This morning’s Times has Ipsos MORI’s quarterly poll on Scottish public opinion. Full details are on the MORI website here.

Holyrood constituency voting intention stands at CON 13%(nc), LAB 35%(nc), LDEM 7%(-1), SNP 43%(+3) – changes are from the last MORI poll in October 2012.

Voting intention in the Independence referendum stands at YES 34%(+4), NO 55%(-3).

90 Responses to “Latest MORI Scottish Political Monitor”

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  1. I’m also with @Colin and @Nickp over NHS whistleblowers and David Nicholson.

    I’ve long held that massively high salaries should mean massively high responsibilities. In this case, it does begin to look like Nicholson has actually failed to heed warnings and was, at least in part, responsible for overseeing a flawed system.

    However, my take is that even if he was not directly responsible, he is paid a huge salary and there needs to be a recognition of a systemic failure, with part of the consequences of that being that the best paid people at the most senior levels take responsibility.

    It has been a feature during the period of the incredible uplift in salaries for the people at the top of organisations (both public and private sector) that while a small coterie of individuals have connived to grossly inflate senior level salaries, they have also worked hard to institute a system where those same people seem to be less and less accountable for the functioning of their organisations.

    This is where the cynicism and loss of trust really arises from, and I believe society should be prepared to accept the loss of some good and decent leaders who take general responsibility, even if they are at no personal fault, as in return I believe placing responsibility right back at the top of the management tree will institute a much greater level of care in the way large organisations function.

  2. I like to compare the Civil Servant who was sacked (Brodie Clark) with the ones who aren’t.

    Clark (much derided by Colin) downscaled checks at the border when queues created a health and safety risk to passengers. This was his decision to make and he made it.

    He got sacked for it.

  3. “Will the SNP disband?”

    No, they will reform as the SUKIP – no, hold on a minute.

  4. Alec

    Power and wealth without consequences or responsibility. Sounds like feudalism to me, maybe we should call these managers and CEOs the new aristocracy!! Rule by right of birth seems to be deeply ingrained in human nature and even though its politically incorrect in these times it seems to be deeply rooted nonetheless

  5. Seems like the battles the liberals won in the 19th century will need to be fought again

  6. John tt

    It would.
    I remember the story about the warehouse full of sardines.
    They were traded from person to person , over a period-until the latest buyer asked to see the store & open a can.
    The contents were rancid & inedible-so he contacted the last seller & complained.

    The answer he got was -“oh they’re not for eating-they’re for buying & selling”.

  7. NickP

    @”but we are likely to agree that patient care should come first, ”

    Thanks-yes indeed.

  8. Miliband has just spiked the guns of any Tory plans to reintroduce a 10p tax rate. That pretty much guarantees they won’t be doing it, and leaves Labour with a clear redistributive policy distinct from the Tories (subtext – where should tax cuts go, the poor or the rich?).

    The poll impact (if any) will be interesting. My guess is that it won’t have much effect on current VI, but it might well attract some (or even many) of current DKs. It will certainly shore up the left vote, and provides a narrative about how Lab is different from Con, potentially combating voter apethy.

  9. *apathy. whatever

  10. All hail the Finance Minister with the pony tail.

    ( there is a great interactive guide to ero economies in this)

  11. Clever move on the face of it. Embraces a key Lib Dem policy already rebuffed by Tories, in order to pay to reinstate a key Labour policy which caused a major loss of core support when they abandoned it. And just in time for Eastleigh as well.

  12. Colin

    I notice your article in the economist praises social mobility in the Nordic countries as being the highest in the world as opposed to Britain and the US which have some of the lowest rates in the world. Interestingly the US had the highest levels of social mobility in the 50s and 60s

  13. @ROBIN

    Labour should also back the 10000 a year tax threshold – this together with the 10p rate would really help people in work. And if they could gradually improve the minimum wage over inflation.

    Then Work would pay.

  14. RiN


    I haven’t fully absorbed it all yet-need to read through slowly.

    Most interesting though.

  15. Robin

    I listen to part of EB speech he certainly seemed to blame Gordon Brown for some of the financial disasters that overcame Labour in the last couple of years of there tenure forgetting he was one of GB close advisor’s.
    As regards the 10p tax rate well same old Labour pinch an idea from the Liberals (Mansion Tax), announce an intention but don’t say how much the mansion tax would raise or what level it would be set at, and how this would fund the 10p tax rate.
    I appreciate EM still may want to keep his powder dry and not flesh out any actual policies with still two years to go, but when any opposition or government announce uncosted aspirations the context of the actual speech gets lost in counter allegations from the opposite party about uncosted policies made up on back of fag packets ect, which no doubt we will hear today from the media, DC and Glegg.
    I would be surprised if it effected the VI that much or if at all, depends how much coverage it gets. The news seems to be preoccupied with other things at the moment.

  16. Colin, RiN,

    But how can the Nordic model be applied in the UK?

    If it was a simple matter of tweaking the tax structure, I doubt there would be any sizeable opposition.

  17. John tt

    I remember my children being confused when I told them I was buying 10,000 barrels of oil. “Where will you put it” they asked, when I explained how it works they were dubious, they seem to think that buying and selling stuff you don’t actually have and may not exist at all, is dishonest.

  18. RiN
    “Power and wealth without consequences or responsibility. Sounds like feudalism to me, maybe we should call these managers and CEOs the new aristocracy!! Rule by right of birth seems to be deeply ingrained in human nature and even though its politically incorrect in these times it seems to be deeply rooted nonetheless”

    That would depend on the sustainability of the institutional structures and positions they occupy, as well as the income attached to them. My recollection is that many were middle managers on middle salaries until the privatisation of public utilities in the 60s/70s, Miost of these guys will drop off the vine before it withers, and, with few crdentials or substance, will disappear to the Bahamas or the gated retirement estates of Florida, and drink themselves into a boozey nostalgia and out

  19. @RIN

    Do you actually buy 10000 barrels of oil…Is this what they call virtual economy?

  20. @SMukesh


    Do you actually buy 10000 barrels of oil…Is this what they call virtual economy? ”

    At least Del Boy had the items in his suitcase he was selling !

    I think this is just a wholesale trading issue, where you cannot physically hold the stock. You are just a middle man, who tracks the price of the oil you are selling, takes an order at a given price and then buys at an option price that delivers the best profit. The same happens I guess on the commodity markets selling all types of product. There are people in London who trade in potatoes on an international basis, who will never see what they are selling.

  21. RiN, I hope the deal worked for you. If you google “choc finger” you’ll find a trader that hoarded piles of cocoa beans with the intention of raising the price of your kids’ chocolate bars.

    Most unpleasant. On a serious note, one of the ways that the “bankers” can repair their reputations is to get into schools and educate children. I think the bankers association is trying something along those lines. So much rubbish is spoken about how money works, and by all sides. It would be great if we bred a generation of financial literates who know their co-co bonds from their cocoa beans!

  22. @R HUCKLE

    But this is more gambling rather than trading isn`t it?…Atleast am glad I don`t have to pour virtual oil in the car tomorrow morning.

  23. I think Miliband’s joining together of a LD policy (Mansion tax) and a Labour policy (10% tax rate) may not have a noticable effect on polls now, but ought to help consolidate waverers (especially LD-Lab waverers) and probably have some larger effect come an election.

    There’s too much going on with horsemeat for it to have much coverage right now.

  24. JOHN TT
    “one of the ways that the “bankers” can repair their reputations is to get into schools and educate children.”

    I have this terrible feeling that you may actually mean this.

  25. John Pilgrim – Ha! yes, I see. Only in financial matters – what is the sensible thing to do with pocket money, how compounding works, etc. Bankers running schools is not really what I meant!

  26. I think EM & EB are actually re-running GB’s tactic, whilst condemning it.

    GB wanted to reduce the basic rate of IT as a goad to the Tories. Scrapping the 10p band was a sideline part of paying for it. Obviously it backfired-as EB is now saying-but the key thing to remember about that episode was changing the Headline Rate of IT. That was what he announced at the despatch box.

    It was sound byte politics.

    And that is what EB is up to again. The Headline is the 10p Rate. -and the Mansion Tax.

    The detail is that the Mansion Tax methodology is not worked up ( & could be problematic) -and 10p X £1000 pa is very small beer, compared with the Coalition’s changes ( achieved & targeted) in the Tax Free Personal Allowance.


  28. Going to watch the Wilson Fest on BBC Parliament this evening.

    Memories, memories…..

  29. Turk

    “EM …… forgetting he was one of GB’s advisor’s [< sic]"

    Memory loss in the young is so sad.

  30. R chuckle

    The real problem is margin debt, that is to say that I didn’t actually have the money to buy 10,000 barrels, but I only need to put up 8% of the money, the problem here is that I have more influence over the oil price than someone with the same amount of capital that is actually buying oil to use, the other problem is that if the market reverses the losses can be catastrophic as thebanks in 08 found out to their cost(well, the taxpayer picked up most of the tab) I should warn you all thatvthe present stock rally is being supported by the largest margin debt for many years. If it goes into reverse then the selling could become fast and furious very quickly as speculators on the wrong side of the trade are forced to sell or put up more money when the margin calls come

  31. @RIN

    Thanks for confirming it isn`t gambling,just speculation ;)

  32. Smukesh

    Oh yes, you should never confuse gamblers with speculators. Gamblers always lose(individual gamblers might become rich) speculators always win(individual speculators might lose everything) its very rare for banks to have losing trading days, is that because they are so clever or is there another reason? Its worth asking where the profits from speculation come from after all its pretty much a zero sum game, someone must be losing even if they are not aware of it

  33. @RiN

    “someone must be losing even if they are not aware of it”

    Presumably the banks’ profits come from the difference between what buyers pay and sellers receive.

    I would guess that the banks would argue that their profits are commission for providing teh liquidity that brings together buyers and sellers.

  34. Robin

    Yep you nailed it

  35. But aren`t the banks and financial institutions wagering on which commodities,currencies etc will increase or decrease in value.Presumably someone else(?other banks/FI`s) are wagering with them and therefore losing?

  36. Colin @ NickP

    ”but we are likely to agree that patient care should come first, ”

    Yes, indeed, but the way to get at that is (more or less) to ignore the patient, the nurses on the ward and the top management.

    Generals can lose the war, but they seldom can win it. The lower ranks do what they are told. it’s the senior sargents that know what is happening on the ground and need to deal with it as they have been trained to do

    It’s not the physiotherapist (or whatever) that sees the patients that matter but the professional manager to whom he or she reports. If these sorts of people have, with reason, pride in their professional skills, are still in touch with current developments and have the equipment and other resources the need, then all will be well.

    Top management should see its role to support professional staff and create a co-operative attitude beween departments for a better outcome.

    Unfortunately, management in the NHS is not a profession. There is no standards of entry to training; no body of professonal knowledge, no professional standards, and no discipline.

    In my experience management of the NHS at board and senior executive level does not have respect for professionals whose roles they are untrained for, and they prefer the command and control model.

    Unsurprisingly, the professionals do not respect the so-called managers.


    As far as I can see the market consists of 5 distinct groups

    Those that must sell
    Those that want to sell
    Those that want to buy
    Those that must buy

  38. @Steve

    “Unless of Course Salmond wishes to try to introduce FPTP”

    He could try, but he would have no chance of success. Responsibility for Holyrood’s electoral system is not entrusted to the people of Scotland.

  39. Anthony,

    Can I ask why your site is carrying advertising by the ‘Say No to Plain Packs’ pro-smoking lobby?


  40. Chris Clark – I can only assume it is because they are paying a fee to the company that provides my advertising! I deliberately take a completely hands-off attitude towards advertising. Me vetoing advertising I disapprove of would be as much a statement of opinion as endorsing advertising I approve of – and I take making the blog non-partisan and neutral very seriously.

    So while I personally might approve or disapprove of banning branding of cigarette packets, as a blog UKPollingReport doesn’t have a view on it.

    Suffice to say the blog sometimes carries advertising I personally agree with, sometimes carries advertising I disapprove of – on occasion it carries polling I VERY strongly disapprove of! It all pays the bills.

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