YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 44%, LDEM 10%. This doesn’t tell us a huge amount. It’s within the margin of error of the smaller Labour lead of around 6 points that YouGov’s polling of the last week has suggested may be the case… but it would also be in line with Labour’s lead growing again. I’ll post tomorrow on some the other questions in the Sunday Times polling, once the tables go up on the YouGov website.

UPDATE: There’s also some sort of poll in the Observer tomorrow. No details, but it has a headline claiming “poll reveals suge of sympathy for the far right”

UPDATE2: It’s a large Populus poll for the Searchlight Educational Trust to be released here on Monday – I’ll put a post up here once the full report is out.


94 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON36 LAB44 LD10”

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  1. @Oldnat,

    Ah well, but I suppose my reaction to

    EUROPEAN NATION – Promoting European Identity And Culture

    is probably more analagous.

    I find this whole “Identity” thing a real Trojan Horse. You and I can probably identify with each other over a vast host of areas far more than I would identify with swathes of my fellow Englishmen on the same matters. People will insist on searching through the *national” haystacks for needles of difference.

  2. TGB

    polyglot = someone with a lot of languages
    poylgolt -= misspelling of polyglot

    I thought it was funny. …. I’ll get my coat.

  3. I thought it was a very good joke, Oldnat (see how similar we are??) but I did think it was a bit insensitive to aim a joke based on the arrangement of letters within an unusual word at a dyslexic….

  4. Sorry the second paragraph should have finished “even if he isn’t going to be the new Speaker (and is generally agreed to be useless)”

  5. Thanks Roger. I suspected it was something to do with geographical size of constituencies. FF seem like a party that would do well in the outback. A bit like the Peasant’s Party in Poland (small-c conservative, parochial, religious).

  6. Neil A

    Maybe that’s because I’m also dyslexic – as I’ve said to Eoin before (but fair enough, you weren’t to know that). There is a significant genetic contributory factor.

    The best Jewish jokes are told by Jews, the best Scottish jokes are told by Scots, the best blonde jokes are told by blondes etc etc. And the bset spelnig joukes ar fro thoes that cnat.

  7. I assumed Eoin was dyslexic because of the way he spells “Owen”. Until someone explained the Irish thing to me….

    (That was also a joke by the way…..)

  8. Louth

    Looks like FF are going to get nobody (apart from the Presiding Officer) because they had too many candidates.

    Arrogance & fall come to mind.

  9. OldNat

    Fianna Fail had the same problem as Labour did when the Scottish locals switched to STV only more so. How do you tell a large number of experienced politicians with considerable local support ‘sorry you’re not wanted any more’?

  10. @Oldnat,

    Don’t you just love that aspect of STV though? That David v Goliath thing? A small party can enter just one candidate in an open-list 5 seat constituency and focus their fire much more effectively than a monolith with 4 or 5 candidates.

    I would love to see plucky lefties slinging their stones in Surrey, or brave Glaswegian Tories plugging away against the odds. So much more fun that the current system.

  11. Roger Mexico

    Depends on the circumstances of the ward/constituency.

    In an urban area it’s quite simple. An internal party poll to rank them – exactly as happens for the rankings on the Regional List – and aggressive publicity to your supporters as to how they are to cast their preference votes (person at the bottom has no chance).

    Much more difficult in areas like mine – composed of small communities. People in one village will vote for their local Labour/SNP/Independent over their preferred party candidate from the enemy across the valley!

    That needs really good canvassing knowledge as to where your support lies – and the ability to find a nice quango for whoever you are ditching – fairly easy if you have run the country for 50 years!

  12. Neil A

    My overriding political principle is what my Dad taught me – the “boot” theory of politics.

    Power corrupts etc etc and the only way to deal with it is to boot out the politicians before they become too corrupt.

    Hence my huge aversion to party lists, and my preference for any system that allows the voters to screw the parties.

  13. Scream!

    They’ve adjourned the Louth count – I’ll need to go to bed too.

  14. @ Old Nat

    Are you really dyslexic as well? I know Eoin had mentioned that he was. And I remember you mentioning it when you two were trying to talk to each other in Gaelic (are Irish Gaelic and Scottish two different but similar languages? Or are they the same language but with different dialects?)

    My sister sometimes thinks she’s dyslexic and I’m trying to find out more about this condition (she wants to go to medical school so figuring out if she’s dyslexic would be helpful).

    “The best Jewish jokes are told by Jews, the best Scottish jokes are told by Scots, the best blonde jokes are told by blondes etc etc. And the bset spelnig joukes ar fro thoes that cnat.”

    I agree. When they’re told by others, they usually stop being funny (if not jokes).

  15. @ Neil A

    I think one’s sense of identity can be a very important and fulfilling. I think people search for common identities with others in order to advance themselves, to make friends, and even to find self-fulfillment. And of course, identity doesn’t just manifest itself through nationality or region. It can manifest through race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc. I don’t have a problem with that.

    It’s a problem when people seek to use identity as a means to divide and alienate others. It’s also a problem when people use one’s identity as a reason to discriminate against others.

  16. @ Old Nat

    “My overriding political principle is what my Dad taught me – the “boot” theory of politics.”

    I’ve got my own theory (or perhaps theories) of politics. But it’s based on an inapposite system of government.

    I believe all executive branch officials should be term limited. It doesn’t matter how good a politician is and how well they start off, after they have been in office one too many terms, they either become corrupt or become stale.

    Legislative seats though are different. Those should be never term limited. And I don’t just say that because legislative term limits in California have been a complete and utter disaster. A legislator is different from an executive because they’re one of large number in a body and are checked in power by others. They could grow stale or become corrupt but if they do, it won’t harm the system. Plus, they’re easier to get out of office. Moreover, a number don’t become stale or corrupt. My feeling is, a legislator who does a good job should be allowed to stay as long as they can command the confidence of their constituents.

    My Congressman was first elected in 1974 and has served continuously since that time. Do I have a problem with this? H**ls no. He does a great job. He serves his constituents well. He’s been a leader on food and drug safety as well as on healthcare. He’s fought for civil rights. And he’s been very successful at passing landmark peices of legislation. 36 years in office is a long time but longevity is not a bad thing because he does his job well.

    I don’t think your theory of politics is actually in conflict of mine since you live under a system where you have a hybrid of the executive and legislative branches (and no primaries). Therefore, in order to prevent an executive from becoming corrupt and/or stale, you have to vote out legislators…even if they do a good job.

  17. A new YouGov poll on behalf of the Scottish Green Party is published in today’s Sunday Herald.

    Dire for the Lib Dems, but unclear whether it is good for Labour or the SNP. Prior to weighting being applied the SNP were 13 POINTS ahead!! After weighting was applied, the SNP were suddenly 9 POINTS behind !! Go figure.

    But I am confused by one thing: why on earth are the SH only publishing the “certain to vote” figures ?!? YouGov polls are not normally reported in this fashion. Anthony, can you provide the normal headline figures, as they will appear when YouGov get round to publishing the full tables? Thanks in advance.

    Anyhoo, the non-standard “certain to vote” VI as published in today’s SH is:

    (+/- change from last published YouGov Holyrood VI poll – for The Scotsman in October 2010 – but note that those figures were NOT “certain to vote”)

    Constituency vote (FPTP):
    Lab 41% (+1)
    SNP 32% (-2)
    Con 15% (+1)
    LD 8% (n/c)
    oth 4% (-1)

    Regional vote (AMS):
    Lab 40% (+4)
    SNP 26% (-5)
    Con 15% (n/c)
    LD 7% (-1)
    Grn 6% (n/c)
    oth 5% (+1)

    From the SH article:

    “According to Scotlandvotes.com, the figures would give Labour 59 out of 129 seats at Holyrood, up 13 on 2007. The SNP would get 35 (down 12), the Tories 19 (up two), the LibDems nine (down seven), the Greens six (up four), with one Independent MSP.

    … SNP campaign manager Angus Robertson said the way YouGov’s data was weighted, using Westminster rather than Holyrood party loyalty, cut SNP support, which was 13 points ahead of Labour unadjusted.”

  18. Sorry, I forgot to link to today’s YouGov/Scottish Green Party poll:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/poll-gives-labour-big-lead-at-expense-of-snp-and-libdems-1.1087431

    I look forward to Anthony’s reply to my query above.

  19. @ Stuart Dickson

    I think weighting a poll can be a way of making it more accurate and reflective. I wonder if they’d get the same results if they weighted the poll based on those who self-identify for Holyrood.

    I wonder why there is a discrepancy for the SNP between the constituency and regional numbers.

  20. SocialLiberal,

    “I wonder why there is a discrepancy for the SNP between the constituency and regional numbers.”

    I wouldn’t pay too much notice to that. Long experience of the actual results of Holyrood elections compared with prior polling shows that the supposed difference between Const VI and Region VI is rarely as marked as the polls report.

    By the way, these are my “Top Ten” constituencies to watch:

    Aberdeen South & North Kincardine (marginal made even more interesting because Nicol Stephen, former Lib Dem leader, is retiring)
    Caithness, Sutherland & Ross (marginal made even more interesting because both Jamie Stone and John Farquhar Munro are retiring)
    Dumfriesshire (one of the few Con/Lab marginals, made more interesting by the fact the area has the only Scottish Tory MP)
    Dunfermline (exciting 3-way LD/Lab/SNP marginal, in the town where Labour thumped the Lib Dems in May 2010)
    Edinburgh Central (another exciting 3-way LD/Lab/SNP marginal)
    Edinburgh Pentlands (another exciting 3-way marginal, this time Con/Lab/SNP)
    Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Lib Dem meltdown? or Lib Dem resurgence?)
    Galloway & West Dumfries (classic Con/SNP struggle)
    Glasgow Southside (Nicola Sturgeon under extreme pressure)
    Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale (Lib Dem meltdown? or Lib Dem resurgence?)

    I know how I think these seats are going to pan out, but I’d be fascinated to hear what other posters think.

    (I assume from your online identity that you are an old-fashioned “One Nation” Tory? My dad used to be one of those, until Thatcher’s attacks on the civil service and the NHS forced him to stop voting Con.)

  21. @ Old Nat

    h ttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2007/12/17/ST2007121702276.html

    I think this woman was the closet thing to an American version of Margo MacDonald.

  22. SocialLiberal

    My colleague James Kelly actually answers your question better than I do in his blog post this morning:

    “The greater Labour lead on the list vote doesn’t pass the ‘smell test’ somehow. In all of the three Holyrood elections to date, the SNP have managed to retain more of their constituency votes on the list than Labour have, and it’s hard to think of any particular reason why that pattern should be completely reversed now.”

    ht tp://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2011/02/silver-lining-from-yougov.html

  23. @ Stuart Dickson

    “I wouldn’t pay too much notice to that. Long experience of the actual results of Holyrood elections compared with prior polling shows that the supposed difference between Const VI and Region VI is rarely as marked as the polls report.

    By the way, these are my “Top Ten” constituencies to watch:

    Aberdeen South & North Kincardine (marginal made even more interesting because Nicol Stephen, former Lib Dem leader, is retiring)
    Caithness, Sutherland & Ross (marginal made even more interesting because both Jamie Stone and John Farquhar Munro are retiring)
    Dumfriesshire (one of the few Con/Lab marginals, made more interesting by the fact the area has the only Scottish Tory MP)
    Dunfermline (exciting 3-way LD/Lab/SNP marginal, in the town where Labour thumped the Lib Dems in May 2010)
    Edinburgh Central (another exciting 3-way LD/Lab/SNP marginal)
    Edinburgh Pentlands (another exciting 3-way marginal, this time Con/Lab/SNP)
    Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Lib Dem meltdown? or Lib Dem resurgence?)
    Galloway & West Dumfries (classic Con/SNP struggle)
    Glasgow Southside (Nicola Sturgeon under extreme pressure)
    Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale (Lib Dem meltdown? or Lib Dem resurgence?)”

    What about Eastwood? Isn’t that a Labour held seat where the winning margin last time was determined only by a few hundred votes? And isn’t a Lab-Con marginal like Dumfrieshire? I don’t know Scottish Parliamentary constituencies particularly well.

    “(I assume from your online identity that you are an old-fashioned “One Nation” Tory? My dad used to be one of those, until Thatcher’s attacks on the civil service and the NHS forced him to stop voting Con.)”

    Not exactly but not an unreasonable guess. I’m not actually British. I’m an American (one who’s become obsessed with UK politics) and I wanted to have a color and I wanted it to match my own political colors, which in the U.S. are reversed (Republicans are in red, Democrats are in blue). I probably shouldn’t do this cause’ it’s just going to confuse people.

    But beyond the color, it’s not unreasonable to suspect me as a ‘One Nation’ Tory. First, I say lots of pro unionist things to Old Nat, if only to rile him up. Second, I kinda like David Cameron at a personal level. Finally, I know shockingly little about labor unions and labor law and have very little if any understanding of unions or what it’s like to work for a union. So that kinda gives me the appearance of a ‘One Nation’ Tory.

  24. @ Stuart Dickson

    ““The greater Labour lead on the list vote doesn’t pass the ‘smell test’ somehow. In all of the three Holyrood elections to date, the SNP have managed to retain more of their constituency votes on the list than Labour have, and it’s hard to think of any particular reason why that pattern should be completely reversed now.””

    Hmmm, he has a good point. The 6% gap seems more than just sampling error. It might be different this time because political circumstances have changed. This is the first election where the SNP government is the incumbent. This is the first election in Scotland that has taken place with a Tory government at Westminster instead of a Labour government. And there’s also the issue of the Lib Dem collapse. It seems presumed that most of the Lib Dem votes are going to Labour but couldn’t it be possible that some of those votes are going to the SNP? You never know.

  25. OldNat/Neil

    Very funny indeed :) :)

    Oldie, the regional vote shows SNP on 26% is that an all time low in polling at least?

  26. SocialLiberal,

    “It seems presumed that most of the Lib Dem votes are going to Labour but couldn’t it be possible that some of those votes are going to the SNP?”

    Some of those ex-Lib Dem voters are undoubtably going to be voting SNP in May. That is a cold, hard fact.

    The question is: will more be going LAN than go SNP? No-one knows yet, but it looks like LAB are gaining more from the Lib Dem collapse so far.

    Please note that the Lib Dem collapse in East Renfrewshire (= “Eastwood”) in May 2010 benefitted only Jim Murphy (Lab). The Cons got almost none of the Lib Dem deserters, although the SNP candidate picked up a substantial number (which is unusual considering we were in a poor 4th place in 2005).

  27. The Green Benches,

    “Oldie, the regional vote shows SNP on 26% is that an all time low in polling at least?”

    No. Far from it! ;)

    The SNP have had FAR worse polls than this during the 12 years the Scottish Parliament has been in existence. In fact, this is one of our best ones, seen in a decade-long perspective.

  28. Stuart,

    Anthony has 5yrs worth of records on the side bar…

    26% in the regional shown today is the lowest by 2%

    have you other polling figures to hand that are worse than that?

  29. Stuart,

    I found the answer to my question..

    SNP were lower than this in March 2006… so this poll shows a 5yr low…

    in terms of it being one of their best as you say… they were 18% higher in 2008 at 44% in the regionals

  30. SocialLiberal,

    “What about Eastwood? Isn’t that a Labour held seat where the winning margin last time was determined only by a few hundred votes? And isn’t it a Lab-Con marginal like Dumfrieshire?”

    Yes, THEORETICALLY it is a Lab/Con “marginal”, but, to be frank, Ken Macintosh MSP is going to totally walk that contest. Jackson Carlaw hasn’t got a hope in hell. Therefore, Eastwood does not feature in my “Top Ten”. In fact, it doesn’t even feature in my “Top Twenty”, and it would only make my “Top Thirty” on a particularly dreich day in the rest of the country.

    In summary, the Eastwood contest has “yawn” written all over it.

  31. The Green Benches,

    I am an “old hand”. I remeber well the dark, dark day when, under John Swinney’s leadership, we only got 20.9% on the list vote at the 2003 election. Many polls during those years had us in the TEENS. Therefore, forgive me if I fail to be particularly impressed by a figure of 26%.

    By the way, Anthony’s tables must be incomplete/inaccurate, cos the YouGov poll for the Scottish Mail on Sunday in September 2010 also had the SNP at 26% on the list vote. As did the YouGov polls for the Scotland on Sunday in April 2010 and February 2010.

  32. Stuart,

    A perspective over the long dureé is interesting…

    Strange world when Éoin sees 26% [regional] as a bad result and Stuart Dickson thinks its one of SNP’s best….

    I shall take a long sniff of my coffee this morning… :)

    This 26% is the joint lowest since 2006… in the whole scheme of things, I shall retain my view that this is a bad poll for the SNP, and not one of their best as you say…. but I admire your optimism, and I certainly hope that your party does much much better on the day..

  33. “… and I certainly hope that your party does much much better on the day..”

    Cheers! :)

  34. Fascinating article by Andrew Hawkins at ComRes, well worth a read even if you disagree with his argument

    http://www.totalpolitics.com/opinion/147752/four-years-to-save-his-party.thtml

  35. SoCalLiberal

    I think Margo would be flattered by the comparison.

    As to dyslexia. Yes it’s a family problem. Fortunately, my Mum (from whose family it seems to come) was a Primary teacher in the 1940s who understood that the “look and say” method of learning to read didn’t work with me and started me on phonic learning when I was 4. While nothing stops the problem, there are a number of techniques – including rigid adherence to rules and training in coping methodologies which minimise it.

    My daughter has the same problem, but still manages to deal with being Head of English in one of Scotland’s best performing schools, so that early training does help a lot. It does require a lot of concentration, which is a total pain.

  36. Scottish politics is not for the mild mannered. Always come across as being the toughest place to be involved in politics. Makes England look like a tea dance.

    If Labour take control of Holyrood, it will be interesting whether the decisions they make will have any affect on Westminster politics towards the next UK GE. Would Labour do anything in Scotland that is much different to the SNP ?

  37. Interesting comment on the Barnsley poll, by well known Libdem activist and Coalition apologist Mike Smithson on PB.

    Polling update: By-election survey the Mail on Sunday is carrying a poll from Survation suggesting that, as expected, Labour will romp home to a massive victory in Thursday’s Barnsley Central by-election. The shares were LAB 63%: CON 13%: UKIP 9%: LD 6%. If it were otherwise then this would be news.

    Mike Smithson

    I suppose the fact that the Libdems, could fall behind UKIP and even lose their deposit won’t even be commented on if it happens: nice one Mike!

  38. TGB

    The 26% on the list seems odd. In the October poll, YouGov weighted Labour up by 12% on both Westminster and Holyrood polls, but SNP down by 26% or 22% depending on which election they were referring to.

    I’ll reserve judgement on what it means till the tables appear.

  39. Stuart – the Herald is wrong. The figures are done the normal YouGov way without any adjustment for likelihood to vote (likelihood to vote wasn’t even asked, let alone filtered by!)

  40. Not wishing to sound partisan, but the idea of Iain Gray as First Minister feels like an embarrassing low for Scottish devolution. The whole Labour front-bench are either unknowns or second-rate retreads who’ve hung on while more charismatic, able figures have imploded.

    Salmond remains a massive asset for the SNP for now, so that should narrow the polls during the campaign. But Labour’s remarkable 2010 performance probably has given them a real boost. If the SNP goes into opposition, it’ll be a hard slog.

    On the other hand, it will be interesting to see an unimaginative Labour group trying to implement cuts. Even if they restart council tax increases, how will they square their cuts over the next 4 years with their current rhetoric? Blame the Tories?

    The LibDems might poll badly, but a lot of their seats are fairly safe.

    Fascinating electoral contest- although the actual politicains are uninspiring.

  41. @Amberstar

    “Searchlight Educational Trust commissioned the polling organisation Populus to explore the issues of English identity, faith and race.
    ——————————————————-
    So that should probably be 48% of the population [of England].”

    If it is the case that this survey is reflecting *English* attitudes then it is (IMO) very interesting for reasons other than the Shock-Horror headlines we’ve seen. The conservative vote (small or large “c” according to taste) in England is usually in the 55% range or so I believe? It is in fact remarkable that this survey does not show a majority for this approach amongst the English population. The support for this initiative is in fact significantly less than that which has been the basic right-wing vote in England for decades (even with all the “respectable” caveats, non-violent/not fascistic, – unless some do not support it precisely because of those limits!). I am in fact surprised that the poll did not show an absolute majority in England for this, given this nation’s socio-political history. In fact, TBH, I am rather cheered up by this survey! Inasmuch as slightly over half of my fellow Englishmen/women did NOT agree with the proposition.

    :)

    FrederickL

    PS Though I do look forward to the reaction north of the border if the brain-dead amongst that 48% try to insist that Holyrood should be amongst the public buildings forced to fly the Sassenach flag!

    :)

  42. R Huckle

    What would Labour do differently from the SNP?

    Spend a helluva lot of time picking meaningless fights with Westminster and blaming the Tories would be the main Labour activity.

  43. Oldnat

    “Spend a helluva lot of time picking meaningless fights with Westminster and blaming the Tories would be the main Labour activity.”

    I really can’t see that happening, as they will want to keep quiet and be seen to make sensible decisions. I suspect Miliband and other powers within Labour realise that the Tories would use any issues in Scotland against them at Westminster. SNP would be wise to attack Labour on the basis of them being constrained by Westminster politics and therefore not able to act in the interests of Scotland.

  44. David

    I won’t visit the PB site anymore. Smithson’s analyses are all distotred to fit a pro Coalition narrative. Anyone who disagrees is either deleted, tor heir own views distorted or abused.

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