Last month we had a flurry of Scottish polling around September 18th to mark one year to go until the referendum, since then it’s gone a bit quiet on the Scottish polling front. Today however we have a new poll from TNS BMRB, with topline figures for referendum voting intention of YES 25%, NO 44%, Don’t know 31%. Amongst those who say they are certain to vote the figures are YES 28%, NO 50%, Don’t know 22%. Full tabs are here.

TNS’s poll last month had figures of YES 25%, NO 47% – but received some criticism because their lack of any political weighting meant that the recalled 2011 Holyrood vote showed more Labour voters than SNP voters. This month they have changed methodology, and are now weighting by recalled constituency vote from 2011. TNS say the change didn’t make any “significant” difference, but either way their no lead is now similar to that being shown by YouGov and ICM, smaller than MORI’s, larger than Panelbase’s.

Also out today is Populus’s twice-weekly voting intention poll, which today has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 8%. Full tabs here.

327 Responses to “New TNS BMRB Scottish poll”

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  1. LEFTY


    Yes I have been reading some of the Rabobank output on the Dutch economy.

    Here is an example which rung “EU” bells I thought :-

    “Elwin de Groot, a senior market economist at Rabobank International believes it will require a combination of cures, including “strong” structural reforms in several industries. In housing, Groot says the market needs to be able to flow, to create better opportunities for people to sell, buy and rent. There has been a slew of measures already but more is needed, he said.
    “It certainly won’t be easy and it’ll take many years,” he told CNBC. In education, investing more in technical studies like engineering could deal with concerns regarding the Netherlands’ long term (future), meaning a return to productivity and easing large discrepancies in the labor market.
    “The government needs to stimulate research and development, the interaction between companies, and invest in universities,” he said.”

    It seems they have a problem with welfare state costs too-even their King talks about it !

  2. JIM JAM

    At least it has settled nearer 5 than 10 ?

  3. Couple of interesting headlines over at the FT:

    “Oct 11, 2013 UK
    Government tried to raise Royal Mail IPO price

    Institutional investors threatened to drop out of listing”

    “Baby boomers’ wealth gap grows

    Findings poised to fuel debate over role of housing in economy”

    … If anyone has a subscription…

  4. @Carfrew – I would have said some of the solutions are relatively simple. Firstly, revisit Labour’s ‘death tax’ idea. Everyone’s estate is charged a maximum of £20,000 after death, to fund elderly free care for all, removing that particular fear from the population, and giving certainty that those with assets won’t lose the lot if they need protracted care.

    Once you’ve done that, then there is much greater way on which to base financial products. Equity release is currently under developed in the UK , with not very good value products and a poorly understood market. I don’t trust financial companies to develop good value models for this, as they have a long and dreadful record of ‘miss selling’ (‘fraud’ is the technical term) so I would look for government to step in and provide guidelines and regulations to provide some better quality products.

    Alternatively, governments could simply enter the market themselves. I think the PO used to offer annuities way back in the C19th, before pressure from the city forced them to stop, but there is no reason why home owners couldn’t sign an agreement with the state that in return for an agreed pension, the state gets to own X% of their property on death.

    The downside of this is that parents would have less money to cascade down to future generations, which is a negative, but the question needs to be asked whether it’s the taxpayers role to provide people with income and insurance just so they are able to hold assets intact for their children.

    The other point is that if we take my suggestions forward, home ownership becomes a duel purpose investment. It becomes a home, plus a pension, all for the same financial input. This could help release some income from investing in very poor value pensions and insurance schemes anyway, meaning people could help their offspring in other ways before they die.

    The bottom line is that in recent decades, the relative importance of assets over income to household finances has changed markedly, but the tax system has not yet caught up with this. We still base most tax raising on income, which is helping to exacerbate the disparity between wealth owners and everyone else. because f the generational element to this, we are allowing the baby boomers to build up this wealth gap.

    The way we fund services and look after people needs to change to reflect this asset/income balance, and these suggestions would start that process.

  5. As far as I can recall there has never been a period in recent history where family incomes on average have experienced such a protracted fall ,this includes WW11

    Consequently suspect this can’t fail to be an issue at the next election.

    The EURO figures are frankly quite dismal for UKIP and it is perhaps surprising to see Labour ,the only party not promising a referendum of some sort, with such a commanding lead.

    Why do I doubt that this will get much coverage in the right leaning media.

  6. @Alec

    “……………… home ownership becomes a duel purpose investment.”

    That’s bit confrontational, isn’t it, although I suppose pistols at ten paces isn’t such a bad way of resolving property disputes!

  7. Yes Colin and with more UKIP going cons than lab at the GE probably on 2-3& lead in total.

    Cond do need 2-3% (total vote) from Lab 2010 or LD 2010 currently saying Lab and that is why the approval rating is significant imo.

  8. Don’t know if anybody saw this last week –

    This week Ed Miliband has an approval with YouGov of +41%, again, with current Labour supporters.

    That could mean that the 37-39-ish that they’re retaining will be harder to shift in the future.

    However, we’ll have to see how they fare over the next few weeks, now that Labour’s announcements are less Red and more Blue (‘We’ll be tougher than the Tories!’).

    Just as the Conservatives probably can’t outdo Labour on the Cost of Living argument, so probably shouldn’t focus too much on it and instead shift the focus to toughness/economic competence, Labour probably shouldn’t even attempt to outdo the Conservatives on toughness.

  9. JIM JAM

    Thanks-as ever I think your view from “the Left” is the most objective on UKPR.

    I still think a Con majority is a very big ask , or even largest party-a Lab/LD arrangement seems most likely to me.

    I do think the economy will play a big part though-and unless people like Alec are correct & it is all a temporary feature, I think it will be positive for Cons through 2014.
    Regional effect will be important presumably-particularly the Midlands.

  10. Well, today’s YG poll results on the RM privatisation are interesting.

    Was it right to privatise RM?

    Right: 21
    Wrong: 56

    Con supporters:
    Right: 45
    Wrong: 34

    Was the RM sold for less than its real value, more than or just right?

    Less: 43
    More: 4
    Right: 17

    Con supporters:
    Less: 34
    More: 2
    Right: 34

    As I said earlier this week, very dangerous ground for the Govt, and an open goal for Labour. I’ll be amazed if Labour don’t concentrate 100% on this issue this week.

  11. Tristram speaks-Labour to back Free Schools.

  12. Floating Voter

    The Ipsos- Mori archive has data on economic optimism going back to 1979.

    The big picture is that, whilst there has been a long-term, almost monotonic improvement in our economic performance as a whole, the net economic outlook of pollees has rarely been positive.

    However, beating the argues did seem to improve the outlook for the economy…

  13. @LeftyLampton

    Thanks, i will have a look at that

  14. Err…Argies. Bloody iPad.

  15. @Colin – “…and unless people like Alec are correct & it is all a temporary feature…”

    Just to clarify – I’m not suggesting growth will end, but rather that the somewhat overhyped reporting of positive growth will subside a little. Essentially I think people have reacted a little too quickly to positive news, and that the situation will be more of a slow grind than a ‘boom’.

    In that context, Tories are right to urge caution on being too upbeat about relatively small bits of good news, and likewise we are likely to see some reverses also – as indeed we are already.

  16. ” Lib Dems will be decimated locally.”

    That would be nice, for them to lose only 1 in 10 of their local councilors

  17. Politeness reigns once again.
    Gott sie danke !

  18. Floating voter

    That graph you’ve found is a very interesting read, I wonder how much national trates feed into peoples answers to how well they think things are going re the economy regardless of there own personal circumstances.

    The British do tend to look on the more gloomy side of life, some of us have an expectation that things are more likely go wrong than right no doubt fed by the headlines of newspapers and the media who’s ideology sometimes seems to be bad news good, good news who cares.

    However it’s interesting to see that expectations of economic improvement seems to improve dramatically in the lead up to GE were the government has actually changed hands, but soon drifts back to doom and gloom, although I notice 2013 shows a much more optomistic view than 2011/2012 figures as you say.

    Thanks for the graph.

  19. That should be traits

  20. Colin

    If we took the opinions of eminent royals into account, policymakers in this country would be chastising the poor for breeding, and generally complaining that the modern world was ghastly.

    Hold on…

  21. LEFTY

    I was reading the Dutch Monarch’s speech in a Indy article.

    I was wondering what the reaction here would be if THe Queen said :-

    “”The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.”

    OK-it was written for him by his Government-but it seemed ill placed coming from him.

  22. Turk

    The gloom story is, I think, more nuanced than that.

    Looking at the data, from 78-mid 90s, there is actually quite a good correlation (superficially – I’ve not done any detailed analysis here, but the general impression is, I think, correct) between people’s view on the trajectory of the economy, and how economic performance actually panned out. Broadly speaking, people tended to know when the economy was broadly getting better/worse.

    From the mid-90s, that correlation vanishes. From 93-08, we had the longest spell of low inflation, (relatively) low unemployment and (relatively) stable GDP growth in over 100 years. Yet the net economic optimism figures were generally dreadful.

    At the time, I dismissed it as being media-driven. There was a constant welter of stories on the “Labour are going to f*** it up” theme. Some would argue that they DID, eventually. But that hardly explains such poor outlook figures in 1998, or early 2001, when, as it turned out, we just ploughed on with steady growth.

    I’ve since started to think that I was too complacent. Yes, GDP was growing. But we now know that from the late 80s onwards, the proceeds weren’t being shared equally across the income percentile groups. I do wonder whether the economic pessimism poll figures reflect the personal experience of people, who saw their own living standards stagnate for 20-odd years, even as the overall GDP figures looked very healthy.

  23. Colin

    Agreed. We do well, generally, in separating Monarchy and Govt.

    I’d love to see the letters from Prince Charles though. I wonder if he is going to play by the rules?

  24. Colin – I was talking to a friend the other day (for some reason less interested ones who have some interest in politics think I am some kind of sage thanks to this site.

    I said that imo the recovery will not benefit enough people in the North, Wales and Scotland by 2015 to make much difference and that how far the benefits of growth reach the midlands will determine who gets most votes (seats) at the next GE.

  25. @Lefty

    “I’ve since started to think that I was too complacent.”

    You are Gordon Brown and I claim my £10.

    Morning everyone. Points of interest in the poll today:

    – Approval ratings continue to improve across most regions (North and Scotland slightly down)

    – Cameron breaks into positive figures for the third time this year in RoS

    – Miliband up in London and M&W, but down in North & Scotland

    – Cons up again this month so far (chart shows six rises out of six), while Lab seemed to have stemmed their falling VI. UKIP down a fair bit over the 6 months, and Lib down a little.

    – The Scottish polls are still very annoying. Two most recent polls compared:

    Con 13, 23 (+10)
    Lab 53, 39 (-14)
    Lib 5 , 7 (+2)
    SNP 27, 27 (n/c)
    UKIP 1, 5 (+4)
    Green 1, 0 (-1)

    Given that there are five polls per week, should Scotland be getting an average minimum of 200 samples per poll to give the weekly polling a reliable average?

    It might mean 2300 per national daily poll though with the approximate samples:

    London 300
    RoS 750
    M&W 490
    North 565
    Scot 200

  26. The Royal Mail sell off isn’t necessarily an open goal for labour and has to be played carefully – if the share price falls because of Union action Labour could be in an awkward position. I think they have played it well so far, highlighted the price was too low weeks ago and have been proved right at this time – but let’s see how the froth settles in 6, 12 and indeed 18 months.

  27. LEFTY

    I am no fan of Charles-so had better not reply to your question.


    Thanks-if only those crossbreaks meant something !

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