There is a new Ipsos MORI poll in today’s Times that shows a commanding lead for the SNP. Topline figures, with changes from their previous Scottish poll, are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 10%(-3), LAB 34%(-2), LDEM 9%(-1), SNP 45%(+8)
Holyrood regional: CON 10%(-3), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 8%(-2), SNP 42%(+7), Green 6%(nc)

In The Times John Curtice projects that if repeated in the Scottish Parliamentary elections this would give the SNP 61 seats (up 14), Labour 45 (down 1), Conservatives 10 (down 7), Lib Dems 9 (down 7) and Scottish Greens 4 (up 2).

Clearly MORI are showing a bigger lead for the SNP than we’ve seen so far, but across the board recent polling is strong for the SNP. Recent polls from YouGov and Panelbase also showed the SNP ahead. The most recent poll from ICM continued to show Labour leading… but that’s over a month ago now, and at the time YouGov were also still showing Labour ahead. Public opinion seems to have shifted since then.

Full tabs are on the MORI website here


172 Responses to “MORI show the SNP 10 points ahead of Labour”

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  1. Of those certain to vote (Mori Scottish poll)
    81% were born in Scotland
    14% elsewhere in th UK
    5% outwith the UK
    (All EU citizens resident here can vote)

    Notable difference in VI

    Consituency
    SNP 47% : Lab 33% : Con 9% : LD 8% – born Scotland
    SNP 321% : Lab 35% : Con 18% : LD 23% – born elsewhere UK
    SNP 36% : Lab 36% : Con 13% : LD 11% – born outwith UK

    List
    SNP 45% : Lab 32% : Con 9% : LD 6% – born Scotland
    SNP 24% : Lab 36% : Con 21% : LD 11% – born elsewhere UK
    SNP 31% : Lab 11% : Con 26% : LD 9% – born outwith UK

    They aren’t of course, homogenous groups in terms of identity. One might speculate that incomers are higher earners and more likely to vote for the Coalition parties.

    Interesting contrast, though, with the assumption that “immigrants vote Labour” meme that is regularly seen being made by right wingers.

  2. Oops!

    Constituency
    SNP 21% : Lab 35% : Con 18% : LD 23% – born elsewhere UK

  3. Still all to play for in the last 2 weeks of the campaign, but I seriously doubt that the SNP will reach the figure of 60. Either way I think we’re probably looking at another SNP minority government

  4. Anthony,

    In light of the fact that there has been a major boundary review since 2007, it is more sensible to show the seat change projection compared with the notionals.

    Note: all media companies, including the BBC, will be reporting gains and losses vis à vis these notional results.

    John Curtice seat projection
    (+/- change from notional 2007 result on new boundaries)

    SNP 61 seats (+15)
    Lab 45 seats (+1)
    Con 10 seats (-10)
    LD 9 seats (-8)
    Grn 4 seats (+3)
    (oth 0 seats (-1))

    Total = 129 seats

    65 seats required to form majority government

    SNP + Grn = 65 seats
    Unionist grand alliance: Lab + Con + LD = 64 seats

  5. OldNat,

    “SNP 321%”

    God bless the English!

  6. Stuart, the Unionist grand alliance is rather humorous, I think Labour would far rather stay in opposition even if the numbers were there than get into bed with Dave and Nick

  7. Jack 93,

    “… I seriously doubt that the SNP will reach the figure of 60.”

    Agreed. But it is fun to dream.

    By the way, the Lib Dems are taking a hammering in the seat markets. The SNP have just gone FAV in supposedly “safe” Lib Dem seat Aberdeenshire West. Even North East Fife and Orkney are starting to be priced like marginals.

  8. I notice Salmond is being significantly less triumphalist compared to his pre-GE comments that “the SNP will have 20 seats”, “Westminster will dance to a Scottish jig” and “Parliament will be hung by a Scottish rope” only to see the SNP only end with six seats and with less votes than the new UK Government.

    Will be very interesting if the SNPs and Greens do have enough seats to pass a referendum bill. We’ll finally see the SNP’s economic overview of an independent Scotland (and how it differs to that regularly claimed by this board’s resident nationalists), whether they will still join the Euro so strongly favoured by Salmond….

  9. SNP 321% = just possibly an overall majority (!)

  10. The Lib/Dem vote in Scotland is strongest in areas where other UK residents born outside of Scotland live. So I reckon at least 25% of the Lib/Dem vote is from people born in England now living in Scotland, ie students and retired people.

    On the seat projections, I did read somewhere that you can take another 1 off Labour due to them not putting up a presiding officer yet!

  11. Jack93,

    “… I think Labour would far rather stay in opposition even if the numbers were there than get into bed with Dave and Nick.”

    The thing is Jack, at some point the Scottish Labour Party is going to have to decide whether it really, really, really wants to save the Union (Gordon Brown described Labour as the “last bastion” against the SNP), or whether it just wants to play at party politics.

    I suspect that when push comes to shove, being essentially a pragmatic organisation, SLAB will say ‘stuff the Union’. To save its own neck.

    The fundamentals of Scottish civil society are shifting before our very eyes.

  12. Do MORI tend to be as accurate as Yougov when it comes to polling in Scotland?

  13. Steve
    I notice Salmond is being significantly less triumphalist compared to his pre-GE comments that “the SNP will have 20 seats”, “Westminster will dance to a Scottish jig” and “Parliament will be hung by a Scottish rope” only to see the SNP only end with six seats and with less votes than the new UK Government.

    Will be very interesting if the SNPs and Greens do have enough seats to pass a referendum bill. We’ll finally see the SNP’s economic overview of an independent Scotland (and how it differs to that regularly claimed by this board’s resident nationalists), whether they will still join the Euro so strongly favoured by Salmond

    People in Scotland were duped into voting Labour because the Thatcher monster was pulled out . I will always say this about Labour in Scotland…People don’t vote for Labour, they’re sucked in by it.

  14. Jack, ICM are the blue ribband pollster.

    I’m not going to get too excited until ICM show us 10 points ahead! I’m not holding my breath.

  15. The tables give a breakdown by local authority area.

    The good news for the LDs is that they have 100% of those polled in Orkney.

    The bad news for the LDs is that this was 1 person only. (That person appears to have been weighted by a multiple of 8.)

  16. Stuart
    “The fundamentals of Scottish civil society are shifting before our very eyes.”

    I’m more than happy to have a referendum on Independence just to end the suspense and be done with in all honesty. Then the SNP can stop their obsession with Independence which seems to overshadow everything they do.

    “SLAB will say ‘stuff the Union’. To save its own neck.”
    I hope to publicly disown it Stuart if this ever becomes the case :P

  17. Stuart,
    I dont think we can say that the fundamentals of Scottish civil society are shifting before our very eyes, based on one poll which shows a party in the lead which has put the idea of a referendum on the back burner and concentrated on other aspects of their platform.

    When we see some consistent polling on the referndum question, then we can say that civil society is shifting.

  18. Stuart,

    “The fundamentals of Scottish civil society are shifting before our very eyes.”

    A tad bombastic. This is still only an election for Parliament and no significant indicator of any shift towards pro-independence, as can be seen in consecutive polls on independence and also how any referendum scored so low on that recent poll on voters’ priorities (22nd out of 25?).

  19. civil society is shifting in Scotland, just this week 11 councils told COSLA that they don’t speak for them. ;)

  20. Phil,

    “The bad news for the LDs is that this was 1 person only.”

    :D

    My 16/1 punt on Donna Heddle may yet come home! I note that the best Heddle price in now in to 5/1. That’s still probably too long when one considers the regional list vote in Orkney in 2007:

    LD 31.8%
    SNP 22.8%
    Con 15.3%
    Lab 12.6%
    Grn 6.2%

  21. Jack,

    – “I’m more than happy to have a referendum on Independence just to end the suspense and be done with in all honesty.”

    Just a shame then that all 3 Unionist parties blocked it in the last parliament. I wonder why? ;)

    http://www.webcitation.org/5jh1lijyW

  22. Is there anything the Scottish Conservatives can do to save themselves?

    If Salmond does get re-elected with an increased majority, this election could be a pivital moment on the road towards Scottish independance. As a unionist I certainly hope that it isn’t, but it very well could be.

  23. This is the natural end of the new SNP strategy: Labour as traditional Labour supporters wish it was, i.e. a centre-left party; shut up about independence; cautiously negotiate with the Lib Dems and Tories and earn a reputation as moderates.

    It doesn’t mean that nationalism is on the rise. It does mean that the SNP have replaced Labour in many areas as the first port of call for moderate small-c conservative left wing voters, which were traditionally Labour.

    So, over the last 30-40 years, the SNP have carved out a niche (well, more a gaping hole!) in Scottish politics, attracting both what were once natural Scottish Unionist Party voters and those who were once natural Labour voters.

    Like him or loathe him, Alex Salmond’s transformation of the SNP into a moderate centre-left multi-issue party has paid off. I doubt it means that we’ll see independence anytime soon, but I do think it means we’ll see a lot more of Big Eck over the next four (or even eight) years.

  24. Steve,

    I agree that this doesn’t show a movement between nationalism and unionism. What the poll personifies is that Labour are no longer the natural party of government in Scotland. THAT is a tremendous shift in Scottish civil society and one that I wouldn’t have taken seriously just five years ago.

  25. Stuart Dickson,

    The moment the SNP lose the independence referendum is the moment they become a permanent challenge to Labour. Take away independence and they’re just a centre-left party that cares a lot about Scotland, i.e. a hugely powerful political force.

    That’s why the SNP’s successes have been when they shut up about independence and focus on bread-and-butter politics.

  26. @Allan Christie
    A different interepretation, whilst still being factual would be:

    11 SNP run councils disagree with COSLA criticism of SNP

    Which is hardly surprising? The shock would have been if they HAD agreed with the criticism!

  27. Bill,

    – “… we’ll see a lot more of Big Eck over the next four (or even eight) years.”

    The next parliament i 5 years, not 4. You can thank Nick Clegg for that.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/one-more-year-for-winner-of-holyrood-election-1.1085909

  28. Bill,

    “What the poll personifies is that Labour are no longer the natural party of government in Scotland.”

    If Labour were to have a leader with a strong personality, I think they would be a lot higher in this poll. The incumbent is clumsy, inconsistent and does no justice to his party’s fairly decent manifesto. He has also been a poor critic of the SNP who (like all politicians, to be fair) visibly take full credit for any successes but then blame any failures on others, even when they are one and the same issue (eg ‘falling unemployment is due to SNP policies’ but ‘rising unemployment is due to poor UK Govt policies’ etc.).

    Government and politics is cyclical, always has been and always will be. With no evidential shift in pro-independence support, there is little to suggest such polls indicate anything more than the ebb and flow of electoral support.

  29. Bill,

    – “That’s why the SNP’s successes have been when they shut up about independence…”

    Not so. Glasgow East by-election victory being a recent example.

    We are biding our time. Watch this space.

  30. @Steve

    “I notice Salmond is being significantly less triumphalist compared to his pre-GE comments that “the SNP will have 20 seats”

    I read a report on the Scottish elections last week from what appeared to be a fairly independent and non-partisan reporter (but, who can tell these days in our increasingly slanted press, I suppose) and he was spending time on the ground watching all the main parties campaigning. He made the point that Salmond’s interesting caution wasn’t just about lowering expectations in advance so he could spin a greater triumph after the polls, but was probably arising more from feedback he was getting from his campaign team. They, apparently, were detecting two elections going on simultaneously. One was taking place in the media and newspaper headlines, and the SNP were winning it hands down, with the Salmond “cult of the personality” much to the fore, and then there was another, much different election going on in the streets and on the doorsteps. The mundane grind of electioneering, if you like. Intriguingly, both the SNP and Labour teams were finding this much more nuanced, difficult to read, tighter and intriguing.

    Now, there’s no doubt that the SNP campaign is gathering momentum, certainly on the evidence of the most recent poll, and an extraordinary triumph may await them in two weeks time, but Salmond is a canny politician and his caution may be well placed.

  31. @CrossBat11
    Its certainly matches with what we see on the ground. When I go out talking to people, there really doesnt seem to be this tidal wave of support for the SNP. People dont see out campaign as being negative, and the worst reactions we’ve had have been from Tory voters.

    Then we get home and read the papers, watch the news and look online to see a totally different campaign being fought, where everyone is worshipping at the feet of Alex Salmond and the SNP, the Scottish Labour party is [insert insult here] etc, etc.

    What has probably happened in the last few days is that the effect of that media campaign is beginning to spill into people’s conciousness.

  32. John Ruddy
    @Allan Christie
    A different interepretation, whilst still being factual would be:

    11 SNP run councils disagree with COSLA criticism of SNP

    Which is hardly surprising? The shock would have been if they HAD agreed with the criticism!

    Okay John you have a point in that they were all SNP run/lead councils:) but my point still stands though!! At one point COSLA just had to snap their fingers and all civic Scotland would fall into line. The fact now that Labour only control 2 councils outright in Scotland and COSLA being dominated by Labour stooges, surely now COSLA must see that they are a increasingly irrelevant entity in Scotland.. ;)

  33. Re-posting this – now the thread is here…

    I picked up on twitter that the regional voting question in the MORI poll prompted the four (main?) parties by name.

    This is likely to underestimate the Green vote and number of MSPs (they are only putting up regional list candidates I think). The likely impact would be on LD and SNP list voting (noting the voting Compass groupings).

    I think it is about time that polsters recognised that Patrick Harvie’s party will be the most likely kingmakers and that we are looking at the potential for a majority of MSPs supporting independence (as the Greens also do).

    Can anyone confirm this is the case?

  34. I’m inclined to agree with some of John Ruddy and Steve’s points. The only small comfort for Labour is that their list support is still at 32%.

    I wonder if the greens might start to get a true boost now as this poll suggests the SNP will clear up the northeast.

  35. @ A Brown
    I think it means we have to get our list vote out up here in the north east, as it will be the only way to get representation.

    An easy sell for us might be “why bother voting SNP on the list – it wont have any effect”…

  36. @Allan
    The head of COSLA is elected after every local election, Pat Watters actually got more support from the SNP than he did from Labour – despite being a Labour councillor himself.

    Certainly the feeling since 2007 is that he hasnt stood up for Labour in the same way his predecessors have done (rightly or wrongly). Which is why when he comes out and says these things, they should be taken notice of – its not just knee-jerk Labour tribalism from Pat.

  37. I think it is as much labour losing this election as SNP winning. While Salmond’s pre-eminence is largely undisputed, Iain Gray looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights on newsnight the other night. I almost felt sorry for him. Patrck Harvie in contrast came across very well in terms of clarity and conviction.

    The labour strategy of aping SNP policies, while adding a couple of authoritarian measures such as the ludicrous knife-crime one, has only emphasised personality as a decisive factor. They’ve played right into Eck’s hand.

    But it’s not just Salmond, the SNP front bench just looks so much more competent and credible than the likes of Richard Baker (disastrous on newsnight), Andy Kerr (muddled on newsnight) and Jackie Bailley (not yet seen on newsnight).

  38. ‘The labour strategy of aping SNP policies, while adding a couple of authoritarian measures such as the ludicrous knife-crime one, has only emphasised personality as a decisive factor. They’ve played right into Eck’s hand.’

    Yes perhaps it’s a fatal core vote strategy, Labour’s vote has become too concentrated.
    Labour really should have emphasised their policies on transport etc instead.

  39. @oldnat

    That’s not surprising – I’ve said this before that the LDs were down to their affluent/english core. My mum’s probably voting LD.

  40. Can anyone please ask me how the Scottish Labour, Scottish Lib Dems and the SNP going to plan to make their spending committments which all seem eyewatering big. Do they not realise that across the boarders that the UK government are having to make massive cuts which in the short-term will be unpopular. How do these three parties honestly think they are going to get re-elected and have crediablity if they all make false-hope promises that will leave them with three scenarios:-

    1) They would have to allow a deficit to happen in the Scottish budget will add future burdens in tax rises or spending cuts in the near future

    2) They would have to raise taxes which they are allowed to do which personally would not help the economy because due to being part of the union will see a lot of trade just move south of the boarder or to Northern Ireland

    3) They would have to make massive spending cuts elsewhere

    These three Scottish Parties must think the British public are pig stupid to think that can just make a wish-list of spending committments without outlinning the costs which will come from it.

    The only Party that seems honest enough to outline their spending plans are the Scottish Conservatives and the Scottish Greens and speaking as a Labour Party member that’s alot to stomach for me and hope the Greens and in a small sense the Tories the best. It’s just being dishonest the public and although the Scottish electorate might like these eyecatching policies they will only have to feel the repuccsions later.

    So personally, if I was Scottish Labour, let the Party sink in the opinion polls because come the 2015 elections when an SNP minority or SNP-Green Government have allowed either a ballooning deficit, massive cuts or tax increase it will path the way of a Labour government and possibly see the Libs and Tories benefit when the SNP begins to crumble.

  41. ‘These three Scottish Parties must think the British public are pig stupid to think that can just make a wish-list of spending committments without outlinning the costs which will come from it.

    The only Party that seems honest enough to outline their spending plans are the Scottish Conservatives and the Scottish Greens and speaking as a Labour Party member that’s alot to stomach for me and hope the Greens and in a small sense the Tories the best. It’s just being dishonest the public and although the Scottish electorate might like these eyecatching policies they will only have to feel the repuccsions later.’

    Yes I’m largely with you here.

  42. *grabs some popcorn and takes a seat*

  43. I’m really kinda shocked by these numbers because it’s rare to see an incumbent improve so rapidly and for the trends to be so heavily in favor of the incumbent. Especially at the very end of an election. These aren’t isolated polls either.

  44. Steve

    :-)

  45. I think NATs are entitled to a bout of euphoria.

    Salmond has successfully presented himself as the Father of the Nation ( DEWAR style in many ways) and they have been blessed with the unfortunate Iain Gray.

    I think the real own goal was Labout (a typo i think appropriate given this poll) not adopting Wendy’s “Bring it on” response to the referendum

    . This would have forced the parliament to debate upon and agree a simple referendum question (Salmond’s wordings were devious and multiplicitous – a made-up word I rather like) . Had they done so – by now we would have had a defeated party of government on the referendum who had been directly challenged facing humiliating defeat at the hands of an articulate intelligent Labour leader.

    Still of such errors are disastrous Labour destinies made (Callaghan 1978 ; Brown 2007)

    Another two weeks of Gray’s campaigning, though and we could yet hit single figures! ( I hope I am joking)

    Depressed but not surprised. In reality Gray offers no reasons for voters to vote Labour specifically – we all hate the Tories, so attacking them merely reinforces Salmond

  46. @ Old Nat (from the previous thread)

    “I don’t disagree that Murphy is a very smart politician. If he was like Iain Grey, he wouldn’t be a threat to my side of the constitutional debate.

    Royal Wedding – In a recent poll almost half of all Scots wanted to keep as far away from the Royal Wedding as possible.

    Lots of Scots (however, they vote) don’t really like the Union Flag. My local store’s HQ is in Mamnchester and have ordered them to have Union Flags in the store. The Manager says she will have them down the instant the Wedding’s over. She finds it embarassing to have them there.”

    JM is kinda like a five tool player in the political sense. He may have been an “accidental politician” according to one article profiling him. But he should feel no shame in that. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Dianne Feinstein were all accidental politicians as well. I think he’s underrated/ignored because he lacks an Oxford or Cambridge degree or maybe (dare I suggest it) because he’s Scottish. Though it’s also possible that certain traits or characteristics he has are more appealing to an American voter than an English or Scottish voter.

    I’m surprised by the dislike of the British flag among Scots. But then again, I’ve never been to Scotland and I don’t really know any Scots. I can’t imagine disliking the 13 stripes and 50 stars over the bear.

    I have absolutely zero interest in the Royal Wedding but it does make the news here. And I don’t understand why.

  47. Andy C / A Brown

    Remember that the cuts hitting England are prioritised on local Government (which Pickles kindly volunteered). While Pat Watters is quite rightly defending his own LA corner, the biggest cuts in Scotland have been made in central Government.

    The SNP Government has had 2-3 years to prepare and plan for the downturn in funding, and hasn’t wasted that time. “Efficiency savings” are usually rightly mocked, but in this case better procurement etc has delivered (around 1.4 billion last financial year).

    The biggest cut, of course, will be in public sector pay – a wage freeze (apart from the lower paid) is intended by both SNP and Labour.

    Just for clarification, the Scottish Government currently has no borrowing powers, so cannot run a deficit.

  48. OldNat
    The wage freeze affects all staff in local government and the NHS – not just those earning over £21k. Its disingenuous to call it a public sector initiative, when its only affecting central government staff.

  49. Iceman

    “Salmond’s wordings were devious and multiplicitous” – love your neologism!

    Actually the reason for the complex wording is that for the Parliament to approve running a referendum, the wording has to be within the powers of the Parliament under the Scotland Act.

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