Latest Scottish polls

Friday and today have seen new voting intention polls for the Scottish Parliamentary elections from Populus and YouGov. Support in the constituency vote stands at:

Populus: CON 13%, LAB 30%, LDEM 18%, SNP 34%
YouGov: CON 14%, LAB 30%, LDEM 15%, SNP 37%

And in the regional vote:

Populus: CON 14%, LAB 27%, LDEM 18%, SNP 34%
YouGov: CON 13%, LAB 28%, LDEM 13%, SNP 35%

The main difference between the pollsters, much as with Westminister polls, is the level of support for the Liberal Democrats. Both companies show the SNP with a solid lead over Labour of around seven points in the regional vote, and between 4 and 7 points in the constituency vote.

These two polls follow a couple of weeks when we’ve had to rely upon rather erratic polling from Scottish Opinion and mruk. Mruk managed to find a Labour lead when all other contemporary polls were showing the SNP ahead, while in two polls published just a few days apart Scottish Opinion found a Labour lead of 3 points and an SNP lead of 11 points. Mruk have no track record to judge them by, and there is no way of telling what weightings and adjustments were applied to the figures, neither do we know what weightings Scottish Opinion use, though the evidence from those two polls alone suggests that their results are volatile.

You have to go back to November to find a poll by one of the well known companies (Yougov, ICM, TNS System Three and Populus) that didn’t show a SNP lead and I think the picture presented by those pollsters whose methodology we do have the details of is pretty clear: the SNP have a consistent lead going into the Scottish Parliamentary elections and unless there is a change in public sentiment, or a systemic failure of the polls, we can expect the SNP to gain the most votes at the Scottish elections. How that translates into seats is a different matter – most projections suggest the SNP will be the largest party in the next Parliament, but there is no obvious coalition. The Lib Dems have suggested they will not agree to the central plank of the SNP programme, a referendum on Scottish independence, and the SNP would not go into a coalition with the Tories. It is possible that the SNP could emerge as the largest party, but Labour continue in power with the Lib Dems, propped up by the Conservatives.

59 Responses to “Latest Scottish polls”

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  1. I’m just back from shopping in Inverurie, the largest town in Gordon and Nora Radcliffe’s perceived stronghold. Out of curiosity I drove round some of the residential areas of the town. I saw only one Libdem sign and only 3 SNP window posters – and this a week from the election. Has Nora not got her usual supporters to take posters this time? That is a very bad sign for her. I saw 4 Libdem posters in Oyne last night a “one street” village. I am beginning to think she is in for an almighty drubbing from Salmond. I reckon she could lose half her vote to him to add to the SNP’s core vote of 6000. I do not think the Tory vote will go to support her in her time of need.

  2. My personal feeling is that the LibDems and Tory’s will be squeezed out by the hotly contested SNP/Lab battle.

    I think the polls actually show a higher figure for the minority party’s as the campaign has become very polarised between the two larger party’s. Last time I voted LibDem (despite being a long time SNP advocate) due to them being Westminster elections and it being a personal anti-war tactical vote. However, this time I will revert back to my usual vote for the SNP. If there are others like me who felt this way and ultimately provided the LibDems with their largest ammount of Westminster seats to date (54 I think?) then their vote will surely fall in Scotland on May 3rd. I also believe that the Labour vote will be hit more by apathy due to the discontent among their supporters evident from numerous recent back bench rebellions against Iraq among other issues. I would follow this with stating that the buoyant mood of the SNP supporters is likely to increase their percentage of turnout, particularly as they have undergone nearly 50 years of being also-rans, but now there is a destinct air of possibility.

  3. Another MRUK poll in today’s Herald: SNP list 37/const 38, Lab 36/34, Lib 11/13, Con 11/11, Greens 3/-, other 2/4.

    What utter rubbish. I mean does anyone really believes that Labour will *gain* 7% on the list vote compared to 2003?

  4. Others get more in the constituency vote than list?

  5. With no background info or track record both MRUK amd Scottish opinion can’t really be relied on.

    In the past month or so both the Scotsman and Herald have ran SNP Surge/slump Slump/Surge stories but what seems to have happened is that both have had polls out of line with everyone elses and have taken them to mean either SNP surge or slump.

    Now that the polls are in line with the average rather than admit that they were probably rouge polls they are righting it up as slump and surge as if there has been some big swing in oppinion.

    Fact is, it looks like both papers went with cheap untried polsters and have got erratic figures as a result. I wouldn’t mind but to hide their embarrassmentthey are both righting grossly misleading headlines.

    If we stick to ICM, Populus, YouGov, the SNP have had and a keeping a consistant 4% to 6% lead in both polls with the Tories and LibDems between 14% and 18% and the Greens 3%to 7%.

    All we can predict from that is that the SNP will probably be the largest party and not much else.


  6. Peter,

    I agree with your prognosis. It is clear that SNP are leading Labour in both FPTP and List sections, and so should end up as largest party with Lab second. With regard to all other parties regional variations make any meaningful analysis of eventual overall outcome rather difficult.

    On the other hand, we do have some indication as to probable FPTP result. I predict that, in the FPTP element, we will see:

    – large SNP gains
    – small Con gains
    – small LD losses
    – large Lab losses

    Overall, I find it difficult to see how LDs can improve on their total number when they have several FPTP seats vulnerable, and no obvious FPTP potential gains. Con on the other hand are likely to keep all three existing FPTP seats and gain at least two others.

    Quite where the final numbers end up due to list effect is a bit of a lottery depending on which FPTP seats change hands and on how the smaller parties fare. However, I doubt whether Lab & LD combined will have enough to maintain a majority coalition.

    Only a week to go, then we will know for sure.

    Pity we have not had as much information to work with in Wales, where we may find a few surprises.

    Paul H-J

  7. I reckon all polls need to be treated with suspicion. There is now a general consistency in the figures, but as the regional variations are not disclosed, the support or lack that parties enjoy in even nearby constituencies could affect the outcome of individual seats with a knock-on effect on the list.

  8. I assume that in Tory/Labour battlegrounds like Ayr, Edinburgh Pentlands, Eastwood and Dumfries, the swing from Labour to the SNP should allow the Tories to win quite easily?

    Presumably, the SNP are not doing so well as to be in with a chance in seats like those mentioned above?

  9. SNP posters are beginning to appear in windows, gardens and farmer’s fields. Not many, but more than the Libdems now. Farmers can stick up a poster all round their farm and make the countryside look like they are voting for the Libdems but they only still amount to the farmer and his wife!. The town window posters give a far better insight into the state of play, but the few that there are mostly SNP. I am quietly confident Salmond will take Gordon, but there are are no hard figures as to how he is doing against Radcliffe. It maybe is still too close to call.

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