Survation have a new Scottish poll in this morning’s Daily Record. Topline voting intentions for the Westminster general election are CON 16%, LAB 24%, LDEM 5%, SNP 48%, UKIP 4%, GRN 1%. The poll was conducted between Monday and Thursday so wholly after Jim Murphy’s election as Scottish leader – it has clearly had no positive effect for the Labour party. Full tabs are here.

If these figures were repeated at the general election they would result in a crushing victory for the SNP. On a uniform national swing the SNP would win 54 of the 59 seats in Scotland. Of course, were these figures to be maintained and were the next election to be a complete sea-change in how people vote in Scotland, I wouldn’t expect uniform national swing to be a useful predictor anyway. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will over-state SNP performance: Labour are down 18 percent since the last election, the Lib Dems down 14 percent. There were eight seats where Labour got less than 18 percent at the last election, thirty-two seats where the Liberal Democrats got less than 14 percent – it is mathematically impossible for Labour and the Lib Dems to lose enough votes uniformly across the country.

We’ll have a better idea of how the surge in SNP support is distributed across individual seats once Lord Ashcroft carries out his long awaited constituency polling in Scotland early next year. In the meantime, the question for Scottish polling is to what extent, if at all, Labour can recover in Scotland in the five months we have left until the election.

89 Responses to “Survation Scottish poll shows SNP 24 points ahead”

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  1. First?

    Just to give the Survation poll some eye candy (caveats on UNS etc).

  2. “During the referendum Scotland was divided between Yes or No. But in the general election most Scots will be united in wanting to get David Cameron out of Downing Street. The choice Scots will face next year is between sending SNP MPs to the House of Commons to protest against the Tories, or Scottish Labour MPs who will remove the Tories. Voting SNP or Green in 2015 could accidentally keep the Tories in power.”

    New cover, same record so far. I think Jim wouldn’t mind a sweeping SNP victory at Westminster. Puts the pressure on then and off him; though they thought the same with the 07 election.

  3. There’s some rumours going around on Twitter that Survation massively oversampled “yes” voters” (53% was mentioned). But if you look at the weighted indyref vote figures in the ‘all respondents’ table, we find 411 “yes” and 509 “no”. Dividing 411 by (411+509) gives, to one decimal place, the exact referendum “yes” share of 44.7%.

    On the other side, some have been suggesting that Murphy’s election caused the SNP lead to widen. This is a matter of opinion, but I also think that’s wrong – Given that the last Survation Scottish poll had a lead of 22pts and YouGov crosstabs have shown a further 1% swing from LAB to SNP since, I’d call a 24pt lead “par”, with all the move having happened before last weekend. So no bounce, positive or negative.

    Updated chart:

  4. About time we had a Scottish thread.

  5. ” There’s some rumours going around on Twitter…”


    Speaking of Twitter rumours, haven’t see Allan Christie around lately.
    Hope all’s well…

  6. Taxi for Carfrew.

  7. This ought to be very good news for “Old” Labour supporters.

    As the SNP are a more ‘traditional’ left wing party than the modern Labour party, I imagine their support in any coalition will be conditional on seeing more left wing policies.

    Very hard to see the SNP forming any part of a coalition with CON.

  8. Nicola Sturgeon has already made it clear that they will not go into coalition with the Conservatives.

  9. As Anthony says “I wouldn’t expect uniform national swing [within Scotland] to be a useful predictor anyway”.

    Indeed, within the geographic cross-breaks (usual caveats apply) the change in party strengths show not unexpected variations.

    Whether these variations are replicated in Ashcroft’s constituency polling is another matter! but, for what’s it worth, the changes between the 2010 vote in the Scottish regions and this poll are –

    Central : Con +8% : Lab -32% : LD -4% : SNP +23% : Oth +6%
    Glasgow : Con +4% : Lab -25% : LD -9% : SNP +30% : Oth 0%
    H&I : Con +3% : Lab -5% : LD -27% : SNP +23% : Oth +6%
    Lothian : Con -1% : Lab -14% : LD -21% : SNP +32% : Oth +3%
    Mid & Fife : Con -4% : Lab -9% : LD -12% : SNP +21% : Oth +3%
    NE : Con -5% : Lab -6% : LD -17% : SNP +28% : Oth 0%
    South : Con -11% : Lab -22% : LD -10% : SNP +32% : Oth +11%
    West : Con -1% : Lab -25% : LD -11% : SNP +33% : Oth +4%

  10. “As the SNP are a more “traditional left wing” party”

    The ultimate cross-dressers.

    All through the eighties and nineties, they were the Tartan Tories!

  11. I think OldNat we can say with confidence now that post referendum all cross breaks for Mid Scotland & Fife have shown a consistent pattern of the Labour vote holding up better than in other areas. Lothians also seems slightly better for Labour (which I’d expect too).

    If I had to put £5 on a single Labour Candidate to be elected an MP next May I reckon I’d go for Kenny Selbie in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (who isn’t actually the candidate yet but should be soon).

  12. carfrew

    Please don’t tempt fate.

    It’s been nice.

  13. Seems to me that what happens in Scotland will more or less decide the outcome of the UK election. If, as this poll suggests, the SNP crush Labour in Scotland in May next year then you can more or less say San Fairy Ann to a majority Labour Government.

    Probably a minority one too and, even though it’s hellishly difficult to predict the outcome from the almost endless possible permutations, if Labour go down to a bad one in Scotland, my money would be on another Tory/Lib Dem coalition in Westminster.

  14. @ Oldnat

    Interesting stuff. The MoE on those sorts of sizes is about ±9, depending which one. No idea about weighting bias with regional crosstabs, there just haven’t been enough Scottish polls. And the electionforecast guys don’t have enough microdata… But one or two seats could end up with some very interesting 3-way contests (I know Scotland is known for that kind of thing)


    “Taxi for Carfrew”


    Erm… Allan?…

  16. Crossbat

    Using Anthony’s Advanced Swingometer, and the latest YG poll, Lab would be the largest party in England, and then you have to add in the Lab over Con margins in Wales & Scotland.

    Tories could be the largest UK party – but only if England elects a Con majority,

  17. We should have learnt from the referendum that there’s usually a lag between events and poll movements in Scotland. Murphy was elected leader, what, nine days ago? Obviously the election isn’t going to change things – it’s his performance as a politician, and, in this particular case, the performance of those who wish him not to be seen as an appealing to a particular demographic of voter – that will make a difference.

  18. Number Cruncher

    Yes. While I wasn’t suggesting that these variations would occur in practice, that there will be significant variations in party strengths in individual constituencies seems inevitable.

    I can also see votes for SSP, SGP or UKIP potentially determining an FPTP result or two.

  19. MissGlenghis

    “We should have learnt from the referendum that there’s usually a lag between events and poll movements in Scotland.”

    Sorry. You’ve lost me with that comment.

  20. @David in France

    I doubt the SNP’s price for C&S or something broader would be more centre left policies for the UK. The SNP as a party have no real interest in anything other than Scotland. And more precisely for the UK government to enact policies that take Scotland closer to full Home Rule and ultimately Independence. That will be their price.

    I take nothing away from Nicola Sturgeon’s clear position on the left of politics (far clearer than AS). I just don’t think it will be the decisive factor on what kind of arrangement the SNP may accept.

  21. ‘A lag’ means is a period of time between two events, often specifically used when one event is seen to be the cause of the other.

    My impression from the Scottish polling over the referendum is that the reaction to an event didn’t follow an event immediately, or didn’t show immediately, in the polls. It often took two to three weeks to play through.

  22. RAF

    Respectfully I’d disagree. The SNP Westminster pitch is that they’ll demand more left wing policies and more autonomy than Smith offers.

    The constitutional stuff will by definition take a while to sort out but a few bits of left wing red meat could be agreed fairly quickly and show a quick win for a C&S deal.

    If the SNP minority government experience of 2007 is a template then expect something high profile but easy to agree. The left wing equivalent of the Scottish Tories more Police numbers deal (rise in minimum wage maybe) can be negotiated straight away and be the initial price for SNP support.

  23. Yes but some ultra independence types might think -get the tories in ,english and NI votes in the referendum go for brexit whilst scots and welsh vote to stay in.Game set and match for independence next time round.

    Alternative scenario labour becomes minorty government meanwhile cameron is replaced by may or johnson who both declare for brexit .Miliband loses second election ,then as per scenario 1.

    What could go wrong old nat ?

  24. MissGlenghis

    I did understand the term lag. It was your suggestion that Scots were slower to respond to events that was strange.

    I’d advise being aware of Anthony’s oft repeated advice not to expect polling movements to mirror those events that happen to have penetrated the consciousness of the observer.

  25. As someone, among many others, who reads the posts on this site, may i mention the recent death of John Freeman 20 December? Probably someone has mentioned it already.

    John Freeman was one of a group of three cabinet ministers who resigned from the post war Labour government. The others were Aneurin Bevan and Harold Wilson. The resignations were in protest against the imposition of prescription charges. Two things happened as a result of the resignations. First, it weakened the Labour government, second, it was an early sign of Harold Wilson as a leader of the left of the Labour party.

    Therefore, Freeman had a historic role in UK politics here. I have to say that my knowledge has come from reading, as at the time, I was only about three years old.

  26. I’d advise being aware of Anthony’s oft repeated advice not to expect polling movements to mirror those events that happen to have penetrated the consciousness of the observer.

    Thanks for this advice. I’ll be sure to take good note of it.

  27. As a further comment on John Freeman, he became a TV interviewer and did a famous interview of Tony Hancock. It which Hancock seemed to admit that he really was like the comic character that he portrayed. As a modern comparison the comedienne Miranda Hart sometimes discussed whether she is really like the comic character which she portrays.

  28. Britain Elects [email protected] 5m5 minutes ago

    National Opinion Poll (YouGov): LAB – 36% (+2) CON – 32% (-) UKIP – 16% (+1) LDEM – 6% (-) GRN – 5% (-3) Final YouGov poll of 2014.

  29. Had too much wine tonight I think as I am seeing 36/32 – surely not?

    Polpulus threatened to spoil the Labour supporters feel-good as we enter a 2 weeks break but along comes YG to restore.

    Looks like (hic) a better, xmas (hic) for Lab than (hic) Cons

  30. Swing from Green to Labour… I would have quite a bit of money of that being 2010 Lib Dems shifting around

  31. If that’s it until after Christmas, it must be time for AW to update his UKPR polling average.

  32. YouGov/Sun final voting intention poll of the year tonight has Lab 4 ahead. LAB 36%, CON 32%, UKIP 16%, LDEM 6%, GRN 5%.

    If you go back and check the VIs of the two main parties at about this time 12 months ago, they do make interesting reading. The Tories are spookily close to where they are now, bobbing around in the low 30s, although, without getting my calculator out, they were probably averaging a little higher back then. The Labour leads were larger (6-8% range) by dint of them regularly hitting the high 30s, with even the odd 40 plus making an appearance. The reduction in the Labour VI that has taken place in 2014 is the really striking feature, although there looks to me to also be a slight, yet definitely discernible, reduction in the Tory VI too. That’s why I don’t entirely buy Anthony’s theory that the decline in economic confidence in the autumn has stalled a Tory advance. I think we may be in danger of confusing a narrowing in the polls with a Tory resurgence because if you wade through the hundreds of polls throughout 2014, it’s very difficult to see where any great improvement in the Tory VI has taken place. It seems to me that they’ve been bumping around in the low 30s, consistently, throughout the whole year and have only really got close to Labour when Labour have sunk to their level.

    I would have thought that if these polls were moving on the basis of levels of economic confidence, then they’d have moved more significantly and in different ways. Instead, all I see is the steady sinking of both Labour and the Tories, accompanied by the rise of SNP, UKIP and the Greens.

    In a nutshell, I don’t think the Tories have suffered from the decline in economic confidence because there is precious little evidence that they were profiting from any rise in confidence early in the year. Their VI appears to remain impervious to events, both good and bad. Quite extraordinary really, almost as if their support is eerily inert. Labour’s appears much more volatile and could just be on a mild upswing at present.

    It is on the basis of that mild upswing that I join Mr JimJam in a pre-Christmas beverage and offer a very mild toast to the man they call A Waste of Space!

  33. See PK is saying Tories would have won with AV(and boundary changes)

  34. @Oldnat – “I did understand the term lag. It was your suggestion that Scots were slower to respond to events that was strange.”

    That’s the conceit of the Scot. No such thing was suggested.

    The postulation was that polls lag events in Scotland. At no point was any reference or implication made that Scots were slower to respond than anyone else.

    On Yougov – remember – we’ve been told – there is no poll movement to Labour.

  35. “But he (Cameron) also wanted the House of Commons to reduce its size of from 650 MPs to 600. Ostensibly, this was about cutting the cost of Parliament. In truth, it was about giving the Tories the 20-seat bonus, relative to Labour, that number-crunchers said would be his. ”

    eh? But AW you moderated me when I suggested exactly that (?)


  36. @Alec

    On Yougov – remember – we’ve been told – there is no poll movement to Labour.


  37. It’s starting to look a bit like destiny for EM.

    He’s had the year from hell – dire personal popularity ratings, rumours of a mutiny, the Scotland referendum and post referendum surge (largely at Labour’s expense), the second wave of Ukip surge in VI largely coming at Labour’s expense and the rise of the Greens….and yet…Labour’s VI at the end of the year is trending back towards 35%.

    It could all go horribly wrong for him. Any and or all of the above could bring Labour’s VI crashing down.

    But it may be, it may just be that EM has withstood every punch thrown at him and is closing in on a win on points (possibly by split decision).

  38. @Catmanjeff @Alec

    In fairness. AW did not say there has been no poll movement for Labour, merely that polls taken overall since the Autumn Statement did not prove that any move to Labour had been because of the Autumn Statement. Only then did he question whether the polls as a whole were sufficient to show a movement to Labour or whether they most likely just showed normal sample variation.

    Psephologists are scientists. They won’t agree a statistically significant change has taken place until and unless there is clear proof that it has.

  39. Headline in the Telegraph says Saudis would be Ok with the oil price falling to $20 dollars.


    What would be the implications for an Independent Scotland’s finances were the oil price to sink to that level?

  40. Is there, or is there gonna be some polling soon on the impact of the oil price on peeps views on Independence?

  41. alec”@Oldnat – “I did understand the term lag. It was your suggestion that Scots were slower to respond to events that was strange.”

    “That’s the conceit of the Scot. No such thing was suggested.”

    To be fair to ole nat when he responds to a poster by saying “you’ve lost me there” it is surely incumbent on the OP to correctly guess the bit he was lost on.

  42. The Financial Times reported today that based on present prices Scotland’s irevenues from oil would be only 20% of that predicted by Alex Salmond in his debate with Alaiste Darling.

    Do contributors think this will sink into the conciousness of Scots voters and harm the credibility of the SNP with their new found supporters?

  43. Has anybody mentioned oil prices in connection with yer Jocks recently?

  44. It looks like Labour could well win or lose the GE in Scotland, one has to admit. The hope for them has to be partly, I guess, that as much of that staggering SNP vote as possible is concentrated in as small an area as possible (which probably translates as Labour losing Glasgow and Dundee very heavily but managing to claw back enough support to hold Edinburgh, the Fife seats, Aberdeen, and some of the borders).

  45. There was Orwellian news today that North Korea completely lost internet availability……………………..

    …………………. ONE HUNDRED people in total !!!!!!

  46. Yes, it does look like Labour’s lead is creeping slowly up again. Media attention has swung away from EM and towards everything else, and some of that will be unhelpful for the government.

    As for Scotland, I could not help but think of the words “Highland Clearance”. Well, maybe not quite that bad for Labour. England has gone rightwards, Conservatives first then Labour and everyone else tagging along. But a goverment with SNP involved should be more centre-left than one with the LD’s as the main support.

  47. Labour would, I think, avoid an SNP agreement like the plague if they could. I think that Farron and Miliband would be much more keen to do a deal that froze their mutual Nat enemies out than Miliband would be with Salmond.

  48. A review of the year’s what not:

    Hopefully it’s a fair assessment.

    Did you know that if you add Bitter Orange to Blue Curacao in a vodka, it turns Emerald Green?

    It tastes awful though, so I shifted to Grouse, Crabbies and Ginger. Mrs. Statgeek, being quick off the mark said…”Grouse….Crabbie…as if!” Harrumph!


    “Has anybody mentioned oil prices in connection with yer Jocks recently?”


    Aw, don’t worry Paul, we can always talk about your favourite subject if you like!!

  50. Well, someone might… I’ve just had a power cut…

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