Time for a quick update of other polls over the last few days. Firstly, YouGov put out new Scottish voting intentions at the weekend and London voting intentions yesterday.

YouGov’s Scottish voting intentions were SNP 49%, LAB 19%, CON 19%, LDEM 6% for the constituency vote; SNP 43%, LAB 17%, CON 19%, GRN 8%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 4% for the regional vote. The SNP obviously retain their overwhelming lead. Note how the Conservatives and Labour are essentially neck-and-neck for second place, this is consistent with YouGov’s last Scottish poll, but no other company has the Tories so close to Labour. Full tabs are here.

YouGov’s London poll shows Sadiq Khan still ahead, his nine point lead over Zac Goldsmith almost unchanged from January. Topline figures are KHAN 45%(nc), GOLDSMITH 36%(+1), WHITTLE 7%(+1), PIDGEON 5%(+1), BERRY 4%(-1), GALLOWAY 2%(nc). While Khan wouldn’t win on the first round, asked how they’d vote if the final two candidates were Khan and Goldsmith supporters of other candidates split 43%-30% in Khan’s favour, so he would come out as the comfortable winner. Full tabs are here.

Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly, there was a new ORB poll of EU referendum voting intentions in the Telegraph this morning. Topline figures were REMAIN 47%, LEAVE 49%, DK 4% (don’t know is so low because ORB have a squeeze question, asking how people who say don’t know are leaning). What’s interesting is that the poll was conducted by telephone – up until now we’ve seen a straightforward divide between phone polls showing a solid REMAIN lead and online polls showing a race that is neck-and-neck. Suddenly that online/phone divide doesn’t look so black and white. Full tabs are here.

87 Responses to “Latest Scottish, London and referendum polls”

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  1. From now on I suspect we are going to start hearing a fair bit more from Labour -and the commentariat as a whole – about ‘Osborne’s Mess’. The electorate are also like to be increasingly receptive to such a message.

  2. In defence of my comment that has now slipped into moderation; I wasn’t saying whether the budget was good or bad just that it came apart under its own logic; two out of three self-appointed targets were breached at the first time of asking, and the third was only met by some Herculean assumptions that everyone already knows won’t be met.

  3. @ Old Nat

    Good morning from Winnipeg, more commonly known as “Winterpeg” where I am for the duration of the general election on April 19th.

    I am not sure that using education is going to address the problem faced in sampling errors, whereas frequency of voting might actually determine adherence to following politics or not.

    You may remember that I posted a study by Elections BC from 2009, that showed the number of constant voters could be as low as 45%, that then there were infrequent voters who may not vote in an election depending on their level of interest and then non-voters who in recent years have been consistently around 25%.

    So the question becomes who among the peripherally attached will vote and why, in that this might be an election when Labour supporters decide to stay home but more marginally attached Conservative voters decide to turn out.

    Other than that at this stage in the Scottish election, and we need to factor in that in 2011 16 and 17 year olds were not voting, we can say that SNP, Conservative, Green and UKIP appear to be up and Labour and Lib Dem appear to be down.

    UKIP are likely consolidating support from like minded fellow travellers from 2011, but Labour appear to be at less than half the value they were at in March of 2011.

    Lib Dems and Green appear to be within the margin of error, but SNP and Conservative are clearly up on 2011 polling.

    Labour have lost their hegemony and with Conservative and them neck and neck for second place far back from SNP, it seems to me that swing SNP voters might feel free to vote Green.

    But with a month and a half to go one will have to see if this is a clear trend or a blip, and whether Green can buck the trend that as the election gets closer their soft support melts away.

  4. @Alec

    “Any twat with half a GCSE can tell that islands have unique abilities to control animal infections, so should not be treated in the same way as open land border countries, but it appears that the EU Commission doesn’t have half a GCSE between them, such is their drive for unity.”

    Ah, but these aren’t twats with half a GCSE; these are people with firsts in politics and economics from some of the most prestigious universities across the continent. I would put it to you that you are merely failing to understand the genius that is behind these rulings.

  5. Hi, Sad to see Cliff Michelmore has died, for those with long enough memories he was the bcc anchorman for Election 1966 & 1970….

  6. “whether Green can buck the trend that as the election gets closer their soft support melts away”

    Is this an established trend? I don’t know one way or the other. Usually minor parties pick up votes during campaigning, as they get more attention, but I don’t know about the particular case of the Scottish Greens.

  7. Yes diseases that used to be confined to Continental Europe can now survive here, that must be the EU’s fault.

    Is the real cause of the tick borne infection, the EU saying you are not required to treat pets coming in to the UK, but you can if you want, or is it people in the UK going to the Continant and “Rescueing” animals.

    If people didn’t take their pets abroad or bring animals or plants back there wouldn’t be a problem, but of course it’s not our fault for indulging our love of animals and gardens, it’s the evil EU with all it’s rules for …Eh not having more and stricter rules…..


  8. Just for information.
    Pets coming to the UK still have to be examined by a vet to see if they are fit to travel, are covered for rabies and are given a wormer to eliminate tapeworm. The vet would notice any tics present, even in the most cursory of examinations and would almost certainly not allow the dog to travel if they were present and not treated. The tic treatment that used to be compulsory, would have killed any tics present but would not have shown if the dog had been infected so there has always been the chance that infected dogs could be imported and become a source of infection.
    My dogs have travelled so often that one is half way through his second passport. They are given a tic and flea treatment every three weeks whichever country they are in.

  9. OMG.

    Just seen a headline in the Times: “French threaten to steal Scotland’s whisky crown”


    Surely this can’t be allowed to happen?? Bad enough with the nuclear thing…

  10. Carfrew,

    “Just seen a headline in the Times”

    Oh just ignore it like the rest of us, paying attention only encourages them!


  11. Andy

    You can enjoy the snow in Winnipeg, while I swelter in North Carolina.

    Different levels of education do correlate with some political attitudes, so it seems worth while to include that as a weighting factor in polls generally.

    As for the position of the 6 minor parties in Scotland, which one of each pair comes out ahead of the other may not become clear until much nearer polling day (or even after it!).

    Lab or Con in 2nd place? Cons more concentrated support gives them a chance of picking up tactical Unionist votes in their stronger constituencies, which will then cost them list seats.

    LD or Green? Insufficient evidence thus far, I think. Remember Scotland uses several voting systems, and those less politically engaged have probably forgotten whether the List vote is a 2nd preference or not.

    UKIP or RISE? The EUref will give UKIP more coverage than they would normally get. Whether that is to their advantage or disadvantage is anyone’s guess.

  12. Thought some might want a sort of rough ( very believe me) guide to the list system in Scotland.

    As a rough rule of thumb, the calculation for the List is;

    List vote (or you can use the percentage), divided by number of FPTP+1, do that for all the Parties and the highest gets the first seat and then it’s divider rises by one!

    If we were to take the List figures given and assume the SNP win all the FPTP (big assumption if you ask me but it is being banded about) then the 73 seats in eight regions is about 9 each and each region gets seven of the 56 List seats.

    In reality the size of the regions vary and they aren’t all nine and seven.

    SNP:43%, Tory:19%, Lab:17%, Green:8%, LidDem:5%, UKIP:4%, SSP(Rise):1% Others:1%.

    If repeated in every region this would give is approximately;

    SNP 4%, Tory 19%, Lab 17%, Green 8%, LibDem 5%, UKIP 4%.

    Below UKIP is far too low to ever get a seat and on 19% and 17% The Tories and Labour would get the first two seats as they are close to each other and way ahead of anyone else.

    That would give us;
    SNP 6%, Tory 9.5%, Lab 7.5%, Green 8%, LibDem 5%, UKIP 4%.

    So although it is close we would almost certainly see seats three, four and five go in some order to The Tories, Greens and Labour giving us;

    SNP 6%, Tory 6.3%, Lab 5.7%, Green 4%, LibDem 5%, UKIP 4%.

    So seats six and seven go to the Tories and SNP, but and this is where it gets interesting even small changes in vote share and local variations can change this a great deal.

    If this was replicated across the country the 129 seat Parliament would be
    SNP 81 (73FPTP plus 1 in every region) Tory 24 (3 in every region) Labour 16 (2 in each region) Green 8 (1 in every region) and no LibDem or UKIP.

    I will say that result is highly unlikely but it is what can happen if the vote shares cluster around multiples of 8;

    the SNP get close 48 (8×6) Tories and Lab around 16 (8×2) the Greens on 8 (8×1) and the rest near 4 (8×1/2).

    No UKIP wouldn’t really be a surprise, but no LibDem is actually a possibility although a small one!


  13. “The vet would notice any tics present, even in the most cursory of examinations and would almost certainly not allow the dog to travel if they were present and not treated.”

    Obviously has short haired dogs……

  14. Oops sorry folks,

    For some reason I put six in for the SNP instead of four, so Labour not the SNP get seat seven.

    That takes the SNP down to 73 and Labour up to 24 same as the Tories, but still freezes UKIP & the LibDems out!

    Although mistake that it was it does show how a few percent of a difference can make for big changes even in a proportional system. It would be ironic if we saw a LibDem wipe out under a system they helped design!


  15. Oh dear. Due to an ECJ ruling, presumably on EU regulations, the budget included a measure removing the low rate of VAT on home insulation, energy efficiency and renewable energy products.

    Another good weapon for the leave brigade.

  16. @Alec

    I was impressed by your comments on the European Pets issue and have emailed the guts of them to my Labour MEP who I know wants to stay in. I hope you do not mind and will be interested in what she has to say.

  17. I am inclined at present to vote Leave on 23rd June , but am a bit intrigued as to how matters might develop at Westminster in the aftermath of a Leave vote. Whilst in pure democratic terms Remain MPs are likely to feel obliged to respect the electorate’s decision , there would be no reason for such MPs to back the legislation related to a particular Brexit model – whether Canadian style deal – Norway style – or indeed anything else. Effectively Remain MPs might still be able to block Boris – or whoever- negotiating a particular option as a non-EU state. We might find that the likes of Kenneth Clarke et al become a new breed of Tory rebels able to count on overwhelming blocking support from the Opposition benches! Perhaps they would insist on the holding of a further Referendum before agreeing to support the outcome of any Free Trade Deal etc. Just a thought!

  18. Good evening all from a cool night in rural Hampshire.

    Are we due any post budget opinion polls?

  19. Labour *in the lead* in YouGov post-budget poll. LAB 34 CON 33 UKIP 16 LD 6. Follows ICM tie earlier in the week. It does look like things are beginning to shift on the poll front. On past trends, and given the shaky economic news and other difficulties the govt has faced lately, not surprising in the slightest but many, probably myself included, thought LAB could never even get to poll leads under Corbyn and McDonnell.

    One observation I would make is that I detect something of a shift in public opinion on spending cuts, particularly as they relate to welfare. Up to now I think the majority have had little sympathy with the criticism of welfare cuts from Labour/campaign groups/the broader left. They saw the need for spending cuts and in any case thought lots of benefits went to the undeserving. Most people weren’t, and still aren’t, being hit themselves particularly. But after six years people are getting a bit impatient and have become more concerned (rightly in my view) about further cuts to disability benefit etc. and whether the government’s priorities are right.

  20. Much apparent disgruntlement on the Conservative backbenches about the planned reductions to future spending on Personal Independence Payments.

    I say much, it may well be relatively contained; however, as one potential rebel pointed out, given the slim majority it takes only a very few to change sides for the vote to be lost. Of course, wrapping up the change in the budget, when it is essentially a social security measure, potentially gives it some protection from Lords interference, but it may yet fall in the Commons.

    If the Chancellor were to be forced into a second successive reversal on planned cuts to payments to what are perceived by many to be the most vulnerable in society, could be a tad embarrassing.

    On the other hand, in strategic terms, is it better to have the political focus on this rather than the now fairly robustly sceptical / critical noises coming out of OBR / IFS on the much vaunted ‘long term economic plan’.

    The ad infinitum catchphrases of the first term were ‘all in this together’, ‘fixing the roof’ and ‘long term economic plan’.

    To great degree the pain of austerity, as shown by the below the headline polling, was largely and grudgingly tolerated, on the basis that the plan would work and the roof be fixed. If the cuts continue and appear more arbitrary and the plan looks more Baldrick than masterly, does there come a point when a reputation for economic competence starts to fade?

    Has that point been reached?

    As AW so wisely counsels, very few single events ever drive VI, but are these successive events having a corrosive effect on voter perception of the government’s economic credentials?

    And if so, where do those disgruntled voters go? To Messrs Corbyn & co?

  21. You Gov reporting 1 point Labour lead in post-budget poll!

  22. @Peter Cairns (SNP)

    “Although mistake that it was it does show how a few percent of a difference can make for big changes even in a proportional system.”

    Well, not in this case. The 4% -> 6% mistake is after division, so would translate into a voting shift of 14-18 percentage points.

    My own view is that the list vote is so unpredictable that you’re best just voting for what you believe in. All this talk of SNP voters voting Green and Labour voters voting Conservative sounds like a recipe for regret when you find that the party you switched tactically from were closer to winning that final seat than the one you switched to :)

  23. Britain Elects [email protected] 17m17 minutes ago Yorkshire and The Humber, England
    Westminster voting intention:
    LAB: 34% (+4)
    CON: 33% (-4)
    UKIP: 16% (-)
    LDEM: 6% (-)
    (via YouGov)

  24. @Peter Cairns – “Yes diseases that used to be confined to Continental Europe can now survive here, that must be the EU’s fault.”

    No – diseases that couldn’t get here are now here, and to many t will appear to be the EU’s fault.

    This isn’t the same as blue tongue in sheep, which is midge born and has recently arrived by insects on an easterly breeze. Ticks don’t fly and can’t swim, so the spread of this uncurable pathogen appears to be directly linked to EU regulations. It couldn’t become established here before via legal transport of dogs, but it can and has done so now.

    My key point on this is less about the epidemiology of the pathogen itself, or even of the decision making process leading to the disaster. It is more that there appears to be a clear link between an EU regulation and a major problem for dog owners that may lead some to question the wisdom of the EU. It has potential salience and bite, politically speaking.

  25. @Alec – this judgement was made in June 2015 and widely discussed in the press at the time. The change in the relevant VAT rate should have been mentioned in the Autumn Statement (perhaps it was?).

    In any case, I get the impression that many in the Leave brigade don’t really give a stuff about energy efficiency. Moreover, in the event of a Brexit, and the mythical “Free Trade” deal, it needs to be made clear that, Britain would still have to comply with many of the rules and regulations put down by the Commission. One of the great irritations of the Brexit issue has been the idea of Brussels as some of monolithic authoritian unaccountable dictatorship (I want to copyright that phrase) – which is sometimes the case!

    However, from what I’ve seen in the UK, monolithic authoritarianism is what governments have a tendency to do! Electoral mandate is often seen as giving the possibility to run roughshod over logic and expertise – blithely ignoring the input of others in the pursuit of god-knows-what. Without being too apocalyptic about the UK’s status in the world, there are serious long-term problems, be it lack of mineral resources, vast inequalities, lengthening life expectancies placing pressures on health and social care, dire public infrastructure, loss of employment due to automatisation, vast national and personal debt. And all of that without even considering the possibility of Scottish independence, Brexit and the continuing issues in the Middle East and North Africa. The high quality of life that we’ve had (and still mainly have) is not guaranteed, and from my lofty tower ;), there appear to be significant frays in the way we see the democratic process and governance, and there needs to be honest and detailed debate about how the country should look in 10-20-30 years time, rather than in the next few months. Mario Cuomo is credited with the phrase “Campaign in poetry, govern in prose” – after some of the empty-headedness that we saw last year, and are currently seeing in the US, wouldn’t it make a great difference to see a bit of prose in governance?

    On the actual thread topic – maybe this is where LiS are going wrong – too much electioneering and sloganising trying to appeal to lost hearts, rather than a bit of reality and appealing to the (exceptionally wise) Scottish electorate with some real ideas?

  26. The last poll had Labour and the Tories neck and neck and this poll has Labour 1 point in front. The latest poll can’t be put down to the budget because presumably most of the field work was done pr-budget but clearly something is moving the polls


    I don’t think this will get through the Commons without major alterations. There were already a handful of rebels on the ESA cut in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. Many others held their noses and trusted the DWP meant well. Now the backbench opposition seems more vocal and the declining poll position will be unnerving some. Also, not sure whether this will need to go to the Lords but if it does it is inevitable they’ll oppose it in my view. A terrible misjudgement from the Chancellor and IDS to attempt this.

  28. Last night I thought that the budget might unravel, based largely on disability welfare cuts and preferential tax gains for the rich, but looking at today’s coverage, I have been surprised at the widespread and pretty fierce negative reaction. Osborne looks like he really is in a hole, and Labour at last appear to be enjoying themselves.

    While Corbyn still lacks economic credibility, his sound bites on the news today are effective, and in the zero sum game of government and opposition, if Tories are going down, Labour will rise, to an extent at least.

  29. Perhaps the last few days shows that while the perception is the Conservatives miles ahead, they are only a nose ahead in Parliamentary terms.

    George is wise enough to realise a climb down is better for his long term prospects than trying to push this through.

  30. @Alec

    Of course, historically in circumstances such as now when Labour are in crisis and the Tories are missing an open goal the Lib Dems might have hoped to benefit. But they are totally shut out of the debate right now.

  31. The Conservatives do need to look hard at themselves. Currently this is a government struggling to pass bills in it’s own chamber; not to mention the blockage from the Lords (the one big mistake preelection was not getting reform to the Lords; instead they now have Lib Dem and Labour Lords blocking their bills when both those parties would have discussed reform!); failure to meet targets from immigration to the economy; mixed messages on policy and a party at war following renegotiations they knew would fail from the outset.

    Over time just making fun of Labour will grate (it also gets dull; the infighting and Corbyn issues is now political geekery than mainstream media) and they need to take them on over policy.

    They’re about to lose the London Mayoral position which will add to the voices against them. I think the current polls are inflated for Labour but its likely picking up some movement to them and a small majority government should take much more care over their image when theres a too close to call vote coming up which could lead to their leaders resignation.

  32. ALEC

    Some Tories are not happy with the disability welfare cuts and I smell another 180° rotation to reverse the direction of travel on this or to put it simply….I smell a U-turn.

  33. So… Anyone want to start taking bets on how quickly the ‘Look at the polls!’ argument will disappear from the stage?

  34. @CMJ

    “George is wise enough to realise a climb down is better for his long term prospects than trying to push this through.”

    Possibly. Though continual climbdowns and reversals are disliked – especially in the markets (even if they are in matters that do not directly impact them). he Chancellor may need the markets confidence if there are rocky times ahead.

    My sense – expressed at the time of the last election – is that the Conservative manifesto was perhaps the least cohesive of all the significant parties. A wish list – as we now know – cobbled together by Johnson junior at the last moment, much of it reckoned to be dispensed with once in coalition.

    As it happened there was no coalition and so the government appears to lack, unsurprisingly, cohesiveness and direction. The only clear vision seems to be austerity, but without apparently achieving either a balanced budget or a recovering economy, that risks being seen as ‘austerity for austerity’s sake’.

    It does seem somewhat extraordinary that the headline policies coming out of the budget: ‘sugar tax’ and ‘primary academies’ were both conspicuously absent from the manifesto – has everything else been so soon delivered?

  35. @Jack Sheldon and Allan Christie

    Agree. The Conservatives seem highly likely to reverse on the PIP changes. The Lords – packed as it is with people taking a keen eye on disability issues – will take any opportunity to open this up if they can, though HMG will resist.

    What is more surprising is how apparently numerous and vocal are the internal critics – be they in parliament or press – and how quickly they have come forward to condemn the measure.

    I wonder whether there is a referendum angle lurking somewhere here – after all, Osborne is (almost) as linked to the ‘renegotiation’ as the PM.

  36. @Assiduosity

    Give where Labour are at the moment, all the Conservatives need to do is plot a steady, middle-of-road course, with no shocks or surprises, and 2020 should be in the bag.

    I wonder who their chief strategist is? GO?

    Perhaps taking the wise counsel of someone like Ken Clarke would be worth while.

  37. New thread..


    It wont get as far as the decrepit chamber because with Labour SNP Plaid and at least 20 Tory MP’S against pips then its dead in the water.

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