The Times tomorrow has a new YouGov poll of Scotland – full figures aren’t up yet (the tables will be on the YouGov website tomorrow as usual), but the Times front page has the topline Westminster voting intentions of LAB 27% (no change since YouGov’s last Scottish poll in December) and SNP 48%(up one since December). As with the Survation and Ipsos MORI polls last month there is no obvious sign of the post-referendum surge in SNP support falling away at all.

I’ll update tomorrow with the full voting intention figures and tables.

UPDATE: Full figures are CON 15%, LAB 27%, LDEM 4%, SNP 48%, UKIP 4%. Tabs are here.


310 Responses to “YouGov/Times Scottish poll has SNP 21 points ahead”

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  1. first…? labour look like they’re in deep trouble.

  2. @JAMES PEEL or else they’ll have to make one HELL of a recovery. Not totally impossible, but a bit unlikely. It is noticeable that the SNP percentage has stayed very consistently within a few points of both the percentage of Yes and the SNP percentage in Holyrood in 2011. There is a strong theory that they tendency of tactical voting in Westminster elections is finally disappearing which might explain that.

  3. So, how have the English footie teams done in the transfer window?

  4. SLAB swing back?

  5. Days of 4 party politics in Scotland………..gone

    Days of 3 party politics in Scotland……………………gone

    Days of 2 party politics in Scotland………………………………….Wobbling?

  6. Look the swing back will happen. Just like in 2011 its early days!
    According to Reddit Yes with 53% with DKs stripped so will be interesting to see full tables.

    Approval ratings too.

  7. @Allan

    When did we have anything but 1 party politics in Scotland? Before my political time (1992), certainly. It’s been pretty much Labour since 1959.

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/2014/09/here/ (top image)

  8. re: Fraser, by this point in 2011 the swing from Lab to SNP had already started according to Mori.

    Nov 2010: SNP 31, Lab 41

    Feb 2011: SNP 37, Lab 36

    Apr 2011: SNP 45, Lab 34 (within MOE of the result)

    YouGov and TNS (the only other regular pollsters) started picking up movement in March.

  9. And just to prove that individual cross breaks are worth zilch –

    Today’s YG Scottish crossbreak

    SNP 35% : Lab 28% : Con 23% : LD 6% : UKIP 3% : Grn 6%

    Mean of last 20 YG Scottish crossbreaks

    SNP 38% : Lab 25% : Con 16% : LD 4% : UKIP 5% : Grn 3%

  10. Just saw this in the Times….

    The nationalists are also regarded as best placed to stop the Conservatives from forming the next government, as well as keeping Britain in the European Union.

    []the tories I know are banking on a large number of SNP gains from labour as their best shot at being the largest party and therefore of staying in power with some kind of legitimacy.

    The tories who want the snp to win most seats off labour and the scots nats who think voting snp is the best way to keep the tories out can’t both be right.

  11. James Peel

    The situation is delicately balanced of course, but SNP gains against the LibDems increases the size of the ‘Anyone But Tory’ block which would make a Conservative led government less likely.

  12. Not looking good for Labour. :(

    But I recall similar polls in the opposite direction around this time of 2011 for MSP elections. It may depend on the focus being given to the elections by voters. Between Murphy and Sturgeon, they may be voting for Sturgeon. Between Cameron and Milliband, they may be inclined to vote for Milliband. We’ll see.

    Are the Scots holding their election this year or next?

  13. Scottish poll not good for Labour but recent national polls have been quite good for Labour. Tories have certainly not made a breakthrough yet.

  14. @ Old Nat

    “So, how have the English footie teams done in the transfer window?”

    Finally we can talk about the tennis. Had Murray won we could have discussed this on any of the GB wide threads since Sunday, but seeing as he lost we have to confine ourselves to the Scottish threads.

  15. STATGEEK

    Actually you have a point. Your graph (in terms of seats) shows Labour wining 80% of the seats in countless elections. I’ve not seen that sort of seat hoarding in any other Western country before.

    Hopefully NS can cure Labour’s OCD.

  16. SOCALLIBERAL

    Scottish elections are next year and the polls are even worse for Labour for Holyrood.

    ” Between Murphy and Sturgeon, they may be voting for Sturgeon. Between Cameron and Milliband, they may be inclined to vote for Milliband. We’ll see.”
    _____

    Cameron is more popular in than EM but my guess is that most Scots would rather have a Labour gov than a Tory one but don’t wont Labour to run away with the election in Scotland.

  17. AC

    No, but you’re not seeing in a country in this case either. You DO see it in lots of UK and European regions.

  18. Sorry for the typos..Scotland and Want.

    I blame my kindle and it’s auto spell thing.

  19. I thought Scotalk wasn’t till tomorrow?

    Peter.

  20. LEFTYLAMPTON

    That’s true, the SE is a blue Hegemony by probably a even bigger ratio excluding London.

  21. @Social Liberal

    Just look back a couple of days on this site – can’t remember precisely but ON or Stageek will remind us – and you see figures suggesting that Milliband is even less popular in Scotland than Cameron (not that that is saying much!).

    There are two competing questions in this GE campaign north of the Border: “How do we get rid of the Conservatives?” and “How do we ensure the maximum possible power for the Holyrood Parliament, so as to avoid as much as possible the effects of Tory rule south of the Border?”

    Milliband, Murphy, et al will say that the former question is the one that matters (though Scotland has already done its best to get rid of Tory MPs, and look where that got us!) and the SNP will point to the latter as the crucial question.

    The result of the Scottish vote in the upcoming GE will depend on which of these two questions chimes most with those who can cobble together the biggest voting block – and my view is that the 45% who voted Yes will, on the whole, agree with the SNP analysis, especially as Milliband has, as yet, made no attempt to make any headway in Scotland.

    (IMO!).

  22. If the Labour strategists have any nous about them or the ability to change their game plan in response to events (something I’m not particularly convinced by) they will try to keep the row with big business going. It could also be developed to bring the issue of corporate tax avoidance up the political agenda to try and regain some lost ground on the taxation and the deficit.

    That’s my conclusion from the answers to pair 3 in this polling:

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/vkffo1s4z4/TimesRedBoxResults_150127_Labour_party_policies_Website.pdf

    Look at the outcome of
    – “A Labour party that does more to stand up to big business,
    supporting ordinary people against overpowerful corporations”
    v
    – “A Labour party that is positive about big business, supporting
    British business and encouraging investment from abroad”

    Of Labour swing voters, 56% choose the former, 22% choose the latter.

  23. YouGov/Times (Scotland):

    SNP 48 (+1)
    CON 15 (-1)
    LAB 27 (=)
    LIB 4 (+1)
    OTH inc UKIP & GRN 8 (+1)

  24. @John B
    “@Social Liberal
    Just look back a couple of days on this site – can’t remember precisely but ON or Stageek will remind us – and you see figures suggesting that Milliband is even less popular in Scotland than Cameron (not that that is saying much!).”

    I think we need to be careful how we interpret those figures. Those polled could only pick one leader. If you took out Sturgeon, EM would probably poll above DC and NC in Scotland.

  25. @Oldnat – I think @james Peel’s post on the contradiction in thinking a vote for the SNP is the best way to stop Tories is worth comment, although I might have chosen an alternative phrasing.

    There isn’t any real question that SNP voters are wrong in their apparent belief. Without question, the best, and least risky way to guarantee a non Tory government is for Scotland to vote heavily Labour. That they might not want a Labour government is not a material consideration for this limited question.

    Any scenario that permits Cons and Lab to similar seat numbers will open the possibility that we will have a Con government of some form. All it needs is a better than expected performance by Lib Dems, a modest Tory recovery in England, and/or support from a handful of UKIP/DUP MPs.

    If this were to happen, while the SNP sat on 40 odd seats in Scotland, then left leaning voters in England would be very clear where the blame lay.

    If this really is what Scottish SNP voters think, then they don’t understand the current polling situation. I wouldn’t say this means they are unintelligent but if their primary motive is to stop Cameron, they are taking a mighty risk.

  26. @ OldNat

    And just to prove that individual cross breaks are worth zilch

    Well, as we have discussed, the instability is stretched MoE associated with the low numbers in these crossbreaks. Just a fact of life.

    Your running averages are helpful in handling this. But I wonder about your switch to the 20 poll rolling average. This will be informative provided VIs stay roughly where they are now, but as a lagging measure it will be slow to pick up on any signs of swingback – which would no doubt be of interest to many poll watchers.

    For this reason I wonder if your could be bothered to include your old 5-poll averages alongside the new one when you do your updates.

  27. Alec

    You put your finger on it with “If”.

    John B put it rather well in his 2nd para above.

  28. @Alec

    I disagree. The ability of the Tories to win the next GE lies entirely in the hands of those south of the Border. How Scots vote will make no difference to that fact. So the question facing the Scots is how best to express any desire for further Home Rule. Those who are content with present proposals may well vote Labour (if GB Labour is to be trusted in these matters, which some doubt – I could not possibly comment!), whilst those who want to go further will vote SNP. I repeat, the ability of the Tories to win or lose this election is entirely in the hands of those who live elsewhere.

    @RAF

    I disagree with you also (sorry!) EM has made absolutely no attempt to communicate with the Scots. He comes across as someone who has no knowledge of anything north of his own constituency. This may be unfair on him, but I speak as I find. I wish it were otherwise!

  29. @R&D fpt

    Re Heathrow adverts, I’m afraid it might be my fault.

    I logged onto the site and commented about a week ago using the Heathrow free WiFi as I was transferring there en route to the snowy northlands.

    Since then the Heathrow ads have been all over the site for me. An algorithm obviously decided if I was the sort of person who used Heathrow so would other UKPR site users.

    Sure you’ll get your revenge on us when you log in to the Wifi at Crufts and we get dog food ads all year.

  30. Unicorn

    On Sunday’s I’ll put up the mean VIs for the recent (and previous) weeks. Each is an aggregate of around 700, so if there is any change that might give an indicator to those able to delve more deeply.

  31. @Old Nat

    Praise indeed! Thank you!

  32. @Alec

    If Labour fails to win enough seats to be clearly the largest party, that will be Labour’s fault. Mainly those in Labour clinging on to a version of politics rejected by all UK parties save The Cons, the National Libs, Ukip and the DUP.

    Say what you like about Crosby. He is though a master of the dark arts. Had the Indyref not be held prior to to the GE, the Tories would have been looking at meltdown. Instead, the SNP have given them hope of hanging on.

  33. @ Alec

    If the Tories get into government because Scotland votes SNP, the SNP will probably lose the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

  34. A large part of the Scottish electorate feel disenfranchised with Labour and the Tories over a number of issues and are in no mood to vote for either party.

    [snip]

    politics in Scotland today is a little bit more complex than simply suggesting a vote for Labour will keep the Tories out.

  35. AMBER

    So your suggesting the SNP will be a victim of their own success?

    [snip]

    If the SNP win 40 to 45% of the vote this May and the Tories hang on do you think the people who voted SNP will simply snub the SNP at Holyrood based on your hypothesis that they themselves let the Tories in?

    [snip]

  36. If the Tories get into government because Scotland votes SNP, the SNP will probably lose the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

    The Conservative number of seats is almost a given, the range I’ve seen from them is about 268 to 283….

    The number of seats labour will gain from the tories and from the liberals is also within a fairly narrow range, the betting markets labour to gain about 30-45 seats from both the tories and liberals.

    by far the biggest element of uncertainty is the number of seats the SNP gain from labour. betting markets imply 10 seat gains from labour to the SNP, while the polls imply 30, so clearly the SNP’s gains from labour is a hugely important factor in determining whether labour or the conservatives are ahead on number of seats on 8th May.

    I completely deny the assertion that “the ability of the Tories to win the next GE lies entirely in the hands of those south of the Border”.

    Almost the exact opposite is the case. “The ability of the Tories to win the next GE lies largely in the hands of those north of the
    Border”. Winning the election in this case is getting the largest number of seats.

    The bookies rightly are discounting any notion that either of our main parties can get a majority at this stage.

  37. Alec,

    Scots voters may be more intelligent than that, and are thinking beyond May 2015. After all, Scots mastered tactical voting long before it became even noticeable, let alone widespread, in England or Wales.

    If your long-term objective is independence, then it makes sense to vote SNP rather than Lab in every Scottish seat. Even if the objective is limited to extracting maximum powers for Holyrood, a large block of SNP MPs is a better route to achieving that than returning 40+ Lab MPs.

    A Lab majority gov in UK is more likely to delay independence, and is more likely to resist further devolution than a weak Con led Gov.

    Conversely, if your starting point is ABL, then, in the vast majority of Scottish seats, SNP is the logical tactical choice. Equally, for ABT, it is no longer evident that Lab is the logical choice in most seats (there are still a handful where this remains the case, but nothing like it was in 1992 or 1997).

    That means that only those for whom a unionist Lab govt in UK is the desired outcome remain motivated to vote SLAB.

  38. And william hague about to announce EVEL proposals cutting scottish mps out of many devolved issues at westminster inc income tax .

  39. If your long-term objective is independence, then it makes sense to vote SNP rather than Lab in every Scottish seat. Even if the objective is limited to extracting maximum powers for Holyrood, a large block of SNP MPs is a better route to achieving that than returning 40+ Lab MPs.

    that may be all very well, but a bloc of even 25 SNP MPs makes it very difficult for labour to win a majority in a uk parliament. long term, a strong SNP cadre of MPs (say 30) is a godsend for the tories.

  40. I agree with both John B on his diagnosis and with Alec (a bit) on the Conservative risk for North of the border voters.

    For SNP voters there are some seats (Lib Dem held) where you can probably safely switch and reduce the chances of Conservative government (except Berwickshire where you might end up with a Conservative.)

    The only Labour held seat where switchers to SNP might let in a Conservative directly is probably East Renfrewshire, although at a push Edinburgh South West might be another one.

    So for the majority of Scots seats electing either Labour or SNP rather than Conservative or Lib Dems reduces the chances of Conservative Government.

    If the Lib Dems are reduced to 3-5 seats in Scotland and the Conservatives stay on 1 we are likely to have around 50 Definitely not Cons in Scotland.

    For this to add up to a Labour administration with SNP C&S Labour will need to get within 50 seats of a majority in England and Wales (275 or so).

    If Labour get this number of seats in England and Wales it makes no difference whether Labour or Conservatives are the largest party. Conservatives can’t form a government.

    The one situation where SNP votes can lead to a different outcome is where Lab / SNP don’t add up to 326 and Labour are not the largest party.

    In this situation the ability of Labour to form a government is dependent on the Lib Dems attitude. Lib Dems may be less likely to support a Labour government if they weren’t the largest party.

    However given that there will be at least 28 other MPs (18 NI, 3 PC, 1 Green, 5 UKIP, Speaker) it’s very difficult for the numbers to add up for a purely Conservative Lib Dem coalition no matter what happens in Scotland.

    So the risk for SNP voters is only really of a situation where Lib Dems refuse to support a Labour government with SNP C&S even though they can’t form another government with Cons.

    I think it’s unlikely Cons could hang on in that situation but others (see Prof Rose yesterday) obviously disagree.

    Either way it will be a fairly poor performance by Labour if they fail to take 275 seats in England and Wales. In 2005 Labour had 316 in E&W while in 2010 Labour had 219. So Labour only need to win back about half their English losses to reach 375. When you throw in an extra 10 Lib Dem seats for Labour
    It’s even less change needed.

  41. Some interesting findings from Populus on the demographics of Green Party supporters.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B86RBE0CUAALpy1.jpg:large

    Huge multiplying factor is being “still in education” (290% as likely to vote Green as the average!)

    I find it rather strange that being non-white correlates so much with not supporting the party. I read a while back that 25% of the Young Greens were BME (and 40%(!) LGBT for that matter) but I think they still have perceptions of being a party for middle class white people with degrees (which these demographics don’t do much to discourage).

  42. The next government will be formed by whoever can get a majority in Parliament.

    If the combined Labour SNP total is over 325 it will be them probably with C&S not a coalition.

    It is that total that combined determines the government rather than what the size of the two components is.

    It can be 50 SNP and 276 Labour or 306 Labour 20 SNP, as long as it tops 325. It can also include PC and a few Greens.

    Does anyone in Wales know of PC is saying;

    “Go back to your constituencies boyo.. And prepare for Government”

    Peter.

  43. People need to remember that the betting market winning post (most seats) and the ability to form a government are not the same thing.

    If there is a result like

    Conservative 280
    Labour 270
    Lib Dem 30
    SNP 45
    UKIP 5
    NI 18 (9 DUP, 5 SF, 3 SDLP, Lady Hermon)
    Green / Speaker 2

    You’ll win your Conservative largest party bet but there is no way Conservatives can form a government as even an unlikely Con/Lib Dem/UKIP/DUP administration only has around 324 votes and would break apart over an EU referendum within a year.

    Whereas a Lab Government with SNP and Lib Dem C&S has 345 votes and could agree a common platform (STV for English local government elections, more Devolution all round and reform of the House of Lords).

    Ironically a close election could lead to dramatic constitutional changes.

  44. Anthony, you disappoint me. No thread dedicated to that cracking TNS/BMRB poll (:-)), or the recent Populus and YouGov ones, yet we get another Scottish Westminster poll, showing zilch movement since the last one, and, hey ho, up goes a new thread within nano-minutes.

    And then, surprise, surprise, the same old comments come out for yet another airing.

    I fear we may reap what we sow. Three days of discussion on Scottish politics involving about five posters.

    Groundhog Day. Yet again.

  45. Apologies – I left Plaid out of my scenario above.

    If anything their 3 seats or so make it even trickier for Cons to form an administration.

  46. I completely agree with James Peel in what he is saying on this thread. There is no evidence whatsoever in the last six months that the situation re: voting intention in England has changed to any great extent. Of course there are a few marginals that are too close to call, and the full extent of the Lib Dem meltdown – or not- is hard to predict. But really England appears to have pretty much have made up its mind. Had the SNP surge not occurred, Miliband would be looking at a small majority for the Labour Party. As the situation stands, we are definitely in hung parliament territory.

    As a half Scot (both my parents are Scottish, but I was born and grew up dahn sarf) I feel that our friends north of the border are enjoying- secretly or not so secretly- being in the spotlight over the last six months. And why the hell not ;-)

  47. It is that total that combined determines the government rather than what the size of the two components is.

    This just isn’t true…

    If the tories get more seats, cameron will be asked if he can form a coalition, even if the tories and ld get 315 between them, they can form a minority coalition which could limp on for much longer than anyone might expect.

    If the tories get more seats than labour, cameron will be deemed to have “won” the election…he can then set a budget and dare the house to vote it down. He will have incumbency.

    similarly, if labour can’t win on seats, because of a meltdown in scotland, miliband will have very little credibiility.

    The largest party thing is very important in a parliamentary democracy.

    []

    A labour mp forms part of the main opposition to the tories, the lion share of snp gains will, in the context of 2015, be from labour….[]

  48. There must be considerable doubts that the Labour Party will hold together if it gets in to government next time. Two members of the Shadow Cabinet don’t appear to be on speaking terms already.

  49. James Peel

    I think your betting information is a little out of date.
    The Tories are now favorites to win most seats (betting range 9/10 – 8/11) with Labour in range (Evens to 23/20).

    Next Prime Minister Cameron on (4-7 to 8/13) with EdM on (5/4 to 13/10).

  50. @PeterCairns

    Over 322 (assuming Sinn Féin continue to be absent).

    And if the Conservatives get more seats than Labour then they will get a chance to put together a coalition or a C&S first. If the numbers were tight then they might be able to do that… after all it’s one thing to say ‘we won’t do any deal’ in advance of an election, it’s another to decide not to talk to people after the election. If you view Labour and Conservative parties as more or less the same, as some SNP supporters do, then why not?

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