Easter Sunday polling

As far as I can see there were no standard GB polls in the Sunday papers last night, but there were two Scottish voting intention polls. Turning first to YouGov in Scotland on Sunday, topline figures there were, with changes from last week, are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 10%(-1), LAB 32%(-5), LDEM 8%(nc), SNP 45%(+5)
Holyrood regional: CON 12%(nc), LAB 29%(-4), LDEM 7%(nc), SNP 39%(+4), Grn 7%(+1)

When MORI showed a ten point lead for the SNP earlier this week I half expected it to turn out to be a bit of an outlier, but we’ve now got a very similar lead from YouGov. On the Scotland Votes predictor this translates into 40 seats for Labour, 61 for the SNP, 6 for the Lib Dems, 13 for the Conservatives, 8 for the Greens and Margo.

Meanwhile a second Scottish poll, this time for Progressive Scottish Opinion in the Sunday Mail, has topline figures showing a similar SNP lead in the constituency vote, but a tighter race in the regional vote. Topline figures are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 9%, LAB 36%, LDEM 6%, SNP 46%
Holyrood regional: CON 10%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, SNP 38%, Grn 5%

Using the Scotlandvotes predictor again, this translates into 51 seats for Labour, 56 for the SNP, 9 Lib Dems, 10 Conservatives, 2 Greens and Margo.

Finally, not really a poll, but I know many here will be interested – Rallings and Thrasher have their lastest local election projections based on their local government by-election model. They predict national equivalent shares of the vote in the local elections of CON 35%, LAB 38%, LDEM 17%, which would translate into the Conservatives losing almost 1000 seats, Labour gaining around 1300 and the Lib Dems losing 400. Essentially this would be a case of Labour reversing the Conservative gains in the 2003 and 2007 local elections.


283 Responses to “Easter Sunday polling”

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  1. John Ruddy

    Thankyou for the warning on the previous thread about not breaking out the champagne.

    It wasn’t really needed. The large number of SNP activists are too busy on the doorsteps.

  2. OLDNAT

    Sorry to switch to best Pte Frazer mode, but I see comments all over the web regarding the fieldwork dates of the PSO “poll” and not that even Prof Curtice himself comments on it in the Sunday Mail article, but I still cannot find anywhere that confirms it.

    Did you spot the dates in a comment somewhere or in a published article?

    With PSO being, as always, entirely mute regarding its own work, one would hope, but seemingly in vain, that the prof would document such things somewhere, especially given his role as BPC president.

  3. I don’t understand why the SNP seem to storm Scotland. Is the Scottish Labour Party very unorganized or something, because within a month they have lost a nice solid lead to now becoming a distant 2nd?

  4. Barbazenzero

    When I saw the comment on PB, I thought it confirmed dates that I had seen in the SoS brief report on the PSO poll – which now seems to have disappeared.

    So I can’t confirm the dates of the PSO poll.

  5. Nobody is foolish enough to be celebrating a win on the strength of a few polls, least of all Salmond, but the polls have definitely had the effect of putingt SLAB and Gray on the defensive with talk of a campaign relaunch at the 11th hour.

    It’s worth noting that when the polls were bad for the SNP they didn’t panic but kept plugging away at their central message that this was about who do the scottish voters want to run scotland and who will be first minister.

    If activists of any Party were not on the doorstep plugging away right now then it would be a sign of extraordinary recklessness and complacency. Favourable polls or not, this election is not over till the last vote has been counted.

  6. Panelbase poll reported in the Sunday Times – no date, no VI

    59% want single party government
    22% want a coalition
    19% don’t know

    If there had to be a coalition

    34% want SNP/Lab (aye right!)
    14% want SNP/Green
    14% want SNP/LD
    12% want Lab/LD
    10% want Lab/Green or SNP/Con

    Doesn’t tell us very much, I don’t think.

    Who is to blame for the economic crisis?

    51% say Con/LD Coalition
    41% say previous Lab Govt.
    7% say SNP

  7. OLDNAT
    The large number of SNP activists are too busy on the doorsteps.

    In that context, Mr Ruddy’s attention should be drawn to Dinwoodie’s slightly oddball article in the Herald from yesterday: SNP poster pitch should terrify Labour.

    For those unfamiliar with the Herald, Mr Dinwoodie is their “CHIEF SCOTTISH POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT” and very supportive of the Labour party.

  8. @ Old Nat
    I think the last figure (7% think SNP is responsible for crisis against 41% for Labour) in your post sums up one on the reasons Labour are floundering. The Scottish people are not silly enough to believe any story lines from the Labour party which try to pin the blame for the crisis and ‘cuts’ on the SNP Government.

    Stephen Noon has a nice analysis of the expected SLab relaunch tomorrow (http://stephennoon.blogspot.com/2011/04/hope-beats-fear.html) which underlines the problems with the Labour campaign. People don’t need more negativity (particularly when based on dodgy reading of dodgy statistics) and want to hear about what is going to be done to make lives better.

  9. ROB
    Is the Scottish Labour Party very unorganized or something, because within a month they have lost a nice solid lead to now becoming a distant 2nd?

    The “Scottish Labour Party” does not exist except as a registered description of registered entity PP 53, the Labour Party of Victoria Street, London (prop. Ed Miliband).

    You can check for yourself by making a Registration search on the Electoral Commission website here.

  10. @ Mick Park

    Labour have certainly been working hard & taking nothing for granted in Edinburgh Central & Edinburgh North.

    One thing that I’ve noticed, the AV campaign seems to have increased negativity about all the big 3 parties to the benefit of SNP & Green. Ironic really, considering Alex Salmond didn’t want it to be at the same time as the Scottish elections.
    8-)

  11. Amber

    “Big 3”?

    SNP, Labour and who?

  12. If the SNP do win 61 seats then that means they will become the 3rd largest party in the UK. ;)

  13. Rob
    “I don’t understand why the SNP seem to storm Scotland.”

    Partly, at least, for the same reasons that UKIP are doing well in England. Partly because the SNP have become adept at portraying themselves as a sort of Labour Party. Partly because the SNP have succeeded in developing a media narrative about a ‘presidential’ election.

    Personally, I find two of those profoundly depressing. There’s a certain irony in the SNP turning themselves into a charicature of ‘New Labour’ – though at least they never appeared on the ballot paper as ‘Tony Blair for PM’.

    And overhanging it all is the sad reality – ignored by almost all parties – that free prescriptions, free personal care for the elderly, no public sector redundancies, a council tax freeze, no student fees etc. are simply not sustainable in the face of a cut in the block grant.

    The ‘winner’ of this election faces having to break promises on a scale that will make Nick Clegg look like George Washington.

  14. @ Old Nat

    You know very well what I meant & you know I’m right. The AV debate, featuring the Tories, LDs & Labour has been a plague on all their houses.

    The campaign has made the Tories seem small minded & Clegg has been calling their ‘No’ campaign a lie & nasty. But the ‘Yes’ campaign was holed below the plimsol line by Clegg himself: “A miserable little compromise”. Meanwhile, Labour has managed to get itself on BOTH sides of this lose/ lose AV campaign.
    8-)

  15. OLDNAT
    When I saw the comment on PB, I thought it confirmed dates that I had seen in the SoS brief report on the PSO poll – which now seems to have disappeared.

    I don’t doubt that, and a fairly thorough search of the SoS and scotsman.com shows no sign of it except in the comments. A little evidence that it could be so is provided by braesman’s comment of 8:48 AM BST today on the Sunday Mail article proper: “I read on another paper that this poll was 10 days old and if thats the case this poll…

    Moderation on the Record/Mail threads seems fairly permissive but if that statement is actually untrue one would think they might deny it.

    Not being members of the BPC, there is clearly little that organisation can do about PSO, but I would have though that they (or perhaps the PCC in their Editors’ Code of Practice) would recognise that reporting of polls should carry some responsibility to inform rather than mislead the public.

    As with comedy, opinion polls are often all about timing. Profs Curtice & Mitchell, both of whom are quoted by the Sunday Mail must realise this and could make publication of basic information like fieldwork dates a condition of their contribution.

    I’d be interested in AW’s opinion of what, for political polling, the minimum information published by the commissioner should be. Patently they should be entitled to suppress completely a poll they have paid for which they don’t like, but with increased numbers of pollsters who don’t provide proper detail isn’t there a minimum standard the public have a right to expect.

  16. Amber

    I knew what you meant. You were referring to politics in GB/England. It was reliance on that aspect which was particularly inept about Labour’s campaign in the election.

    As to the AV thingie, it may be exercising the minds of the good burghers of the capital, but I’ve heard nary a word about it here.

  17. Everything seems to be going really well at the moment, but I for one am not getting carried away.

    We are getting a great response on the doorsteps and in particular in what would normally be a safe LibDem seat (door stepping in Dingwall and Muir of Ord) a huge number of previous Libdem voters indicating that they are switching to the SNP.

    Oh and just for the record;

    About three or four months back I came up with the idea of basing our campaign Party political broadcast on a straight copy of the Monty Pythons “What have the Romans ever done for us sketch.

    I didn’t know if it had been taken on board until it was actually shown because the strategy was kept under wraps but its safe to say that I am more than happy with it.

    I had felt for a long time that with us doing okay in Government and labour being so negative it was the obvious way to turn their campaign against them.

    it seems to have worked a treat.

    Peter.

  18. Peter

    Good to hear.

    The Monty Python style PEB was a great idea. Congratulations.

  19. Gosh, clearly I wasn’t tuned into Monthy Python as a child… :-)

    Just watched the original sketch (for those like me, compare here:
    Original
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso
    SNP:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POP-DjI0wvw&playnext=1&list=PLFEDB55BAF88C650E

    Brilliant, well done, Peter.

  20. YouGov tables are now on their website here:

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-scotlandonsunday-210411.pdf

    Some points from it:

    Despite the jeers of ‘Tartan Tories’ at least 20% of the SNP vote is still loyal to Labour at Westminster. The Lib Dems pick up votes from Westminster Labour and Tories equally, but only really lose Westminster votes to the SNP (warning – small samples).

    Unless the Scotsman are holding it back for Monday (quite possible on usual practice) there is no AV referendum question. However support for independence in a referendum is increased, but still behind 52% to 35%. Incidentally would the Labour anti-Tory campaign actually boost independence support? I remember a poll before last May suggesting that a Tory government in London would put support for separation ahead (just).

    Likelihood to vote, as usual, plays against Labour but not by much. Unlike current Westminster polls, the Lib Dems are most enthusiastic not the least.

    Regional votes for the Scottish Socialists (SSP) come from Nats not from Labour. By the way, is their 3% concentrated enough in Glasgow to pick up a regional seat?

  21. Roger Mexico

    Can’t access the tables from this wee netbook.

    You say “Regional votes for the Scottish Socialists (SSP) come from Nats not from Labour. By the way, is their 3% concentrated enough in Glasgow to pick up a regional seat?”

    I think that should be phrased – “SSP voters are backing SNP, not Labour, in the constituencies.”

    In Glasgow, it seems quite likely that the Socialist vote will fracture between SSP and the Solidarity/Respect alliance, so neither may reach the quota.

  22. @ Roger Mexico

    The YG tables illustrate a strategy that Labour could follow for part of its ‘relaunch’.

    If you’d choose Labour for Britain, vote Labour for Scotland.
    8-)

  23. Amber

    I think Labour should go with that suggestion of yours.

    It’s so patronising!

  24. @ Old Nat

    Is it patronising people, pointing out that they agree with us? ;-)

    52% don’t want independence.
    43% would vote Labour for Britain.

    8-)

  25. JOHN B DICK (last thread)

    I formerly had great respect for John Curtice but I fear his method is unsound and unfit for the Scottish Parliament however reliable he may have been in the past in the simpler UK FPTP elections.

    Agreed.

    Seat predictions which don’t take account of regional list compenstion by region are likely to show around twice as many changes.

    Too true. Unless I missing something, the key problem in even beginning to calculate the likely list results in any region is that you have to “call” every plurality seat in the region before you can even begin to apply d’Hondt, as the plurality seat count determines the initial divisor to apply to the quotient of (estimated) list votes.

    As if that isn’t hard enough, virtually all 73 plurality seats have had boundary changes since 2007, with most sources I’m aware of using Prof Denver’s Notional results. The upshot of that is that even if there were to be no change whatsoever in voting patterns on polling day compared to 2007, there WOULD be changes in the plurality seats, which would in turn change the initial
    d’Hondt divisors to apply in each region.

    Intrigued by the knowledge that in Iain Gray’s East Lothian seat, boundary changes have “notionally” been against him and that a favourable collapse of the L-D vote to the SNP could be enough to unseat him, I attempted the exercise of estimating the South Scotland region totals based the 2007
    South Scotland list vote normalised using 2007 national list votes vs what is now the previous YouGov findings and came up with:

      plurality: Con 4 (+1), Lab 1 (-4), SNP 4 (+4) & L-D 0 (-1)
      list: Con 0 (-1), Lab 4 (+4), SNP 1 (-4), L-D 1 (nc), Grn 1 (+1)
      South Scotland: Con 4 (nc), Lab 5 (nc), SNP 5 (nc), L-D 1 (-1), Grn 1 (+1)

    Rather demonstrative of your point concerning how hard the AMS system makes it for a party to increase it’s representation, although it has to be said that the making the comparison against the notional 2007 results on the new boundaries gives the SNP two extra seats overall: one each at the expense of Lab & L-D.

    The same exercise, but comparing 2007 to the MORI data – now pretty close to this week’s YouGov – gives:

      plurality: Con 2 (-1), Lab 0 (-5), SNP 7 (+7) & L-D 0 (-1)
      list: Con 0 (-1), Lab 5 (+5), SNP 0 (-5), L-D 1 (nc), Grn 1 (+1)
      South Scotland: Con 2 (-2), Lab 5 (nc), SNP 7 (+2), L-D 1 (-1), Grn 1 (+1)

    There we’re starting to see significant change, but surprisingly small given the change in vote percentages.

    It would make life easier if there were an impartial site where all the plurality seats were shown with a range of local opinions given re likely outcomes. Scotland Votes makes an attempt at one here but I’m not convinced that the comments are sufficiently focused to be useful and certainly Weber Shandwick provide no method of regionalising their predictor.

  26. Amber

    But many don’t agree with you for Scotland’s Government.

    It’s patronising to expect them to behave like Pavlovian dugs to a party label, when so many are more than happy to vary their vote according to the election taking place, and the issues involved.

    Haven’t you learned yet that your tactics were dreadful?

  27. JOHN B DICK (last thread)

    I formerly had great respect for John Curtice but I fear his method is unsound and unfit for the Scottish Parliament however reliable he may have been in the past in the simpler UK FPTP elections.

    Agreed.

    Seat predictions which don’t take account of regional list compenstion by region are likely to show around twice as many changes.

    Too true. Unless I missing something, the key problem in even beginning to calculate the likely list results in any region is that you have to “call” every plurality seat in the region before you can even begin to apply d’Hondt, as the plurality seat count determines the initial divisor to apply to the quotient of (estimated) list votes.

    As if that isn’t hard enough, virtually all 73 plurality seats have had boundary changes since 2007, with most sources I’m aware of using Prof Denver’s Notional results. The upshot of that is that even if there were to be no change whatsoever in voting patterns on polling day compared to 2007, there WOULD be changes in the plurality seats, which would in turn change the initial
    d’Hondt divisors to apply in each region.

    Intrigued by the knowledge that in Iain Gray’s East Lothian seat, boundary changes have “notionally” been against him and that a favourable collapse of the L-D vote to the SNP could be enough to unseat him, I attempted the exercise of estimating the South Scotland region totals based the 2007
    South Scotland list vote normalised using 2007 national list votes vs what is now the previous YouGov findings and came up with:

      plurality: Con 4 (+1), Lab 1 (-4), SNP 4 (+4) & L-D 0 (-1)
      list: Con 0 (-1), Lab 4 (+4), SNP 1 (-4), L-D 1 (nc), Grn 1 (+1)
      South Scotland: Con 4 (nc), Lab 5 (nc), SNP 5 (nc), L-D 1 (-1), Grn 1 (+1)

    Rather demonstrative of your point concerning how hard the AMS system makes it for a party to increase it’s representation, although it has to be said that the making the comparison against the notional 2007 results on the new boundaries gives the SNP two extra seats overall: one each at the expense of Lab & L-D.

    The same exercise, but comparing 2007 to the MORI data – now pretty close to this week’s YouGov – gives:

      plurality: Con 2 (-1), Lab 0 (-5), SNP 7 (+7) & L-D 0 (-1)
      list: Con 0 (-1), Lab 5 (+5), SNP 0 (-5), L-D 1 (nc), Grn 1 (+1)
      South Scotland: Con 2 (-2), Lab 5 (nc), SNP 7 (+2), L-D 1 (-1), Grn 1 (+1)

    There we’re starting to see significant change, but surprisingly small given the change in vote percentages.

  28. PS to my previous post…
    It would make life easier if there were an impartial site where all the plurality seats were shown with a range of local opinions given re likely outcomes. Scotland Votes makes an attempt at one here but I’m not convinced that the comments are sufficiently focused to be useful and certainly Weber Shandwick provide no method of regionalising their predictor.

  29. Anthony,

    Apologies for the post that’s in moderation. I forgot I had posted two links in it.

    As I have now posted it in two parts, please zap the original and this one.

  30. I would also appreciate having both seat calculators whereby you can calculate seats based on the share of the vote in each individual region. More importantly, I feel the polling companies are missing a trick by not giving in depth breakdowns of regions or even polling key seats i.e. poll rural LD/SNP seats, narrowly held seats in the central belt(maybe Airdie, Cunninghame North), a suburban Edinburgh seat and Eastwood, to give a better idea of the regional nuances in this election.

  31. Rob

    “I don’t understand why the SNP seem to storm Scotland. Is the Scottish Labour Party very unorganized or something …”

    Yes. You’ve got it!

    Or rather it is too tightly organised by London based PR “experts” ignorant of Scotland.

    First they focused on opposing the Cons at Westminster. Now it is suggested they should get Jim Murphy to persuade people that a second SNP term will lead to the break-up of the UK.

    A second SNP term will not lead to the break up of the UK. It MIGHT lead to a referendum in which people will get to choose independence and they may very well not vote for it.

    So the message is don’t vote SNP in case you get asked if you want independence or not.

    Labour are on their third leader in the four years the SNP have been in office and the fifth in 12 years, each one less successful than the previous one.

    They have spent the last four years opposing everything in the most puerile way just for the sake of opposing it only to adopt similar policies for the election. You can’t take seriously anying they say.

    Their more ambitious people aim for Westminster. Talented politicians on the like Susan Deacon leave politics and those with principles like Malcolm Chisholm are marginalised.

    Three or four Tories the Green Party leader and the Margo are between them a more effective opposition than all the SLAB MSP’s together.

    Their negativity is destructive of the more co-operative cross party working for which the Scottish parliament is designed.

    That is bad for democracy. It is foolish and counter productive. They are pissing on Donald Dewar’s grave and I despise them for it.

  32. @ Old Nat

    There aren’t many issues involved; the policy differences between SNP & SLAB could be written, in block caps, on the back of a postage stamp.

    And, if there is to be a coalition, 34% want it to be SNP/ LAB aye, right (as you said) but that’s what people would want. They can see that the SNP campaign is mainly about personalities, not policies.

    Your team is playing the Alex Salmond card because that’s your strength; why shouldn’t Labour play to its strengths? i.e. That Labour is part of a nationswide movement that Scots back when there’s a GE.
    8-)

  33. @ John B Dick

    That is bad for democracy. It is foolish and counter productive. They are pissing on Donald Dewar’s grave and I despise them for it.
    ——————————————–
    That is going too far; it really is.

    If there was a coalition, people would want it to be SNP/ Labour. That would be the ‘ultimate’ in cross-party co-operation. But it will not – & should not -happen.

    Why not? There needs to be scrutiny of the detail & accountability for the implementation & outcomes, even of the policies that the two main parties broadly agree on. Your assertion that Labour were ‘opposing for the sake of it’ is inaccurate & unfair.

    Labour did a difficult job in opposition & to say that in doing so, Labour were being undemocratic (& to invoke Donald Dewar’s name, in such an intemperate & inflamatory way) is shocking.
    8-)

  34. Dont forget what I call the ‘federal effect’- like in Australia.

    Basically in Holyrood elections those who aren’t party loyalists have a great chacne to vote against all Westminster parties and vote SNP (yes, I know they are down there but they don’t count down there). So. the’ vote against’ lot will break for the Greens/ others/ and SNP.

  35. Because its irrelevant to THIS election:

    Its akin to asking people to select you for a cricket side because you are an excellent footballer.

  36. Barbazenzero

    I did a similar exercise for Mid Scotland and Fife – an interesting area in that it includes strongholds for SNP, Labour & LDs.

    On the basis of very likely changes in the notional winner in plurality seats (Stirling to SNP, Dunfermline to Lab), the plurality seats would be –

    SNP 5 : Lab 3 : LD 1 : Con 0

    Adjusting the list vote according to the YouGov poll would allocate the list seats as

    SNP 2 : Lab 1 : LD 1 : Con 2 : Green 1

    Should the SNP make an unprecedented advance and take Labour seats like Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, then the net result would be that the SNP’s 2 list seats would go to Labour.

  37. I am not part of this community but have enjoyed reading the posts (on the whole).
    For what it is worth, it would appear to me that the SNP are in danger of peaking too early with 11 days still to go until the election. The recent polls seem to be understating likely Conservative support and that would appear to be inflating the SNP lead somewhat as well.
    With the Labour Party likely to close the gap over the next week or so (the normal pattern in an election campaign) and an energised Labour base, big leads for the SNP are likely to be a bit worrying for their organisers as it is hard to galvanise people to vote when they think you are going to win anyway.
    I am going to guess at an increased number of seats for both the SNP and Labour with it being almost as tight as 2007. The SNP are clear favourites, but who knows what the next11 days will bring?
    It is fascinating.

  38. Amber

    Choosing a Government is more than just manifestos and policies.

    Other than tribal voters, most want a Government that is, above all, competent.

    In the UK context, many voters consider that Labour would form a competent Government team.

    In Scotland, even considerable numbers of Labour voters would never suggest that Grey and his team even approach being competent.

    Hence, your concatenation of UK and Scottish voting is nonsense, and most Scots have seen that. You are simply repeating Labour’s mantra of the last few weeks. It didn’t work then and a relaunch 6 media days before the election isn’t going to change that.

  39. ‘That is going too far; it really is.

    If there was a coalition, people would want it to be SNP/ Labour. That would be the ‘ultimate’ in cross-party co-operation. But it will not – & should not -happen.

    Why not? There needs to be scrutiny of the detail & accountability for the implementation & outcomes, even of the policies that the two main parties broadly agree on. Your assertion that Labour were ‘opposing for the sake of it’ is inaccurate & unfair.

    Labour did a difficult job in opposition & to say that in doing so, Labour were being undemocratic (& to invoke Donald Dewar’s name, in such an intemperate & inflamatory way) is shocking.’

    Indeed, Labour has to offer a vision about what the Scottish parliament works however, it is fine arguing against an ind. referendum but that means they should have proposed a referendum on extra powers, that worked for Labour in Wales.

  40. It is also hard to galvanise your support if you know you are going to lose.

    Difference from 2007 is the SNP are the incumbents and not Labour. Unlike last time where we had a 100% hostile tabloid press putting out the most ludicrous claims if the SNP won, only one tabloid can be relied to support Labour, the Daily Record. The other main one will be anti-Labour. Pools may overstate the lead but it appears to be one where Labour squandered large leads fighting the wrong campaign. The SNP fought the wrong campaign message in 2010, Labour this time.

  41. @ Old Nat

    At this stage of the game, both Parties can only play the hand they’ve been dealt. SNP are playing the Salmond & incumbent card for all they’re worth. And I am not complaining about that.

    What I’m saying is, Labour are being too timid in playing the cards that they have. IMO, it’s too late in the game to throw in those cards & deal from a new deck. Labour need to go all guns blazing with the cards they have; & the polls, IMO, back that suggested strategy.
    8-)

  42. Anthony – you commentary says that securing +1300 seats for Labour would be equivilent to regaining all losses 2003 & 2007 – can you remind us of the national state of polling 2003 & 2007?

    Personally I find this prediction way off – I cannot see it happening unless there is a far higher collapse in non Labour vote than is shown by the polls, which I believe is a 10% swing from 2007

    Sitting here in Berwick I can only wish that the town reverted to its true ownership – but I hear that there are too many of us English here now to be acceptable to Scotland. Though I have to add that the SNP have been playing the election straight and well, with a lot of media coverage lately; and that will have helped them.

  43. Thanks for that Balbeggie – we will see.

  44. @ Joe

    Because its irrelevant to THIS election:

    Its akin to asking people to select you for a cricket side because you are an excellent footballer.
    ————————————————-
    I’m guessing the above was addressed to me.

    My answer, it’s up to Labour to make it relevant to this election.

    And your sporting analogy is weak. They are all politicians. ;-)

  45. Eric, I think your party will gain about 1,200 seats.
    (Not expectation management).

    But I’m still cautiously optimistic of a reasonable Tory showing, as those Labour gains will be split between Lib Dem and Tory.

    In 2007, the Tories were about 7/8% ahead of Labour but still not quite hitting 40, although a few polls did show that.

    In 2003, the Tories were probably about 4 or 5% ahead of Labour, with the LDs stronger in third.

    It does seem that Labour, having had a very bad run in council elections for several years, is having some trouble getting candidates in the smaller authorities, so there could be some ceiling on the wilder figures.

  46. Rob,

    > because within a month they [Scottish Labour] have lost a nice solid lead to now becoming a distant 2nd?

    CS: I am not sure whether in reality Scottish Labour actually ever had a big lead. I am more inclined to believe that the polls were wrong, in that they picked up the Labour Westminster lead which continued from the last UK election even in their responses to the Scottish Parliament question.

    As the ‘favourite coalition’ question once again shows, there are many voters in Scotland that are quire prepared to vote sometimes SNP, sometimes Labour. And I think many of these are influenced in their answer to opinion poll questions as much by the media exposure (i.e. answer with the first thing that is in their mind) and a wish to be consistent (even when in reality they are not).

    Concerning the media – outside Scottish election campaigns this means far less exposure for the Nats and muich more for Labour, thus helping Labour. In other words, it is not so much the content of the campaign but the very fact that there is one that has turned things for the Nats. But assuming that there always will be an election campaign before a Scottish parliamentary election, then I think it is fair to say that the current polls simply reflect more accurately how people would vote in a Scottish parliamentary election and those from many months ago

  47. James

    Thanks – I would be content with 800+ gains – the Party needs to rebuild its activist base.

    Of future interest though is the effect on the Conservative Party if a lot of their active councillors lose not just seats, but have to go on to the opposition benches in Local Government. Too often the Tories have taken their activist base for granted, and their one consolation was local control. Eric Pickles is everyone’s problem whatever their party affililiation

  48. Christian Schmidt

    As far as the next UK election and Scottish voting is concerned, it’s obviously too early to tell.

    A likely referendum, the choices within it, and the result may make a difference.

    However, leaving that aside, I suspect that the biggest change in seats in Scotland will hardly affect the number of Scottish Labour and Tory MPs at all.

    The big switch seems most likely to be the loss of LD seats to the SNP in the Highlands and North East. The destination of their southern seats is more problematic.

    Forming a UK Government is likely to be more difficult for a Con/LD coalition, as Scotland produced a disproportionate number of LDs to support that.

  49. Eric Goodyer

    I don’t know where you got the idea that we would object to getting Berwick back because of the people living there.

    It’s entirely a matter for you guys, though. If you want to take advantage of being under Scots Law, rather than English Law, that’s fine.

  50. @ Old Nat

    “59% want single party government
    22% want a coalition
    19% don’t know

    If there had to be a coalition

    34% want SNP/Lab (aye right!)”

    Not surprising. It seems like the SNP gains a lot of its support from traditional Labour voters. Perhaps the threat of Tory government in Westminster can serve as a reminder to voters to vote Labour. But in a Holyrood election, that rings kinda hollow. And because you have dual voting, voters can ticket split. But if there’s a coalition, a large number of voters would like to see both in power.

    Also, it’s not surprising to see that people like single party government. That’s what most people are used to seeing in Westminster.

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