I’m out this evening so won’t be around to write about the new ComRes/Independent on Sunday poll we are due or the regular YouGov/Sunday Times poll, but in meantime just to note the latest YouGov Scottish poll in this morning’s Sun. The topline figures don’t suggest the surge in SNP support is fading at all, quite the opposite – topline figures for Westminster voting intention with changes from the previous YouGov Scottish poll at the end of October are CON 16%(+1), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 3%(-1), SNP 47%(+4), GRN 3%(-1), UKIP 3%(-3).

Needless to say, the poll was conducted before Jim Murphy was announced as Scottish Labour’s new leader. He would appear to have quite a job on his hands.

125 Responses to “YouGov/Sun Scottish poll gives SNP twenty point lead”

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  1. The two biggest parties on 74%?

  2. I wonder if the Lib Dems can hold a seat at this level.

  3. 3 biggest on 90?

  4. @Pthiers

    Danny Alexander is going to hold his seat, and we’ll see if Labour and the Tories will endorse the Lib Dem candidate in Gordon to prevent Salmond from getting that seat.

  5. Ptheirs
    As others have said 2 are safe in almost all circumstances but the rest?

  6. Pthiers,

    Careful: methodological issues might have resulted in the Lib Dem vote being inflated in this poll.

  7. @Alfonso

    I presume that any obvious uniting of parties to prevent another party from getting in (in any scenario) would be seen as counter-productive. It just tells the electorate of the fear of the party in question.

    Will we see Lab, Lib and Con unite in England to stop UKIP? Will it benefit them? I doubt it. It’s very negative.


    Orkney & Shetland – Alistair Carmichael – 9,928
    Ross, Skye and Lochaber – Charles Kennedy – 13,070
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk – Michael Moore – 5,675
    Fife North East – Menzies Campbell* – 9,048
    Dunbartonshire East – Jo Swinson – 2,048

    According to Electoral Calculus, those seats are the safest five. Danny Alexander’s seat doesn’t appear until you apply 15% or more to Lib in Scotland, and less than 40% to SNP. Perhaps it’s a good example of how UNS calcs have limitations, and perhaps it’s also an example of badly the Lib Dem vote has dropped.

    Contrary to most, I believe Alexander will struggle to win in 2015, short of some “unite against the SNP” pact by the three WM parties.

  8. Forgot to add – *Menzies Campbell standing down.

  9. Reminds me of this from 2011:


    “The Lib Dems are NOT on 3% in Scotland*”

    The asterisk could have been ‘yet’ ;)

  10. @Barney C
    “The two biggest parties on 74%? 3 biggest on 90?”
    They won’t all vote.
    The polling VI always add up to 100% [of the sample], or at least to about 90% with just a few % who ‘don’t know’ or ‘will not vote’. Actual election turnouts averaged 65% in 2010, under 60% in 2005.

  11. Oh good, a Scottish thread. It must have been very frustrating for all those interested in Scottish politics not being able to contribute anything on that last thread…..

  12. Norbold

  13. @Statgeek @Alfonso
    Party memberships are around 100,000 nationally which makes them around 150 for constituencies in which 60,000 people vote. Organizing tactical voting is not nearly as easy as getting supporters out to vote for you, and that is hard enough. In by-elections there are often a great many more activists around; more hyped media publicity and lower turnouts. The commentators tend to say “those protest voters will return to party X at the general election” while arranged tactical voting implies that that can be stopped and even that people can be persuaded to vote for Party A that they have never supported in their lives in order to keep out party B. You can’t have it both ways, and it is only likely to work in a marginal.
    Once again it is better to compare numbers than %s. The poll results involve a few hundred. In the present rather fevered atmosphere, I find it easier to believe that say 200 people polled decide to say “I will vote SNP” [instead of some other party] than that the SNP will win all the Scottish seats.
    One of the inherent biases in a poll is that those chosen know that their answers will affect a publicized result, while in a general election one vote is usually insignificant. Knowing that some notice may result from your action, there may be a greater temptation to ‘vote for’ the result you would like to see, and risk ‘wasting your vote’ rather than play safe with an established party with a good chance of winning. [In practice what I say does not work, being swallowed up in MoE, but most people take little or no account of the MoE that means 30% is ‘somewhere between about 27 to 33’.

  14. @SocalLiberal

    So, your man has made it to the top at last! Jim Murphy is now the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party and, all things considered, probably the wise choice. Of course, much will be made of his Blairite and Westminster past (and present) but he’s a politician I’ve always admired and one who defies lazy labelling. He strikes me as someone with an independent mind and who is not afraid to depart from the party line; just the sort of politician, in fact, who can revive Labour’s flagging fortunes north of the border. He campaigned effectively during the Referendum campaign and gained some kudos for doing so and I thought his ridiculing of the SNP defeat celebrations suggested someone with an easy command of political repartee. As Anthony says, he has a big job on his hands but I think he’s got as good a chance of reviving Scottish Labour as anyone else.

    Of course, I now expect a deluge of SNP supporters, and their strange and exotic bunch of fellow travellers, to tell me that I’m talking the purest tosh and that Murphy will be an utterly disastrous leader.


  15. Johann Lamont voted for Boyack 1, Findlay 2, and snubbed Murphy – Oh Dear

  16. About Danny Alexander’s seat, there was an ICM constituency poll conducted in May this year, which suggested total collapse.

    Con: 12 (-1) Lab: 25 (+3) LD: 16 (-25) UKIP: 7 (+6) Green: 4 (+2) SNP: 32 (+13)


  17. Very significant issues for Labour, and by extension for the whole GE result, in Scotland right now.

    Startling to see the speed and extent of the collapse, and a genuine fight in a place where most had previously assumed it was sewn up for one of the big two UK parties.

    This just backs up observations previously made that pretending to know what the result will be in May is just that – pretending.

    The big question will need to be how much Labour needs to regain to prevent major losses in seats. I’m aware of the theoretical lack of Labour marginals in Scotland, but the Lib Dem collapse and rise in SNP makes swing a difficult calculation. There must also be concerns about Labour lack of ground cover with the poor state of the party at local level.

    We’ll see in 5 months or so whether Jim really makes his name. Either Labour are going to be swept away, or the Scottish headlines will make a defeat look like a victory would be my two guesses at what comes next.

  18. @ Calum Findlay

    I like the way that only 46% could name him as their current MP, but 52% thought Danny Alexander was doing a ‘Quite’ or ‘Very’ good job as Chief Secretary to the Treasury!

  19. Judging by the previous thread it isn’t the SNP supporters who are saying Murphy will be an “utterly disastrous leader.”

    It is the Labour supporters on UKPR :-)

  20. I know it’s all about the distribution of votes but how can any party in Scotland win 1 or 2 seats the next GE with just 3% of the vote? In that case the Tories would expect to win 5 or 10 seats – it’s just plain silly.

  21. ALEC

    I have always rated him as a political opponent .

    And this seems like a typically punchy start for him-and to an outsider, right on the button.


    But you only have to read some of the comments below ( & the previous thread here ! ) to get a flavour of the destructive schisms & historic issues which seem to characterise Scottish politics so.

    They make Northern Ireland’s politics look like a playground spat.

  22. Colin
    But those who support Labour in Scotland have not said he is disastrous whether or not they voted for him, I don’t think. One reason I post on this site (and virtually no other) is to attempt to correct misconceptions of the Scottish political scene held by left of centre posters from England.

  23. @Barrel

    I know it’s all about the distribution of votes but how can any party in Scotland win 1 or 2 seats the next GE with just 3% of the vote?

    Because the poll is asking voting intention, not how do you intend to vote in your constituency.

    It makes a big difference for the Lib Dems as we saw with Ashcroft’s marginal polls.

    I’d like to know if it also makes any difference for Labour in Scotland seats.

  24. BARNEY

    Thanks-yes I should remind myself that Lab supporters here are not a typical bunch.

    It can colour ones judgement.

    Though politics in Scotland does seem more like religious zealotry at times :-)

  25. Colin

  26. @Calum Findlay

    If we apply current polling versus the 2010 election result, Alexander’s seat might be:

    SNP 38.8%
    Con 13.6%
    Lib 13.1%
    Lab 13.0%
    Green 7.3%
    UKIP 6.7%

    These figures leave Others on 7.5%, which isn’t too likely. If the Lib Dem support has dropped by two thirds, then DA’s 40% could easily be 13% in 2015. There’s nothing to suggest they won’t flock to SNP, Green and Lab, along with other parts of Scotland.

    That poll of yours seems to suggest that DS’s seat isn’t as solid as we might believe. What’s more, the past six months haven’t been massively kind to the Lib Dems (although they have been on the rise in Scotland of late…this latest poll goes against that though).


    Think of this.

    The SNP could theoretically get 40 seats in a UK election with 3.5% of the GB votes, while Lab or Con could get 300 seats with 35% of the GB votes.

    It’s all about concentration of votes (or a lack thereof).


    “Of course, I now expect a deluge of SNP supporters, and their strange and exotic bunch of fellow travellers, to tell me that I’m talking the purest tosh and that Murphy will be an utterly disastrous leader.”

    Until he’s in Holyrood, he won’t be a leader at all (well not one that will challenge the FM on a regular basis).

  27. Typo: DS’s seat should be DA’s seat

  28. Well, well. I can see how it would make sense to Scottish former Labour voters but although I’ve thought for a long time that New Labour would eventually wipe Lab out (except where they replaced the electorate) I always thought Scotland would be the last to go – but it seems I didn’t take enough account of Blair’s devolution schemes on the process.

  29. On that ICM poll of Danny Alexander’s seat – it was widely discredited at the time because it did not ask the ‘in your constituency question.

    You can see the difference that makes in Scotland LD marginals in this Ashcroft poll of LD Scotland marginals


    Headline LD was 12, that nearly doubled to 20 when asked the ‘in your constituency’ question.

  30. peter bell

    I’ve sorted out the black leggings for the girls, as requested.

  31. @Andy JS

    Have you seen:


    The probability is set that all seats above 50% give the SNP 28 gains. The ‘SNP losses’ page is blank! (confident)

    I think most would agree that 34 SNP seats on the current polling would be fair, rather than in the 20s or 40s (The Hi and Lo figures are 45 and 24 respectively).

  32. @ Couper2802

    Johann Lamont voted for Boyack 1, Findlay 2, and snubbed Murphy – Oh Dear
    She didn’t. She voted Findlay 1 & Boyack 2.

  33. Comres (for Indy on Sunday)

    Con 33
    Lab 34
    LD 8
    Ukip 18
    Green 2

  34. I guess that means the SNP are on 5% which more or less tallues with the YG Scotland poll.

  35. So the latest UK polling shows Lab and Con above 65%:

    Populus 69%, YG 66%, Comres 67%.

  36. Former DPP Sir Keir Stamer chosen to be the Labour candidate for the safe central Londin seat of Holborn and St Pancras. Frank Dobson (the losing Labour candidate for Lobdon Mayor in 2000 – the year Ken Livingston won as an Independent) is standing down.

    Dobson’s carrer never quite recovered from being seen as the Labour leadership’s attempt to impose its own man on an independent minded city electorate.

  37. @RAF

    Plaid Cymru, BNP, Respect and others tend to make up 1-2%. SNP on 3.5% is about 40% in Scotland.

  38. @Statgeek

    Thanks. I haven’t seen the full breakdown. Just a tweet from Mike Smithson that unhelpfully left out the SNP score.

  39. Comres tables here


    Once again they have done something strange with their turnout/ don’t know filter

    Page 3 figures (5-10) likely to vote before adjustment of don’t know/ refusers has

    Cons 30
    Lab 30
    LD 7
    UKIP 22
    Green 4
    SNP 4

    Then they do something to downgrade their high UKIP figures since they started prompting for them, which also downgrades the Greens by 50%, and boost the Cons and Labour.

    Once again, I cannot follow the calculation.

  40. Anthony

    I tried applying that 1*10/10, .9 *9/10 likelihood to vote that worked on their phone poll 2 weeks ago, and that does not work on this online poll, so they are clearly using a different methodology online vs phone.

    applying that gave
    Cons 31
    Lab 32
    LD 8
    UKIP 22
    Green 4
    SNP 4

    I tried applying a strict 10/10 filter for Green and UKIP that we saw them use on that constituency poll, and came closer to the headline results, but the figures did not reflect the figures on table 6.

    That came out as
    Cons 34
    Lab 35
    LD 8
    UKIP 17
    Green 3
    SNP 4

    In order to understand house effects, we need to understand what the calculation is that they are doing.

  41. Very interested to see that Kier Stamer is standing for Frank Dobsons seat in
    the general election.Now there’s charisma.

  42. Observer says that the coalition have raised the limit for GE campaign spending by 23%. There doesn’t seem to have been any cross-party discussion.

    I doubt it will affect the level of spending for any of the parties except the Tories, and possibly Ukip. The headline reads that ‘The Tories are accused of trying to ‘buy the election’ …


    Jim Murphy’s political position does not appeal to me but I think his brave actions, when the police helicopter crashed into the hotel and bar, deserve huge respect.

  43. charles hymas [email protected] · 9 mins9 minutes ago
    #sundaytimes #yougov Our latest poll has Tory and Labour still tied: CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%


  44. a in w

    “Very interested to see that Kier Stamer is standing for Frank Dobsons seat in
    the general election.Now there’s charisma.”

    What? Dobbo??

  45. Some sympathy with those complaining that Scottish affairs are somewhat over represented here.

    I don’t think it’s unique to UKPR though. I’ve just seen the BBC headlines, and apparently the stranded passengers at southern airports are blaming the Nats for this.

  46. So Jim Murphy won by a substantial majority which means a lot of Scottish Labour supporters have no idea?
    It’s called democracy innit?
    And as for Scottish politicians going from Westminster and Holyrood, Salmond seems to be a trail- blazer.

  47. I think Murphy’s positioning in Scotland is interesting. It’s clear that he is heading left, doing something that Scottish Labour was remarkably hesitant to do previously.

    Partly I suspect this was because they didn’t need to – they owned Scotland, which has become part of their problem. But also I suspect it was because Westminster Labour were anxious to avoid unnerving southern swing voters.

    I wonder whether the referendum debate has at last given Labour the chance to benefit from devolution. The debate was widely covered in England, and this, and subsequent events, including the talk of EVEL, have helped cement in the minds of English voters the idea that Scotland is politically different.

    I doubt that a more left leaning Labour party in Scotland will be seen in the south as an issue – Scotland is another country, and they do what they do. Let them get on with it.

    Liberals have for years got away with running completely different campaigns depending on who their targets were, but perhaps now Labour are finding themselves in a similar position, thanks to devolution.

    There’s no question that Jim is challenging the SNP on their own terms, and he seems largely immune to any concerns that he might spook the southern horses, se perhaps that particular problem has passed for Labour?

  48. If the SNP are turning left and Labour are turning left, and the Greens are already left, and the Lib Dems have collapsed, then one wonders if there is some ground opening up for the Tories in Scotland on the right and centre.

  49. Paul (7.26)

    Just seen your post. Thought your team looked very good. Had forgotten how bad a record we have against the Arse. Just hope we do better in the derby next w/e, although our recent record again the Mackems isn’t very good either.

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