There were two new polls on the Scottish Parliament elections today – a new TNS face-to-face poll and a new Survation online poll. Note that while they are both newly published the different methodologies mean that the Survation fieldwork is far newer than TNS’s – Survation polled over the weekend, TNS polled over the last three weeks. Topline figures are below:

Survation
Constituency vote: SNP 54%, LAB 21%, CON 16%, LDEM 5%
Regional vote: SNP 43%, LAB 19%, CON 14%, LDEM 7%, GRN 9%, UKIP 6%

TNS:
Constituency vote: SNP 60%, LAB 21%, CON 13%, LDEM 4%
Regional vote: SNP 55%, LAB 21%, CON 13%, LDEM 4%, GRN 6%

Both polls have a huge SNP lead and their victory in May seems a foregone conclusion. Labour are comfortably in second place – the last round of Scottish Parliament polling from TNS showed the gap between Labour and the Conservatives narrowing, but that has faded away again. The Survation poll has UKIP up at 6%, which has provoked some comment – it appears to be something to do with Survation’s methodology rather than a new development, looking back over past Scottish Parliament polling Survation have consistently had UKIP at 5-6% in the Holyrood regional vote while other companies consistently give them between 1-3%. John Curtice has speculated that this may be something to do with the question wording Survation use, which refers to the regional vote as a “second vote” and might lead to some people giving a second preference (this would also explain the big gap they fond between SNP constituency and regional vote). A couple of years ago Roger Scully did an experiment looking at different wordings in Welsh Assembly polling, and found you got really different answers depending on whether the question said “second vote” or “regional vote”, so it is plausible that there’s a similar effect in Scotland.


131 Responses to “New TNS and Survation Scottish polls”

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  1. “…so it is plausible that there’s a similar effect in Scotland.”

    ———

    Brave man, AW!!…

  2. The SNP appear to be polls apart (no pun intended) from all the other main parties plus the Lib/Dems so yeah I would agree with AW that “their victory in May seems a foregone conclusion”

    The wording for the list vote in the survation poll is interesting and no doubt has skewed the results disadvantaging the SNP if people when asked the question were thinking they were giving a second preference from what they said they would vote for in the constituency ballot.

    UKIP at 6% (survation) on the list may well build a little momentum going into the Scottish elections because they will be the main and probably only voice in Scotland advocating a No vote for the EU referendum and they would be daft not to go into the Scottish elections on an anti EU ticket and earning themselves some brownie points from Scottish eurosceptics.

  3. If I lived in Scotland I would vote SNP because I am impressed by them. I wouldn’t, however, vote for independence, This would for the same reason that I will not vote to leave the EU. In the long run I don’t think it will make much difference but in the short run it will create a lot of risk and uncertainty which at my time of life I can do without. I don’t think this is a very consistent position but I would be interested to know how many Scots would be of a similar mind. Do we know what proportion of SNP supporters do not want independence? Do we know what their professed reasons for this are?

  4. Apart from the overwhelming SNP lead the key thing about these polls is the decline in the Tories. It means that Ruth Davidson’s claims of taking second place are foolhardy to say the least. She will be first to go after the election,

  5. CHARLES

    I’m not sure how many SNP supporters don’t want independence but the answer is out there somewhere but can’t be arsed looking for it.

    To SNP’s credit they have always acknowledged that not all of the people who vote for them would vote for independence… however on the subject of Scottish independence the SNP are in the astonishing situation where the very thing they are advocating people stay in (The EU) warned against Scottish membership for the EU should the Scots vote to bolt from the UK,

    Food for thought.

  6. ALEX ANDERSON

    I wouldn’t write off Ruth Davidson just yet. If the Scottish Tories had any imagination then they could put on the ballet paper “Ruth Davidson for opposition leader” securing them second spot behind the SNP.

    The SNP in 2007 had “Alex Salmond for First Minister” on the ballot paper and well the rest is history.

    And not forgetting Ruth is more popular than Kez.

  7. SALMOND in his entire term of office never had a positive rating of less than plus 10 per cent – an unbelievable achievement. Davidson is not in the same light year!

  8. Would be curious to hear from those who vote in Scotland how they feel about having ‘constituency members’ and ‘list members’.

    Big advantage to be able to vote for a party, but are list members seen as somehow second class? Do they have a different take on stuff because they don’t deal with constituents? Are the roles any different on paper or in practice?

  9. ALEX ANDERSON
    SALMOND in his entire term of office never had a positive rating of less than plus 10 per cent – an unbelievable achievement. Davidson is not in the same light year
    ______

    I agree but I wasn’t comparing Salmond with Davidson but more Davidson v Kez on the sort of theme Samond used on the ballot paper in 2007.

  10. I would be careful about assuming too much. Out of 43,000 who voted in local by-elections since the beginning of October, 43% have voted S N P, 22% have voted Labour and 20% have voted Conservative. This does not include independents. This is a considerable difference from the opinion polls and although voting patterns are going to be different between the various tiers of government, there could be the possibility that when people have been more exposed to political campaigning as in local by-elections, they do not make the same decision as when giving an instant opinion to pollsters. I would take both opinion polls and local by-elections into account when predicting the future result. The S N P will probably have an overall majority but not as great as the opinion polls would suggest.

  11. Looking at the Survation poll would I be right in surmising that the increase in Conservative constituency support is coming from a further decline in Lib Dem support, and the increase in SNP support from a switch in Labour supporters during the referendum campaign?

    According to Survation SNP is actually down on 2011 in terms of the list vote and the Green vote has more than doubled. All the rest, except UKIP, are presumably within the moe.

    TNS on the other hand ascribes all the change in support since 2011 as going to SNP.

  12. Anyone staying up for Super Tuesday?

    Speaking of which, polling in the US apparently shows peeps are very angry. Over at the Beeb it says…

    “A CNN/ORC poll carried out in December 2015 suggests 69% of Americans are either “very angry” or “somewhat angry” about “the way things are going” in the US.

    And the same proportion – 69% – are angry because the political system “seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power, like those on Wall Street or in Washington,” according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from November.

    Many people are not only angry, they are angrier than they were a year ago, according to an NBC/Esquire survey last month – particularly Republicans (61%) and white people (54%) but also 42% ofWhy are Americans so angry? Democrats, 43% of Latinos and 33% of African Americans.

    Candidates have sensed the mood and are adopting the rhetoric. Donald Trump, who has arguably tapped into voters’ frustration better than any other candidate, says he is “very, very angry” and will “gladly accept the mantle of anger” while rival Republican Ben Carson says he has encountered “many Americans who are discouraged and angry as they watch the American dream slipping away”.

    Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says: “I am angry and millions of Americans are angry,” while Hillary Clinton says she “understands why people get angry”.”

  13. And what are they angry about? Five things in particular apparently…

    1. Wage stagnation

    2. Immigration

    3. Washington

    4. America’s place in the world

    5. A polarised country

  14. How often do pollsters ask us how angry we are over here? Do we have an angry index or anger tracker?

  15. @Carfrew,

    I’d love to, but I have a job.

    Those Liverpool and London drug gangs won’t catch themselves…

  16. @ Neil A

    Ah Neil, if I were running things you’d have more pay, and have days off to follow Super Tuesday. And it would be paid for by many useful investments, including the amazing energy abundance provided by Thorium…

  17. So are British people angry about
    low wages when others (bankers scroungers immigrants) get rich
    immigration
    London and the political elite
    Britain’s place in the world
    A polarised country?

  18. @Charles

    Don’t forget storage!!…

  19. On the question of “How many vote SNP but not for Independence” I’d say 10% right now. The SNP are polling 55% for Holyrood and got 45% in the referendum. As they said on the Apprentice… “It’s hardly Rocket Surgery”

    On an unrelated topic (apologies Anthony) what do people think of a) the likelyhood and b) the consequences of this scenario;

    The U.K. voted to remain in the UK but only because of a 60%+ in Scotland with England voting 51% to 49% to leave. Boris Replaces Cameron a new Tory leader and PM on record as opposed to the Barnet formula.

    Peter.

  20. I’m angry about no one bothering to find out how angry I am.

  21. According to exit polls, Dems prefer experience, GOPs prefer outsiders:

    “Steve Kornacki [email protected]
    Do you prefer…

    DEMS
    Political experience: 80%
    Outside establishment: 16%

    GOP
    Experience: 40%
    Outsider: 50%

    (cumulative exit poll)
    10:52 PM – 1 Mar 2016”

  22. Carfrew,

    I take it your watching the Republican nomination closely as with Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Carson….there is Fourofthem!

    ( Yes I know There is still a fifth republican but that would make a weak joke weaker)

    Peter.

  23. “what do people think of a) the likelyhood and b) the consequences of this scenario;
    The U.K. voted to remain in the UK…”

    ———-

    Seems very plausible, Pete!!…

  24. @Charles – I’m a Scot in exile who was similarly minded in the indyref as you were (as it turns out, with oil it looks like the short term impacts on Scotland would actually have been much worse than we probably thought at the time) but I am more finely balanced on the EU.

    As with iScotland, a Brexit would cause some pretty torrid short term dislocation, but I think the balanced of weakness makes this less difficult for Brexit than for iScotland, where Scotland would have been in a very weak position.

    Also important in my personal calculations is the possibility of reforming the whole as the alternative. Scotland has more chance to influence the UK to change that the UK does of reforming the EU.

    The issue of what happens to the UK after Brexit is the big issue I need to ponder between now and June though.

    The above probably labels me as akin to a genocidal fascist, however, so probably best ignore.

  25. @Peter Cairns

    Funnily enough we did the Four Horsemen thing a while ago (about summat else) if that’s what you’re referring to. (Unless I’m not getting the reference, which has been known to happen…)

  26. @Peter Cairns – I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that your result might well occur.

    What would be extremely entertaining is watching all the conservative leavers screaming blue murder at the Scot’s preventing England doing what it voted for, just a few short months after…er…begging the Scots to stay in the UK.

  27. @Alec

    But what about Peter’s scenario of the UK voting to leave the UK?

  28. Ah, I see you beat me to it…

  29. re angry Americans

    What this cynical Brit finds astonishing is that more than half the sample of registered voters in the CNN/ORC Jan 2016 poll declared themselves to be ‘extremely enthusiastic’ or ‘very enthusiastic’ about ‘voting for president in this year’s election’.

    Haven’t they come across the saying ‘If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal’ (Emma Goldman, I think)?

  30. I think it’s very likely that many English regions will come down close to 50:50, and it’s certainly possible that the overall result might be a narrow win for Remain, but with a small lead for Leave either in England as a whole, or England-outside-London.

    However, it’s not at all clear who would be the effective leader of a post-referendum ‘leave’ movement. Certainly not Farage, and I’d doubt that Boris Johnson would want to be seen in that role, as he’s aspiring to lead a party half of whose MPs support Remain.

    For that reason, I can’t see a narrow referendum defeat galvanising the losing side in the way that Scotland’s Indyref did the SNP. And the result in England alone might be the subject of a few pub rants, but none of the supporters of Leave have advocated separate referenda for England, Wales, N Ireland and Scotland. They want ‘Brexit’, not ‘Englexit’ (?!)

  31. It’s certainly not the way the Cunning Tory Plan is supposed to go.

    The idea is supposed to be to put the issue to bed, for a while at least, so that future Tory governments aren’t hamstrung by arguing over it.

    Perhaps an overoptimistic agenda…. but my gut instinct is that Cameron may just pull it off.

    I am beginning to suspect that posterity is going to adjudge him to be far more astute than he’s ever currently given credit for.

  32. @Anthony

    Notice TNS have UKIP on next to zero, with Survation at 6%…split the diff, or do you favour one over the other (historical reliability)?

  33. Bit more US polling…

    “Divided America
    Posted
    19:28
    Speaking to supporters in Columbus, Ohio, Donald Trump repeated his desire to “make America great again” and said he would rally the country behind the cause.

    “Our country is so unbelievably divided. It’s divided politically, it’s divided among white and black, it’s divided in so many ways. We’re going to bring our country together folks, we’re going to bring it together – we have to bring it together.”

    Pew Research shows Democrats and Republicans have become more ideologically polarised than ever. The typical (median), Republican is now more conservative in his or her core social, economic and political views than 94% of Democrats, compared with 70% in 1994. The median Democrat, meanwhile, is more liberal than 92% of Republicans, up from 64%.

    The study also found that the share of Americans with a highly negative view of the opposing party has doubled, and that the animosity is so deep, many would be unhappy if a close relative married someone of a different political persuasion.”

  34. According to exit polls… Clinton wins Virginia and Georgoa, Sanders wins Vermont

    (Most exit polls should be in by around 1am aside from Alaska…)

  35. @Sorbus

    “Haven’t they come across the saying ‘If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal’”

    ——–

    What if they don’t want anything to change and just like being angry?

  36. I think it’s that old saw about changing your opinions to fit the facts, not changing the facts to fit your opinions.

    A certain kind of person gets very angry when they don’t like the facts, and vocally demands new facts to work with.

  37. Well I must admit, i don’t like the facts about storage taxes and would quite like them to change…

  38. Good evening from North Carolina, after enjoying a warm and sunny day.

    First time I’ve been in the USA for Super Tuesday – so I’m celebrating by not watching any TV, other than the Daily show.

    What might be interesting over here is whether someone like Bloomberg decides to throw his hat into the ring as a third party candidate, once the Blue/Red parties have decided to select a candidate considered unelectable by the Independents.

  39. Andy Shadrack

    “According to Survation SNP is actually down on 2011 in terms of the list vote and the Green vote has more than doubled…..TNS on the other hand ascribes all the change in support since 2011 as going to SNP”

    As elsewhere, online polls seem to be discover more “split ticket” voters than face to face pollsters. There is no way to determine which, at the moment, is correct.

    However, Curtice is wise (as usual) to note the wording of Survation’s question format for the List vote.

    The history of Scots’ use of non-FPTP voting systems this century has shown a degree of experimentation by voters as to how to use the systems, but there has been a tendency towards less split-ticketing.

    Currently, I’d expect it to happen most often in Lothian (where Greens might hope to get increased votes on the List) and South Scotland (where UKIP might also pick up List votes from pro-UK / anti-Euro Union voters.

  40. Peter [email protected]
    ‘On the question of “How many vote SNP but not for Independence” I’d say 10% right now. The SNP are polling 55% for Holyrood and got 45% in the referendum. As they said on the Apprentice… “It’s hardly Rocket Surgery”

    That is not correct, the referendum question was about independence not which party you supported. Okay there was a correalation but people from parties other than the SNP also voted for independence. (okay not huge numbers but there were some) Plus with a large turn out some of those who voted for independence will have not voted before and may not again.

  41. Hilary also wins Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas. And Texas…

    Cruz has taken his home Stage Texas, plus Oklahoma

    Trump wins Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Massachusetts, Virginia

  42. stage = state

  43. Trump and Kasich close in Vermont, Clinton and Sanders close in Massachusetts

    Minnesota and Alaska still to come…

  44. Neil J

    “Okay there was a correalation but people from parties other than the SNP also voted for independence. (okay not huge numbers but there were some) Plus with a large turn out some of those who voted for independence will have not voted before and may not again.”

    All true – but none of that suggests Peter’s estimate is wildly out.

    Many of those who weren’t SNP at the referendum now are. Some who voted for the UK Union may have voted for the last 50 years will also never be voting again.

    Polling has also suggested that there has been a small shift from No to Yes since the referendum, so some actual numbers would be required to substantiate your allegation that he is “not correct”.

  45. Here is a link to the Democratic and Republican primary results on “super-Tuesday”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results

    My observation is that Hilary Clinton is doing really well in states the Republicans usually win, but Bernie Sanders is doing very well and often winning in states that normally vote Democrat.

    Trump now has a lock on the Republican nomination, barring an assassination attempt.

  46. [email protected]
    ‘Polling has also suggested that there has been a small shift from No to Yes since the referendum, so some actual numbers would be required to substantiate your allegation that he is “not correct”.

    Peter was using the referendum figures as a base to for his figures. My contention is that is not a correct interpretation

    My evidence are the figures from Lord Ashcroft’s opinion poll about how they people voted in the referendum and and which party they supported . Of those that voted for independence, as a percentage of their party the results were
    SNP 86%
    Labour 37%
    Liberal 39%
    Conservative 5%

    Yes things will have changed in the meantime but using the referendum figures do not provide proof that 10% of SNP voters did not support independence. If anything with the recent increase in supporters from other parties I would suggest SNP voters who did not support independence will likely have risen. Obviously pro independence will still form by far the largest section of SNP voters, but can see no evidence to say it is as high as 90%

  47. @Carfrew

    “Anyone staying up for Super Tuesday?”

    I guess I didn’t stay up but I did take the evening and afternoon off to watch the results.

    Clinton’s performance was impressive. She’s going to be the nominee though Bernie may stay in till the very end.

    It’s weird on Trump. Clearly won tonight. Clearly has the advantage now. But there’s something that seems rather hollow about his victory. Less than impressive considering the poll position he was once in. Cruz was just projected in Alaska so he gets three states on the night, Donald has 7, and Rubio finally won a single state. He gives a victory speech no matter what the result so it was interesting to finally see him win something.

  48. @ Andy Shadrack

    “My observation is that Hilary Clinton is doing really well in states the Republicans usually win, but Bernie Sanders is doing very well and often winning in states that normally vote Democrat.”

    Not really. Clinton has swept the south, winning landslides and running up greater Delegate margins than Obama did in these same states in 08′. Alabama and Texas are solidly Republican. Georgia votes Republican but has become a lot closer in recent years (Obama contested but did not win in 08′ and 12′). Virginia is the penultimate swing state. Tennessee has swung Republican but it did vote Democratic last time a Clinton was on the ballot. Clinton won the tie-breaker in Massachusetts, which is reliably Democratic.

    Bernie won Vermont and Minnesota which vote reliably Democratic, Colorado which is a swing state, and then Oklahoma which is very Republican.

    “Trump now has a lock on the Republican nomination, barring an assassination attempt.”

    I’m not sure I agree with that either. He’s definitely in the driver’s seat. He won a lot of Delegates tonight, most of the staes and still faces a fractured opposition, none of whom can really be forced to get out and back the other.

    Still, he was looking at winning every single Super Tuesday state save for maybe Texas. Still, if he didn’t pull off a sweep in Texas by overcoming Cruz, it was supposed to be close. Cruz won Texas and won it big. Notwithstanding the Sarah Palin endorsement, Trump lost Alaska to Cruz. Oklahoma, which was supposed to go to Trump also went to Cruz. Polling predicted solid, easy wins in Vermont, Virginia, and Arkansas. All three proved to be very close victories for Trump and late night calls. Rubio got Minnesota. Perhaps the Trump victory in Vermont sounds the death knell for the GOP. Especially after Trump’s pro-KKK remarks.

    It just seems like underwhelming. So, I wouldn’t say he’s a lock. There seems to be enough anti-Trump sentiment out there to possibly prevent him from winning enough Delegates. The problem is, no one has emerged yet as a consensus anti-Trump. The GOP establishment personally detests Ted Cruz. And then if they get behind Rubio, they are getting behind a guy who bombed in a debate against Chris Christie and who now seems to spend his time on the stump attacking Trump. And not just attacking him but you know, making fun of his spray tan, alleging that he wets his pants, and insinuating negative things about his genitalia. I don’t know….I’m biased but like it doesn’t seem Presidential to me.

  49. @ Old Nat

    “Good evening from North Carolina, after enjoying a warm and sunny day.
    First time I’ve been in the USA for Super Tuesday – so I’m celebrating by not watching any TV, other than the Daily show.
    What might be interesting over here is whether someone like Bloomberg decides to throw his hat into the ring as a third party candidate, once the Blue/Red parties have decided to select a candidate considered unelectable by the Independents.”

    I don’t get you at all. I mean, what’s the point of being here if you’re not going to partake in the Super Tuesday festivities? I went to Las Vegas the weekend before last to voter protection for the Clinton campaign. I was going to attend a strip caucus and I managed to get assigned to a strip caucus. Why else go?

    I think Bloomberg is making noises and seeking attention like he did in 2008. If there was a Trump-Sanders-Bloomberg threeway race though, I would look at moving to Scotland. Just to hear three loudmouth New Yorkers all going after one another would be too much to bear.

    The reason the GOP may support a breakaway candidate like Bloomberg or someone like that is because they fundamentally disagree with Donald Trump on numerous economic issues, where he’s actually to the left. That’s the ironic thing. Some have proposed it.

  50. @ Alec

    “I’m angry about no one bothering to find out how angry I am.”

    Me too!

    I thought last week had the two best out-of-context quotes (putting David Cameron’s “well I know the lady is frustrated” comment to shame).

    Donald Trump: “I love uneducated people!”
    Bernie Sanders: “I don’t know anything.”

    Yes, those are actual quotes.

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