There has been comparatively little Scottish polling since the referendum (partly I expect because newspapers had spent their budgets on pre-referendum polling). I’ve seen some people spending rather too much time collating and looking at Scottish crossbreaks in GB polls. Personally I wouldn’t recommend putting too much weight on crossbreaks – aggregating them up gets round the sample size issue, but GB polls are still weighted at the GB level. If you think back to how het up people got about whether Scottish polls were weighted by Holyrood or Westminster voting intention, factored in place of birth, things like that – the Scottish sub-sample in a GB poll have no such controls, it’s just how the Scottish respondents in a poll weighted to GB targets happen to fall out.

Nevertheless, they are a straw in the wind, and they’d been suggesting a strong showing for the SNP since the referendum. Today we have a proper, bespoke Scottish poll by Ipsos MORI and if anything it shows the SNP doing even better than the crossbreaks suggested. Topline voting intentions in Westminster with changes since the general election are CON 10%(-7), LAB 23%(-19), LDEM 6%(-13), SNP 52%(+32), GRN 6%(+5). Full results are here

This would, to say the least, be rather a radical turnaround from the last general election. I don’t think swingometers offer much guidance in the case of really extreme results (a uniform swing would be mathematically impossible on this results – for example, there are about 9 seats in Scotland where Labour got less than 19% in 2010, so couldn’t lose 19% this time round. The same applies in many seats for the Liberal Democrats) but for the record on a uniform swing these figures would result in the SNP winning all but two seats in Scotland.

208 Responses to “MORI Scottish poll shows 29 point lead for the SNP”

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  1. @Oldnat

    I mentioned political fudging yesterday and DevoMax and EVEL are the biggest squidgy brown masses of the lot.

    I want the UK to survive, but if the Scots choose independence, they should go independent and not retain the apron strings of shared currencies and other nonsense like that.

    All of the above is on the proviso the the poll is accurate of course.

  2. @Statgeek

    Ignoring the flights of post election fancy, the actual likely outcome of this kind of UK election needs to be recognised before everyone loses touch with reality. Put last night’s YouGov and this Mori into the swingometer gives overall Lab 306. Tory 249, Lib 16, Nats, Irish etc 79. Allow for Libs holding on a bit against Tories as Ashcroft suggests and UKIP damaging Tories more than Labour, you could well see Tory below 240 giving a Labour plurality of 60+.

    Ok not at all an easy parliament to manage and lots of problems – but still only one possible Prime Minister

  3. @JOHNB160

    Indeed, this would cost EdM a majority, would Cameron would probably still get the boot.

    The key point which I did not state earlier is that it would be the UK parliament with a near clear sweep of SNP members.

    The logical vote for a DevoMaxer would be SNP Holyrood, A.N.Other for Westminster.

  4. @NEIL A

    “Is it conceivable that if this actually happened, the Tories could squeak into a position to govern as a minority, assuming that mass of SNP MPs stick to their “don’t vote on English matters”?”

    It wouldn’t really improve the Tory position. Even if the SNP don’t vote on so-called English matters they’re not going to be supporting a Tory minority government.

  5. If the SNP were in such a position with either Labour or the Tories, then to achieve their objective of independence, they would need to be as disruptive and awkward as possible in order to weaken UK government. That is the point of the SNP; to weaken the UK so Scotland goes independence.

    If they did not, they should be expected to rename themselves the North British Party.

  6. It’s just a hypothetical question but say the SNP do win a large amount of seats and the predictable massacre of the Lib/Dems happens leaving the SNP as the 3rd largest party in Westminster, would they get the 3rd question at PMS’S?

    I know they did away with it because the Lib’s went into coalition but it’s something iv’e never thought about.

  7. The MORI poll also asks about the VI for the Holyrood constituencies – % vote (constituency seats – Scotland Votes – in brackets)

    SNP 56.4% (70) : Lab 23.8% (0) : Con 8.8% (1 – Etterick etc) : LD 5,8% (1 – Shetland)

    That would be a little unlikely !!!! but it might make it a bit difficult for Jim Murphy to identify a safe constituency for Holyrood to stand in. Getting top position on one of the Regional candidate slates would be essential.

  8. @Lurker

    You confuse long term with short term goals. The long term goal remains, of course, but is now on the back burner – provided the short term goal is put into practice by those who (in their opinion) won the referendum.

    The short term goal was the one denied us on the ballot paper, but is now going to be delivered – unless those who remain in Westminster want to put the knife into Jim Murphy’s back.

    You can’t go to the Daily Record promising things which you know won’t be delivered one day, and then expect to be believed when you go to the same newspaper on another day and say something to the same public.

    I suggest we look closely at the Daily Record circulation figures over the next few weeks…….

  9. @Lurker

    “If the SNP were in such a position with either Labour or the Tories, then to achieve their objective of independence, they would need to be as disruptive and awkward as possible in order to weaken UK government. That is the point of the SNP; to weaken the UK so Scotland goes independence.”

    If so, I doubt whether their aim of making the UK ungovernable through provoking a permanent constitutional crisis would in the long term be shared by the Scots that initially voted for them. An alternative scenario to yours would be for Scots to decide to get rid of those SNP MPs in favour of parties prepared to enter into responsible and stable government. There would certainly be a second general election in fairly short succession if the SNP had the numbers and acted as you think they should.

  10. @Old Nat

    Has there been any official Labour in Scotland (or Westminster) reaction to the IPSOS/MORI poll?

  11. @Allan Christie

    At this rate the only workable government will be a Con/Lab coalition, with the SNP as H.M.’s Opposition asking all the questions!

  12. 2015 Labour narrowly largest party but no overall majority. Cameron goes to the Palace to try and form a government. Says to SNP, ‘Keep your policy of no votes on English bills, support the Euro-referendum and I will give you the veto.’ SNP abstain on vote of confidence. More Tory-LibDem coalition.

    2017 Referendum. England narrowly votes to leave EU. Rest of UK votes to stay. Sturgeon says, ‘Scotland is not leaving the EU. If England wants to leave, it must leave the UK’.
    Independence for Scotland; political and economic crisis for England.

    Not the scenario I want, I should note.

  13. John160

    “Ignoring the flights of post election fancy, ”

    Taking your advice and ignoring your flight of fancy.

  14. John B

    I think it would be difficult for SNP parliamentarians to explain to SNP grassroots why they would be soft-pedalling with a near clean-sweep of Westminster MPs.

    I also agree that DevoMax needs to be delivered as that is the democratic will. I wonder if the weaselling that started as soon as the No vote occurred may have boosted the SNP vote.

    Phil Haines

    That would be a risk, but again, the objective of Scots Nats is to gain independence and I would expect the SNP grassroots to take a dim view of the SNP propping up the UK.

    If the SNP were honest they should level with people that independence means having their own currency, no Barnett formula at all etc etc. Independence means independence. Getting more dosh out of London makes Scotland less independent. It doesn’t matter that the constitution says; he who pays the piper gets to call the tunes.

  15. @Phil Haines

    The SNP would, as always, act in the best interests of….. (fill in the missing word or words…)

    Lurker is very mistaken on his view regarding the SNP’s vision of how to reduce Scotland’s participation in the UK to zero. Those nationalists (small n) who are in favour of Devo-Max could hardly have asked for a better outcome to it all. Long term we may well opt for independence, but the time is not propitious, and we want to give these new powers a go first to see how it works. If things look good we may stay where we are for a while, before moving on.

    Now, the point of threatening to send 200 SNP MPs to Westminster, or however many it is, is to make sure that, finally, EM, DC and NC get the message – something which they claimed they had done around September 15th, but which, sadly, seems to have escaped them once more…..

    “Hold their feet to the fire!” said someone. Now that was good advice!

  16. @John B

    “Has there been any official Labour in Scotland (or Westminster) reaction to the IPSOS/MORI poll?”

    I would guess that the unofficial reaction would be something along the lines of “good riddance” to Johann Lamont, given that the fieldwork straddled the period of maximum destruction that she sought to cause by the manner of her resignation.

  17. Remember – the SNP, like most other parties, is a coalition, not a monolithic bloc.

  18. According to R4 Labour think that 10 to 15 of their Scottish seats are vulnerable.

  19. Lurker

    Your observations are interesting.

    However, I’ve had a chat with Nicola and she thanks you for your interest, but regretfully declines your application to be her strategic political adviser.

  20. John B

    It is completely bl**dy obvious that a large part of the SNP want independence ASAP. If a large part of the SNP actively prefer gradualism (rather than choosing it as a pragmatic choice) then they are for a huge split if they do gain as many Westminster seats as that poll suggests.

    It is perfectly logical to assume that a small-n nationalist voter is one that split-tickets between the SNP for Holyrood and Labour/Lib Dem for Westminster. If you vote SNP both ways (given the purpose of the Westminster Parliament) then you are either a large-N Nationalist or a bit thick.

  21. @Lurker

    You see, voting for the SNP does not mean that you want Scotland to be independent tomorrow.
    What folk in the south need to realise is that the Scots, through the Indyref process, have rediscovered the idea that Sovereignty rests with the people and that politicians are there to serve us, not to tell us what we are to do.

    So tomorrow I may vote one way and the day after another, because I want to make sure politicians realise that we are not going to be taken for granted by anyone.

    And if the SNP starts to take us for granted we’ll do the same to them as we’re doing to Labour. Understood?

  22. To draw an analogy if the SNP won a near clean-sweep, it would be like Clement Attlee winning his landslide in 1945 and then saying “wait until 1960 for the NHS”. Wouldn’t Happen.

    I need to emphasise that this is NOT what I want see happen!

  23. Are the drug laws ever like to become a devolved matter?

    Incidentally, those arguing for EL4EV seem to have forgotten that some laws, such as the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, currently apply UK-wide and fall under the jurisdiction of the Home Secretary.

  24. @Lurker

    And of course all SNP people want independence.

    But they are also aware that it would be very unpopular to demand another Indyref so soon after the last one. They know that.. So they know that the people of Scotland are wanting them to go to Westminster to make sure that the pressure is maintained for Devo-Max.

    Independence can wait a while for now. We have moved on. It’s the Labour dinosaurs and those who don’t understand what has happened in Scotland (e.g. the House of Lord debate yesterday) who haven’t move on and keep thinking we’re still in the Indyref campaign.

    In my humble opinion, that is…

  25. On the other hand, if you think we ought to have another referendum and one is forced on us by Westminster, then I suppose we’ll have to do as we’re told……

  26. @ Anthony

    Do YouGov prompt for the SNP in GB-wide polling for respondents living in Scotland? If not that could be another problem with aggregating the tabs…

  27. Number Cruncher

    I’m on YG panel – they do prompt for SNP.

  28. It is a well known fact that bubbles eventually burst, even though for a period before then they have a lovely rainbow hue.

  29. After this IPSOS-MORI poll I will eagerly await the promised Survation poll for some sort of comparison.
    The current poll tells us nothing about from where the SNP overall majority poll lead comes. We really need to see a poll that identifies previous party allegiance and a regional breakdown ,to be able to judge a little better the effect on individual seats.
    Of course that would still leave the extra 20% that turned out in the Referendum but not in 2010, can we assume they are all likely to vote SNP?

  30. @ Oldnat


  31. Is Ashcroft planning a Scottish poll. I thought he was?

  32. @Lurker

    It is absolute nonsense to assume the SNP would disrupt Westminster. They are the governing party in Scotland if they weren’t a responsible party then they would hardly have won twice and be still so popular.

    The reason the SNP are so high is people realise independence is off the table for the immediate futures so want Devo-max. The SNP’s devolution proposal on recent polling is close to what most Scots want. So an SNP vote in May is to guarantee a good devolution deal. And because people became informed during the independence campaign they know how funding, Barnet, oil revenues, corporation tax work and that the unionist proposals might leave us even worse off – so the SNP will also protect Scotland from being conned.

  33. Sorry to barge into this private discussion by the way.

  34. @ Howard – yes, but I think it’s constituencies, not national

  35. @John B

    “So tomorrow I may vote one way and the day after another, because I want to make sure politicians realise that we are not going to be taken for granted by anyone.”

    That pretty much sums up my own political attitude. The SNP are the most ‘annoying’ option for the establishment (I can vote for), which has neglected peoples’ preferred choices and opinions for far too long.

    When they start listening and behaving more as elected representatives, and less as elitist individuals with expenses and mortgage flipping, they will become more electable.

  36. Howard

    Glad you could join us!

    The composition of the UK Parliament interests all on here – as should the reactions of the parties to events and polls that occur along the way.

    Ashcroft’s plan was to test opinion in a number of Labour constituencies in Scotland.

  37. Statgeek @John B

    I’m not sure that anyone on here (even Peter Cairns) is an unreconstructed SNP partisan.

    Currently, I see them as the best bet for the immediate future, but I’ll definitely support someone else at some point to avoid them simply becoming the arrogant party of the establishment that SLab had become.

  38. Thanks OldNat
    It will be good to see if the Mori poll results are supported, so well worth anticipating.

    I have this feeling that one swallow….etc, but that there is a huge shift, as was previously indicated by the crossbreak watchers, is undeniable.

  39. @Couper2802

    I’m glad that you understand how corporation tax works. So we are agreed that the consequence of allowing different jurisdictions within the UK to create local tax havens is that firms will relocate their notional headquarters in order to cut the overall amount of corporation tax that they pay within the UK, leaving the national Exchequer with a big headache. Good luck with that.

  40. MORI poll – Party support by area of affluence (1=most deprived : 5 = least deprived)

    1. – SNP 66% : Lab 17% : Con 3% : LD 9% : Grn 3%
    2. – SNP 53% : Lab 28% : Con 9% : LD 2% : Grn 5%
    3. – SNP 58% : Lab 21% : Con 10% : LD 3% : Grn 7%
    4. – SNP 48% : Lab 26% : Con 11% : LD 8% : Grn 3%
    5. – SNP 44% : Lab 20% : Con 14% : LD 8% : Grn 12%

  41. Neil A

    Is it conceivable that if this actually happened, the Tories could squeak into a position to govern as a minority, assuming that mass of SNP MPs stick to their “don’t vote on English matters”?

    No, at least not without other changes on VI in general. If Labour poll across GB at a certain level, then a Scottish massacre implies they will do a bit better than expected elsewhere, so effectively the SNP take some seats off the Conservatives as well and the latter’s total goes down as well. The SNP will not allow the Tories to form a minority government unless they can pin the blame for it very clearly on Labour inaction.

    But equally they are not going to be at Labour’s beck and call as some on here hope. What they will probably try to do is force a minority Labour government to rely on Conservative support for unpopular[1] measures. Whether being deprived of absolute power will make Labour refuse to cooperate (as seems to have happened in 2010) is another matter, but I’m suspect another period of sulking in relaxing opposition will not go down well if the numbers are more favourable this time.

    I can’t see the SNP ignoring all English votes as well – as I pointed out in the EV4EL discussion, you can always find an excuse why something is ‘really’ a UK matter. So something like HS2 which is not popular in Scotland could easily be opposed.

    [1] Or at least unpopular in Scotland and if possible among Labour supporters more generally.

  42. @Couper and Scots Nat

    I hope that all SNP voters accept that the SNP have decided to embrace Unionism in 2015. Indeed I am happy to corrected on my false assumption that their current policy is not independence rather than British Regionalism.

    I am sure that all the 45% which voted for independence will not see that as a sell out.

  43. MORI poll – Party support by Urban/Rural

    Urban – SNP 52% : Lab 25% : Con 9% : LD 6% : Grn 7%
    Rural – SNP 60% : Lab 11% : Con 13% : LD 7% : Grn 4%

  44. Sorry for garbling on last message. Using phone. Hope you get the gist .

  45. MORI poll – Party support by Gender (Sturgeon effect?)

    Female – SNP 51% : Lab 24% : Con 10% : LD 7% : Grn 6%
    Male – SNP 53% : Lab 22% : Con 10% : LD 5% : Grn 6%

  46. Number Cruncher

    Do YouGov prompt for the SNP in GB-wide polling for respondents living in Scotland?

    Not only do they do so for those living in Scotland (as I think all the pollsters do), but they appear to do so for all their panelists. Hence the frequent appearance of non-zero support for SNP/PC in regions containing neither Scotland nor Wales. Most pollsters first ask which country people live in and then present the appropriate list, YouGov seem to give everyone the option.

    Presumably some of these may be entries made in error or where people now living in Scotland or Wales but haven’t updated their YouGov details. And some may be temporary expats, still on the register back home. But it all implies that if anything the cross-breaks may have a small systematic bias away from the SNP – one that your correction for demographic differences wouldn’t pick up.

  47. MORI poll – Party support by age band

    18-24 – SNP 57% : Lab 21% : Con 7% : LD 6% : Grn 9%
    25-34 – SNP 59% : Lab 14% : Con 5% : LD 5% : Grn 15%
    35-54 – SNP 61% : Lab 20% : Con 8% : LD 5% : Grn 5%
    55+ – SNP 41% : Lab 29% : Con 13% : LD 8% : Grn 3%

  48. Interesting that this surge in SNP follows on from Salmond’s announcing he is stepping down.

    Just adding to theories of cause and effect.

  49. OLDNAT

    MORI poll – Party support by age band

    “55+ – SNP 41% : Lab 29% : Con 13% : LD 8% : Grn 3%”

    Aye they old gits are at it again and skewing the VI ;-)


    “Interesting that this surge in SNP follows on from Salmond’s announcing he is stepping down”

    “Just adding to theories of cause and effect”

    I know and Johann Lamont being such a Colossus in the Labour party appears to have taken her personal vote with her at the same time.

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