Following the TNS poll earlier this week that showed the SNP catching Labour in Holyrood voting intentions, there is a new YouGov poll for the Scotsman that shows them ahead in constituency voting intention. Voting intentions stand at…

Westminster: CON 17%, LAB 46%, LDEM 6%, SNP 26%
Holyrood Constituency: CON 11%, LAB 39%, LDEM 5%, SNP 40%
Holyrood Regional: CON 12%, LAB 39%, LDEM 5%, SNP 32%, Greens 6%

Note that YouGov polls for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly have now moved onto a campaign footing, so are being weighted by likelihood to vote, hence I haven’t included changes from the previous poll. In this case likelihood to vote didn’t actually make much difference – increasing SNP & Lab by 1 point each in the constituency vote, and decreasing the Lib Dems by 1 point in the regional vote. The poll was conducted before the first Scottish leaders’ debate.

The SNP have overtaken Labour in the constituency vote, but Labour remain ahead in the regional vote, which tends to be more important in deciding who actually ends up with more seats. John Curtice’s projection in the Scotsman has these shares of the vote translating into 57 seats for Labour, 48 for the SNP, 13 for the Conservatives, 6 for the Greens and 5 for the Liberal Democrats. Historically Labour have actually tended to do worse, not better, in the regional vote, so the pattern here is somewhat unusual – looking at the data it seems to be because people who would vote Green or SSP in the regional vote are more likely to vote SNP in the constituency vote.

83 Responses to “Latest YouGov Scottish polling”

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  1. Steve

    “No comments about YouGov weighting?”

    OK. If you insist.

    YouGov’s practice of weighting by UK Party ID, and the subsidiary factor of using UK newspaper readership is always going to raise doubts over YouGov’s panel selection when it is applied in a purely Scottish context.

    YouGov have no way of knowing if any particular Scottish poll, their sample is biased towards Labour die-hards, or towards those who vote Labour at UK level, but SNP for Holyrood.

    Whether any one YouGov poll is biased in one direction or another because of poor panel selection in Scotland cannot be known.

  2. As to what counts as ‘frontline’ I would tend to listen to the comments of cheif constables – they could be wrong, but it sounds well argued to me.

    The coalition tends to rely on a misleading statisic (13% of officers visible at any one time) in an attempt to win over public opinion, ignoring the complex situation and expecting other people to pick up the peices… before finally making an inevitable u-turn.

    Surely no one believes a modern day police officer is some kind of lone ranger who can just pull on the boots, eat the beans, and head out.

  3. It’s striking that between 83% and 84% of Scots intend in May to vote for parties which are entirely or mostly opposed to the policies of the Westminster based UK Government. Does anyone know whether those polling figures have ever been exceeded during the life of the Scottish Parliament?

  4. @ Phil

    I think it is really quite amazing that over 80% of Scotland appears to support social democracy rather than an orange-book liberal approach.

    Neither Labour nor the SNP are against commercial interests but both Parties appear to know where their electorate draw the line.

  5. What do we really know?

    1 Polling SEEMS to suggest the SNP are improving their postion. Maybe it’s just the polls that are getting nearer the truth and nothing much has changed.

    2 The LibDems are in trouble with at least three long-serving incumbents going and a canidate withdrawing to stand on the list as an independent as well as everything else.

    Orkney and Shetland are more likely to join Norway than abandon the LibDems. Where the libdem vote goes will probably determine the outcome.

    3 The Green’s prospects are good for 5% though 6% is optimistic and so they may get back most but not all of the seats they lost last time. You can only say that because their vote is distributed and they will only stand on the list.

    4 Others will be at least 2, maybe 3. If they could make it to 5 there could be important consquences for parliamentary business and maybe beyond.

    5 Conservatves won’t do any better than the 15% they had last time but they won’t do much worse, for they have been down to the hard core for decades. Maybe 2% have died off and it could cost them one seat at most. The LibDems will suffer more than Cons from being associated with the UK coaltion, not because they are turncoats, but because their vote is soft, and there is a new anti-Con brand that isn’t NewLabour/Tory-lite.

    Student fees is not the big issue for the LbDems (though it’s a small plus for he SNP) . Not everyone in Scotland is concerned about fees for students in England. Some even enjoy a bit of mischief.

    That’s devolution. That’s what we have an English Parliament for. Isn’t it?

  6. Denzil,

    “On another note I would be interested in seeing the betting odds for specific constituencies – does anyone know if these are available?”

    Yes. Victor Chandler have a good range of prices, although rather annoyingly they have omitted Aberdeen S&NK, Caithness etc, Skye etc, Edinburgh W, and several other very tasty fights.

    These 2 seats have “interesting” pricing! ;)

    Clackmannanshire & Dunblane
    Richard Simpson (Lab) 2/5
    Keith Brown (SNP) 13/8
    Callum Campbell (Con) 33/1

    John Hendry (Lab) 1/2
    Bruce Crawford (SNP) 13/8
    Neil Benny (Con) 12/1

  7. Someone said that the Scottish Lib Dems have failed to put up candidates in 2 FPTP seats. Flabergastingly incompetent if true.

    Does anyone have a url?

  8. Where is OLdNat when you need him. What is interesting about this poll (as Herald Scotland pointed out, I believe) is the movement towards the SNP. Admittedly it COULD be just the polls catching up to what already existed, but it looks more like movement towards the SNP and with Salmond performing very well in last night’s debate, that movement could easily continue. A Labour victory or at least a larger number of MSPs? Still possible but more and more the betting is going the other way. Mike Smithson’s (forget how to spell his name) over at politicalbetting says not to lay odds on it.

    At the least, this election is up for grabs–maybe. If I were an SNP activist, I’d be on the streets now. If I were Labour, I’d be real worried at the fact that Iain Gray was laughed at during the debate.

    It will be interesting to see the NEXT poll.

  9. I’m not going to predict Lab and SNP seats

    but for the other parties I think:

    Con 15 or 16
    LD 9
    Grn 5

    Not sure if Margo will be reelected.

    The yougov poll might have been tweaked a bit to get a headline for the scotsman.

    @Stuart Dickson

    Only the Clydesdale seat I believe .

  10. “Only the Clydesdale seat I believe .”

    Fairy nuff. BUT I WANT A URL!! ;)

  11. A Brown

    Wise choice. If anything, Libems could d even worse. One factor not mentioned is collapse of morale.

    Con and Grn you have my “most likely”.

    Others 2

  12. Stuart –

    List of nominated candidates in Clydesdale is up on the South Lanarkshire council website, and there is indeed no Lib Dem candidate there

  13. Volatility on YouGov: Con 35%, Lab 45%, LD 9%.

  14. Gaddafi’s Foreign Minister has flown into London after apparently defecting

  15. I don’t think YG have actually reflected any real bounce for the coalition recently in VI terms; there’s definitely been an upswing in approval, but it’s never related to the VI.

  16. @John B Dick

    Probably will stick with my prediction of around 9 LD seats as I think 6 seats is the absolute bedrock for the LDs.

    Maybe 9% on the const and 7% on the list.

  17. The big mo is with the Nats.



  18. Anthony:

    “…because people who would vote Green or SSP in the regional vote are more likely to vote SNP in the constituency vote.”

    People who would vote Green are either committed Greens or anti-Lab or anti-Con. Since the Greens are invariably not standing or a “wasted vote” in FPTP the true Greens are turning out to voteon the list and are looking for the least worst of the electable. The SNP are light green and Patrick Harvey is unforgiving where he thinks they fall short, but the anti-nuclear stance must weigh heavily in the balance.

    For anti-Lab&Cons, the SNP is the only option since the LibDems disgrace of supporting the Cons. Mostly they are too far left for NewLabour.

    Anti-Labs are going to have a wasted vote if they vote Con in the constituency over most of the country, and apart from the southern fringe it is considered strange if not deviant behaviour except for the very old and set in their ways.

    So what about Anti-Cons? They were spoilt for choice on the 2007 list with four parties to choose from. They still have two. In the many safe Labour seats in the West, there is no risk in letting the Con in by default if you vote for the SNP and elsewhere the SNP are probably the incumbents or up against the LibDems.

    So almost everywhere, and whether you vote positively or negatively, the SNP is the least worst option, and elsewhere it can do no harm to vote for them if you are a List Green voter.

    The SSP list voter has an easy decision in any constituency. He or she is typically not just an ex-labour voter, but an ex-labour member and could not vote for a NewLabour turncoat. A Labour vote would only be considered if it were practically a personal vote to support a candidate marginalised within the party. Con is unthinkable and LibDems have disqualified themselves. An easy decison there.

    A few Glagow Labour identifiers might vote SSP on the list as a Labour list vote would be a wasted vote.

    If the SNP could attract the Anti-cons who vote Labour in the West, they might even get a majority. To do that they would have to be able to persuade voters that they were a better bet than Labour to beat the Tory, and unless the like minded acted together that’s a big challenge if you are not Nicola Sturgeon.

    Are there any voters who actually vote positively FOR the SNP? Not many. The few who would vote for Independence, less the Greens and less the Socialists. Less me.

    Put another way, the SNP core vote isn’t much greater than the CON core vote. If they can present themselves as the best vehicle to give the Conservatives a kicking and Tory-lite/New Labour as a bonus then they would be onto a winning position.

    They can’t do that in Glasgow this time. They’d need another five years in Government, a Con UK government and ineffectual SLAB leadership.

    By then the anti-Cons will be the dominant force in Scottish politics, (if they arn’t already) and they will be angered by Labour’s failure to meet their requirements.

  19. Is Nicola Stureon reading my posts?

    “Labour – unremitting – negativity” she said.

    Anybody done any sales training here?

  20. A Brown

    You can go further than that.

    It’s LibDem votes that are on the move. has an interessting analysis, or do your own. Who gains? Is there compensation on the list? Is it like what happened in Mid Scoland and Fife last time? Labour lost 3 consttuencies but had the same number of MSP’s.

    The prediction is for a Lab lead over SNP of 9. My prediction is that the people who manipulate poll results are overstating the number of net changes.

    My compensation adjustment? Just divide by 2. Do the same if SNP go in the lead. It will always look more credible.

    Can you still get eye of newt and tail of frog in Perthshire? I’m short a few things for a recipe.

  21. Confused of England… can anybody clarify?

    If no one gets a majority can’t the SNP and Labour get together? No one ever mentions this… or have I missed it?

  22. I believe I took part in this YouGov survey, and it included questions about Scottish independence and the future of the monarchy, too. I wonder why the results from those questions haven’t been released? Didn’t they please The Scotsman?

  23. Question 1: Did the survey ask for Westminster voting intentions before it asked for Holyrood voting intention? If so we can be pretty sure that there will be a bias in favour of Labour as many respondents will attempt to be consistent when in real life they won’t.

    Question 2: Are the Holyrood questions (list/constituency) asked in the same order as they ballot paper? I remember the order in the ballot paper changed in 2011, not sure what the order is this time and whether it would have any affect. But surely if possible the questions should follow the same order.

  24. The Herald now have candidates and notional 2007 results for all the plurality seats at

    The relevant regional list candidates are also shown on each plurality seat page.

    If anybody spots a URL where the whole lot can be downloaded for analysis, please post it!

  25. Another question to the betting community: What are the odds on Labour being strongest party but not enough to have a majority with LDs or with Greens (only with both), Labour ending up a minority government > at least 50 defeats in parliament before the end of the year > 2012 budget defeated > fresh elections in spring 2012 > SNP strongest party > SNP minority government > completes turn without budget defeat?

  26. @ Stuart Dickson

    Thanks for the tip re Victor Chandler – off to take the odds on SNP before they tighten further.


    the SNP and Labour getting together is about as likely as Gaddafi inviting the rebel leaders for a cup of apple tea in his tent.

    Another possibly stupid question – how does one get political party allegiance on one’s posts?

  27. Why all this fascination for betting odds? The odds only reflect where the money is being placed – and how that changes over time.

    If I were to go into a bettering shop and place £10,000 on Labour winning an overall majority the odds will be slashed – it doesnt mean its any more likely to happen!

  28. @John B Dick
    The Greens here in the north east have a reason not to vote SNP.


  29. @John B Dick

    I’ve studied the figures in the regions closely and more than 49 SNP seats looks VERY unlikely even on robust poll figures.

    @John Ruddy

    I’m not on the geound in Aberdeenshire or Angus, I honestly don’t know whether Ford will cut into The SNP vote as well as the LD vote.

  30. @Christian Schmidt, yes, they asked about Westminster first, and about constituency before list.
    I believe constituency and list will be given separate ballot papers this time, but I might be wrong.

  31. @ Thomas

    yes there are two separate ballot papers with different colours.

    The one with ‘Salmond for First Minister’ is salmon pink – not sure if any irony was intended by the election powers that be.

  32. @Denzil, thanks, I found a link: “There will be two separate ballot papers for the Holyrood election, a lilac-coloured one for the constituency vote, and the other for the regional list vote will be peach.” I guess the difference between salmon and peach is very slight. :-)

  33. John Ruddy

    Undoubtedly there are local as well as regional factors.

    Retiring incumbent LibDems with huge personal votes isanother.

    So is CFP building majorities in already safe SNP seats.

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