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. today’s Observer talks of another poll showing the SNP leading by ‘at least 6%’, but giving no further details. Does anyone know more about this?

  2. It is difficult to see Labour and the Conservatives supporting each other over the years to the next UK general election without inviting a major SNP surge at the UK election.

    Such a surge under FPTP might well result in an overall majority for the SNP on a similar % of the vote to that which they may poll on 3 May. At that point the Westminster parties would be begging for the referendum which they now oppose :-)

  3. Green %?

  4. Greens were 4 1/2% in Yougov . I was a little disappointed that the sample size in Yougov was their usual just over 1,000 . I was hoping for a much bigger sample . Little worried too that the turnout expectation of those asked was 66% This looks much too high and makes me wonder whether the panel is a bit unrepresentative of the Scottish electorate as a whole in their interest in politics .

  5. Mark,

    66% might not be too high if it’s a backlash election, as when it looks like the government could change and there is all to play for turnout could rise.

    Having said that there is the issue of some of those who have switched from labour to SNP might not vote at all. The actual turn outs will be interesting especially in places like Glasgow. If Labour stay at home and the SNP get their vote out we could see at least two surprises.

    I would tentatively argue that this gives the SNP the edge, because if anyone right now is going to stay a thome it will be Labour supporters, and all the polling evidence is that at a Scottish election it’s SNP voters who are most likely to come out.

    In a Westminster election SNP voters are conversely more likely to sit itoutand a fair number may well switch back to Labour if it’s Brown v Cameron for PM.

    Peter.

  6. Mark,

    Oh and I took part in a very detailed YouGov survey late last week.

    It covered Scottish issues in more depth than any I had done before, and also included the type of questions you get on individual circumstances that may indictate updating the panel.

    The closing date isn’t till 10.00 am on monday the 23rd, so the “big Sample” poll might still be a real possibility.

    Peter.

  7. Thanks Peter , that sounds more interesting . I do expect turnout to go up from last time but not to anything like 66% , my guess would be 55% or thereabouts .

  8. Nearly every poll shows turnout unrealistically high – partly it is people lying* about their likelihood to vote, partly it is the that real turnout figures are actually articifically low, in reality some people who are on the register are unable to vote because they are registered twice, or have died or are severly ill and don’t have a proxy or whatever, so if even if you got 66% of people *honestly* saying in a poll they’ll vote, that would probably represent a slightly lower turnout figure than 66%, because the dead people, severly ill etc who are on the electoral register don’t take part in the polls. Finally, the people who are *most* unlikely to vote, those at the most deprived and detached fringes of society are unlikely to take part in polls either (they are also less likely to be on the electoral register, of course).

    (*or, more charitably, just being optimistic :) )

  9. Fair comment Anthony , I remember your comments on an Xmas polling asking how many people would be going to attend church over Xmas to the very much lower figure who actually went

  10. Turnout will I forecast fall well short of 66%. Just before the 2003 election the Tories were polling much as they are now-ie about 13/14 % or so but on polling day they ended up with 16.65% (FPTP). I wonder if that had something to do with our old friend ‘differential turnout’ meaning in this case that Tory supporters in Scotland although smaller in number are more determined to vote. I have a feeling that this will happen again not just in the case of the Tories but with the Lib Dems as well. I think Alex Salmond for one faces an uphill task in Gordon. Are any bookies taking bets on that result does anyone know?

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

    If these figures reflect the final outcome then the mood of the Scottish voters is against the Governing coalition. The first attempt should be to see if there is an anti- Lab/LibDem coalition.

    It may sound implausible but, as NI shows, these things are not necessarily out of the question. That’s my view anyway – any takers?

  12. Nick,

    I agree, differntial turnout often plays in favour of Conservatives, and when there is something important at stake, older voters are more likely to turn out. Gordon could prove an extremely tight three way battle. Mr Salmond has given himself a high hurdle to jump in Gordon, and his first place on the list won’t guarantee him a seat either.

    It would be a fairly rash bookie to accept bets on the result. My own guess is that he may just pull it off – but that the list vote will show both Con and LDs ahead of SNP.

  13. I’m sure that both the Lib Dems and the Tories will do slightly better than this – I’d guess both of them will get around 17-18%.

    That means the SNP could be down to 30%, rather than around 37%.

  14. Personally, good luck to the SNP.

  15. The Libdem vote is concentrated in a handfull of seats, even in their so called Highland stronghold, the SNP got more list votes last time.

    The interesting factor is the extent to which libDems will switch between Firstand second vote. Of all the main parties they are the most likely to split their vote ( the SNP being the leastlikely). When Libdems do split the seem to favourthe Greens farmore than any other parties supporters do.

    I think there will be an interesting LibDem v Green list battle. The figures for LibDem seats sit between 17 and 23 on most polls with the Greens between 1 and 7, thats a six seat range for each and I think it’s connected.

    If could be that the final coalition could be decided by the result of the Constituency battle between labour and the SNP, and the Listbattle for top up seats between the Greens and the Libdems.

    Certainly when i’ve been outcanvassing, people aren’t as fed up with the LibDems as with labour, but they aren’t keen on them either ( the neighbouring LibDem MSP Jamies Stone has the nickname “The Stone of Density”.

    Her in Ross Skye and Inverness West, the LibDem leaflet has pictures of Charles Kennedy and Nicol Stephens, but not even a mention by name let alone a picture of Menzies Campbell, or the Local candidate.

    Much as I hate to say it I still see the LibDems winning most of the seats they hold ( although I think Jim Mather might just gain “Argyll & Bute”), but I am pretty sure there list vote will be down, which ironically might help Labour if they lose the Western Isles.

    If they do pick up list votes elsewhere it will almostcertainly be at the expense of Labour, butthen in Glasgow and the west Labourdon’t need them anyway.

    Peter.

  16. Does anyone have any information on how thing’s are standing in Gordon, where Alex Salmond is standing in a traditional Lib Dem stronghold?

  17. WShave the YouGov figures up, butthey have added SSP and green in to “Others” in the regional vote, probably because the full figures aren’t up yet.

    If we go with the suggested 4-5%, then I get the following number of seats.

    Labour 42 (-8), SNP 50 (+13), LibDem 18 (+1), Tory 15 (-3) SSP 0 (-6) Green 3 (-4) Ind 1 (-2). Others 0 (-1).

    If it’s close to that it could be a bit of a let off for Brown if he can spin it as a disaster for Cameron.

    To be honest right now I an stuck between it all being a bit of an anti-climax and the very outside possibility of a Blair style landslide and an SNP Green Coalition, although that’s probably just wishful thinking on my part.

    Peter.

  18. Paul H-J wrote:
    > and when there is something important at stake, older voters are more likely to turn out.

    I’d think it is more the other way round, older voters are more likely to turn out anyway. Thus if turn out increases, it will be less likely that the polls underestimate pensioners parties (i.e. the Scottish Tories)

  19. The YouGov tables in the Sunday Times show the results for SNP, Lab, Lib, Con and ‘other’, and then breaks down ‘other’ into Green, SSP (swinging), SSP (continuing), SSCUP and again ‘other’.

    Is this how the questions were asked? It seems strange, given that according to Kellner’s 23 Nov column, this has direct consequences for the responses. In particular, there seems quite a dynamic between the Libs and the Greens. Given the importance this could on the next parliament, I find it a bit disappointing that noone seems to be able/willing to get to the bottom of it. in 2003 the Greens outpolled the Libs in the Lothians, and were only 1% or so behind in Central and Glasgow, all of which have Socialist seats for grabs.

  20. I am voting in Argyll and Bute, and I just don’t see SNP taking it.

    While there is undoubtedly an anti-labour swing, it is caused by the expectation that UK New Labour will not allow Scottish Labour to oppose it on Trident, nuclear power and other issues. As coalition parters, some of this dissatisfaction will rub off onto the ScotLibDems, but only to a minor degree. I don’t think that there will be much change in the ScotLibDem MSP’s or Conservative or even Green.

    How did the Green’s actual vote % break down over the regions last time, and what would be the effect of a proportionate fall in support o elected MSP numbers? I can see no reason for anti-Green churn, and they could gain some of the votes lost by SSP/Sol and even Labour

    On the other hand, SNP will take Western Isles where I used to vote. The MSP has done well to hang on as long as he has, but you could say that it’s time.

  21. As things stand, it looks almost impossible for the SNP to gain an overall majority (or anywhere near it) by themselves.

    Given that no major party has indicated they’d do a deal with them given their current platform, surely the chances of an “anti-SNP” coalition being formed are grossly underestimated?

    It look like a Lib-dem/Labour Coalition would still be able to outvote the SNP.

    Anyone given any thoughts to the political ramifications of a very strong SNP vote/performance, only for them to be denied power in Holyrood?

    This is a big problem with PR. Politicians do deals, the electorate cannot influence.

  22. Rob,

    the possibility of an anti SNP coalition, even Lab/Lib with tacit Tory support has been one of the big issues in the Scottish press over the last week.

    It basically breaks down in to two arguements. Firstly as Nicol Stephen has said, there is no reason why the largest party has to be in government, which could mean that he favourslabour, but probably means that he wants to maximise his influence by keeping both options open.

    The second, best put forward by Iain Mcwhirter in theHerald is that if the SNP was the largest party and Scots viewed it as the winner but it didn’t form a government then people would go nuts feeling thay had been cheated.

    It’s a difficult one to call.

    In Argyll and bute the SNP need an 8% swing which they won’t do from just a fall in the 5,00 labourvote, but ifsome of the tories vote tactically then with a bit of LibDem discontent they may well make it. One issue is just how many people in the East of the constituency depend on Faslane for their jobs.

    Peter.

  23. > This is a big problem with PR. Politicians do deals, the electorate cannot influence.

    Well, actually, the electorate can – at the next election. And if LibLabTory joint together, I am sure they get their comeuppance in 2009/20. Not because there is anything formally wrong with building coalitions that exclude the largest party – there are plenty of (successful) examples of that. But because it would be such an unnatural and awkward alliance on virtually all policy aspects bar one. For example, Lib voters might wonder why their party prefers to be in a coalition with 2 other parties it strongly opposes on a UK level and not with a party with which it shares so many policies, especially since the SNP has offered a referendum on independence. (And don’t forget it was Lib activists that forced the coalition change from Con/Lab/Lib/Ind to SNP/Lib/Ind in Perth + Kinross.)

  24. Greenpousse:

    Great. So the electorate can get the change they want 4 years after they voted for it?

    I don’t want to get into a heated discussion about PR (again) but it does have major flaws, the biggest of which is the difficulty to effect decisive change.

    My experience is that people would rather have a strong influence on decisively changing governments and booting politicans out (or in), rather than being invited to vote for a plethora of options from which the politicans can then choose who to govern. Small parties serve a very useful role in shaping the debate and the agenda.

    Still, no voting system is entirely pretty!

    In Scotlands case, the fault line is independence, which none of the main parties will have any dealings with. It is the antipathy about *this* in Lib Dems/Lab/Cons which could prevent the SNP taking power.

    It all depends how “flexible” the Lib Dems are willing to be regarding their principles.

  25. Anthony, Peter, anybody…

    The Herald are saying today (Monday) that “a Scottish Opinion survey for the Mail on Sunday put them [the Tories] on 10% and 11%, equating to 13 seats”.

    I cannot find a reference to that poll anywhere else, although The Scotsman tantalisingly say today “three polls published in the past three days”. I am only aware of two (Populus and YouGov)!

    Did anyone buy yesterday’s Scottish edition of the Mail on Sunday? Please fish it out of the rubbish bin/recycling box and give us as many juicy details as possible!

    http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/news/display.var.1347065.0.0.php

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=621222007

  26. Stuart,

    Why on earth would anyone buy the Mail on any day let alone Sunday, unless is was to spare someone else and put it straight in to the rubbish bin.

    Peter

  27. Too true… but you know what we politics junkies are like ;)

    I need my fix of voodoo polls!!!

  28. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23393409-details/Blair%20urged%20to%20quit%20early%20as%20Scottish%20poll%20disaster%20looms/article.do

    I´m not sure you will like it, frankly.
    SNP would need the support of two other parties to form a government.

  29. Rob B,

    It is the fear of an electoral meltdown that should stop the parties from making deals after an election that are contrary to their positions before the election.

    New Zealand First in 96/99 and the Irish Labour Party in 92/97 are two good (well, bad) examples, both first mightily slagged of the government (National Party/Fianna Fail), then jumped into bed with them and got decimated in the next election (Lab 33 to 17 seats, NZF 17 to 5).

    That’s why you rarely find, say, German or Dutch politicians make such silly statements as the LibDems currently do, which in consequence is one of the reasons why voters in those countries are relaxed about the ‘deal-making’ aspect of PR.

    Lab/Lib/Con don’t seem to understand they must change their behaviour (be transparant) and talk (be truthful) in a PR system. They might get away with it this time, but then someone will get punished next time round.

  30. Bluntly, can anyone see how a party which wins most seats and the greatest % of votes being denied government doing anything else bar magnifying their vote exponentially at the following election? If one wants the SNP to have a massive majority, not merely on being the party of the people, but the party whose referendum would sail through the Scottish people, just try denying SNP power. The natural justice will scream out at such an obvious level…

    Blair thought devolution was over by the establishment of the Scottish parliament. It has only just begun. Consider the claims of a St George holiday; and one for everyone else — yet again another example (and a new one) of how we are but a dying union. People may not yet view the issue as important, but ten years ago the issue was not even on a political agenda.

  31. Thanks Peter. Unfortunately just seat projections, no actual numbers or any methodology info/dates at all.

    Why do the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Times, The Sun, and every other English newspaper not publish the content of their Scottish editionsonline?!? Infuriating. They often have interesting stories, but no-one outside Scotland (or who doesn’t actually buy a copy) gets a chance to read them. The scrapping of the Sunday Times Scotland online content, a couple of months ago, was a serious blow to Scottish political bloggers.

    Anyway, the MoS predict the following seat distribution:

    Scottish Opinion/Mail on Sunday (Scottish edition only)
    – published 22 April 2007
    1. SNP 44 seats (+17)
    2. Lab 40 (-10)
    3. LD 18 (+1)
    4. Con 13 (-5)
    5. Grns 11 (+4)

    There is no way on earth that the Greens will get more than 9 seats – virtually impossible for them to get more than 9 if you look in detail at the list electoral system (unless a massive swing to them, but the polls would have consistently been detecting that). I suspect they will get around 5.

    Tories unlikely to go as low as 13 either. I actually think that it will be the Tories, and not the Lib Dems, who will be scrapping about with the Greens for the 7th and 8th spots on the regional lists.

  32. Peter,

    Iain McWhirter in todays Herald, (Mon 23rd April) was saying much the same, to save Labour Blair must resign now, before the election, although that still might not save them as it may be seen as too late and too cynical.

    Greenpousse,

    you don’t have any articles or references to back up the irish and NZ examples do you?

    Peter.

  33. I see that some folk were asking about the state of play in Gordon. I reckon it will be close but Salmond should get in.

    I have tried to analyse what happened back in 2003 to see what 2007 holds. The way I vave done it is to gauge what the “Anti-tory” vote is. As Banff & Buchan and Gordon are virtually identical constituencies it is possible to campare the two.

    Here are the figures for 2003

    Banff & Buchan Gordon
    SNP 53% LD 38%
    Con 21% Con 24%
    Lab 11% SNP 22%
    LD 9% Lab 10%

    As you see the Conservatives and Labour are virtually the same.

    Averaging the two seats as if they were one, we would get
    SNP 37.5%
    LD 23.5%
    Con 22.5%
    Lab 9.5%

    In Banff & Buchan the SNP picks up the Anti-tory vote
    In Gordon the Libdems pick up the Anti-tory vote
    Averaging removes this tactical vote as the two cancels out
    This is nearer the core vote of the parties. Banff and Buchan has a lower core vote of Libdems, Gordon has a higher one

    The SNP in Gordon has a core vote of 22%, I reckon the Libdems core vote is about 25%, the remainder made up of tactical voters. I reckon this is about 13%.

    Hitherto, Gordon has been perceived as a Libdem/Con contest. This is not the case in 2007. Unlike in 2003, when the SNP had an unknown candidate who received 22%, 2% behind the Tory, this time they have the highest profile candidate in Alex Salmond. He will have a personal support vote as well as the Anti-tory vote going his way instead of to Nora Radcliffe. The mood is hostile to the Labour/Libdem executive and this will affect Nora Radcliffe.

    My guess the result in Gordon will be
    SNP 35% (+13)
    LD 25% (-13)
    Con 24%
    Lab 10%
    Oth 6%

    Alex Salmond needs only an 8% swing from Libdem to SNP to take the seat. This is not high for a candidate with a high profile and a party leader, when all the polls are in his party’s favour. Even had the SNP campaign been faltering I still think he would have won the seat because of who he is.

    I am a voter in Gordon, with friends throughout the area so I feel I am in a position to judge the mood here.

    I would be pleased to read other poster’s comments on my analysis.

    .

  34. Peter Cairns,

    Not sure what you mean, http://www.elections.org.nz and http://www.parties-and-elections.de show the rise and fall of the election result (as does wikipedia). Irish Labour actually switched coalition midway, while also left the coalition and suffered from massive defections. For Ireland, any good book about modern irish politics gives details, e.g. ‘Politics in the Republic of Ireland’, ‘Irish Politics Today’. For NZ, this is pretty much the view of the NZ Greens, can’t think of any reference, though I think the NZF entry in ‘Political Parties of the World’ has some comment.

    To be clear, declaring an item non-negotiable does not have to be a problem if you can stick to your position and carry your voters with you. For example, the Greens have declared nuclear power non-negatiable, I guess they would stick to it even if it would mean losing out on power and their voters would back them. (It worked for the Finnish Greens, who left the government coalition over nuclear power in 2002 and increased their vote in 2003 – see http://www.eurogreens.org.) I just think the Liberals have manoeuvred themselves into a silly position.

  35. Huntly loon, thanks for replying to my request for information about Gordon.

    I must say that I’m surprised that the fact that the Lib Dems have won every kind of contest in Gordon for nearly 25 years doesn’t look like it will save them from losing to Salmond in the coming election.

    Their many wins since 1983 must – in that case – have been down to negative voting to a very large extent (mainly against the Tories), rather than any positive affection for the Lib Dems.

  36. Thanks for an interesting analysis , Huntly loon , I would not want to argue against your final conclusion that Salmond will win as I think it quite likely . Indeed I think it would be quite a rebuff to him if he did not . I do think however that the combined LibDem/SNP vote will be well up on the 60% last time to the 70-75% range splitting between both the main contenders .

  37. I just want to say good luck to the SNP; the faster they getting in the better, the same for Plaid Cymru in Wales. Let’s have proper Scottish and Welsh politics not English(British) politics. If Ireland can cope with independance, so can we.

  38. I have pasted a paragraph from an article on the European Parliamentary By-election of 1998, where, when given the option of voting for a good SNP candidate the voters of Gordon will desert the Liberal Democrats and vote SNP. I know it is nearly ten years ago, but it goes to show that the Lib-dem vote in Gordon can be volatile and defect on masse. The boundaries are different from the current Holyrood seat, but the principle is the same. My analysis that the Liberal Democrats are chiefly a repository of Anti-tory votes and not intrinsically “Liberal” can be shown from the results for Gordon in the 1998 North east Scotland Euro-byelection when the SNP received most and the Libs were third.

    The quote:- “The Liberals have even more grounds to worry – in a Euro seat that has two of their ten constituencies they managed only a poor fourth, dropping almost eight per cent on their General Election result. The detail is even worse for them – analysis of ballot box sampling shows that they came third in both those seats, with the SNP first. The bubble of NE liberalism has been burst by Ashdown’s desperate wish to have a ministerial red box. Having been in Gordon and West Aberdeen during the campaign, I am convinced that vigorous SNP campaigning and vigorous recruiting can produce great dividends.”

  39. everyone,

    I strongly recommend you check out the most insightful analysis of polling data for the Holyrood elections i’ve come across (link below). This guy rubbishes the inept approach taken by most (all?) commentators in the mainstream press, factoring in the regional vote and impact of the smaller parties/independents.

    http://www.youscotland.com/debate/showthread.php?t=116

  40. Huntly Ioon,

    Good input on Gordon, though I think the result will be closer than you predict, and with Labour squeezed out of sight. I expect that Nanette Milne will still get over 20% which could leave it a close three-way result on the night.

    Andy Stidwell,

    In fact, although LDs have held both Westminster and Holyrood seat for some time, Tories actually “won” Gordon (along with several other Scottish seats ) in both 1999 and 2004 Euro-elections.

    Paul

  41. On the ‘will Salmond take Gordon?’ question, I have to say that whatever I read in the press, my gut instinct, having followed Scottish politics my whole life, is that Radcliffe has not a cat in hell’s chance of retaining the seat. Anecdotal evidence of LibDems describing the race as ‘neck and neck’ while SNP folk are ‘quietly confident’ tends to back this up. The press has made vastly too much of the fact that the SNP were 3rd last time given that they were only just behind the Tories…

  42. Thanks PaulH for reply. I have now found the figures on the internet for the 1999 and 2004 European elections, which totally remove all tactical voting considerations

    1999
    SNP 29%
    Con 25%
    LD 22%

    2004
    Con 24%
    LD 23 %
    SNP 21%

    From the names of the other constituencies, these figures appear to be based on the boundaries of the Holyrood seats. Basically the seat of Gordon is a three way marginal with a vote each of 20-25%. Differential voting may have given the Conservatives the “win” as turnout was

  43. continuation:
    less than 30%. A higher turnout will favour the SNP even more than the Libdems. The “personality” factor must also be in Salmond’s favour – High profile, never off the TV, Party leader, trend going SNP’s way, and leading in the polls nationally.

    Downside – not being able to press the flesh locally as much as Radcliffe. If the SNP canvass returns were to show his support slipping I think he would be back in Gordon. I guess he will do that in the later stages of the campaign. He requires to get in in Gordon under FPTP as his credibility would be damaged otherwise.

    My hunch is he should make it, but I’m not going to guess by how much.

  44. Tories will take 17 – 19% on the night, reducing the snp lead.

    They will hold all three constituency seats and will gain Dumfries and have some hope in Perth, Tweeddale, Roxburgh/ Berwickshire, Eastwood, Stirling and Argyll.

    They will also push the Lib Dems into third place in Gordon.

  45. Interesting, Peter, as until fairly recently you were confident that the SNP would regain GUN. Is there evidence of a genuine Conservative revival in the South of Scotland, in your opinion?

  46. One thing that is clear in all the polls is that the Conservatives are going to poll worse than in 2003 Their campaign has been accident prone for many months . Still we shall see next week whether Peter is correct or not .

  47. Are you serious, Mark?

  48. Following on from Huntly loon’s analysis, while Euro 2004 and 1999 show votes removed from tactical considerations, the Euro by-election in 1998 shows what can happen if the SNP puts the squeeze on.

    Unfortunately I can’t find constituency figures, but the North-East total was:

    SNP 48%, Con 20%, Lab 19%, Lib 10%, other 4%.

    Now, the total constituency vote in the North-East in 2003 was:

    SNP 30%, Con 18%, Lab 22%, Lib 24%, other 6%.

    which for Con, Lab and others is pretty similar, but not for SNP and Lib.

    Extrapolating, if Salmond can achieve a swing similar to the 1998 by-election in Gordon in 2007, the result would be:

    SNP 40%, Con 26%, Lib 24%, Lab 7%

    which makes Huntly loon’s prediction look conservative.

    Anyone still believing Radcliffe can hold? Me neither.

  49. As I said before, the idea that the Tories and the Lib Dems will only win 26% between them is far too low.

  50. Peter , perfectly serious , the polls are consistent the Conservatives will get 13-14% of the vote down on 2003 .

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