Earlier this week people were complaining about the lack of polling for the Scottish Parliamentary elections for next year compared to the monthly Welsh polls by YouGov for ITV Wales. Well, we do now have some – Ipsos MORI have released a poll of Scottish Parliamentary voting intentions here. Topline figures are:

Westminster: CON 14%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%, SNP 29%
Constituency vote: CON 13%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%, SNP 31%
Regional vote: CON 12%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, SNP 32%

136 Responses to “New MORI Scotland poll”

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  1. Roland

    I suspect by “last time”, A Brown was talking about the Holyrood election – but perhaps not.

    It makes discussion of politics rather difficult when people concatenate the different political cycles and sectors!

  2. A new popular Christian Democrat Party in Scotland is just one more pink dream. The evidence seems clear that Scotland is moving towards a two party system even under pr.

  3. @Garry K

    You’re obviously interested in local council by-elections and I wondered if you’d seen a result from a recent one that took place in Sandwell Borough Council. In the Wednesbury North ward by-election held on November 18th Labour gained the seat from the Tories who had held it for 36 years. The result was as follows: –

    Peter Hughes (Labour) 1,322 (62%)
    Mike Warner (Conservative) 643 (30%)
    Ade Woodhouse (National Front) 76 (4%)
    Mary Wilson (Liberal Democrat) 45 (2%)
    Colin Bye (The Green Party) 42 (2%)

    Turn out – 21.9%

    But the extraordinary thing was that the Tory vote was down 49% (yes, 49%) and the Labour vote was up 41%. An extraordinary turnaround from May and while council by-elections are no great predictors of subsequent national elections, they’re all we have until May 2011 (or Oldham if earlier) in terms of real votes being cast for real candidates. What makes Wednesbury North interesting is that it is a traditionally Tory held ward sitting in the middle of a number of West Midlands marginals. Too early to say if it signals anything very much, but it is as sure as hell more interesting than looking at micro-movements in daily tracker opinion polls!

  4. @Roland – “Tory – Scotland = Buggered.”

    I’ve long said the same thing. The last time the Tories managed a majority was in 1992 when it was 21 seats and they won 11 seats in Scotland – precisely what gave them a majority.

    If the Lib Dems collapse is still evident in 2015 then this might change is the Tories mop up their seats in England, but we might now be at a point when we de facto have some kind of PR result, with the Tories struggling to gain a majority without a good number of Scottish seats, while Labour hold the north and heartlands but can’t break back into the south with sufficient strength to get their majority.

    Predictions are pointless this far out, but Tory supporters need to be thinking hard about the periphery areas, as that’s where they have been losing elections.

  5. @OLD NAT
    Yes apologies I think you are right. Frankly the concept of Labour losing at anything in Scotland got the better of me.

  6. Someone mentioned the future of Scottish independence above with the observation of the Euro problems. They might be interested in this quote from
    Professor Wilhelm Hankel, Frankfurt University:

    “Germany cannot keep paying for bail-outs without going bankrupt itself. This is frightening people. You cannot find a bank safe deposit box in Germany because every single one has already been taken and stuffed with gold and silver. It is like an underground Switzerland within our borders. People have terrible memories of 1948 and 1923 when they lost their savings.”

    Adjusted for its age of population, on some estimates germany is already one of the most indebted nations in the world apparently. They have no appetite to bail out the rest of the Eurozone and I think it’s pretty clear the Euro is on the way out. Scotland’s dream of a Celtic Tiger future within Europe is dying a little bit more each day. Europe is becoming a very cold and uninviting place for a small peripheral nation and I see Scotland’s economic future wedded as tightly to England as is was at the Act of Union.

  7. alec
    I was saying almost those words before the credit crunch

  8. @ Roland
    “I think you might be wrong about the public reaction to a long term marriage between Tory and Liberal. I have been going on about it for months (you may have noticed.) It rather depends on the economy, dont you think, things go good – popular marriage, things go bad, Liberals die, Tories have to start again. If things are better but not great, thats the interesting one.”

    But would the Lib Dem grassroots approve a marriage?

  9. Nick,

    The result I got from the ALDC website was as follows:

    Sandwell MBC, Wednesbury North

    Thursday 18 November 2010 12:00

    Lab 1322 (62.1; +23.9)
    Con 643 (30.2; -9.0)
    National Front 76 (3.6; +3.6)
    LD Mary Wilson 45 (2.1; -8.4)
    Green 42 (2.9; +2.0)
    [BNP (0.0; -12.1)]
    Majority 679
    Turnout 21.4%
    Lab gain from Con
    Percentage change is since May 2010

    Obviously different from the numbers you gave in terms of previous vote, but I have checked the data I have listed as correct against the official website of the Council.

    Still, it was interesting for several reasons:

    1) Labour won a seat with 16.5% swing from the Conservatives.
    2) As you say, this area is a key marginal area.If you can win in these sort of places, you can potentially form a Government.
    3) The LDs must be unhappy at finishing below the National Front.

    Of course it is very hazardous to draw any conclusions from one result, and there may well be some really local issues behind this result that we do not know about.

    Very, very interesting though.

  10. most of the bailout money has gone from the bailed to the bailing almost instantly

    the bail out of Ireland is in fact a roundabout bailout of British, german and french banks

    we have to keep bailing or our banks will collapse, again

    ireland will end up owing 250B euros,(if we extrapolate to the UK the eqiverlent would be 3 trillion euros) people are saying it’s their own fault cos of the property bubble but i can’t work this one out, has everyone in ireland defaulted on their morgage or is there more to this than meets the eye

    think about it, something does not add up

  11. zeph

    i would not marry roland, but i would of course be flattered if he asked :-)

  12. @RiN,

    In essence, Irish banks did exactly what the Icelandic banks did. They became brokers, taking wholesale credit from the Far East and loaning it on to speculative ventures (largely property-related) that went up in smoke with the sub-prime fiasco.

    In the good times they effectively netted huge profits for nothing (by taking a percentage cut as the middle man). In the bad times they found a few million hapless citizens guaranteeing massive international gambles that didn’t pay off.

    It’s a bit like insuring your house with your uncle Patrick. He promises to replace anything that gets lost or damaged, and you give him £900 a year for it. That’s a nice bonus on top of his £8,000 income. He’s fine if you need a new DVD player or you spill red wine on your carpet, but if your house burns down he ends up owing you £200,000 which he can never repay.

  13. RiN

    Irish Banks financed a construction boom in Ireland, which caused a real-estate value bubble.

    Some 25% to 30% of the working population was calculated to have been involved in the construction boom.

    There are now 300,000 vacant residential properties in ROI. It’s Commercial property values have fallen by 60%

  14. neil A

    but all the money is owed to brits, germans and french

    and it’s more than can be reasonable attributed to a property crash, how many irish have defaulted, that there is lot of negative equity is one thing but defaults are another

  15. The Irish banks loaned money all over the world; that’s what I mean by “international gambles”. Banking has become a world market, and yet governments still want to back and give guarantees for their own champions.

    And who can blame them, with the revenues that the bubble was bringing to national treasuries.

    That’s why I find the whole “we were governing the country really well, it’s not our fault an international banking crisis came along and wrecked it” argument leaves me cold. After all, governments were happily spending the tax take from the bubble that they must have known would eventually burst.

  16. The money’s owed to banks all over the world. That’s the biggest eye-opener for me, that the bank you borrow from doesn’t actually have the money to give you. You are just part of a big game of “pass-the-parcel” with liabilities bouncing around the globe. Sadly, Ireland’s parcel was ticking, and the music stopped with it squarely in their lap…

  17. RiN

    It doesn’t need mass defaulting by borrowers-yjough there will be plenty as job losses bite, and more developers with unsold property go bust.

    Irish Banks ( like so many) are not adequately capitalised.

    Great chunks of their funding is wholesale/short term-and it was invested -in real estate, for the long term.

    As these funds come up for renewal/roll over Irish Banks are faced with the massive shortfall in collateral value to show to their lenders.

    Ireland has the most vulnerable commercial property market in the world because it faces the biggest gap in funding relative to its size for refinancing debt, according to property company DTZ .

    The country has a $6.5bn (€4.8bn) shortfall for debt between now and 2013 which is equivalent to 16pc of the value of Ireland’s entire commercial real estate investment market, according to the London-based property broker,

    Anglo Irish Bank has seen its credit rating reduced to junk status.They cannot raise funds -except through EU.

  18. @Garry K

    I’ll go back and check those figures again on the Wednesbury North council election, but I got them originally from the Conservative Home website. The vote shares and aggregates are the same as the ones you’ve quoted, but they definitely put the differences from the previous election as -49% for the Tories and +41% for Labour. I wonder what they were comparing them to? I’ll have another look to see if I’ve misinterpreted them but, even on the figures you’ve given, a 16.5% swing to Labour in a ward held comfortably by the Tories for 36 years, in good times and in bad, is fairly remarkable.

    So remarkable a result in fact that Ed Miliband referred to it in his speech to the Labour Policy Review Forum earlier today. He also said that Labour had gained 45,000 new members since the General Election which, if true, is another interesting development for a party so soon after suffering a major electoral defeat. If you look at their current opinion poll ratings (ahead in nearly all except YouGov now – although that depends on which day you look at!!) and combine that with the council by-election results and growth in party membership, I’d say their recovery from defeat is going surprisingly well.

  19. Interesting that the Sanderson report has concluded that the key to a Scottish Conservative revival is to replace Annabel Goldie – possibly the one Scottish Tory that the general public actually likes.

    Their fundamental problem is a lingering split between pro- and anti-devolutionists. The electorate looks on this as being about as relevant as the repeal of the Corn Laws; they have moved on.

    It’s a great shame because – much as the social democratic consensus suits me personally – a centre right party is a useful (oh, all right then, essential) piece of political biodiversity.

  20. YOUGOV: 40/40/9
    Approve 36% disapprove 50%

  21. Nick,

    I am more than content with the revival for Labour at a local level.

    Some yellow posters on this site seem quite happy how well the LDs are holding up. I am delighted they are IMO underestimating what is happening week by week, in Council wards across the country. The longer Labour are under estimated this way, the easier it’s job will be.

    Overall, to be honest, Labour has done virtually nothing since May. To be neck and neck within the MOE is excellent, and much better I would have thought at this stage.

  22. @Nick Hadley

    “I’ll go back and check those figures again”

    I would guess the figures you quoted are the absolute chnage in number of votes. So Labour +41% would mean up from 945 to 1332, Con -49% would mean down from 1261 to 643. That would seem to correspond to the swings mentioned by Garry K.

    It also looks like the LD vote has utterly plummetted, with them losing something like 80% of previous voters.

    I agree that this is more interesting than trying to discern the exact nature of the long-term trend in the polls from day-to-day data noise. What it shows is that there are places where there is a quite staggering shift. Presumably there are, equally, places with no substantial shift at all.

    Those areas where the Con vote is already at rock bottom (e.g. Labour heartlands, Scotland) doesn’t have anywhere to go, there won’t be much swing. I would guess that the Torty heartlands are not going to be so strongly affected by the cuts – loss of your local library doesn’t hurt that much if you can afford to buy all the books you want to read.

    But, that means that the swing we are seeing since the election is concentrated that much more strongly in particular areas – most likely the marginals. Viewing the national polls as though there is a uniform swing may be very badly wrong.

  23. Kind of puts Brian Paddick in an awkward position being ex-LD mayoral candidate and ex-deputy assiatant commissioner; but following the 6 hour ‘kettling’ on Wednesday, and in particular, the disturbing footage of mounted police:

    “If there were school children, their parents and a pregnant woman there, then serious questions need to be asked as to whether that was an appropriate tactic in those circumstances.”

  24. Robin,

    Those areas where the Con vote is already at rock bottom (e.g. Labour heartlands, Scotland) doesn’t have anywhere to go, there won’t be much swing.

    I have to say that looking at local by elections in these heartlands, it is not uncommon to results like below:

    Sheffield MBC, Manor Castle

    Thursday 21 October 2010 12:00

    Lab 2092 (75.8; +20.4)
    LD Robbie Cowbury 303 (11.0; -14.5)
    Green 224 (8.1; +3.8)
    Con 142 (5.1; -2.1)
    [BNP (0.0; -7.6)]
    Majority 1789
    Turnout 22.38%
    Lab hold
    Percentage change is since May 2010


    St Helens MBC, Billinge and Seneley Green

    Thursday 14 October 2010 12:00

    Lab 1288 (56.4; +6.9)
    Con 624 (27.3; -2.7)
    LD Tom Gadsden 229 (10.0; -10.4)
    BNP 141 (6.2; +6.2)
    Majority 664
    Turnout 24.8%
    Lab hold
    Percentage change is since May 2010.


    Labour really are piling up the vote, when they are already strongly first. In these areas the LD vote is collapsing.

  25. @Garry K/Robin

    We may have to form a local council by-election appreciation society – existing membership now running at three!!! (Robin – by the way, you were spot on with your interpretation of the vote share differences in Wednesbury North. That 49% was a reduction in the aggregate Tory vote from May, not a reduction in share of the vote. My mistake.)

    As for tonight’s YouGov of 40:40:9, with the exception of the Government approval rating slipping to -14…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Off to watch England’s heroic rearguard action tonight at the Gabba. Come on you Poms!

  26. Nick,

    That sounds a good Society from where I am sat.

    I am off to bed now, so enjoy the game, I am sure England now know how Nick Clegg Feels



  27. @all

    The graphs for weeks 25-28 (to 17 November 2010) are now up. You can see them on Flickr here: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625352739137/with/5211187999/ May discuss them further in coming days but not now because it’s f****** freezing. The next set (for weeks 29-32, to December 15 2010) may be released within ten days of that date if Xmas permits, or later if not.

    Regards, Martyn

  28. Government Approval -14. Lowest to date, I believe. I’ll look forward to the x-breaks but I’m guessing some Diehard Dem voters are no longer giving the Coalition the benefit of the doubt.

  29. Today’s miracles:

    -14 new low

    Wolves win

    So any chance of a double ton partnership from Strauss and Cook?

  30. Bill Patrick

    “… the Scottish far left (the Greens, the SSP) are at best treading water and at worst in decline.”

    You ignore two facts that don’t fit your theory. The Greens were on an upward trend till they were robbed in 2007 and are expected to bounce back. The socialists are missing this round and the last because the electorate know that one lot or the other are perjurers but they don’t know which.

    Bill Patrick:

    “Christian Democratic Party…. it could be quite effective.”

    The shocking thing is that your “could be quite” should read “used to be unprecedentedly” and that for a generation the leadership of the UK party hasn’t grasped the point and has let decline happen.

    If they can’t run a political party competently, why should we let them run a country?

    A Brown

    “I disagree with John B Dick, Labour lost last time because they ran a negative campaign. This will not be repeated. The labour vote is more likely to come out now the con/ld coalition is in power.”

    The ABT vote backed Labour at the GE to prevent a UK Con government and because they see something incongruous in sending MP’s to a parliament they want to leave.

    What makes you think Labour won’t be negative? They always are. They used to marginalise Donald Dewar and ship in an ex-catholic, ex-communist Blairite uber-loyalist for the nat-bashing. (Bob Altemeyer again)

    They don’t know any better. Anyone with a week’s sales training could tell them that negativity is a turn off.

    If they can’t run a political party competently, why should we let them run a country?

    barney crockett

    “A new popular Christian Democrat Party in Scotland is just one more pink dream. The evidence seems clear that Scotland is moving towards a two party system even under pr.”

    Those who suggest a Bavarian arrangement for the Centre Right in Scotland do so from a brand management perspective. You reject it from a partisan perspective.

    You can relax. They won’t do it any more than your party would accept such advice. I could tell you what is wrong with the New Labour brand and you would like that even less.

  31. The Tories in Scotland peaked in 1959 which coincided with the first round of NCB pit closures and the demise of the Empire.

  32. John B Dick
    I reject your allegation of partisanship on my part. For one thing it would be a strong positive for Labour to have a stronger cons party in Scotland. They would take more votes for others than from Labour. For another most of the supperters of this move in badging the Conservatives either don’t live in Scotland or don’t intend voting for the new look party. My point on the Conservatives is congruent with my points on other parties including Labour. People hate to feel they are being duped and unless the real change was absolutely fundamental then it would be counter-productive. If it was fundamental then the party would not be elected anywhere. Threre is currently a Christian party standing in Scottish elections and the only known impact is to ensure the Conservatives lose their deposit in the Western Isles.
    Your own partisan outlook clouds your views. If you want a bet on Mr MacSskill incrreasing his majority you would get very large odds

  33. john B dick

    tell us what is wrong with nu labour, please

    pretty please

  34. Wolf

    That’s half a century of inexorable decline.

    Because of the endemic short-termism in UK politics the party has looked back no further than the immediately previous election, often comforted by the fact that they were doing much better in England or distraced by office.

    The East European communists made the same mistake of ignoring long term developments until like someone skating on melting ice there came a point when their support had melted away and could not support them any longer. Changing the metaphor, they were like a cartoon character who runs off the end of a cliff and keeps on running in mid air until he notices that he is unsupported.

    You can be in a small and insignificant business with hopes of growth (as the Greens are now, and the SNP were 50 years ago) and suffer disappointments and setbacks but to be in a formerly dominant post-mature organisation on the point of collapse is even more depressing. There comes a point when denial is the only comfort.

    What was needed was timely action to halt the trend. The further it goes on the harder it becomes as manpower and funding declines. In the business world you sell what is left of he company to a competitor, but you can’t do that with a political party.

    They need a fresh start. The solution proposed above is akin to a management buyout by the branch managers with a mutually beneficial collabaration arrangement.

    It’s the only option left.

  35. wolf

    “The Tories in Scotland peaked in 1959 which coincided with the first round of NCB pit closures and the demise of the Empire.”

    I’ve seen a well argued paper from a Tory (can’t find the reference now) that the strength of the Tories in Scotland in the 1950s was specifically because they were (then) a Scottish party resisting increasing centralisation in London.

    To continue John Dick’s cartoon analogy, their decision to merge with the English Tories was like the guy sitting on a branch while busily sawing through it.

  36. Barney:

    I certainly wouldn’t vote for a new centre-right party because I have never voted FOR any party and I don’t expect I ever will. There are, or recently were, Conservatives whom I could vote for in the contitutency vote. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Mary Scanlon. I always vote against one or more parties.

    The last Labour candidate who benefited from my vote for was someone my daughter had been at school with and whom she didn’t have a high regard for. The day before the election, I was set on voting for the SNP candidate whom I knew personally and respected, but an SNP councillor, who knew that I had once voted SNP in the past, stopped me in the street to canvass me and persuaded me to change my VI. (negativity, family values).

    I voted against SNP in that election for the same reason as I had previously voted for their candidate Anne Lorne Gilles in an election which ended her political ambitions.

    There was a hustings meeting organised by the Christian right at which Calum MacDonald and Jamie McGrigor both impressed by deflecting difficult questions. The Liberal was unremarkably liberal as was expected.

    ALG, herself divorced and living in sin, by simultaneously representing herself as imbued in Gaelic culture and defending robustly, honestly and openly liberal values on everything from the establishment of a national church and hanging to more recent battles, received a very hostile reception.

    At least one member of the audience was hyperventilating and baying like a dog. I noted the location of the exits and debated with my conscience whether I should risk injury and my career if ALG should need my help in an affray.

    In the lobby as we left, Winnie Ewing likened it to Christians and Lions, but of course it was the lions that got eaten.

    The following night, at her own meeting, ALG was still visibly shaken.

    The Western Isles is an outlier by any standard and your inference above is flawed for another reason: the sort of Christian values I had in mind were not those of fundamentalisst extremists living in the past but rather those of a Church of Scotland elder in liberal Morningside, where Donald Dewar’s hero was parish minister.

    I bought the collected works of Dr Thomas Chalmers from Donalds estate in the hope of finding out what Donald meant when he told a Sunday Times journalist that he might write a biography (as Gordon Brown mentioned in his funeral address). How could he add anyting to the biography of a man’s nephew written when friends and collagues were still alive?

    English readers need to know that the CofS in the cities is a generation ahead of the CofE on every divisive liberal isue of the last century (WMD, Race, Women ministers, Hanging) but the Free and Free Presbyterian churches and their recent offshoots are two generations behind.

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