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. barbazanzero

    I find it all very contrived.

  2. Yes, I think that the post by David In France of 3 Feb, 3.45 p.m. is very persuasive.

    It does look as if the result of the election is a foregone conclusion, in the sense that Labour will be able to find support to form a government. The exact seat numbers cannot be forecast, but the overall result seems clear.

    I don’t think that David In France is a Labour supporter. Therefore I think that his reading of the situation is fair and impartial.

  3. @Alec

    “I remain staggered by the inability of some Scots”

    This will be an ongoing theme. Some people pay a lot of money to be constantly staggered. Enjoy! :))

  4. Don’t be surprised that the Scotch seem to be like turkeys voting for Christmas. They are collectively not thinking things through and they certainly don’t realise how lucky they are to be part of our kingdom. Being an optimist, I am sure they will eventually come to their senses.

  5. @Alec

    “As with the indyref, oil prices etc, I remain staggered by the inability of some Scots to get the most basic of logical thoughts. It’s very, very simple.”

    What if all Scots decided that the SNP were not going to be Scotland’s best option, but didn’t fancy Miliband and we ended up with 40+ Conservative seats. Would that logic suit instead, or is your logic all based on Scots (bless their inability to understand logic) voting the way you want them to?

  6. @Couper / RAF

    (RE: “Humdinger”)

    Ashcroft tease, I’ll wager.

  7. @Adge3

    In the end I suspect the London mob will sort out the SNP

  8. Jasper

    If you think Scotch is like turkey, you should probably stop buying that cheap hooch that “fell off the back of a lorry”.

  9. ….and if they don’t, then a YG poll asking us English and Welsh whether they should be expelled would be very interesting.

  10. It’s simple:

    If Lab + SNP + Greens + PC + SDLP have majority then Ed is PM

    Con + UKIP + DUP have a majority then Cameron is PM

    If neither LibDems decide.

    Simple and matters not a jot how many SNP MPs there are as far as Ed or Cameron for PM is concerned.

    Apart from the fact that more SNP MPs is an advantage for Ed in that they will take the Scottish LibDem seats as opposed to the Tories winning them i.e. Gordon, Inverness etc

  11. Well as we are looking at all kinds of odd post May possibilities, how’s about this one.

    Lab and the SNP do a deal and Labour in Scotland folds and unites under the SNP banner.

    The NEW nationalist get 70% of the seats at Holyrood and the SNP and Labour fight Westminster elections as left wing partners, SNP in the North, Labour in the South.

    Only slightly dafter than a Grand Con/Lab coalition!


  12. @R&D

    Legally Cameron as sitting PM has firsr go at forming a government. Of course in the event of a Labour majority he will immediately resign, But the idea that the party with the most seats has first go at forming a government is nonsense.

  13. @Alec

    The correct LiS term is ‘Astonished’

  14. @Jasper

    If you carry on drinking you will usually find that you end up ejecting the Scotch…

  15. RAF
    If your goal is Independence, not necessarily.

    Democracy and localism is much more important to me than national or international borders.

    In any event, should LiS become open and democratic then I suspect that they would co-operate with other parties wanting FFA, at least until it had been delivered.

  16. @Couper

    I agree on your coalition formation numbers with the caveat that I’d suggest the DUP could support either side in return for sufficient concessions to Northern Ireland.

    Also worth remembering Lady Hermon who I suspect would be more likely to back Ed for PM.

  17. Considering the two main parties are more or less neck and neck, or too close to call, then, statistically, we’re due a dead heat or a Tory lead in an opinion poll quite soon.

    I don’t know why, but my money’s on tonight. A Tory lead of 1%, I think. Con 34, Lab 33, LD 7 UKIP 14 Green 8 – or something like that.

    Nothing much has gone on since the last poll to move opinion one way or the other, so it will be just a bit of MOE flow and counterflow.

    That said, I wonder what it’s going to take to really shake these polls up. Budget, major gaffe, campaigning, unforseen event(s)? Or will we just stagger on like it is?

    I suspect the latter, but let’s see.

  18. if you take some nat contributors at face value then the question I have asked before is where would any SNP leverage come from if they are going to vote with Labour against the Conservatives. The natural and correct response by P Cairns (snp) is that while they would not vote for the Cons they might keep them in office by abstention. If P Cairns was wrong then Labour does not need any agreement with the SNP but rely on their support.

  19. And whatever my reservations about the Lib Dems (there are many) I simply can’t see them signing up to the same legislative programme as UKIP.

    Cameron needs either Con + DUP + UKIP or Con + DUP + LD you can’t combine all 4 together, it just wouldn’t work.

  20. Alec,
    ‘The point being that Lib Dems have said repeatedly that they will try to forma coalition with the ‘winners’ in the first instance.

    If Lab get fewer seats than Con, that means Cameron. ‘

    To be accurate , this is what Clegg has implied. In reality , I doubt that his wishes will count for much even in regard to surviving LibDem MPs. Highly unlikely that there will be simply a repeat of May 2010 with LibDem MPs meekly doing as they were told.

  21. CB11

    We seem to be developing a staggering theme on here tonight. :-)

    I suspect the same as you, but “events, dear boy, events”.

  22. @CrossBat11

    Budget I think the Cons have got something special planned. I am thinking….

    1. Increase in minimum wage
    2. lower one of the tax rates

    It will be headline grabbing and I notice that the Cons are good a short term bounces but the bounce could last til April 7th official campaign start.

  23. Couper

    By the time of the “official” campaign start, the entire electorate may be sound asleep!

  24. Barney,

    No Party not even Labour would bring down a Government if it meant an unwanted election where they would end up with fewer seats and the Party in power returning stronger.

    That the SNP depending on the electoral arithmetic might not want an election is a statement of the obvious not a blinding revelation, regardless of your attempts to portray it as one.

    Personally I think the SNP’s leverage comes from two things one good one bad.

    The Good thing is that I think Ed M really wants to achieve things not just be in power. Most of those things are on a UK level so well worth concessions to the SNP to get.

    The Bad thing is that I think Ed M is a weak leader with little experience.


  25. BarbaZenzero

    If Lab get fewer seats than Con, that means Cameron.
    Only if he can command more votes than Lab + SNP + PC + Greens + SDLP.
    If he can, then that’s democracy, plurality style. If he cannot then Lab will be back in government.
    It is indeed very, very simple.”


    Your analysis ONLY works if Lab + SNP + PC + Greens + SDLP were prepared to bring down a Con+Others Govt in a confidence vote.

    Now, I’ve been rather busy these last few weeks, so I may have missed a form pledge from the SNP to do just that in those circumstances. Apologies if I have.

    If, as I suspect, there has been no such pledge, then I’ll work on the assumption that the SNP reserve the right to make the decision that best suits them in given circumstances. In which case, I’m sure that a straightforward politician like Salmond will explain that to the Scottish electorate before May.

  26. In some ways Barney that arrangement probably suits rUK Labour and SNP quite well, better even than a formal C&S.

    SNP can vote with Lab when they want and take credit for left wing policies (abolishing bedroom tax).
    Labour can rely on Tories when they want to and dare the SNP to call a vote of confidence (renewing Trident).
    Labour can devolve Smith plus with SNP support and claim it’s Home Rule.
    SNP can demand more powers but not get all of them and thus ask voters to back them again at Holyrood in 2016.
    SNP can blame anything unpopular on Labour co-operating with English Tories and avoid the junior coalition partner vote loss.
    Ed can blame the SNP for not letting him pursue neo-Blairite policies and outflank the Labour right wing.

    It suits both Ed and the SNP very well.

    Don’t see how it helps with a Scottish Labour recovery though?

  27. Of course the SNP will not necessarily be consistent internally. Ms Couper will list various radicals standing under the SNP banner but another candidate is George Keravan. Formerly leading IMG member and now prominent newspaper commentator, Mr K believes, “I am so surprised that so few of the radical free market right understand why Scottish independence is now necessary….Over half of the Scottish GDP is now in the state sector, productivity is dire and economic growth glacial. We have the highest health spending in Europe and the worst health. The only way to destroy this Conservative, subsidy driven culture is to cut off its financial lifeline to England”

  28. PC

    Thanks. You make my point for me…

  29. @ RAF,

    I’m not sure what Ashcroft might mean. If it’s consistent with other Scotland polls it will show the SNP likely to take 30-45 seats. To be a “humdinger” it would have to show a result outside this range, or at lest towards the extremes of the range.

    Incumbency means Labour are on course to hold all 41 seats? That would be a shocker! ;)

    @ Jasper22,

    They are collectively not thinking things through

    They have just collectively thought things through, and they collectively decided to remain part of the United Kingdom. I can see why Old Nat or Couper might consider that a failure of sound judgement, but your own position seems inconsistent?

  30. I would be completely shocked if Labour was going to form a government with a coalition or outside support of nationalists (the potential one green is neither here nor there) against a Conservative party who gathered more seats. It would be absolutely suicidal if the venom in this discussion that went on here is any indication.

    The SNP bringing down either a Conservative or a Labour government would finish the SNP off as the next government would be elected on the wings of soaring English nationalism. If the UK government wanted it would be able to deprive Scotland of all the major industries today. It would be mad today, but after a nationalist fever in England? So the SNP won’t do it. All the stuff about conservatives from them is mere posing (think what happened to the leftist Libdems).

    Let’s not confuse the historic injustice, the will of the people in a certain geographic region, voting intentions, party manifestos, party members’ ideas, voters hopes, economic and political realities.

    I find it all very contrived

    Arithmetic? LiS contentions that voting SNP = voting Con?
    Politics? Life, the universe & everything?
    All of the above?

  32. @Lefty Lampton

    I think there are two sorts of confidence votes that are quite different.

    There is one early in the new parliament which removes the incumbent Prime Minister and gives Her Majesty the chance to invite someone else to try and establish a Government (Ed in this case).

    I’m sure the SNP would be quite happy to do this if they calculate Lab + SNP + Whoever can get a majority.

    Then there is a confidence vote mid parliament where you risk a new election. I suspect SNP would be less keen to pull that trigger if there was a stable Conservative minority government say.

    But if the SNP negotiate a deal with Ed why would they not vote Cameron out of Downing Street in mid May?

  33. There are distinct threads within this thread.

    There are comments on polling.

    There is speculation as to the Government from various electoral outcomes.

    There are jokey comments.

    And even one person campaigning against individual candidates in the election.

  34. “the next government would be elected on the wings of soaring English nationalism. If the UK government wanted it would be able to deprive Scotland of all the major industries today. It would be mad today,”

    Can anyone put that to the soundtrack of Jerusalem?


  35. Ashcroft poll tomorrow and he has tweeted it’s a ‘humdinger’ – what could he mean?

    His poll of Ed Miliband’s constituency was a “humdinger” too. What a shame for Ashcroft, that poll turned out to be wrong on so many levels….

  36. Northumbrian

    Why? Because it could be very much in their interests to allow a weak Con or Con/LD or (praise The Lord!) Con/UKIP minority/C&S administration.

    It would be easy for the SNP to spin a line of “WE wanted to work with Lab but they wouldn’t meet us halfway. And rather than I he the UK back I to another Election, we’ve decided to give this Govt it’s head”.

    Perfect for the SNP. Fomenting more Scottish ire against Lab. Having a London administration that the Scots despise. What’s not to like about that?

  37. @Laszlo

    I struggle to see the logic of why only the largest party can form a government even if it doesn’t have sufficient coalition partners to form a majority.

    There are numerous examples over the years in countries with more coalitions than us of parties 2 and 3 combining to form a government.

    It doesn’t seem complicated to me. Why the SNP is inherently less legitimate in a coalition than Scottish Labour MPs really confuses me? A coalition that lacked an English majority is an issue for legislation and legitimacy. The political composition of the 50 odd Scots who will likely form a Lab + SNP arrangement seems irrelevant?

  38. @ Peter Cairns (SNP)

    Every single US firms in Scotland receives Westminster subsidies. Dealing with the oil industry wouldn’t be an issue, just as with the banking industry. It would take absolutely no time. looking forward to the nationalist Scottish big business.

  39. @ Laszlo,

    The SNP bringing down either a Conservative or a Labour government would finish the SNP off as the next government would be elected on the wings of soaring English nationalism.

    But the SNP stand… in Scotland? This is kind of a fundamental point.

    And they seek independence in the long term, and their vote is bolstered by resentment of English political dominance of the UK in the short term. A Westminster government deliberately and spitefully targeting Scotland would be the best possible outcome for them!

    Labour of course can’t punish Scotland because it wants its Scottish voters back, but the only bar for the Conservative and Unionist Party is how serious it remains about the “unionist” bit. Considering everything we’ve seen from them since the morning after the referendum, my own estimation is “not very”. In the event that the SNP bring Cameron down I think an anti-Scottish Tory campaign is extremely likely, but the probable result of that election would be 59 seats for the SNP, not 0.

  40. I he = “plunge” believe it or not.

    Bloody iPhone!

  41. @ Old Nat,

    There are distinct threads within this thread.

    Don’t forget the people standing back to do meta-analysis of the other comments in the thread; they’re always a treat.

  42. @ northhumbrianscot

    I consider it legitimate. I’m talking about probably 20 million English voters. That’s a big enough warning for Labour. A Labour&Libdem minority government with nationalist support would be different.

  43. BZ

    My comment followed, logically, from your own.


    My instincts say you are wrong: I work on vibrations.

    [Well, sort of.]

  44. @ Spearmint

    I agree in the sense, as I said a couple of weeks ago, if these VI figures are realised, 2015 will be the last of this type of elections.

    Also, do you think if the independence negotiations happen so amicably as it would have been this time after an SNP brought down government?

  45. @Lefty

    I think your scenario is vaguely possible for a Con led administration that was just short of a majority.

    I think though it would have to be an administration that could command more votes than Lab + SNP as Labour would hold a confidence vote and SNP likely support that for domestic political reasons.

    Something like
    Con + LD + DUP = 320
    Lab + SNP + SDLP + PC + Green = 318,
    Lady Hermon and UKIP (6) agree to abstain,
    Speaker + Sinn Fein (5) don’t vote

    Would see Con form a minority government but allow Lab + SNP to vote against it without bringing it down.

    Very unstable arrangement though. I’d imagine LDs would prefer to back Ed in that situation even if Labour weren’t largest party for reasons of government stability.

  46. I’m looking forward to the Ashcroft polls tomorrow, if only to see the responses of those journalists who have been briefed by their LiS sources that they expect the polls to show that the SNP surge has

    1. had little effect on LiS seats

    2. been confirmed and they will lose lots of seats.

  47. @ Laszlo,

    I think the independence negotiations would have been an acrimonious cesspit in any case, but I take your point. Still, the precedent that Holyrood can call for an independence referendum is now established and it’s not easily reversible (and a Conservative government smarting from having the SNP bring down the last government might be quite keen to see the back of Scotland).

    Since the SNP want out on any terms rUK offers- they were happy to accept total control of Scotland’s currency and overall spending by an rUK Chancellor Scotland couldn’t elect, ffs!- I assume they would be perfectly satisfied with this arrangement, however tough rUK’s negotiating position.

  48. @ Spearmint

    Thanks for the reply. There are more technical issues where even an agreeable separation could go very bad (as somebody remarked about marriages). Imagine that there is no money in the ATMs for a week because of an administrative error. It would be terribly easy to produce it. Imagine that all the Australian dairy products would have to arrive to Scottish ports or airports, etc (Theo’s no baby food without it for example).

    If any Unionist party perceives that the separation is done and cannot be changed, can be horrible, if for nothing else, but for the remaining voters.

    For a while the population can cope with it (partly because it’s horribly unjust), but then immigration is the next.

  49. I have been mentally doing my advanced times tables following the recent discussion on that very subject.

    I find that – sixty years later – I still find stuff like 17 x 17 almost instantaneous to work out, albeit with a very quick, 170 + 70 + 49, sub-calculation or 340 minus 49 sort of thing.

    I have concluded that, as I have very long suspected and the girls have always known, I am VERY clever.

  50. Sadly my fingers are not as brilliant as my brain: 51, not 49.

    [Embarrassingly it woz Daisie who pointed it out.]

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