded to hear a Con leader talk of re-hab and treatment, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see some follow through.

    With one enormous caveat.

    Treatment is very expensive and residential places woefully inadequate.

    If this government are prepared to commit to treatment, they will need to spend spend spend. Can you compel and addict to give up an addiction? All experts say no. How long will the addict have to stay clean for the treatment centre to get paid? Why would they stump up the cash for the 7 or 8 people who will not stay clean in order to be paid for the 2 or 3 who do? However, providing places for those who show a desire to no longer be addicted would be a great step forward.

  10. Stuart,

    Well, I certainly haven’t missed us conducting it, but I do miss the publication of Scottish polls unless someone tells me!

    The SNP always used to send me their press releases, but I din’t get one this time.

  11. The YouGov poll was published in the Sunday Express along with some leadership figures from the MORI/STV survey which showed Salmond in a very strong position.

    That is the main reason that I expect to see the SNP re-elected next year, in contrast to Labour loosing this year with an unpopular leader.

  12. This MORI poll has Labour -9% on the TNS-BRMB poll. (constit.).

    Does anyone have any view on previous MORI Holyrood polls? Do they have a track record in Scotland?

  13. The MORI survey is very close to the YouGov findings and they were conducted on the same dates towards the end of last week.

    This would put TNS out of line or out of date or both. TNS has a long history of overrating Labour in Scotland however , in this case, I think it is timing.

    As the General Election effect wears off and people focus on the Scottish election to come then the SNP will strengthen.

  14. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/Row-flares-over-claim-of.6488247.jp

    An interesting article on what could happen after an election. The story mainly talks about a possibe post election coalition between Labour and the SNP.

    No the above is not a typo :)

  15. Ex-Pat,

    Thanks for that…

    It certainly does make it seem a very close run thing… I must admit I envisage Labour doing exceedingly well in the Holyrood constit as a bulwark against Tory cuts.

    Do you have a view on why Tax raising powers, in the form of the +/-3p Income Tax have never been used? One might argue they would mitigate against blue cuts.

  16. Does anyone have a link to the efficiency savings website?

    Having listened to the lastest coalition announcement banning bagels and potplants from the audit office, I think I have the answer: Abolish the pound.

    This will save time and ink, inflate Brown’s deficit by 100% overnight, as well as export figures, coalition savings, the benefit bill, you name it. It will also send the right message… every penny counts.

    Perhaps a commission to investigate reinstating the ha’penny, farthing and groat? After all this coalition is about much more than cuts.

  17. @ Eoin

    Since the last Mori poll which was in February they have Labour (+8) SNP (-2) Lib (-2) and Con (-3).

    Although the figure are different to the TNS poll the trend is still obvious. Labour are increasing their position over the SNP. Remember Labour only need a tiny swing to defeat the SNP. One gain from the SNP and it’s curtains. I can see Labour gaining seats from all the parties. According to this poll since the last election in the constituency vote Labour are +5 , SNP(-1), Con (-4) Lib Dems (+1).

    In the regional list it is even better for Labour. This poll shows them (+9) SNP (-2) Con (-2) Lib Dems (+1) Greens (+1)

    In fact they are even up two points in their constituency performance in 2003 and (+9) in their list performance in the same year. That was an election that Labour won.

    It would be a fallacy to suggest that this is anything other than a positive poll for Labour and that they are on course for victory in 2011. The election is now Labour’s to lose.

  18. Michael,

    Yes I noted the 29% for reds a while back in an IPSOS. I might have a celtic name but my post was not at attmept to spin the IPSOS as a good poll for SNP. I was merely asking our more experienced Scottish posters on past experiences with the diff companies.

    I think Ex Pat is correct to say that TNS-BRMBs are very kind to Labour. They were quite kind to Labour in the W-minster polls.

  19. Eoin
    Re the Scottish Variable Rate.

    The Calman Commission reported in 2009 and made significant recommendations regarding raising of revenues. One of theese is to discard/replace the SVR.

    I suggest the summary report if you wish to read up.

    h ttp://www.commissiononscottishdevolution.org.uk/

  20. Not particularly on Scottish polling, but an interesting poll from YouGov/markit reported in the Telegraph shows consumer confidence falling sharply. Job sentiment in the private sector is also negative, leading to this quote – “At the same time, there has been the sharpest drop in confidence in job security in the private sector for 13 months, “suggesting the impact of Government spending cuts has reverberated beyond the public sector”, the report said.”

    The picture is confusing, with both consumer and business confidence for the next 12 months falling despite good recent retail sales and company profit figures. Companies are also indicating net future recruitment while displaying reduced confidence, so a somewhat counter intuitive finding.

    The lessons from this are interesting. In my view, the underlying economic situation was better than expected in Q1 and Q2, but it seems clear that government rhetoric and largely unneccessary government cuts in the current year spending have sufficiently frightened people (consumers and businesses) and have created a slump in confidence as the price of establishing the new government’s fiscal virility.

    Whether this continues will be crucial. We haven’t yet actually seen the proper cuts, and when we do it could turn the confidence slump into an actual slump. However, perhaps the better real activity numbers will begin to take hold and we will reverse the confidence measures movements.

    Either way, this is evidence that the government has been foolish and wreckless with a critical aspect of any economic recovery – namely the confidence of consumers and business leaders. In order to secure their narrative of a fiscal crisis that they need to both paint the last government in unflattering colours and also justify their desire for greater ideologically based spending cuts, they have relentlessly cranked up the rhetoric on spending.

    My view is that while they should certainly have been honest about spending reductions and cuts where appropriate, equally a more economically responsible approach (that isn’t so focused on the next election campaign) would have been to promote reassurance about growth and recovery. Cuts aren’t going to solve our problems, but growth will – this needs nurturing and protecting, and so far, at least on the emotional side, the government has singularly failed to do this.

  21. Mike N,

    Thanks. I will take a read.

  22. Sorry I should have stated that I was responding to your previous post on ‘this could be potentially bad news for reds….’

    Any increase in Labour support will see them win the 2011 election. And as they are polling figures pre 2003 then I think they are on course for victory. That is not to say that the SNP, Tories and Liberals join up and for a government to keep Labour out. We will have to wait and see what the final figures are for that.

  23. Michael,

    It will take a miracle for reds not to win- the question is how close will they get to a majority?

    Would a green MSP do a deal with them? One of the Scottish posters informed us that there was a bit of history between the two and that they might not… do you know much about this?

  24. Labour said that they will form a minority government if they win and will not seek coalition talks.

    However, there is an article in the Scotsman today. I posted a link but it is still under moderation. Basically what it says is that some SNP MSPs have contacted Labour about a possible coalition after the election which would see Salmond stand down as leader. They also floated the idea of an anyone but Labour coalition. They also say that Salmond could stand down as leader before an election and pass the torch to Nicola Sturgeon. This would make things worse for the SNP in my opinion.

    As for the greens if they got some of their flagship policies on to the agenda why wouldn’t they support labour or any other party. As I said Labour want to go it alone.

  25. I think the Greens are unlikely to enter into a formal coalition, but would offer support on an issue by issue basis as they saw fit.

    I don’t see an SNP-Lib-Tory coalition on the cards at all if Labour win the most seats, it would smack of desparation by the SNP and unlikely to be supported by the others. Besides which, I think the style of politics at Holyrood would mean that if Labour wins the most seats the others will let them form the government, either through minority or coalition.

    I’d also be wary of comparing Labour’s list vote to 2003. Their share then was definitely affected by the realisation that many list votes in 1999 hadn’t produced any seats for Labour because they had done so well in the constituency vote and therefore voters felt more able to explore other options in the regional vote. It was also affected by a strong challenge from the left (scottish Socialist) which just isn’t there any more thanks to Tommy Sheridan’s shenanigans.

    Interestingly, if Labour do better in the constituencies, then we could again be in the situation where in some regions their list votes won’t produce extra MSPs despite polling highly.

    I do not share your suprise regarding the poor Tory position in Scotland. The Tory party are not going to produce a range of left wing policies which suit the Scottish voter. Further, more and more the choice comes down to a national issue, Tory = English. Therefore, David Cameron can make noises about the union but must realise that the sooner Mr Salmond has his way the better for all concerned. If the Windsor family males want to continue wearing Prince Albert fancy dress that is there affair. All this is a great shame, and has moved a very long way since my young day. My hero’s as a young man were Colonel Colin Mitchell of the Argyl & Sutherland Highlanders and Jim Clark OBE, IMO the greatest formula one driver who ever lived.

  27. Alec – I saw that report, but hopped very much you would give your take on it, so I didn’t comment.

    To what degree does confidence instruct reality? We’ll see soon enough.

    While you’re lurking, there was discussion a while ago, (you must have been away) that left me totally and utterly flummoxed. Someone pointed out that this government actually projects HIGHER spending over the life of the parliament!!

    What on? If every dept must cut 25% (ave) except NHS and Foreign aid (though of course there are still the 20 billion NHS “efficiency savings”) how on earth do they plan to spend MORE than they inherited??

    Is there some secret, election winning giveaway planned in year 5? PLEASE help me understand this, I’ve gone over it and over it, but I just don’t get it.

  28. Michael,

    correct me if I am wrong but the Scotsman is one of the most anti-Labour/pro-SNP papers I have ever read.

    Nevertheless, thank you for the article it is most informative.

  29. I know I’m an ignoramus but are there any ideas how this would turn out in seats in the Scottish Pasrliament?

  30. John Murphy,

    Howard reccomended a website (scotland votes). It is a reasonable tool for forecasting results. I share in your ignorance so I will leave a forecast to someone else.

  31. @Alec

    Could it be that companies have reduced confidence in the future but are in a better position to address it? The mirror image of the huge public sector deficit is a private sector surplus. As a sector, corporates are flush with cash which explains the surge in corporate activity. The personal sector has seen a surge in the savings ratio as some have saved more and some have reduced borrowings leading to weakish consumption. Some individuals and individual companies may be struggling but as a whole the private sector has repaid debt. In that respect the sector is better placed to face the future even though it may look bleak.

    I agree that the strategy should be to build confidence but that has to wait for CSR.

  32. The MORI figures on Scotland votes would give something like:

    Lab 57
    SNP 39
    LD 16
    Con 13
    Grn 3
    Ind 1

    Several words of caution though – these predictions are bsed on old boundaries, the changes might mean one or two seats more for SNP compared to Labour and maybe a few other shifts.

    Mori also have a constituency vote figure of 2% for the Greens, who tend not to field constituency candidates, preferring to focus all effiorts on the list vote, so where those 2% will go might change things a little.

  33. John Murphy
    I put the Ipsos Mori figures in the scotlandvotes calculator and it showed a big plurality for Labour but short of an overall majority. I don’t have it infront of me. I am on the move but Labour higher than ever before, SNP losing about 8, Tories losing 3 and Lib Dems surprisingly? par. Of course there is a long way to go.
    I think Ipsos Mori focus on determined voters which tends to over-score nationalists and traditionally Tories so maybe even worse for them?
    As others have pointed out the snp currently hold a sizeable number of seats form Labour with very small majorities which is why they are predicted by the computer to lose sp many seats

  34. Yes, I think there is an element of wait and see, or marking time. I have seen some anecdotal evidence of running down of inventories. Small retailers having difficulty with supplies and consequently losing sales, being palmed off with old or defective stock, that sort of thing.

  35. tinyotim
    Words of caution

  36. @Sue Marsh

    That might have been me. From the Red Book total govt spending is set to rise by approximately 2% pa from 670b in 2009/10 to 738b in 2014/15. This is in cash terms so inflation has to be taken into account. If ,and its a big if, govt inflation could be kept to 2% then there would be no real change in total spending.

    The other problem is that unemployment costs and interest payments are forecast to rise and will eat into the rise in total spending. This leaves a smaller portion for current spending and hence the cuts. The better news is that unemployment is coming in lower than expected and 10yr gilt yields have fallen 80bp from the election and 50bp from the Budget.

    I hope that helps explain your missing billions.

  37. TonyO,

    If the Greens just field candidates in the list vote that must surely make thier vote more efficient?

    Changes to the Italian voting syste meant that a benchmark of perhaps 5% of the top of my head was required… The smaller leftist parties joined together under the one banner to ensure they a) passed the required threshold b) got more candidates elected..

    I wonder if this is at all relevant in this system ie is there scope for SSP or Scottish Greens to work together? Obviously there is no requirement for a threshold but it might help get one extra cnadidate off the list?

  38. Only last week TNS showed a 14% Labour lead.

    I think that the w new polls show a more realistic picture in Scotland

    Labours strategy has been negative and at some stage they will have to present a positive message

    Its all to play for and at the end of the day with 9 months to the election

    Its either Alex Salmond or Iain Gray for First Minister

  39. Scottish Tories
    Why don’t Scottish Tories post on here?
    Oh I remember they get dog’s abuse from English Tories what with all that “fancy dress” and all

  40. Paul,

    Yes the Glasgow rail stuff was certainly negative. It works though doesnt it? Do you think the camapign will be dominated by Dev max v Calman? Or will it more likely be about who can face down Tory cuts? If the debate becoems about the former Labour could get bogged down… I suspect using Brown/Darling during the campaign might attempt to draw upon Labour’s experience at handling the economy. Labour’s best candidates tend to seek a career in Westminster, which sould in theory mean that SNP field comparable if not more able candidates. I wonder if a back seat from Salamond or a commitment form him not to serve a full term would bring Sturgeon more into the light? Her prominence might convicne floating voters that the SNP are not just obsessed about the national question. Afterall, the ark [sic] of prosperity looks more like something caught in the middle of God’s floods at the moment.

  41. @COLIN
    The Political Compass. My results which I did months ago are as follows. Economic 2.50 right. Social, on the line between Libertarian and Authoritarian.

  42. @Eoin,

    Although Robin Harper and Colin Fox seem to have a lot of mutual respect for each other when I’ve seen them on the same platform, I’m not sure I see an electoral pact happening or working if it did. Might alienate as many as it attracted. Plus the way the list vote works (with no opportunity to distinguish between candidates) if there was an SSP candidate top of the list in my region and I wanted to vote Green I’d be very disappointed and might vote elsewhere.

    I have to say that I think Mr Sheridan has killed the SSP as a political force for the timebeing. I say that with some regret as, whilst I don’t agree with him, Colin Fox has always struck me as a good politician who has handled things with a good deal of integrity.

    For the Greens, concentrating on the list is definitely a more effective use of limited resources. I do sometimes wonder if targetting the odd constituency might be worthwhile – Edinburgh Southern strikes me as one, with Lib and Tory votes falling and the strongest Labour areas moved into Eastern on new boundaries. I don’t think they’d win, but a strong showing and possible build of momentum.

  43. TonyOtim,

    I am surprised that blues do not do better the RSL. They once hld a seat up in the highlands adjacent to RSL, I wonder si there scope for them to do well there? The nimbyism I have come accross in my time in Scotland has been unreal. I wonder if Barney has any input into the failed Trump investment and whether that will impact on the elctions in Aberdeenshire..? I suspect you were happy to see the Trump venture fail (apols. If I am wrong). But it is one of the many local issues that I hope the Campaign is fought over…

  44. @Sue Marsh – “Alec – I saw that report, but hopped very much you would give your take on it, so I didn’t comment.”

    Word of caution – while waiting for any response from me, it’s best to stay on two feet at all times – I may be some time.

    In terms of your query regarding the spending increase, Alexsander pretty well sums it up. At £670b pa, even if all spending stayed exactly where it is now, for every 1% inflation we would need an increase of £6.7b just to stand still. There is very little chance of inflation sticking to 2% for the next couple of years at least, and if it stays at say 4%, we need to find annual reductions of £13.4B in year 1 and £27b in year 2. The level of savings required will increase for every point the inflation rate is over 2%.

    You then have to account for changing spending requirements. Debt interest is forecast to rise from £44b this year to £67b in 5 years time – so even if inflation stays at 2% throughout the period we will need to find £23b of annual savings. Statutory pension costs will unavoidably rise as more older people qualify, unemployment will rise, requiring greater spending etc etc.

    The idea that the government isn’t really cutting anything as it is spending more each year is something being touted by various right wing bloggers as evidence that people like the BBC are anti Tory and pursuing a biased line that the government is hell bent on cuts. Like most right wing bloggers, they tend to misunderstand economics (and their case is also somewhat undermined by the fact the the government agrees that it is hell bent on cuts).

    Sometimes its best to think of money less in terms of numbers but more in terms of what it is worth in terms of actual stuff. Inflation and unavoidable increases in ‘non productive’ spending areas effectively means that in five years time the higher numbers will actually buy us a lot less stuff.

  45. @Eoin,

    Indeed, that whole area of the Highlands was very good Tory territory until the mid 60s, but the revival of Liberal fortunes had a very striong root there at that point, and then compounded by the emergence of the SNP in the 70s, i can’t see the blues getting a look in there for a while to come.

    I’ll leave Trump to Barney as its his neck of the woods, but yes you’re right, I’m not dismayed about the outcome.

  46. TonyO,

    Thanks as ever. I do not know if you follow the Irish greens but they are now in gov. as the minor coalition partner with Fianna Fáíl. The latter pulled a stunt on theGs so to speak by handing them the enviroment portfolio. It a way it kicked the issue into the long grass for the big boys, and at a time of economic turmoil meant that Gs received unfriendly headlines for taking unpopular choices. It is a bit similar to Huhne proposing Nuclear Stations. It serves as a warning to the smaller parties of the potential risks. I think Clegg in charge of political refrom might turn out to yield the same poisoned chalice. Of course any party with the courage of its convictions, which Greens (environment) and Libs (politicla refrom) undoubtedly have, are still going to take the risk by accepting the portfolio. Experience shows that it tends to backfire.

  47. @ Éoin

    The power to raise revenues through additional tax exists but there is no logistical support to do it. The additional amount would need to be raised via the Inland revenue. As far as I’m aware, there is no process for doing this.

    Questions like, who is it applied to:
    1. People who’s home address is in Scotland; or
    2. Employers with a PAYE code in Scotland; or
    3. Something else..?

    Have not been answered to anybody’s satisfaction.

    If anybody posting knows more, or has more information on this topic, I’d really appreciate them sharing it with us. 8-)

  48. Whilst others blaming Mrs Thatcher for everything from Global Warning to the Irish potato famine is a source of great amusement to me. I am well aware that she had a massive impact in Scotland which the Conservative party will never recover from. During those years I spent quite a bit of time in a coastal town in Sutherland. The worsening of English/Scottish relations was almost measurable on a weekly basis.
    Perhaps I picked up on this because (people tell me) I look, act and sound very English.

  49. Michael wrote
    That is not to say that the SNP, Tories and Liberals join up and for a government to keep Labour out

    In the case of Labour not having an overall majority, I cannot believe this scenario. It is entirely in LD’s interest to join with Labour with an offer it would be impossible for Labour to refuse, even if only for national electoral reasons.

    As things stand anyway.

  50. Roland,

    My sons great grandparents still vote Blue, as does c.12% of Scotland. They could recover their position I think to maybe 20% but that is as best as they could hope for. The Welsh seem a lot more amenable to voting blue, which given Newports history has always privately surprised me.

    Aside from all of that, you’re nobody now if you dont have a geteway home some Celtic fringe area… Strathpeffer is an old Victorian spa town in the highlands of Scotland but I’ll be damned if every accent I hear is not English.

    Bottom line is that the demographics to avoid the London rat race may yet see parts of Scotland becoem Tory heartlands. I am sure Amber comes accross enough Sassenach in Edinburgh.

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