In this post back in January I wrote about the partisan effects of the different methodologies the different polling companies used, of how some companies tend to show consistently higher or lower scores for different parties. Since then I’ve been meaning to do a reference post explaining those different methods between pollsters. This is that – an attempt to do a summary of different companies methods in one place so you can check whether company A prompts for UKIP or what company B does with their don’t knows. As ever, this is from the published methodology details of each company and my own understanding of it – any mistakes are mine and corrections are welcome!

Phone polls

There are four regular telephone polls – Ipsos MORI, ICM, Ashcroft and ComRes/Daily Mail (ComRes do both telephone and online polls). All phone polls are conducted using Random Digit Dialing (RDD) – essentially taking phone numbers from the BT directory and then randomising the digits at the end to ensure the sample includes some ex-directory numbers, all polls will now also include some mobile phone numbers, though the pollsters have all said this makes little actual difference to results and is being done as a precaution. All telephone polls are weighted by some common demographics, like age, gender, social class, region, housing tenure, holidays taken and car ownership.

Ipsos MORI

Now the most venerable of the regular pollsters, Ipsos MORI are also the most traditional in their methods. They currently do a monthly political poll for the Evening Standard. Alone among GB pollsters they use no form of political weighting, viewing the problem of false recall as unsurmountable, their samples are weighted using standard demographics, but also by public and private sector employment.

MORI do not (as of March 2015) include UKIP in their main prompt for voting intention. For people who say don’t know, MORI ask who people who are most likely to vote for and count that equally as a voting intention. People who still say don’t know or won’t say are ignored. In terms of likelihood to vote, MORI have the tightest filter of any company, including only those respondents who say they are absolutely 10/10 certain to vote.

ICM

ICM are the second oldest of the current regular pollsters, and were the pioneer of most of the methods that became commonplace after the polling industry changed methods following the 1992 debacle. They currently do a monthly poll for the Guardian. They poll by standard demographics and by people’s past vote, adjusted for false recall.

ICM don’t currently include UKIP in their main voting intention prompt. People who say they don’t know how they will vote are reallocated based on how they say they voted at the previous election, but weighted down to 50% of the value of people who actually give a voting intention. In terms of likelihood to vote, ICM weight by likelihood so that people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote are fully counted, people who say they are 9/10 likely to vote count as 0.9 of a vote and so on. Additionally ICM weight people who did not vote at the previous election down by 50%, the only pollster to use this additional weighting.

Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft commissions a regular weekly poll, carried out by other polling companies but on a “white label” basis. The methods are essentially those Populus used to use for their telephone polls, rather than the online methods Populus now use for their own regular polling. Ashcroft polls are weighted by standard demographics and by past vote, adjusted for false recall.

Ashcroft’s voting intention question has included UKIP in the main prompt since 2015. People who say they don’t know how they will vote are reallocated based on how they say they voted at the previous election, but at a different ratio to ICM (Ashcroft weights Conservatives and Labour down to 50%, Lib Dems down to 30%, others I think are ignored). In terms of likelihood to vote, Ashcroft weights people according to how likely they say they are to vote in similar way to ICM.

ComRes

ComRes do a monthly telephone poll, previously for the Independent but since 2015 for the Daily Mail. This is separate to their monthly online poll for the Independent on Sunday and there are some consistent differences between their results, meaning I treat them as two separate data series. ComRes’s polls are weighted using standard demographics and past vote, adjusted for false recall – in much the same way as ICM and Ashcroft.

ComRes have included UKIP in their main voting intention prompt since late 2014. People who say they don’t know how they will vote or won’t say are asked a squeeze question on how they would vote if it was a legal requirement, and included in the main figures. People who still say don’t know are re-allocated based on the party they say they most closely identify with, though unlike the ICM and Ashcroft reallocation this rarely seems to make an impact. In terms of likelihood to vote ComRes both filter AND weight by likelihood to vote – people who say they are less than 5/10 likely to vote are excluded completely, people who say they are 5/10 to 10/10 are weighted according to this likelihood.

Online Polls

Online poll sampling can be somewhat more opaque than telephone sampling. In most cases they are conducted through existing panels of online volunteers (either their own panels, like the YouGov panel or PopulusLive, or panels from third party providers like Toluna and Research Now). Surveys are conducted by inviting panellists with the required demographics to complete the poll – this means that while panels are self-selecting, surveys themselves aren’t (that is, you can choose to join a company’s online panel, but you can’t choose to fill in their March voting intention survey, you may or may not get randomly invited to it). Because panellists demographics are known in advance, pollsters can set quotas and invite people with the demographics to reflect the British public. Some pollsters also use random online sampling – using pop-ups on websites to randomly invite respondents. As with telephone polling, all online pollsters use some common demographic weighting, with all companies weighting by things like age, gender, region and social class.

YouGov

YouGov are the longest standing online pollster, currently doing daily voting intention polls for the Sun and Sunday Times. The length of time they have been around means they have data on their panellists from the 2010 election (and, indeed, in some cases from the 2005 election) so their weighting scheme largely relies on the data collected from panellists in May 2010, updated periodically to take account of people who have joined the panel since then. As well as standard demographics, YouGov also weight by newspaper readership and party identification in 2010 (that is, people are weighted by which party they told YouGov they identified with most in May 2010, using targets based on May 2010).

YouGov have included UKIP in their main prompt since January 2015. They do not use any weighting or filtering by likelihood to vote at all outside of the immediate run up to elections (in the weeks leading up to the 2010 election they weighting by likelihood to vote in a similar way to Ashcroft, Populus and ICM). People who say don’t know are excluded from final figures, there is no squeeze question or reallocation.

Populus

Populus used to conduct telephone polling for the Times, but since ceasing to work for the Times have switched to carrying out online polling, done using their PopulusLive panel. Currently they publish two polls a week, on Mondays and Fridays. As well as normal demographic weightings they weight using party identification, weighting current party ID to estimated national targets.

Populus have included UKIP in their main prompt since February 2015. They weight respondents according to their likelihood to vote in a similar way to ICM and Ashcroft. People who say don’t know are excluded from final figures, there is no squeeze question or reallocation.

ComRes

Not to be confused with their telephone polls for the Daily Mail, ComRes also conduct a series of monthly online polls for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror. It is conducted partially from a panel, partially from random online sampling (pop-ups on websites directing people to surveys). In addition to normal demographic weightings they weight using people’s recalled vote from the 2010 election.

ComRes have included UKIP in their main prompt since December 2014. Their weighting by likelihood to vote is slightly different to their telephone polls – for the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats it’s the same (include people who say 5+/10, and weight those people according to their likelihood) but for UKIP and Green I believe respondents are only included if they are 10/10 certain to vote. Their treatment of don’t knows is the same as in their phone polls: people who say they don’t know how they will vote or won’t say are asked a squeeze question and included in the main figures, people who still say don’t know are re-allocated based on the party they say they most closely identify with.

Survation

Survation do a regular poll for the Daily Mirror and occasional polls for the Mail on Sunday. Data is weighted by the usual demographics, but uses income and education rather than social class. Recalled 2010 vote is used for political weighting. Survation have included UKIP in their main prompt for several years. They weight by likelihood to vote in the same way as ICM, Populus and Ashcroft. People who say don’t know are reallocated to the party they voted for in 2010, but weighted down to 30% of the value of people who actually give a voting intention.

Note that Survation’s constituency polls are done using a completely different method to their national polls, using telephone sampling rather than online sampling and different weighting variables.

Opinium

Opinium do regular polling for the Observer, currently every week for the duration of the election campaign. Respondents are taken from their own panel and is weighted by standard demographics. Historically Opinium have not used political weighting, but from February 2015 they switched to weighting by “party propensity” for the duration of the election campaign. This is a variable based on which parties people would and wouldn’t consider – for practical purposes, it seems to be similar to party identification.

Opinium do not include UKIP in their main prompt (meaning they only appear as an option if a respondent selects “other”). They filter people by likelihood to vote, including only respondents who say they will definitely or probably vote. People who say don’t know are excluded from the final figures.

TNS

TNS are a huge global company with a long history in market research. In terms of public opinion polling in this country they are actually the successors to System Three – who used to be a well known Scottish polling company and ended up part of the same company through a complicated series of mergers and buy-outs by BMRB, NFO, Kantar and WPP, currently their ultimate parent company. At the last election TNS were the final company doing face-to-face polling, since then they have switched over to online. The sample is taken from their Lightspeed panel and is weighted using standard demographics and recalled 2010 vote. TNS do include UKIP in their main prompt, and also prompt for the BNP and Green. TNS filter and weight people according to likelihood to vote and exclude don’t knows and won’t says from their final figures.

Putting all those together, here’s a summary of the methods.

methods2

As to the impact of the different methods, it not always easy to say. Some are easy to quantify from published tables (for example, ICM and Ashcroft publish their figures before and after don’t knows are reallocated, so one can comfortably say “that adjustment added 2 points to the Lib Dems this week”), others are very difficult to quantify (the difference the choice of weighting regimes makes is very difficult to judge, the differences between online and telephone polling even more so), many methods interact with one another and the impacts of different approaches changes over time (a methodology that helps the Tories one year may help the Lib Dems another year as public opinions change). Rather than guess whether each pollsters methods are likely to produce this effect or that effect, probably best to judge them from actual observed results.

UPDATE:
TNS have confirmed they do prompt for UKIP, and also prompt for the BNP and Green – I’ll update the table later on tonight.


491 Responses to “Different pollsters methods – a summary”

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  1. The Comres has the big two on 35 each which is quite a high total.

    No signs though of cross over whatsoever, as Labour rose more than Conservatives.

    As the Conservatives need to be 3% ahead of Labour, this will be a more difficult poll for conservative activists than for Labour ones.

  2. @ Unicorn

    Of the 22 seats you list

    Central Croydon
    Halesowen and Rowley Regis
    Southhampton Itchen
    Croyden Central
    Worcester
    Thurrock

    plus:

    City of Chester
    Nuneaton

    have all been polled three or more times, and ,most recently in February

    In addition:

    High Peak
    Vale of Glamorgan
    Colne Valley
    Norwich North

    were polled in February

    So at least half the seats you list are not ones who were only polled late last summer and fall.

    Further my own work of looking at potential Con-Labour marginals has found that of 68 seats requiring a swing of 4% or less, 17 are Con-LD marginals, so discounting those I have reduced the potential to 51 and then using Ashcroft polling I have eliminated another 11 to come up with 39 in England and 1 in Wales.

    I do not, for example, include Thurrock or Cannock Chase as they are potential seats for UKIP instead.

    I still think the bigger issue is whether and how the Conservatives are going to push beyond taking 12 seats off LD, especially if, as some are touting on this list, LD has a revival between now and the GE on May 7th.

    Finally I posted for Couper2802, 6.27 PM March 23rd, a list of seats set up like the LD are apparently approaching this campaign and will simply observe that the most vulnerable LD seats are also the ones that Labour will take and that many of the Conservatives ones are the ones least likely to change hands.

    As ever I keep promoting looking at the numbers as a means to try and predict, as it would be very easy for me to come on this list and say I think the Green Party will win 6 seats.

    Yes, but what is the statistical probability of my opinion being statistically plausible? Where is my empirical evidence for making such a statement. And as ever I remain concerned about where the pollsters are going and why.

    If the110 constituencies polled by Ashcroft are correct in finding that LD obtained 23.57% support from them in 2010 and if I am right that support this time will be reduced to 6.4%, that means LD has lost 72.8% of their support.

    Any pollster who is weighting LD to 38.7% of their 2010 support is grossly overestimating the strength of LD going into the election. I may be underestimating LD strength and they may or may not have a revival, but to a 38.7% weight, I think not.

    If I am mis-interpreting data someone needs to set me right.

  3. Does anyone know if the Liberal seats in Cornwall and Devon are expected to go Conservative this time because of the fall of the Liberal vote?

  4. Amber Star

    If England left the UK, I’d love to see the arguments that we had to keep using the pound (or invite the other countries to join the “New Pound”).

    Debt negotiations would be a hoot as well.

  5. @RogerMexico

    You are bang on the money with your comments.

    As I have been saying, there is no potential Tory coalition.

    Cameron’s comments regarding ‘no third term’ are largely inconsequential noise, and will have no impact upon VI. But…they will affect any post-election coalition conversation. A key component of any new coalition is convincing everyone that it has sustainability through the term of office. The last coalition needed an Act of Parliament to persuade everyone that they intended to govern for five years.

    Cameron’s remark makes it quite clear that he will go before the next Parliament comes to an end. He has to.

    So any potential coalition partner will find it very difficult to commit to an agreement with Cameron knowing that he will be going before the agreement expires.

    Cameron’s comments were therefore an unwise gaffe, not because of the electoral consequences, but because of the political implications post-May 7th.

    So, to recap Cameron’s potential coalition partners:

    Labour: no, surely
    SNP: no, surely
    LibDems: huge loss of votes and seats, unlikely to embrace again the cause of those losses, especially as Clegg will probably be gone.
    DUP: reluctant for reason RM explained, but perhaps Cameron’s best hope
    UKIP: almost certainly very few seats, and ‘unpredictable/unreliable/mad ( take your pick )’
    Greens: no, surely
    PC: no, surely

    My final point: Cameron left me with the faint impression that he would be quite happy to give up the job of PM. I think he might resign quite quickly after May 7, if he doesn’t get an outright win. Its the way we do things at Eton, you understand…

  6. Peter
    £180billion or £800 billion, where the hell does it come from?
    Are you really suggesting we all sell our children into the never, never?
    And don’t start on Trident, because, I aactually agree on that!

  7. @ Peter

    To not agree with Tory Policy or their political philosophy is fine, life would be dull if we all did.
    But there is a difference between not supporting a government and bringing one down.

    In general the English people I have spoke to about the SNP feel that they are just trying to stir the pot to get what they ultimately want, Independence, or at the very least, more money

    However I can see your side of the argument also and the SNP would not be doing what they were elected for if they did not get what is best for the people of Scotland.

  8. ALAN

    England has never shown any desire to leave the UK. However if it did then I wonder if the Scots would still want to leave the UK so much.

  9. @ Alan

    Nobody said it would be easy for England to leave. ;-)

  10. @ Millie
    “Labour: no, surely
    SNP: no, surely
    LibDems: huge loss of votes and seats, unlikely to embrace again the cause of those losses, especially as Clegg will probably be gone.

    DUP: reluctant for reason RM explained, but perhaps Cameron’s best hope

    UKIP: almost certainly very few seats, and ‘unpredictable/unreliable/mad ( take your pick )’

    Greens: no, surely
    PC: no, surely”

    So if UKIP and the Lib Dems fail to take many seats, where are all their votes going too, Labour?

  11. MILLIE

    “DUP: reluctant for reason RM explained, but perhaps Cameron’s best hope”

    Perhaps but a DUP MP today said that they would want to respect the expressed wishes of the voters in GB. I think that means they would be willing to help Labour out if they were the larger party, especally if Labour otherwise would need the SNP.

  12. BLUE BOB
    Hello to you again.
    I think UKIP and Lib Dems will get many votes, but not enough to win many seats under FPTP.
    Simon Hughes, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander will survive I think.

  13. @ Prof Howard

    England has never shown any desire to leave the UK.

    The possibility of England asking Scotland to leave was mooted. Spearmint raised some points of international law. I (with tongue in cheek) pointed out that England can’t make Scotland leave the UK but England could vote to ‘leave’ the UK themselves (assuming they were determined to separate from Scotland).

  14. Millie,

    I’m pretty sure the LibDems would do another coalition with the Tories if possible. Some senior LibDems have said as much (I think off the record).

    So Con+Lib coalition, or minority coalition with DUP support, is perfectly possible.

  15. @ Howard

    I posted a list of 60 seats where LD are in contention at around 6.27 PM last night.

  16. Prof Howard

    No whim. I publish the Scottish crossbreak aggregations on a Sunday, because that’s when the last of the week’s polls are available.

  17. I’ve always thought the Lib Dems would take another coalition with the Tories because of the EU referendum. It means two things

    1. Lib Dems can demand a lot in return for that referendum that the Tories badly want.

    2. EU referendum allows the Lib Dems to campaign vigorously to stay in the EU. This is one of the few real distinctive aspects of the Lib Dems – they’re our most pro-EU party. They will want to emphasise they difference with other parties, and this is a great way to do it.

    3. Another coalition can’t exactly make them more unpopular. The people voting for them THIS time were probably ok with them being in the coalition.

    Having said that, it’s also clear the Lib Dems will go into coalition with Labour if they’re the largest party. I really can’t see them supporting the smaller party.

  18. I have a great admiration for Salmond as a charismatic and cunning politician. Can anyone tell me if this is too Machiavellian even for him?

    My assumptions
    1. He’s only really interested in Scotland, not the UK
    2. Therefore all his manoeuverings are to improve the position of the SNP in Scotland.
    3. He sees Labour as the main threat in Scotland and so wants to crush them as thoroughly as possible.

    Therefore his recent statements about never working with Tories but mildly supporting Labour in the UK are calculated to achieve
    1) Coalescing Scottish non-aligned and ex LibDem unionists around the Tories, because they are they are the main anti-SNP party at the GE.
    2) Moving a few Labour unionists to reluctantly vote Tory again because they are untainted by being supported by someone who wants to break up the UK.

  19. Good evening all from Giffnock.

    BARNEY CROCKETT
    David in Oxford
    “A Salmond’s comments are not helping Labour in England nor are they in any way meant to”
    _______

    It really wouldn’t take an expert to figure out that one political rival wouldn’t exactly set out to help a political rival.

    I get the impression Labour think they can take the SNP’ for granted!!

  20. Millie

    Considering LDs (and DUP) have said they won’t do a deal involving the SNP, it’s quite possible we could be in the position where they have the power to choose whether to keep DC in place or go for a second election in 14 days after the first.

    In that situation I suspect they’d not go for the immediate election, they’d want at least some time on the opposition benches to recover. It’d be a hamstrung government limping along for 6 months or so.

    It does depends on a specific makeup of seats, where Lab+SNP+PC+Green aren’t enough, in that situation LDs are kingmakers (or kingbreakers). They at least can take a time of their choosing while effectively having a veto over the tories. Bringing the government down over the right measure could benefit the LDs in a subsequent election.

    By laying his hand out on the table, in a way SNP can’t be kingmakers as they have little alternative to supporting Labour. It’s that or an election where they might well lose their new found seats. I don’t see what the SNP have to gain by letting a hamstrung labour government form and bringing it down early when they don’t get any cake. The SNP will have little more to gain by bringing down a government.

  21. For all those in furrin parts getting all excited about what a former SNP leader of the SNP says, you should really note what one of the best BBC Scotland reporters says –

    Strikes me Alex Salmond is playing the media like a fiddle. Press seem excited about him saying exactly the same obvious thing in many ways..

  22. @Millie

    I cautiously second Hal on that. It’s very much in the LDs’ interests to put it about that they would find it hard to do another deal with the Cons. That doesn’t mean it is hard. Remember that the LD MPs who’d be left are the ones who can probably survive another LibCon, but who would probably struggle to keep their seats if they joined a LibLab. There is, therefore, no chance of the latter, but a fair chance of the former.

    As I’ve said before, the LDs will only consider a coalition with Labour if they have no other option, and when that’s the case Labour can almost certainly do without them. It was true pre-NatSurge, I’d say it’s undeniable now.

  23. OLDNAT do you have a website or do you post them here?

  24. @ Pete B
    And if the Tories, unexpextedly get a majority, he can go back and demand another referendum, it is so blindingly obvious. The more he is demonised in the English Press, the more he wins for a re-run.
    A real shame, mainly for all my Scots friends who said no 6 months ago. It is almost coming down to Vote Tory to kick Scotland out
    Terrible!

  25. David in O
    I think that’s what I was trying to say. Salmond is happy to see the Tories recover slightly in Scotland if it means that LiS are finished at least for the next few years.

  26. The fact that Lib Dems and DUP are most likely to support the largest party is why it is not entirely wrong of Labour to point out the importance of being the largest party.

  27. @david in oxford
    “It is almost coming down to Vote Tory to kick Scotland out”

    Ok that’s a bit ridiculous. There’s no reason for a UK government to offer another independence referendum. Also remember nearly 1 in 5 Scots plan to vote Tory. Don’t buy the SNP/Labour narrative that Conservatives and Scotland are mutually exclusive.

  28. If people think that Salmon WANTS the Conservatives then surely anti SNP English people would vote Labour?

  29. I’m far from convinced the Lib Dems will want to coalesce with the Tories again. It will depend upon which LibDems survive. The likes of Farron,Cable and Kennedy would be far more comfortable in coalition with Lab.
    I suspect Lab winning Sheffield Hallam would also increase the chances of a Lab/Con coalition.

  30. “I suspect Lab winning Sheffield Hallam would also increase the chances of a Lab/Con coalition.”

    Do you mean Lab/Lib?

  31. I can fully understand the problems that certain Conservative leaning posters have with the comments and positions put forward by Alex Salmond and the SNP. As they come to realize that the even the most optimistic polls show the mountain that the Conservatives need to climb in order to retain Number 10 and the further realization that even the support of UKIP, DUP and LibDem is insufficient to sustain them, they are reacting badly to those who they perceive are removing their political entitlements.

    Many conservative commentators are predicting a mass movement from Labour to Conservative in England but their angry comments expose the weakness of those comments. If they truly believed that the Labour meltdown is inevitable, the comments by Salmond would be hardly of any note.

  32. Haha…ahem. YES.

  33. I fail to see what the fuss about the SNP is all about.

    First off. If the people of Scotland choose to vote for the SNP. Then that is their choice. They have every right to do that and send 40+ SNP MP’s to Westminster. Just as people have the right to vote CON in the south-east or LAB in the north-east

    Second off. I cant imagine why Salmond or anyone else in the SNP would bother to push for another referendum for a few years. They just lost one. They will want to win the next. How better to do that than show they are capable of governing at Scottish and then national level.

    Third. Siding with CON? Not a chance. That would be the end of them in Scotland and the end of their greater – albeit long term – aim. They are currently in a win win win win situation and enjoying it. They have no need to do anything other than carry on as they are.

  34. I don’t see that the anti-Salmon English/Welsh people will vote Conservative.

    If it were to emerge that Labour is most likely to win most seats, then anti-Salmon English/Welsh people may wish to vote Labour to stop Labour from needing to rely on Salmon?

  35. ProfHoward
    “If people think that Salmon WANTS the Conservatives then surely anti SNP English people would vote Labour?”

    Yes, but his statements seem to show that he prefers Labour, thus encouraging anti-SNP to vote Tory. That’s what I was trying to say, but is it too convoluted?

    Brian Nicholson

    I haven’t seen any angry comments but on the off-chance that you meant me, let me assure you that I am not a Conservative supporter.

  36. OK point taken

  37. Agreed. David in France re the SNP. They cannot really push for another referendum for another decade. So they need to keep making inroads
    In Scotland and become the natural governing party in Scotland in the years that follow.

  38. @Howard

    You asked about the prospects for the Lib Dem seats in Devon and Cornwall.

    The bookmakers are quite confident about the Lib Dem prospects, making them favourites in four of the five seats – the exception being St Austell and Newquay.

    The Tories are favourites in St A & N, and clear second favourites in all the rest.

    The surprising West Country betting was from the safe Tory seat of Devon East, where Hugo Swire defends a big majority. Second favourite at 9/2 or 5/1 is an independent, Claire Wright, a local councillor. The Lib Dems, who finished second last time are 50/1 and Labour 100/1.

    So should we be adding Ms. Wright to our potential coalition partnership calculations?

  39. I still think Labour will be the largest party but my question is would the DUP & what is left of the Lib Dems support a Tory minority Government if they won the by more votes as what happened in Feb 1974?

  40. “Yes, but his statements seem to show that he prefers Labour, thus encouraging anti-SNP to vote Tory. That’s what I was trying to say, but is it too convoluted?”

    I don’t think it’s too convoluted. But an anti-SNP person might just react by voting to hurt SNP. And if they think SNP benefit from a Tory government (because they can go on blaming the Tories for things) then an anti-Salmon person might just vote Labour to deprive him of holding the balance of power, especially if it looks as though Labour only would need a few more seats to avoid dependence on Salmond.

  41. The SNP is playing an exquisite long term strategy with their moves in this election. By supporting a weak Labour administration with negligible Scottish membership, they get to reinforce the premise that Scotland can do right well without the need for elected Labour MPs ( or MSPs for that matter) and at the same time, by rejecting a Conservative party dominant in English members and supporting my the hegemony of the establishment press outlets, they are seeking to provoke a massive anti-Scots reaction from the usual right wing suspects.

    Such a reaction will cause an opposite reaction from even moderate Scots. Keep in mind that the vast majority of Scottish voters already see the right wing extremes of Conservative and UKIP as anti-Scottish. I would not take much to tip the current stalemated vote into one clearly favouring independence.

    For those who want Scottish independence, the backlash threatened by some and evident in a few posts on this site will only hasten the split not prevent it.

  42. “I still think Labour will be the largest party but my question is would the DUP & what is left of the Lib Dems support a Tory minority Government if they won the by more votes as what happened in Feb 1974?”

    I think it is quite possible they would not have a choice. There would only be one party that can make the arithmetic work and that would be the one with the most seats.

  43. “For those who want Scottish independence, the backlash threatened by some and evident in a few posts on this site will only hasten the split not prevent it.”

    Indeed and that it why thinking people who are anti-SNP would perhaps be best to vote Labour.

  44. Thanks Millie. So that suggests the Liberals will hold on to most of their seats in the South West.

  45. I am still not sure what this election is about, austerity v putting our kids on the ‘never never’, maybe, but moreso it is increasingly becoming about whether the SNP can demand the terms for the break up of the UK, which is their raison d’etre for contesting and winning 35 plus seats in Scotland.
    This election, I feel is all about the future of Scotland in the Union and that will be exposed over the next few weeks. I will not give an opinion either way, but others no doubt will!

  46. David in Oxford
    Just because something is discussed a lot here doesn’t mean it’s the dominant theme of the election.

  47. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour and Tories still tied: CON 35%, LAB 35%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%

  48. Same trends as yesterday…..the squeeze is on…..

  49. Con+Lab seems to be increasing slowly.

  50. This one with changes on yesterday:

    Latest YouGov poll (23 – 24 Mar):
    CON – 35% (+1)
    LAB – 35% (+1)
    UKIP – 12% (-)
    LDEM – 8% (-)
    GRN – 6% (-)

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