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. John Ruddy

    I’ll be happy to respond when you clarify what you are saying. You appear to be suggesting that local government staff are central government staff???

  2. Ironically I bet SNP are glad that Scottish Parliament has no borrowing powers. This allowed Salmond (quite rightly) to highlight to Paxman that unlike the profligate Westminster parties the SNP government had balanced the books for the past 4 years. Paxman silent!

    @iceman – I agree on what you say (aside from Wendy being articulate).

    I wonder if the labour strategy of focusing on con-dem cuts is forgetting that equal numbers of voters (on past polling) blame labour as much as the coalition for the state of the economy and current cuts.

    Agree that the anti-tory focus is not working for labour and making voters consider who has the steadiest hand on the rudder.

    Another point to note is that this polling pre-dates the Sun announcemnet supporting AS/ SNP. While nobody will admit to being swayed in their VI by a tabloid I think it is a well-established fact that it does have an influence. The MORI poll breakdown shows SNP ahead in each of the deciles of deprivation, suggesting that SNP has made a breakthrough in the blue-collar territory that labour once relied on.

  3. Denzil

    I think you may be misreading the deprivation table.

    Column 5 is the 20% most affluent houses in Scotland.

    SNP has long had an advantage in the two most deprived bands. What is new is their lead in the 40% of better off housing.

  4. If Barbenzero (sp?) makes an appearance (and as there is a Scotland poll up, that’s an inevitability), please can someone remind him that the phrase “Westminster Parliament is sovereign” obviously does *not* imply ‘sovereignty over the people’ as he claims in previous threads, which obviously makes no sense when the UK is a democracy.

    I’d post an essay explaining the true meaning of ‘Parliamentary Sovereignty’ but I lack neither the time nor the inclination. I’m sure the might of the interweb can oblige.

  5. Steve

    Oh goody! A debate on constitutional matters! :-)

    There is no conflict between “Parliamentary Sovereignty” and voters selecting the members of the Parliament.

    However, sovereignty really refers to the ultimate authority within a given territory. In English constitional law, that resides in Parliament. In Scots constitutional law, it resides with the people.

    Under normal circumstances there is no practical difference, but there is a difference in law. Parliamentary Sovereignty is restricted to England, some of her ex-colonies, Israel and (in some respects) Finland.

  6. SNP :(

  7. OldNat,

    “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.”

    Quite correct.

    What is not widely understood is that the civil servants and SG lawyers tasked with writing the question had to phrase it in such a way that it complies with the Scotland Act 1998.

    Talking of Scotland Acts, I wonder how the Lib Dems getting totally spanked will affect Michael Moore’s and Jim Wallace’s attempted screwing of the Scottish criminal justice system? Will they think agin, or will they push on regardless?

  8. Is Rupert Murdoch naïve?

    – “The naïve belief that you can back Alex Salmond for First Minister but not his plan to break up Britain is surely beginning to dawn on a whole host of dupes this morning.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/alancochrane/8466931/Nats-new-friends-will-come-to-rue-their-naivety.html

  9. Ah, so it’s more nationalist spin. Really should have seen that.

    In all practicalities and scenarios, such a difference between Scotland and England is entirely moot. Elections aside, the judiciary, through the HRA and ECHR, has the right and power to challenge unconstitutional legislation in either and both jurisdictions.

  10. Interestingly, the bookies now have the SNP ahead of Labour in constituencies like Ayr and Edinburgh Pentlands….rather unlikely that will actually happen IMO.

    Incidentally, the figure (10%) for the Tories seems awfully low. Our vote will either remain static or decrease/increase very slightly.

  11. @Stuart Dickson LOL The concept of a naïve Rupert Murdoch is pretty amusing, you have to admit. Cochrane has his panties in a bit of a twist.

    There are a number of interesting points in this poll such as the breakdown of the undecideds which will not necessarily go well for the SNP. Looking at who is undecided (by far more women) and who supports Salmond somewhat less (women) is an issue. I honestly don’t understand that, but maybe OldNat could explain it.

    On the other hand as has been pointed out, it was held before The Sun came out for them. So on one side, I think this looks a bit less glorious for them than one might think and on the other… It could be under-polling them.

    Throw in that Scottish elections are rarely simple and I wouldn’t make any assumptions at this point.

  12. @calum

    ‘Our vote will either remain static or decrease/increase very slightly.’

    With those kinds of predictions you’d better get down to the bookies! :)

  13. I can’t see the SNP winning Edinburgh Pentlands because Mcletchie has been trying hard here but maybe they will take 2nd I have no idea.

  14. Denzil, I have already put money on the Tories holding Ayr, but I don’t want to get carried away…:P

  15. @ Oldnat

    Not convinced as to the wording’s complication on referendum being necessarily complex. I think Salmond was looking for a multi-option in which Independence could win a plurality (a paradoxical, opportunistic support of fptp) if not a majority.

    Ultimately this election will change the dynamics of Scottish politics and force some ducked issues to be resolved.

    The Independence referendum is unavoidable if NATs win more seats than Labour,

    Labour will have to recognise that Scotland is different and free its Scottish arm to develop genuinely “Scottish solutions” to the dilemmas created by Holyrood within a UK dimension. They appear to be attacking a dead sheep at the moment whilst being devoured by a stray fox that they studiously ignore.

    Given a Tory government, ( Coalition gave us fewer cctv’s and withdrawal of a power to detain that was never used and a referendum on a system Lib-dems don’t support and which will be lost – impressive negotiating there boys!), an increasing attack on public secto jobs and pay, and a growing and resurgent SNP with a post election boost, this will certainly be far closer than any referendum that could have been held last year.

    We are entering interesting times!

  16. Stuart Dickson,

    Even more Eck then!

    Was independence the important issue in Glasgow East?

  17. One interpretation of the figures would be some tactical switching by Tory and Lib Dem voters to stop Labour.

    I say tactical because I find it difficult ti imagine many Tory voters switching to SNP on polotical grounds.

    If there is tactical voting going on is it because voters dotn’t fully understand the electoral system. I could understand tactical voting in Constituencies bu the Tory/Lib Dem vote combined is down by 1% more in the regional voting than the constituencies

  18. I think that Scottish opinion polls usually understate true Conservative support by at least a couple of points though.

  19. Steve

    More than spin. Under English law, a UK Parliament could simply vote to abolish the Scottish Parliament, and that would be legal.

    Under Scots Law, it would not be seen in the same way. The legal issue is actually fundamental to protewcting our liberties.

  20. CALUMSMITH_0308,

    Ayr is a more likely SNP 2nd place than Pentlands (the constituency where I was brought up), but you never know…

  21. Steve,

    I have no doubt that the SNP is beatable. Being the natural party of government didn’t save Labour in 2007. By “natural party of government”, I suppose I mean the party to which marginal voters tend to be attracted.

    On a Union level, from 1918-1997 this was indisputably the Conservative party. They were never out of power for long, because their voters never stayed away for long.

    1997 onwards has been interesting in that the Conservatives have struggled to regain their swing voters, first from Labour in 2001 and then (perhaps more worryingly for the Tories) from the Lib Dems and the minor parties. Even after 2010, the Tories are not the natural party of government in the UK anymore.

    In Scotland, Labour gained ground from the 1960s onwards, peaking in 1997. For ten years, it looked like that peak might go on and on, but the experience of the last two Holyrood elections suggests that when people remember that the SNP exist, many become very partial to them. The SNP have the additional advantage that they don’t fall foul of decisions made in London on issues like Iraq and tuition fees.

    2016 is still a possibility for a renewed SLAB, but 2011 looks like it might be a disaster (unless, as is very possible, this poll is an outlier, in which case it’s only a pathetic failure for SLAB).

  22. Calum,

    “I think that Scottish opinion polls usually understate true Conservative support by at least a couple of points though.”

    Spot on. I always mentally add 2 to 3 points onto any Scottish Tory VI figure.

  23. I’ve known some Tories (well, more UKIPies than Tories) say that they will vote SNP, at least on one ballot paper, in order to keep Labour out. It’s a sort of “lesser of two evils” vote for a lot of people, I think. This makes it no less surprising, however, when one talks to a hardened right-wing conservative who has good things to say about Nicola Sturgeon.

  24. I think that time may prove to be a healer for Scottish Labour. I now do not believe they will win this year, but after Salmond eventually retires the SNP will lose momentum. Labour may not enjoy such inspiring leadership at present but some Dewar-like figure may eventually surface…

  25. Bill Patrick

    Indeed it could be an outlier. The constant cry from all us polling geeks is “More polls!” :-)

    “Natural party of government” is such a horrible term. As is demonstrated by SLAB in West Central Scotland, it is far too easy for committed public servants to be replaced by the corrupt and criminal, if any party is in power too long.

    In general, SNP supporters aren’t “tribal” in the sense that is applied to other parties. Probably most of us see it as a vehicle to take us to Independence (or at least Full Fiscal Autonomy) rather than having a Pavlovian response to the party label.

    In a new Scotland, parties will fracture, coalesce and find the appropriate format to create workable coalitions.

  26. Its the Salmond effect, Alex Salmond is Mr Scotland, he transcends party, while he’s leader of the SNP, no one else will get a look in, but when he goes…….?

  27. Labour look like they’re in deep toilet! Still two weeks to go though…

  28. David

    You are ignoring the fact that the Unionist parties make a deliberate choice that their best politicians are sent down to Westminster to govern England.

    When you shoot yourself in the foot, after taking deliberate aim at it ……….

  29. Follow this link to really get in the mood for the royal wedding…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kav0FEhtLug

  30. Mike N,

    Was half hoping Harry was going to dance down the isle dressed in full SS regalia. Shame…..

  31. @ David

    but when he [Alex Salmond] goes…….?
    ——————————————-
    We already had that conversion on another thread. Consensus is that rather than leaving to feather his nest, he’ll go ‘feet first’. Nobody, except his most vicious opponents, are hoping for that.

    That said, if Alex does retire gracefully before many more years have passed, he has an eminently electable deputy in Nicola Sturgeon.

    As a Labour Party member who very much wants Labour to win in May, I can only add: Grrrrr! ;-)

  32. @Oldnat
    I’m sorry if I wasnt clear enough.

    SNP says that public sector staff earning less than £21k will get a pay rise, those earning more will get freeze.

    Reality is that this does not apply to all public sector staff.
    Local Government staff and NHS staff of all grades on pay freeze. 2 more years to go.

    Its disingenuous to say that public sector staff under £21k will get a pay rise.

  33. @Oldnat
    I think you must have misunderstood the meaning of the word “tribal” as applied to politics.

    Many diehard SNP supporters are extremely tribal – they never admit any mistakes, they viciously hate Scottish Labour (or wish it into oblivion) etc. etc.

    Its right up there with the Socialist Workers Party’s view of Margaret Thatcher.

  34. STEVE

    I agree with oldnat, but the dispute has nothing to do with nationialism, of British or any other vatiety.

    I try harder than many to be non-partisan on this forum and don’t intend to be now, but I would certainly be interested in your explanation of how parliamentary sovereignty “does *not* imply ‘sovereignty over the people’” when the status quo is that a sitting PM with a HoC majority can create as many peers as he or she wishes in order to prolong any parliament indefinitely. The mere fact that it hasn’t yet happened is no constitutional guarantee that it never will.

    At a lesser level, parliament can and regularly does delay by-elections indefinitely, denying democratic representation to the people. See for example the appointment of Michael Martin to become Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead on 22 June 2009 and the delay of the by-election until 12 November 2009 by voting down the attempt to call for a writ of election.

  35. Borussia1909

    Lol

    Perhaps at the real event?

  36. John Ruddy

    You may well be right. Some Labour councils may decide to pay some workers a large pay rise and simply sack others.

    btw Was I wrong in saying that Labour intend a pay freeze as well? If not, just how are you planning to balance the budget?

    As to tribal, many of us (especially those of us who were previously in the Labour Party) have a deep distaste for its links with criminal elements in West Central Scotland, it’s wish to keep WMDs,its interventionist foreign policy (as in Iraq) and many other things.

    That doesn’t make us tribal devotees of the SNP asa party machine, however. Many of us would be as happy to support an actual Socialist Party, or the Greens. The SNP is simply the best vehicle to restore Scottish autonomy.

  37. ‘As to tribal, many of us (especially those of us who were previously in the Labour Party) have a deep distaste for its links with criminal elements in West Central Scotland, it’s wish to keep WMDs,its interventionist foreign policy (as in Iraq) and many other things.’

    I think it’s unfair to tar people in the labour party with the same brush although certain west of scotland labour tribalists deserve criticism.

  38. Anthony,

    BTW, MORI have split the political part of the Scottish Public Opinion Monitor 2011 into two, so that in addition to the link you give, there’s another set of tables here for Perceptions of party leaders.

  39. Anthony,

    That reminds me to ask again whether your (or WordPress?) would consider supporting the PRE HTML tag on these threads. That would allow us to post simple fixed-width tables as I have done here. Much simpler than trying other spacing or separation methods.

  40. A Brown

    And Iraq?
    And WMDs?

    You’ll have noted that my comment on association with undesirable elements was geographically restricted – to the area I live in. My membership of Labour didn’t survive the selection of a council candidate who advocated returning the allocation of council houses directly to the local councillor.

    Ask a number of women in Ayrshire what was required to get a council house!

    Of, course such practices were by a mionority – but a minority that was protected by the party.

  41. Mori exactly one year ago overestimated the SNP by 6% and underestimated Labour by 6% and underestimated teh Conservatives by 3%. Mori’s figures last year in Scotland were very poor – no voter id/voter weighting – not impressive

  42. James Johnston

    Absolutely true.

    MORI, however, were correctly identifying the trend of support shifting from SNP to Labour for Westminster.

    If they run true to form, as you suggest they might be, then they will be correctly identifying a trend from Labour to SNP for Holyrood.

  43. @Oldnat

    Local Government wages are negotiated nationally – its nothing to do with who controls your council.

  44. @Oldnat
    It may surprise you to know that there are a great many members of the Labour party who also dont want to have nuclear weapons, thinks we shouldnt have gone into Iraq, etc.

    Criminal practices in any party should be condemed, of course. But too often, accusation of criminal activity, or accusations of abuse of position of councillors is done on a political basis.

    Locally, for instance, SNP councillors have accused 2 of their opponents of abuseing their position for planning gain – neither of them Labour, before you ask! However, some people might think theres no smoke without fire, and these councillors might lose votes.

  45. John Ruddy

    Indeed – so are Labour in favour of “wage restraint” in local government?

  46. If you put the figures into Scotland votes –

    The SNP would win every seat in Edinburgh other than Edinburgh South (which remains Lib Dem).
    SNP Gain Ayr, Galloway and Pentlands from the Tories.
    Labour Gain Dumfriesshire and Dumfermline
    Tories notionally hold Eastwood.
    SNP win every mainland constituency seat North of Dunbartonshire, Falkirk and Fife.
    SNP would gain Glasgow Southside, Glasgow Kelvin and Glasgow Cathcart.

  47. Hills join Paddy Power and Victor Chandler in the constituency markets. At time of writing they only have one seat up:

    William Hill – East Lothian

    Iain Gray – Labour 1/9
    David Berry – SNP 5/1
    Ettie Spencer – Liberal Democrat 100/1
    Derek Brownlee – Conservative 100/1

    Note: Iain Gray is NOT on Labour’s regional list, so if he loses East Lothian, he is out of parliament.

    This could be fun.

  48. fair point oldnat – i’m just depressed how poor Scottish opinion polling is – as I think it hurts the debate. The Scottish Tories will not get just 10% that Mori says today – they always get 16/17% – always – so polls that show that at 10/12% all the time are just wrong – and until we get an adjustment for ‘shy’ tories (and maybe now shy LibDems?) then the debate will be skewed in Scotland which does not help policy, politics or the media – or for that matter the parties!

  49. Is their a yougov tonight?

  50. John Ruddy

    It always amazes me that people continue to be members of a party that has policies that they find repugnant, when there are alternative parties that don’t have them.

    However, I suppose it’s understandable if preserving the UK Union is more important to them than other principles.

    Individual cases of corruption will always happen. My oft stated case is that when any party has continuous long term power then it becomes captured by the corrupt. The willingness to turn a blind eye becomes institutionalised.

    If the SNP were in such a situation, exactly the same would occur. The tribalism that continues to support a party, despite its slide into the mire, is the problem.

    Cauterisation is then the only solution.

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