Two interesting polls last night. The daily YouGov poll for the Sun had topline voting intentions of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%. That’s a couple of lower Labour leads in a row, but as ever, that could easily be margin of error. Worth noting is the 6% for the Lib Dems, that’s the lowest that YouGov have ever shown since they started polling in 2001 (the lowest the Lib Dems have recorded in any GB poll is, so far as I can tell, a 3% in an ICM poll for the Sunday Correspondent in 1989. You occasionally get Lib Dem politicians rolling out the old story of how they remember when the Lib Dems were just an asterisk, which pollsters sometimes use to denote less than 0.5% but not actually zero. As far as I can tell, and I’ve been tracking the mythical beast for years, that never happened in a GB poll, though it could have done in a Scottish or by-election poll. 3% is the lowest to beat!)

Secondly there was a new Survation Scottish poll for the Daily Record. It has referendum topline figures of YES 39%(+2), NO 44%(-2). Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 47%, NO 53%. Looking at Survation’s past Scottish referendum polling they’ve typically been showing YES at 37-39% and NO at 46-48%, so it does suggest movement away from NO… but as ever, it is only one poll and it’s the wider trend that counts. Tabs are here.

There was also a “new” TNS poll out yesterday, though the fieldwork was actually conducted about a fortnight ago, so much older than the Survation poll. That had referendum voting intention figures unchanged from the month before, YES 30%(nc), NO 42%(nc).


328 Responses to “YouGov Lib Dem low & new Survation Scottish poll”

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  1. Any indications on the poll as to why anyone would vote for the LibDems?

  2. And still the Lib Dems think they can just carry on as is and somehow people will start to love them again.

  3. Re-posting and slightly re-writing something I put on the previous thread:

    I’m less and less convinced that anyone knows what is really happening in Scotland. On the one hand YG today gives very low SNP and very high Labour VIs. On the other, the Record is suggesting that the Yes/No vote margin is getting smaller.
    I’m tempted to say “I give up”, but on the other hand the one positive (?) thing to come out of the Referendum campaign f(how much longer?) from my point of view is that the three London parties are having to come out with some definite plans for Scotland’s future which will take us further down the road towards a more federalist set up – the ‘long game’ towards Independence which some of us are advocating.

    As for the rumpus about social media and slurs, if the print media and the BBC could be trusted to give anything other than a negative view of anything said by the Yes campaign then we might have had a level playing field where rules could be properly applied across the board. It has to be said, however, that those who represent the Yes campaign in interviews on tv and radio come across as distressingly ‘nice’ and ‘reasonable’ and unable to get the positive point across with anything like the precision the BT people put into finding fault (or dubiety) in the Yes campaign whilst somehow avoiding the same level of scrutiny for their position (e.g. the economic assumption that the UK will always be a better bet than an independent Scotland).

    On the subject of the ‘oridinary mum’ who turns out to be part of Johann Lamont’s inner core group of political activists, even the flying minister (WoS), interviewed yesterday on the radio, found himself floundering as he tried to avoid apologising for telling the truth, whilst the BT person was allowed by the interviewer to ignore the real issue and give the impression that to lie about who someone is is the most acceptable thing imaginable.

    On the other hand, the Yes campaign have left themselves open to some very easy attacks – for example Swinney’s failure to have the cost of setting up a new system at his fingertips. I shall be voting ‘Yes’ – but I still want a clear straightforward answer to a clear straightforward question……. and there have been times in this campaign when I’ve felt like throwing the radio out of the window because of the Yes campaign’s lack of preparedness, despite having a long, long time to get ready and get it right.

    In the previous thread someone suggested that the Tories don’t really want to win the next GE, because they’ll have to make economic decisions they’ve been afraid to make for the past four years. Sometimes I suspect that some in the SNP don’t really want independence at this point. Perhaps some have been using this Referendum campaign as a ‘trial run’, as I opined on this site some months ago. Now they know what sort of campaign they’ll be up against they’ll prepare accordingly for next time. (!)

    Whichever party wins the next GE it will have to make severe cuts to public spending. The SNP, by then perhaps out of government in Holyrood, will be able to say in all honesty(?) “We told you so!”

    As I said earlier in this piece, some of us are in for the long game…. and will just have to make a better job of it next time round…. Spiders making webs in caves etc.
    But then, that’s all IMO, and liable to be very wrong……..

  4. I don’t think 6% tells us much about what the LD’s will do next year (also of course MOE).

    Unlike Lab and Con where the UNS is vital, the UNS is almost meaningless when talking about the LD vote in terms of how many seats they will get. I’m not sure we will know what will happen until very close to the GE and only if there are polls in LD seats.

    I’m all in favour of pollsters going out of their way to create the conditions in their questions that will be the conditions on the ground however biased they appear to be ie:

    Screen one (picture of two horses) Taking into account that Labour (Conservative) cannot win here…?
    Screen two (graphs not to scale) … Would it change your voting intention seeing these graphs?
    Screen three (Smiley face) Your MP (insert name) is a hardworking Liberal Democrat concerned with local issues- would that make a difference to your voting intention?

    In most LD seats except for 3 way marginals like Cambridge it is unlikely the 3rd party will put out much literature at all so the messages above are not likely to be countered. The only way of knowing the final LD vote is if you take it as read that those will be the messages people get for 4 weeks without much counter argument from the party whose vote they are trying to squeeze.

  5. I believe Ashcroft is doing an LD ‘marginals’ poll sometime in the next few weeks.

    I hope that he in fact covers a cross-section of LD seats – large majority, medium majority, slim majority, LAB main opposition, CON main opposition. If, as with the CON/LAB poll he only does those that were already really close in 2010, he’ll obviously get something that looks bad for the LDs but which may not reflect the wider picture of a campaign that will be entirely defensive in nature with some losses deemed inevitable.

    That even on UNS 6% gives them 10 seats shows, for me, that they won’t be ‘wiped out’ as some suggest. Local contests should ensure that they do much better than UNS and so I maintain my 35-40 seat prediction.

  6. Jack Sheldon
    “Local contests should ensure that they do much better than UNS”
    Since the Eastleigh byelection, it’s possible to imagine that the LD vote will be wiped out everywhere except their actual seats, and leave most of their MPs standing in 2015 despite losing, say, over half their 2010 vote share.
    But in the other direction, they must do worse in their fortresses than UNS because in much of the country they didn’t have many votes to lose, and they seem to have lost a lot. The Oakeshott polls seemed to make more mathematical sense than Eastleigh…even though Eastleigh was real!
    Maybe national VI polls just don’t “work” on LD MPs because it’s always local/personal.

  7. Regarding the LD’s, I suppose the all things to all men chat worked for long enough. Being anti immigration when talking to the white working class in Sheffield and furiously liberal and multi culture mad, when talking to a North London audience, has finally been laid bare.

  8. @Eddie

    The ‘problem’ you get is that in much of the south LAB have hardly been a factor in the past two or three GEs and so you get two-horse races btwn LDs and CONs. We know that a large portion of the LD vote has gone to LAB in polls but it is hard to say how they will react under the circumstances of polarised contests such as those I’ve described. Will they keep backing LD to keep CON/UKIP out as they did in Eastleigh, will they blindly back LAB and thus hand CONs comfortable gains, or will a large portion of LDs actually vote CON?

    An unscientific quick count from me reveals 31 of the LDs 57 seats to be of this nature – the only serious opposition coming from the CONs. It probably isn’t pushing it too much to say that these seats could be where GE2015 is decided.

    I’m sure the LDs will be focusing their energies on making sure constituents are aware that LAB can’t win locally and on emphasising how hard working their local MPs are.

    It should be noted that historically LD-held seats haven’t been quite as bombproof as their activists would suggest. They’ve lost some that they used to hold and gained some that they didn’t hold before. So I suspect the candidate on the ground and strength of campaign will be important, as well of course as the national standing of the CONs by that point.

  9. Jack
    As you say, in 2010 they lost some “Tory” seats and won some “Labour” ones, so their constituent base became (broadly speaking) more left-wing just as they entered coalition. My hunch is they’ll lose seats pretty much equally to the two main parties as the heat goes out of tactical voting in Lib-Con contests.

    I agree the Lib-Con contests will be crucial. It may well decide “largest party” if, say, the new-MP-incumbent factor holds Lab wins from Con under 50.

    I must go have a look at the electoral map and see how many LD MPs are in Scotland, that’s another kettle of fish…

  10. No doubt the LDs will do better in existing seats than elsewhere. The question is how much better? 6% nationally represents 35% of the votes in their existing seats and about 3% everwhere else.

    I don’t expect 6% in the election, but that gives a sense of the scale of their problems. Their best hope is a strong UKIP showing splitting the Lab or Con vote in their seats.

  11. @Eddie

    Scotland is indeed a complication. The SNP will eyeing up the Highlands as natural territory but the LD majorities up there are quite healthy. Really it is hard to make an informed prediction about Scotland before indyref is out of the way though the evidence so far suggests the LD decline is particularly steep there.

  12. @Eddie

    Scotland is indeed a complication. The SNP will eyeing up the Highlands as natural territory but the LD majorities up there are quite healthy. Really it is hard to make an informed prediction about Scotland before indyref is out of the way though the evidence so far suggests the LD decline is particularly steep there.

  13. Re that Scottish poll, I;d just note that Survattion had the highest marign of error in predicting the recent Europoean election poll.

  14. Eddie

    “Scotland, that’s another kettle of fish…”

    As the great Scottish surrealist poet and performer Ivor Cutler said “Scotland gets its brains from the herring”.

  15. You dancer another wee Saltire… .

    ” Survation Scottish poll for the Daily Record. It has referendum topline figures of YES 39%(+2), NO 44%(-2). Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 47%, NO 53%”

    The same poll also suggests 56% would vote YES if they thought another Tory gov would be elected.
    _______________

    Jack Sheldon

    The Lib/dem decline in Scotland is extremely deep because of their coalition with the Tories who are toxic in Scotland so it’s hardly surprising.

    Not that I’m suggesting the Tories are toxic because if I was living in England I would vote for them.

  16. John

    “Re that Scottish poll, I;d just note that Survattion had the highest marign of error in predicting the recent Europoean election poll”
    _____

    From what I gather all the pollsters were extremely close on that election but of course a margin of error is either a plus or a minus for all sides.

  17. LD’s are a protest party. At least the Greens are different to lab/con, and have policies different to other parties.
    People only vote LD in Labour area where votes Tory is a no no, and in Tory areas where voting Labour is again a taboo.

  18. JOHN B

    So you’re a gradualist?

  19. HOOF

    “LD’s are a protest party”
    ___

    Looking at their recent polling people can’t be protesting that much. ;-)

  20. I’ve finished some very rough calculations of potential LD results based on two potential swings – one a drop in LD support of 66.1% of their 2010 voters, one a drop of 15.6 percentage points applied uniformly and assuming a current VI of exactly 8%. In my view the former proportional swing is the less valuable (it puts the LDs on 21% in Orkney and Shetland), but it’s there for comparison.

    The Uniform Swing shows that there are 155 “Overswing” seats – where the LDs cannot lose 15.6% because they never had it in the first place.

    Last time, Lib Dem voters in these seats equated to 12.44% of the Liberal Democrat vote and 2.94% of the GB vote share – 850,313 votes.

    If the Lib Dems lost every single vote there they would lose an extra 191,043 votes in non-Overswing seats to make the maths add up. This equates to 0.66% of the 2010 turnout.

    The Lib Dems would lose their deposit in 322 constituencies, finally retaining their £500 in Warrington North – with the “Overswing” extra vote loss applied uniformly, they would lose 334, holding their first deposit in Gateshead. This would cost the party £161,000 or £167,000.

    On the proportional swing, the LDs would lose every seat they have, but would save far more deposits, losing only a comparatively small 121.

    I know there are big problems with this – no adjustment for regional variation, assumed universal swing, no accounting for held seats and incumbency – but I’ll keep working on it.

  21. Attaboy Nameless !

  22. I thought (and said ) at the time that the LD result in Eastleigh flattered to deceive, they chucked absolutely everything at it, I still have in my collection of election memorabilia ( yes, I know, but I am among friends !) two LD leaflets from Eastleigh that are like small editions of ‘ Country Life ‘, eight glossy pages of Blah about what a tremendous fellow their bloke was, topped off by a yellow post-it note with a ‘ handwritten’ endorsement from ‘ Joan ‘. Both leaflets have the same note, but one is blue. Anyway it all worked and they held the seat. Apparently they put out over 600, 000 leaflets during the campaign. The thing is they will not be able to do anything like it in the GE, even just in their 57 citadels.

  23. AC
    ‘From what I gather all the pollsters were extremely close on that election but of course a margin of error is either a plus or a minus for all sides.’

    Not true really. Survation predicted 32/33% for UKIP – whereas they only managed 27.5%

  24. @Allan Christie

    Well, I’m thinking about it…… slowly…….

    Of course I’d be delighted with a Yes vote, but I don’t think all the conditions (political, economic, social, cultural) are there yet. Another Tory government would help, of course, but so, too would be a Labour government that either took Scotland for granted or mucked everything up.

    And we’ve no idea how well a Labour minority led govt would fare in Holyrood after ten years out of power. Do they have the people to do the job? I’m not saying they haven’t; but it’s the old problem for Labour: so many of their reasonably good leaders are in Westminster.

    And with whom could a Labour group in Holyrood form a coalition? If the LDs crumble then it’s up to the Greens – who are a major part of the Yes campaign and unlikely to go along with Johann and her cabal.

    So a Labour-Tory coalition in Holyrood, or Labour sustained by Tory votes to keep the Nats out? That’s really going to go down in Red Clydeside isn’t it!

    Doesn’t look good for Lamont….. But I’ve said that before and got shot down for it.

    So, yes, a gradualist, as, I believe, are many here.

  25. Ewen
    The Eastleigh by-election -despite the spin – was not at all a good result for the LibDems in that their vote fell by circa 15%. They were only saved from defeat by the fact that the Tory vote was also in freefall!

  26. That Lib Dem result looks a little high.

  27. I’m interested in what you think about the Scottish independence polls. There is some momentum towards Yes but only one lead since the referendum was called.

    In the betting, Yes is about 3 or 4-1 and moving out. Is there a realistic chance of a Yes win?

  28. In Inverness this week. Opposite the castle there’s a Better Together shop – yes an actual shop!

  29. Graham
    Yes indeedy, that’s why I said it flattered to deceive !
    CG
    Keep ’em coming ! ( somehow, I know that you will …)

  30. Graham

    AC
    ‘From what I gather all the pollsters were extremely close on that election but of course a margin of error is either a plus or a minus for all sides.’
    ..
    “Not true really. Survation predicted 32/33% for UKIP – whereas they only managed 27.5”
    ______

    Well okay I’ll give you that but like I said in my last post.. A margin of error cuts both ways for every one if you know what I mean?

  31. It’s only small percentage of the overall electorate,but what strikes me in the Survation tabs is the strong majority for YES amongst 16-24 year olds. In other polls, that group has been strongly NO. Of course that group would also be difficult to weight according to past voting, which I think is the main way of doing it.

    The other breaks look to me to be consistent with other polls.

  32. JOHN B

    I kind of see where you are coming from but lets say its a no then Salmond said the question would be put to rest for a generation during which time we could have seen a Labour and a Tory government.

    I can’t predict what will happen during that time but I get the impression if Devo Max was on offer then you would be content with that?

  33. RAF

    “In Inverness this week. Opposite the castle there’s a Better Together shop – yes an actual shop!”
    ____

    That’s nothing compared to the Yes camp.

    http://hougangcc.org.sg/images/subpages/facilities/yes-supermarket-1.jpg

  34. @AC

    Wouldn’t it be great if that actually was a pro- Independence store?

  35. @AC

    Looks like it only opened yesterdayhttps://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/inverness/251847/pro-union-group-launches-highlands-campaign-office-in-inverness/

  36. RAF

    Aye it would had been great because OLDNAT would (I hope) get me a generous discount… Ha!

    Actually Yes Scotland and BT do have stalls around Scotland selling all sorts but I’m not too sure about an actual store but who knows!!

  37. RAF

    Yeah I think it’s also an office selling BT stuff. Can’t see me buying much fae it though.

  38. Off topic question alert : I’m curious as to what peoples reading habits are – eg do people on here have a pattern of websites/newspapers they read? Read a book, or multiple books? Take notes on what is read?

  39. RICHARD

    “I’m interested in what you think about the Scottish independence polls. There is some momentum towards Yes but only one lead since the referendum was called”
    _____

    The momentum appears to be with the Yes side for now but with 3 months to go I reckon the polls will be like a pendulum.

    Leading up to the Quebec referendum the nationalists were leading in most polls but in the end they lost by 0.5% or even less so a word of caution on the polls.

    Can Yes Scotland win? Yes, Can the lose? Absolutely.

  40. Anarchists Unite

    For me the Broons Oor Wullie and UKPR take care of all my political needs.

  41. @ Allan Christie – yours of 4.54

    “I kind of see where you are coming from but lets say its a no then Salmond said the question would be put to rest for a generation during which time we could have seen a Labour and a Tory government.
    I can’t predict what will happen during that time but I get the impression if Devo Max was on offer then you would be content with that?”

    Devo-Max would be good pro-tem. However, the problem with any further devolution as I see it is that it will lead to still greater instability in the balance of power between Westminster and Holyrood. This will have particular repercussions on Scottish MPs’ rights (moral if not legal) to vote on things which only pertain to England. And what happens if income tax and other taxes are devolved? That then cuts out Scots MPs from voting on the most important annual bill in parliament: the Budget! The result will be that many English voters will come to the conclusion that the Scots MPs are more of a bane than a boon.

    North of the Border the problem is another one, viz: the fact that Holyrood will remain in legal terms a creature of Westminster. Only a LibDem style genuine federalisation of the UK (even changing the name to United Kingdoms plural, perhaps) will avoid the threat that the Scots could see devolution ended at the whim of English MPs. The threat is unlikely to be carried out, perhaps, but a threat it would remain. Until the Sovereignty of the Scottish people is recognised by Westminster (something the English have signally failed to recognise in over a thousand years) there can be no certainty regarding the right of Scotland to be ruled by Scots.

    Let’s just put one topic into the discussion as an example: suppose Holyrood’s planning laws were changed to allow the removal of permission to have nuclear weapons on Scottish soil – a move which might well receive large support from all sides in the Scottish parliament. (Planning laws are devolved.) Suppose an English dominated Westminster Tory government overruled such a decision. Where would we be?

    Where does Sovereignty lie? That is still the unanswered question.

    Salmond says No means No for a generation. He may well be convinced that that is so. I don’t believe it. I believe that within another five years or so there will be some major confrontation regarding the powers granted or to be granted, to Holyrood which will spark the whole thing off again. It’s as I said at the start of this contribution: the situation is already unstable; further devolution will make it more unstable still. Some Labourites know this; many Nationalists know this; the Tories know this but, in the end, they don’t need to care because they don’t need Scotland. The Lib Dems have the only plan which can save the Union of 1707, and only then by radically reversing a lot of what the Treaty of 1707 did.

    IMO!

  42. @HOOF HEARTED

    “LD’s are a protest party. At least the Greens are different to lab/con, and have policies different to other parties. People only vote LD in Labour area where votes Tory is a no no, and in Tory areas where voting Labour is again a taboo.”

    I’m not sure I go along with that. Aside from those who are genuine LibDem supporters (and there will now be fewer of those) most of their votes are probably more tactical than protest. People don’t vote LibDem in Tory areas because Labour is taboo but simply because the LibDems have been the main challenger to the Tories; a Labour vote would be a wasted vote. And I’m afraid the Greens will generally find themselves in a similar position – regarded as a wasted vote even by those sympathetic to their values.

  43. Good Evening All.

    CHRIS GREEN.
    when we write essays, we have to reference our authorities, but I agree with your analysis of the LD VI, and you agree with me.

  44. Eddie,

    I agree that LD losses will be of a similar magnitude to Lab and Con at around 10 each.

    Under this scenario Lab need to take 26 seats to overtake the cons not 50.

    Current polling LD collapse in Lab/Con seats comfortably delivers a high enough share LD vote for this to happen.

    Assuming in marginals all 2010 votes return to their AB Tory or AB Lab home the Lab net gain of LD votes per seat would have to fall to 15%ish for the Tories to have the most seats.

  45. @Roger
    “…People don’t vote LibDem in Tory areas because Labour is taboo but simply because the LibDems have been the main challenger to the Tories…”

    I would greatly disagree. As previously stated there is an anti-Labour tactical Vote as well….to think that people only Vote Lib so as to vote tactically is a bit harsh !

  46. @ Allan Christie

    “Actually Yes Scotland […] do have stalls around Scotland selling all sorts but I’m not too sure about an actual store but who knows!!”

    I’m told there’s one in Hope Street. There are others.

  47. This really is becoming a “I hate the Liberal Democrats” site! I wonder why?

  48. The LDs offer a clear and distinct position on civil liberties, Europe, electoral reform, drug legalisation – none of which have been approached in a remotely adult way by any of the other mainstream parties

    Won’t be voting for them in 2015, but have done in the past and wouldn’t rule out doing so in future

  49. Wrote this a bit earlier but forgot to post it….

    @FV

    Thanks, and yes there appear to be multiple factors to the self-employment/wage diminution thing

    Replacing secure, decent-paying public sector jobs, with insecure part-time, self-employed work, can hit wages because beforehand the decent-paying public sector jobs were providing competition over wages, encouraging private sector to.offer decent wages to compete.

    Secondly, because of cost-of-living, some oldies are re-entering the workforce, hence driving down wages. Thirdly, forcing people off jobseekers into the jobs market can also put a downward pressure on wages.

    Reducing unemployment is supposed to assist wage growth, but not it seems when there aren’t enough proper jobs for those leaving the dole, so competition over employees is diminished, and if there is further reduction in competition over employees from the retired re-entering the workforce to make ends meet. Low interest on savings means not only a hit to the retired, but as they re-enyer the workforce a hit on others too, in terms of job opportunities and wages.

  50. Or to put it another way… if unemployment comes down because employers have a genuine demand for employees, then wages may rise. If unemployment is forced down artificially and there aren’t really enough jobs or demand from business, then there is little incentive to put up wages.

    If for example, you have more employees to choose from than before owing to the baby-boomers returning to the workforce… why put up wages?The incentive to increase wages comes when struggling to fill the post. Which is less likely to arise if you have all these extra boomers, former public sector workers and peeps forced off jobseekers available.

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