Friday round-up

A quick round of today’s polls. There were two voting intention polls out today, both of which I expect were slight outliers from the norm… but in opposite directions.

Both Populus and YouGov have been showing average Labour leads of around 3-4 points this month. YouGov’s poll this morning had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13% – a seven point Labour lead (tabs here). Populus’s poll had topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% – both parties equal (tabs here.) In both cases, I suspect we’re just seeing normal sample variation.

The other “new” poll out today was the latest TNS Scottish referendum poll. As usual the face-to-face methodology means the poll is actually pretty old – it was conducted between the 25th June and 9th July, so the start of the fieldwork was three weeks ago. Topline referendum voting intention is YES 32%(nc), NO 41%(-5). Without don’t knows, that translates to YES 44%, NO 56%… TNS has typically been showing yes support at 40-42% once you exclude don’t knows, so this is a good YES poll by TNS standards.


113 Responses to “Friday round-up”

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  1. “Absolutely spot on. People will vote for pro Scotland reasons and not for negative reasons. Like you I think June 2016 will be very interesting. :-)”

    ——–

    Lol, except that when you look at his list…

    ” – Stick it to Westminster (be it tax, oil, corruption, recent news stories etc.)
    – No Lords
    – Nukes out of Scotland
    – Dead nuke subs out of Rosyth
    – Hope
    – Disaffection with Labour (the presumption being that Con and Lib are already there)”

    …most of them are actually anti-something!! Anti-Westminster, anti-Lords, anti- Nukes, anti-subs, anti-Lab.

    To be fair, he did vaguely tack on “hope”, without being specific as to what that meant. Hope for what? Hope to be in the EU? In Nato? Hope for most of the oil? Hope to share the currency? Hope to qualify for the World Cup?…

  2. The point about the debate is not who will win it, but rather that the points and issues in the debate will frame the coming campaign. IMO Alex S wanted that Aug 5th date, remember the No camp wanted an earlier date, because it will kick off the Yes campaign. IMO Yes have been keeping their powder dry and soaking up the negativity. So assuming TNS is right 44 is a reasonable base to go into the campaign proper. If Yes is still a point or two behind on Sept 18th then IMO Yes will win.

    The important point is that people are realising that a Yes vote is not a vote for the SNP but a vote for self-determination. 2016 will be when we decide what sort of govt we want.

  3. @Statgeek – “I think most folk will agree that was a BBC coverage-supported fluke.”

    I don’t think they would, and that is an extremely derogatory comment about a significant minority of Scots voters.

  4. And immigration has been rising in salience, ahead of the economy even.

    Are there reasons Scotland might be completely immune from this?

  5. ” I know it’s a minority but UK governments get elected on much smaller polls so some sort of constitutional reform has to be looked at.”

    Not when they’re in second place.

  6. @Statgeek: “I think most folk will agree that was a BBC coverage-supported fluke.”

    I’m quite sure they won’t.

  7. I see a couple of comments about my use of the word “obviously”.

    My point was in terms of the medium-term outlook for the Scottish electorate.

    The Hadrian’s Republic Tea Party, or whatever the Tories rebrand as, would not sweep to power within an election or two, nor would the SNP’s inevitable shift rightwards be a swift one, given the hundreds of billions of Scottish pounds that the English apparently siphon off from the North Sea each day*, and more seriously how dangerous Labour would be in the early elections.

    *Figure may or may not have been plucked out of thin air

  8. @Alec

    No more derogatory than saying that 10% in an EU election where their non-EU VI was a half of that prior, and a half of that after.

    1 MEP, once every five years, does not constitute a significant result. Especially, when the majority of the voters want the opposite of the MEP.

  9. CARFREW & ALEC

    Mind, don’t go running to the messenger when other posters including myself go about trashing Labour’s policies or lack of them on future posts.

    You both seem to have an open season policy on the independence debate but hiss and snarl at even the slightest hint of Labour discontent.

    I hope you both will appreciate this from the Scottish government.

    ” Scottish external affairs minister Humza Yousaf described the start of a ground offensive by Israeli forces this week as a “serious and worrying development”.

    He has written to UK home secretary Theresa May saying Scotland would be willing to take in Palestinian refugees.

    Mr Yousaf said: “Our offer of medical assistance to help the humanitarian situation still stands and we are currently in dialogue with the appropriate governments and agencies to assess whether Scotland can give specialist medical help to civilians caught up in the conflict, should this prove possible.
    ….

    It’s just a wee hint at what sort of independent Scotland I want to live in.

  10. rogerh

    @Statgeek: “I think most folk will agree that was a BBC coverage-supported fluke.”

    I’m quite sure they won’t
    ______

    I’m sure the same people don’t agree with Labour’s assertion that the BBC are biased towards them. I certainly don’t see it!

  11. I meant to post this a while back.

    Darling tells us that the up coming indy ref is not about the Tories and Cameron……….I agree.

    Now the same party Darling is a part of in Scotland without fail at every UK election bring out the old Thatcher Boogeyman and the doom and gloom scenario of another Tory administration.

    I’ve never quite got my nut around this rational??

  12. @Allan Christie

    Brilliant. Unable to deal with the simple fact that I had pointed out about how that list was rather more anti than pro, you completely go off on one about something else, some random stuff about supporting Labour.

    I’m not a Labour supporter and as far as I am aware, neither is Alec. Once again, as with your previous post, your reasoning is all messed up.

    I’d agree offering humanitarian aid is a good thing though.

  13. AC

    If there has to be a bias, Im sure Labour would prefer it to be towards them. Better no bias at all of course.

  14. CARFREW

    Oh so have I just made a big boob? Well forgive me because from my angle you would had thought you were both on the shadow front bench but at least we both agree on the humanitarian front…that’s progress.

  15. Is this debate?

  16. @Statgeek – “No more derogatory than saying that 10% in an EU election where their non-EU VI was a half of that prior, and a half of that after.”

    No more derogatory that what (you don’t appear to finissh the sentence here) and anyway, the point was what an earth is the UKIP result to do with the BBC?

    @Allan Christie – “You both seem to have an open season policy on the independence debate but hiss and snarl at even the slightest hint of Labour discontent.”
    Absolutely no idea where you get that from. It’s pretty well known on here that I’m a Green Party member, and I have limited time for Scottish Labour.

    I’m afraid your post probably falls into the tactical basket that quite a lot of pro Yes utterances seem to – playing the man, not the ball. I was talking about issues, but you revert immediately to talking about me. I find that a bit odd.

    Perhaps I suffer from Asperger’s? May be I should take a test?

  17. Were Scotland to secede from the UK, there would be no mileage left in blaming the English for all of Scotland’s ills.

    In those circumstances, a party with a message that “it’s all the fault of the EU” might start to gain some significant traction amongst those attracted by simple messages. At the moment, the message “it’s all the fault of the English” seems to be a more powerful competitor in the panacea market.

  18. It could be argued that the SNP’s previous ‘humanitarian intervention’ in foreign affairs contributed to the debacle which is Libya.

    Palestinians do not want to leave Palestine; that is fundamentally what their dispute with Israel is about! So offering them asylum (or whatever) in Scotland is another pointless but potentially inflammatory gesture by the SNP.

  19. Damn. I was hoping that my earlier post would stay in moderation. As it is, my erroneously attributed quote about urine-filled buckets is now there for the world to see.

    Of course, it wasn’t LBJ who coined that phrase. It was John Nance Garner.

  20. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “Oh so have I just made a big boob? Well forgive me because from my angle you would had thought you were both on the shadow front bench but at least we both agree on the humanitarian front…that’s progress.”

    ———-

    You can’t support that assertion. It’s more poor reasoning. Some, try and impose stances on people without anything to back it up… happened recently over mansion tax and the national curriculum. It’s noise we could do without, especially since I haven’t done it to you. It doesn’t really surprise you might misread things, when you can’t see that a pro list is mostly anti…

    Anyway, moving on, I think Paul would like a proper debate with you…

  21. @Alec

    “Absolutely no idea where you get that from. It’s pretty well known on here that I’m a Green Party member, and I have limited time for Scottish Labour.”

    ——–

    In an even greater irony, I’m not even anti-Independence. As I’ve made clear before, I can see the attractions and, if Scottish, might lean toward Yes myself. It’s just that, like you, one is keen to cut through the spin. But to some people, point out a flaw in their reasoning, or an issue with a policy or claim, and OMG, you must therefore be a supporter of some rival party or ideology!! Utterly barking…

  22. So, quick check. If I post a post referring to the fact that I’m being automatically moderated, then that post never passes moderation…

  23. …although sometimes I am not , in fact, automatically moderated. Ah.

    So it’s either an effect of the moderation being done by a human who (by virtue of being human) cannot work 24hrs a day, or an effect of the fact that (due to work travel) I post from several different locations per week.

    OK, I’ll try to keep my posts terse and on-topic, and hopefully that’ll get thru the net

  24. @Martyn

    It’s just that autoschmod likes to mess with people…

  25. I’d rather debate with Daisie thanks [and she’s oany WON !!]

    It is odd how many people are unable to see any difference between blind support of one side or another and unreasoned opinion [I “feel” x poll is the right one] against a genuine attempt to look at objective evidence if that goes against their own, subjective view.

    Daisie is always prepared to see my point and say “I’m sorry I ran away daddy.”

    [and she’s oany……………….]

  26. @Phil Haines

    “Were Scotland to secede from the UK, there would be no mileage left in blaming the English for all of Scotland’s ills.”

    Oh, I don’t know. There would be at least one parliament’s worth of “the mess England left” – actually, probably more like 50 years of it.

  27. GM

    Three hundred years ?????

    Following on from what I wrote earlier re the way Tory responses to Labour proposals need to be a bit sharper if they are to seriously effect opinion I note today that EMs

    “No more tax and spend” speech

    was met by

    “Same old tax and spend from Labour”

    by Sajid David

    with no debate whatsoever about the detail of his actual plans.

    Repeating mantras will only harden the opinions of people who already recite those mantras in their sleep. I hope that the GE is not just a litany of that sort of stuff from all sides.

  28. UKIP’s 10.5% in the European elections in Scotland was not a fluke, and whether the BBC’s rather obsessive coverage helped them get the ‘Best of the Rest’ seat is arguable – it’s possible it switched them some votes as the perceived anti-establishment Party. But as with all their EP election results it certainly flatters them and even in local by-elections, which can also over-rate them, they are getting 5-8%.

    Survation’s latest regional Holyrood vote has UKIP on 8% (tied with the Greens):

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/scottish-omnibus-july-record-tables.pdf#page=13

    though it’s possible that online polling may also over-represent them a bit for technical reasons, as in Survation’s other polling. But they’re certainly at a level where they should pick up a seat in some regions if not all.

    Interestingly Survation show them drawing support equally from Conservatives, Labour and SNP 2011 voters[1], and this hints at something I mentioned before, that UKIP’s lower ratings in Scotland may be due to the existence of the SNP as an alternative home for ‘anti-Westminster’ votes.

    [1] In absolute numbers, which means a higher percentage from the Tories. The last YouGov poll shows a similar pattern at a level of 5% support.

  29. I think we’re almost getting to the stage where the two big parties doing that is the Lib Dems’ only hope of improving from their current position, and UKIP’s only realistic hope of gaining more than one seat (if they do get one, it’s only 50/50 in my mind that it would be Farage).

    Fortunately for the parties projected to come third and fourth, it does seem as though the bigger parties will do exactly that.

  30. *two big parties spouting anti-the-other-party rhetoric regardless of whether or not that rhetoric is correct.

  31. PAUL

    @”“No more tax and spend” speech”

    Just read it.

    He doesn’t mention ” tax”-only spend.

    The relevant quotes are :-

    “But not seeing big spending as the answer. ”

    and

    “Higher spending is not the answer to the long-term economic crisis that we together have identified.”

  32. EM’s specific pledges in terms of “what a Labour government would do:” are :-

    “A higher minimum wage.
    An end to the abuse of zero-hours contracts.
    Skills and careers for all our young people.
    Banks working for businesses again.
    Energy bills frozen.
    200,000 homes built a year by 2020.
    Power devolved.
    The bedroom tax abolished.
    And our National Health Service restored”

    This list did not include these additional specific pledges elsewhere in the speech :-

    “For the first time, we will make an offer to every employer in the country: you will get a tax cut, on condition that you move to pay the living wage.”

    “the next Labour government will say that top pay committees should have an ordinary worker on them.”

    ” the next Labour government will legislate for 25 hours free childcare, paid for by a higher levy on the banks.”

    “Three year tenancies, predictable rents, an end to letting fees.”

  33. Interestingly in spite of losing two seats in Thursdays local elections UKIP polled the following vote %s
    34.9%,24.3%,14.7%,12.0%, 21.7%, 32.0%. giving an average17.45%. If only half of this vote share is maintained at the GE then many sitting MPs could be vunerable in marginal seats a fact that Conservative seem to ignore.

  34. Sounds promising.

  35. @Statgeek

    If you want to subtle trends in the data you have graphed CUSUM is the perfect tool.

    It allows you to see through the ‘noise’ and see the changes.

    A good rule of thumb with control charts is that you need about 7 data points heading in the same direction for a trend to be significant.

  36. Mark Ferguson on Labour List describes it as “the idea that the state can still be interventionist without writing big cheques,”

    ie-State intervention by “pre-distributive” legislation rather than by re-distribution.

    or-The Private Sector ordered to meet Government objectives on pay & price.

  37. Just going back to the Saltire discussion, I would remind readers that we are not going to be asked whether we think the SNP white paper is adequate (which it isn’t) or whether we think that Scots will be better off (which is possible, but by no means certain) or whether an independent Scotland will automatically enter the EU or NATO – which it might not.

    We are being asked the following:

    Should Scotland be an independent country?’ (the grammar is wrong, and the verb used ought to be ‘ought’)

    The answer to that is, in my opinion, ‘Yes’.

    What sort of Scotland we want to see is a separate (though possibly parallel) discussion.

  38. @John B

    I think that the details discussed (currency, position regarding EU, tax policies) can and will guide some voters. Many of the arguments for and against do seem quite finely balanced looking in from the outside.

    It also about winning hearts. So if the Yes campaign can excite people’s hearts, it might do very well.

    To compare, I have thought how I feel about the independence of Yorkshire. Would I support it?

    If the for/against were as balanced as in Scotland, my heart would lead to yes.

  39. I wonder if the Labour policies will shift VI in any way.

    Apparently they are still thrashing out an agreement on rail policy, but it’s likely to be the start of a process of effective re-nationalisation, which we know polls very strongly (even among Tories).

    I guess partly it depends on if they go for something simple, like franchises being re-nationalised as they expired, or some kind of messy New Labour-esque triangulation compromise which will be hard to sell on the doorstep.

  40. The Labour Party policy as agreed at the 2013 Annual Conference was exactly that, DRMIBBLES, i.e “franchises being re-nationalised as they expired”

    However when did any party hierarchy take notice of what its members agreed at Annual Conference!?

  41. @John B – I think we are aware of the Scottish question. The issue that has been pointed out is that answers we are mainly being fed from the Scottish government are more about what they themselves (the SNP) would do.

    If anyone is to blame for the debate becoming rooted in issues around the SNP, it’s the SNP themselves.

    On Ed’s speech. Quite interesting. How more left leaning Labourites respond to this is worth watching, but in truth, Ed is only stating the obvious – although for Labour’s electoral prospects, it needs to be said.

    While austerity might or might not be the best response, it’s clear that spending will remain constrained for a good while yet. Other avenues for government action are required, which I think is what Ed has been working on for a considerable time now.

    The perspective voters take on Labour’s level of responsibility with spending is an absolutely critical pivot point for May 2015 I would think. Ed knows this, and is doing his best to try and craft an active, interventionist approach, which many voters seem to want, with reassurance on the tax implications.

  42. “tax and spend” as a critical mantra does fall down a bit given that that is what governments have done since Sir Henry Money invented the stuff.

    Be a funny ole world without t and s but it illustrates the absurdity of shorthand mantras.

    Beyond a certain point there is no agreement on what is essential either so adding that word doesn’t help to describe good” expenditure.

    The honest description – for all – is “spending wot WE like”.

  43. Phil

    We are fighting against left wing social media to maintain the British newspaper as an influence in modern life. RM blames the diverse nature of information for Romney’s defeat as well as what we might call the obvious. There is a determination not to see that result repeated here next year.

  44. colin

    We could sort out the campaign with just two, interchangeable posters [so you only need to carry one at any given time]

    They should read

    “OWR SPENDING’S BEST”

    and

    “OH NO ITS NOT”

    Maybe decide the election with a simple musical chairs and see who is left with both posters and therefore looks. the sillier.

    Also a how long can you bang on without mentioning “hard-working families who do their best and play by the rules.” competition, with various penalties en route, to include garrotting.

    Better than a three-way [oo-er Missis.]

  45. Mister Pman

    “RM blames the diverse nature of information for Romney’s defeat as well as what we might call the obvious. ”

    That being that he wasn’t as popular as Obama you mean?

    I do agree that we shouldn’t have diverse nature of information though.

  46. Does BoJo not support the living wage – bloody commie!

  47. Until wages start to rise, we will continue to see polls split over whether voters are feeling the recovery in their pockets. While companies can recruit qualified low waged employees from Europe, higher employment may not result in wage rises as suggested. This is possibly behind the conundrum of higher employment but wages still rising at less than the rate of inflation. Per capita GDP is still below 2008 levels.
    I think the living wage will be a popular policy, provided it is not mandatory but applies to public bodies and those that contract with public bodies, and where companies decide to pay the living wage in return for tax incentives. There are already a number of local authorities that have living wage certification.
    As this will be the economic battle of the election : growth versus cost of living, I am somewhat surprised that the Cons are not adopting the living wage policy.

  48. As ever – this isn’t a venue for debating if policies are any good for the country or not, plenty of other places for that, only whether polling evidence suggests they are popular or not.

  49. NORBOLD
    “The Labour Party policy as agreed at the 2013 Annual Conference was exactly that, DRMIBBLES, i.e “franchises being re-nationalised as they expired” ” However when did any party hierarchy take notice of what its members agreed at Annual Conference!?”

    Depends on whether the Executive or a major interest group put it forward. In that case, which probably applies here – anyone ? – the delegates are endorsing what the hierarchy have floated.

  50. ‘And our National Health Service restored” — How will they restore the NHS?

    The Labour manifesto of 2010 said that enough money was now being spent on the NHS it would have its budget frozen and embark on a £20 billion savings drive.
    Labour talk on the NHS is a pack of lies.

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