First, there is a new YouGov Scottish poll in Scotland on Sunday. Topline figures there, with changes from a fortnight ago, are:

Constituency vote: CON 11%(nc), LAB 37%(-2), LDEM 8%(+3), SNP 40%(nc)
Regional vote: CON 12%(nc), LAB 33%(-6), LDEM 7%(+2), SNP 35%(+3), Green 6%(nc)

There is a significant movement from Labour to the SNP on the regional vote, and these figures fit a lot more neatly with the historical trend than the last lot. A fortnight ago YouGov had the SNP ahead in the constituencies, but Labour well ahead on the regional vote – which would have been an unusual result. The SNP lead on the constituency and regional votes here is much more comparable.

In the SoS John Curtice projects these figures as producing 55 seats for the SNP, 49 for Labour, 14 for the Conservatives, 6 for the Lib Dems and 5 for the Greens.

Secondly the full tabs for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are up here. On the AV referendum, NO remains in the lead, but much less convincingly than the midweek poll for the Sun – YES is on 40%, NO is on 41%. Before adjustment for likelihood to vote the No lead was 3 points, so YES voters do appear to be slightly more likely to turnout. Leaders ratings are Cameron minus 8 (from minus 9 a week ago), Miliband minus 19 (from minus 15 last week), Clegg minus 44 (from minus 39 last week).

Much of the rest of the poll dealt with immigration, and found the usual broadly negative opinions. 40% of people did not feel Britain had benefitted from immigration in any way. 88% agreed that immigrants unable to speak English or unwilling to integrate were creating discomfort in British communities, 93% thought people coming to live here permanently should be required to learn English.

Turning specifically to David Cameron’s comments, 73% think he was right to raise the issue of immigration, but the majority (51%) of them think he did so to score political points. There is also very little confidence that the government will be able to deliver on their plans to reduce net immigration to only tens of thousands – only 16% think they will succeed, 60% think they will fail.

There were also some questions on tuition fees. 35% of people say they support the policy, 44% oppose it. The figures were almost the same when YouGov asked if people thought graduates would still be better off with tuition fees – 37% think graduates would still be better off in the long term through higher salaries, 42% think higher salaries will be outweighed by the cost of tuition fees.

180 Responses to “YouGov’s Sunday polling”

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  1. Nationalist, according to Ben at Ipsos Mori there are no plans to do a Scottish poll. Unless you are an English Nationalist in which case 21/04/11 should be your cuppa.

  2. quite a few bits an bobs..

    11% lead for No2AV
    37% v 35% in favour of reds with ICM

    And my own penny’s worth.. After Howe’s controlversial budget in ’81 polls narrowed considerably [reds later took a lead approaching the winter]. Now this penny’s worth might be indeed a half a penny’s worth or a shilling, depending what you think of my analysis. Being an historian we tend to place stock on old trends.. I think an unpopular theoretically cutting Thatcher v Foot has some comparison with Cameron v Miliband… But hey, what do I know.

  3. @ Northumbrian Scot

    I hope Amber won’t take this personally and in compensation offer up to her my vote for Mark Lazorowicz in Edinburgh last year being made easier by the presence of equally sensible moderates in SLAB.
    Thank you, it is much appreciated. :-)

    Despite being a Labour voter, I would likely vote for Nicola Sturgeon too, if I lived in her constituency. I’d make it up to myself by voting Labour on the list.
    As I live in Sarah Boyack’s constituency, there’s no prizes for guessing who I’ll be voting for.

  4. Amber

    Sarah Boyack is one of your best – I won’t comment on others!

  5. Tables for the Scottish poll here

    Further to previous discussion here on gender difference –

    Female 39% SNP : Lab 36%
    Males — 41% SNP : Lab 39%

    Female 33% SNP : Lab 33%
    Males — 36% SNP : Lab 34%

  6. One of the assumptions about party politics is that voters dislike divided parties.

    UK TV channels are making a big deal out of Labour politicians campaigning both for and against AV.

    Will that create some sense of “Labour is divided”? It certainly shouldn’t – but will it?

  7. I’m not sure it will, Oldnat but voters may well follow what their local MP is doing. I’d expect AV to get a yes vote in London because a large number of labour politicians there seem to be supporting it.


  8. Having read the YouGov tables, I see once again that the first question asked was voter intention for the Westminister parliament.

    I have never understood why in a poll on voter intention for the Scottish parliament or AV choice, that YouGov chooses to lead with that question.

    Many have argued that it impacts the next questions.

    Has anyone investigated this point and if so, does the inclusion impact the next questions.

    My personal view is that it does but I am willing to hear more from those who have done the research.

  9. Old Nat,

    I think we’re starting to get on the same page. The Unionist party of the 1950s was both very different from the 19th century Tories, who were in turn different from the Thatcherites, who were in turn different from the One Nation Tories of the 1950s…

    As SoCalLiberal suggests, time makes a mockery of party politics e.g. Tony Blair was in many respects a One Nation Tory. In fact, I think he’d be on the right of the party in the 1950s and 1960s (which confusingly was very often relatively socially liberal e.g. Thatcher’s views on homosexuality were liberal by Tory standards back then).

    For people who wanted a certain kind of party (and you are right to draw attention to the issue of centralisation) the Scottish Unionist Party of the 1950s was their best choice back then. Now, however, the old massive Tory vote of the 1950s is divided by two very different anti-Labour parties. The centrists/One Nation Tories have found green pastures with the SNP, while the Thorneycroft/Powell-esque Dry Tories are still with the Conservative party.

    Of course, this is not the whole story of the SNP, which has always been a very big tent. I’ve known everyone from UKIP-loving grannies to hardline socialists telling me they will vote SNP, because they see them as the best option for government.

    The left is also split between the SLAB, SNP and Lib Dems, partly because of the constitutional question. This is why I’m sure that the current political party alignments wouldn’t survive independence. There are at least two parties (a moderate centre-right party and a Free Democratic party) that are a feature of many normal European countries, but which are entirely absent from Scottish politics.

  10. I think divided parties are only problematic if they’re unexpected. If the public thinks a party is divided because they’re a bunch of so-and-so’s, this is obviously a bad thing.

    On the other hand, during a leadership contest or a referendum, I’m not aware of any such tendency. A diversity of viewpoints can attract people from outside the fold.

    After all, let’s not forget that Enoch Powell backed Labour in 1974 because their split over Europe meant that Eurosceptics like Michael Foot and Peter Shore could express themselves. (Just so Old Nat doesn’t think I’m just rubbing the blue innuendo dust on the Nats…)

  11. Scottish Sun declares for the SNP… urrgghh [strange bedfellows]

  12. Bill Patrick

    I’ll happily hold to my own political stance (left of centre, decentralist) while the maelstrom of party realignment swirls around me, so I’ll probably end up voting Green post-independence (according to the Strathclyde Uni survey).

    I dislike political parties anyway (including my own!) because eventually they just become machines for electing particular coteries of politicians.

    What is essential is that no party repeats the dominance that Labour has had in Scotland for the last 50 years. Any party in that position will attract corrupt people who use it for their advantage.

  13. Aberdeencynic,

    Both the SNP and Labour are broad parties, and the main difference between them and the Greens is that they aim to be more centrist in a progressive-conservative scale, while the Greens are very progressive. So while there are some substantial differences between SNP/Labour and the Greens, these can be overcome (effectively the Greens would strengthen the existing radical wing within Labour/SNP).

    As to the differences between Labour and SNP, these are partly about the fact that in one party the more progressive politicians got their way (at the moment…) while in the other not (again, at the moment…). These are usually those poits where one party is aligned with the Greens, while the other is not.

    But in general I think the differences that are there between the SNP and Labour are more about managerial issues and (in the case of Labour) being against something because the other one is in favour. But not for any philosohical or important reasons that could stop them changing their position pretty quickly if need be!

  14. Christian Schmidt

    Love your new moniker! :-)

  15. oldnat @ Stuart

    “We can give useful advice to our southern friends as to certain experiences we have had with devolved government.”

    That is what the SP is for – a model for reform of Westminster. Every complaint I made to Donald Dewar had the answer that a Home Rule parliament could try out one or more of the solutions (AV, PR, AMS closed or open lists)

  16. Bill Patrick

    The 1950’s Unionists would have been recognised as Christian Democrats if it were not that they were Protestant and a third of the population of Glasgow were recent Irish immigrants many of them working class unionised Catholics.

    The churches have moved on homosexuality, colonies, race, women in work (including the ministry), hanging and flogging, divorce, abortion, pre-marital sex and the party on the right has followed, but there is still a Christian ethical vote (Trident, Iraq) among respectable Edinburgh burghers even if the expression of that opinion has flipped.

    On many of these issues the CofS has been a generation ahead of the CofE thanks to its democratic structure and African mission connections.

  17. John B. Dick,

    I’ve long thought that the Scottish Conservatives could do a lot better by rebranding themselves as Christian Democrats. Scotland is by nature a small c conservative country (we didn’t legalise male homosexuality until the 1980s) and the idea of powerful professional elites of good moral fibre organising communities is well-ingrained into Scottish culture. A Christian Democratic party could appeal to that tradition.

  18. Interesting to see people draw comparisons with the European political “norms” and how Scotland does or doesn’t compare with them. There seems evidence that the UK as a whole at least is moving toward a more typically European pluralist arrangement with the simultaneous rise, at opposite ends of the political spectrum, of UKIP and the Greens. Even the Liberal Democrats seem to have finally “come out” as belonging more to the right, like most European liberal parties. All we need now is some kind of PR so that these parties’ support is more accurately represented! I’ve never understood the British (English?) aversion to coalitions.

  19. Incidentally, slightly off-topic I realise, but can any of the many Scots here tell me why Na h-Eileanan an Iar is a Labour-SNP marginal? I can understand why the SNP would be strong there, thanks to the presumably strong Scottish / Gaelic identity. But it’s a rural constituency with no big towns; compared with Labour’s non-existence in Orkney, Shetland and across much of the highlands their comparative success in the Western Isles is puzzling to say the least.

  20. > I’ve long thought that the Scottish Conservatives could do a lot better by rebranding themselves as Christian Democrats.

    And Annabel Goldie rebrands herself as Angela Merkel …

  21. I wonder if SNP could turn out to be a scottish version of Fianna Fail – in or near power most of the time, but not quite able to get an overall majority, occasionally dumped out of power when things go very pear shaped.

  22. Rumours on Scotsman site that next poll will show SNP stretching lead and looking at 58 seats

    New poll due out Weds/Thursday

  23. If they mean the next YouGov/Scotsman poll, then they are baseless since the next VI poll is not even in the field yet.

    (Obviously they might mean a new Scottish poll from another company!)

  24. Its for Ipsos Mori- not sure if for Newspaper of TV

    Rumours on Scotsman website

  25. Nationalist – I think (though Eoin himself would have to confirm) that Eoin emailed MORI to ask when they were publishing their Scottish poll and they told him there wasn’t one, only an upcoming GB poll.

  26. Anthony there is a Scottish poll in the times on Thursday.

    Well there is according to McCloud who seems to be covering the holyrood election for them. I asked him on twitter if it was a mori poll and his reply suggested it was.

  27. Maybe I misunderstood Eoin!

  28. No I asked Eoin last night and he was told it wasn’t a Mori.

    Maybe it’s by another company and McCloud has the pollster wrong.

  29. Rumour suggest increasing SNP Lead and 59 seats

    Labour vote apparently down substanially

  30. Taken from Editor of Times Scotland Tweet Page

    Details of Times/Sun poll on Newsnight Scotland tonight. Devastating for Gray and Labour.

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