YouGov have a new Scottish poll in yesterday and today’s Times. Topline voting intention figures for Holyrood are CON 25%, LAB 15%, LDEM 6%, SNP 48% for the constituency vote; CON 24%, LAB 14%, LDEM 6%, SNP 39%, GRN 11% for the regional vote. The SNP obviously remain dominant, but the Conservatives are now in a very clear second place. Since the referendum Scottish voting behaviour appears to have been increasingly based on independence vs unionism – the SNP have recieved the overwhelming support of those who voted Yes back in 2014 (85% of them would give their constituency vote to the SNP in an election tomorrow). The Conservatives – the most unabashedly unionist of the Scottish parties – increasingly seem to get the largest share of those who voted NO. They are probably also helped by Ruth Davidson’s continuing popularity and that fact that they are the largest opposition party in Holyrood, so are in some sense the natural home for those opposed to the SNP government.

What it is probably isn’t is a continuation of Theresa May’s honeymoon. While May’s ratings are still very high in GB polling they’ve started to turn in this Scottish poll. 40% now think May is doing badly as PM (up from 22%), only 35% well (unchanged).

On the other leaders, Nicola Sturgeon’s ratings are down from the Summer, but still positive. 50% think she is doing well, 39% badly, a net rating of plus 11 compared to plus 20 in August. Ruth Davidson’s ratings continue to far outstrip her party – 49% think she is doing well, 24% badly. Looking at the crossbreaks it’s clear that there are some SNP supporters and a majority of Labour supporters who can think that Davidson is doing a good job without being tempted to actually vote for her party.

Moving onto Scottish independence there is still no sign of any post-EU Ref movement in favour of independence. Asked how they’d vote in a referendum tomorrow 44% would vote YES to Scottish independence, 56% would vote NO. While the change since the summer is not in itself significant, for the record it’s the first time since the IndyRef that YouGov have shown a larger lead for NO than at the referendum itself. I think we can now be confident that the EU referendum result in itself has not lead to any increase in support for Scottish Independence. When the details of Brexit start to become clear that may change of course, but only time can tell us that – the mere threat of Brexit has not been enough to make Scotland want out.

On the subject of Brexit, Scots are evenly split over whether they would support Scotland seeking to remain within the European Union if Britain as a whole leaves – 42% would support attempting to do so, 41% of people would be opposed. The majority think any such attempt would be unlikely to succeed anyway (or at least, would be unlikely to work unless Scottish independence has been achieved). 62% think it would probably not be possible, only 22% think it would be.

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162 Responses to “YouGov Scottish polling”

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  1. TANCRED

    You have done what the ‘proles’ complain of. Instead of trying to understand their thoughts worries and concerns, you have instead tried to analyse everything and tell them why they are wrong.

    For instance “Ridiculous tabloid hype” so what if it is? It matters not one jot, all that does matter is whether the voters believe it to be true, and they are not concerned with your thoughts at all.

    “Moreover these matters can easily be resolved between EU nations at the ministerial level.”

    The immediate response to this is that either it isn’t true, or that the authorities care so little about them that they can alter the laws, but just can’t be bothered – which only makes matters worse.

    My other question to you is this. If it is as easy to change as you claim then why haven’t they done it ?

    Pulling to pieces the thoughts and beliefs of the majority of the electorate is the mistake Clinton fell into. It is the polarising ‘I am right you are wrong’ position which rarely results in a positive outcome.

    I have in my post attempted to tell you the beliefs feelings and prejudices which led voters to vote the way they did. How exactly does telling me that the voters were wrong help ?

  2. Here’s for something completely different;

    I watched ‘The Joy of Data’ on BBC iplayer this week, and apart from being thoroughly interesting programme, it also came up with a fascinating fact.

    Apparently, if you search for something on Wikipedia, and then click on the first link in the main text repeatedly, you will find that for 95% of everything, you will quickly end up on the entry for ‘philosophy’.

    I tried this this morning for a topical subject, commencing with ‘Zac Goldsmith’.

    The route went;
    Politician – Classical Greek – Greek – Modern Greek – IPA Alphabet – Alphabet – letters – grapheme – linguistics – scientific – knowledge – awareness – PHILOSOPHY

    Then I tried ‘Brexit’ and the route went;

    United Kingdom – Europe – continent – landmasses – Earth – Greek – Modern Greek – …….PHILOSOPHY

    Then, for a change of tack, I tried ‘Body Hair’, which went;

    Terminal hair – vellus hair – hair – protein filament – biology – natural science – natural phenomenon – Phenomena – Greek – …..PHILOSOPHY

    This adds nothing to the debate on immigration [Immigration – country – political geography – political – Greek…..PHILOSOPHY] but is a fun distraction and for a Friday [Friday – Thursday – day of the week – week – time unit – base – International System of Units – French – International Phonetics Alphabet (French) – International Phonetic Language – International phonetic notation – phonetic notation – phones – Phonetics – Greek …..PHILOSOPHY] morning is a highly entertaining [Entertaining – entertainment – interest – emotion – consciousness – quality – PHILOSOPHY] diversion on UKPR. [UKPR – ARRGH! ‘UKPR’ does not exist on Wiki!!!]

    Enjoy! [Enjoy – Enjoy (play) – Alan Bennet – Leeds – West Yorkshire – metropolitan county – administrative division – country – political geography – political – Greek …..PHILOSOPHY]

  3. @THOUGHTFUL

    “For instance “Ridiculous tabloid hype” so what if it is? It matters not one jot, all that does matter is whether the voters believe it to be true, and they are not concerned with your thoughts at all.”

    I tell it how it is – if people choose to believe the tabloids that is up to them, but I would recommend taking a sceptical approach to what is printed in newspapers who are keen to sell as many copies as possible. Other than banning these papers, which is not acceptable in a free society, I don’t know what you can do. Every government rebuttal during the referendum campaign was rubbished by UKIP and the leave camp. People need to think and reflect, but if they prefer to believe sensationalist papers instead of a more moderate and considered view that is up to them.

    “The immediate response to this is that either it isn’t true, or that the authorities care so little about them that they can alter the laws, but just can’t be bothered – which only makes matters worse.
    My other question to you is this. If it is as easy to change as you claim then why haven’t they done it ?”

    Laws cannot be changed willy nilly – and besides, what exactly are you referring to? There are many laws decided only within the UK parliament that I don’t like but I don’t constantly moan and whine about them. Blaming the EU for unpopular laws makes no sense, given that 85%+ of UK laws – and certainly the most important ones – are put through the Westminster parliament.

    “Pulling to pieces the thoughts and beliefs of the majority of the electorate is the mistake Clinton fell into. It is the polarising ‘I am right you are wrong’ position which rarely results in a positive outcome.
    I have in my post attempted to tell you the beliefs feelings and prejudices which led voters to vote the way they did. How exactly does telling me that the voters were wrong help ?”

    I understand, but what do you expect? I cannot simply agree with views I disagree with. I think that much of the problem is due to lack of education and blaming the EU for issues that are only due to central government policy. Issues like bad schools, housing etc are purely domestic ones, and putting the blame on EU immigration is plainly wrong. The UK government is to blame for not acting quickly to address these issues and also for not promoting and educating people about how the EU operates and how it helps our economy. Cameron tried to do this in a six week electoral campaign and failed miserably. This should have been done over several years.

  4. ALEC

    It does seem that prior to Philiosophy the link is to ‘Greek’ which might not be as ‘sexy’ to a journalist as Philosophy.

  5. @DANNY

    “Similarly, the EU has little to do with immigration to the Uk. Succesive governments could have taken steps to limit immigration. They chose not to. Even where we could not ban it (the minority of cases), we could have discouraged it. There are still steps which could be taken to restrict rights of people moving here, but no government wants to do it. Yesterday more conservative MPs were saying they want to have a system which would allow them to control immigration, but they do not forsee actually using it. To my mind, that is simple insanity. The real situation is that EU immigration has simply met demand for workers, and the number of migrants has been self limiting.”

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. UK governments over several decades have done little to reduce immigration. Token measures were taken with immigration acts in 1962, 1968, 1971 and 1981 but these all locked the gates well after all the horses had bolted and were enacted primarily to appease the Tory right rather than as a genuine policy stance. Blair’s government actually had a policy of increased immigration!
    EU immigration could have been discouraged in many different ways and no government from Blair onward did anything about it. Delays and benefit restrictions could have been enacted and they weren’t – no wonder that so many people came here in the knowledge that they could settle without even having a job to go to.

  6. Tancred

    “I understand, but what do you expect?”

    How do I write this without trying to appear critical, which is the opposite of how I’m thinking.

    How about putting aside personal beliefs and trying to look at a situation dispassionately? It’s difficult when there are strong feelings aroused, but unless we do this then we will fail in understanding what has brought other people to their current mind set – and clearly an awful lot of them are in a similar place.

    Simply telling them they are wrong will have the effect of entrenching their beliefs, and it might just be as much in this world, that it isn’t as black & white a picture as you think.

    Your position might be a very different one to other people, and the facts which are true in your world might not be in theirs.

    If we are to understand the reasons behind the way people vote the way they do, then we have to abandon the hard and fast positions whilst we analyse.

    Of course this is only a temporary situation, and our own beliefs and views can stay where they are, but the I am right you are wrong philosophy is more of a hindrance than a help here

  7. thoughtful,
    “You have done what the ‘proles’ complain of. Instead of trying to understand their thoughts worries and concerns, you have instead tried to analyse everything and tell them why they are wrong.”
    The difficulty for any committed politicians trying to please the voters would be that if they believe voters are wrong, and that the policy demanded by voters would have an opposite effect to what those voters expect, then they have an honest paradox. To give the voters what they demand, is to take from those voters what they demand.

    So then you have a choice, give them what they demand and await their wrath when it does not work, or tell them they are wrong, and face their wrath now.

    All this is made worse because politicians frequently lie, as we saw well exhibited in the referendum campaign, leading to unrealisable expectations amongst voters.

  8. @THOUGHTFUL

    “If we are to understand the reasons behind the way people vote the way they do, then we have to abandon the hard and fast positions whilst we analyse.”

    Oh, I understand why many people voted Brexit, but the truth is that they blamed the wrong villains, mostly because it’s easier to blame foreigners than your own politicians.
    I never said the EU was perfect but I am not one who subscribes to the idea of unilateral withdrawal from an important organisation you don’t happen to like as a perfect solution. You have to examine the consequences of what you do, and people just did not think hard enough about this. The result is that we will muddle along for years along the road to Brexit and stumble over the numerous obstacles along the way.
    The other thing is that you cannot ignore the fact that the referendum simply exposed a deep rift in public opinion, and that the pro-Brexit vote, at 51.9%, was hardly decisive.

  9. Labour’s performance in this by-election was a total disaster. Even allowing for tactical voting, the huge numbers who abandoned Labour exposes Corbyn as a massive vote loser. I hope and expect there to be another leadership contest before 2020. Labour deserves better.

  10. New thread

  11. Danny

    A labour remain strategy is the quickest way to political extinction.The […] scottish labour party is unionish and brexitish but without the clarity of the tories:pro union and more pro brexit. result :tories way ahead of labour.To throw a quote back at them: very soon a labour voter will be rarer than a mating panda in Glasgow Zoo.

    labour must learn the lesson of scotland and be disciplined. Until 2020 they should categorically support A50 and make it plain that they will do so with 3 line whip if necessary. That way they bolster their Midland and Northern base against UKIP who are coming for them. in the south it will cost them support for the time being especially in the london seats and wards to the LIB dems. But how many labour by elections will there be in the south . They also need to pray that Brexit is sorted by the 2020 election . The last thing Labour need in 2020 is brexit still topic 1, them on the fence, with Libdems and UKIP attacking them everywhere.

    As for Zac.why did he resign? he should only have resigned when the first bulldozer arrived on site.Heathrow may not happen and he has thrown his career away. He should also have campaigned on the basis that he would support being in the single market.If that is what his constituents wanted from their independent MP he was a fool nnot promising it to them. […]

  12. S thomas,
    “A labour remain strategy is the quickest way to political extinction.The […] scottish labour party is unionish and brexitish but without the clarity of the tories:pro union and more pro brexit. result :tories way ahead of labour.To throw a quote back at them: very soon a labour voter will be rarer than a mating panda in Glasgow Zoo”

    Scotland and England are very different situations. if the SNP was standing candidates in England, I think they would be winning. My reasoning is that the SNP is a genuinely left party in a way which labour has abandoned. At the same time, SNP also has a traditionally right strand, which is Scottish nationalism. Even if you dont believe in independence for Scotland, it must be hard to resist a party which seeks to benefit Scotland preferentially. They are even pro EU, which as a formal stance might have united the nation and headed off Brexit. They have an approach which is exactly what labour needs in England.

    Sandwiched between a party of the left, SNP, and a party of the true right, conservatives, no surprise why labour has disappeared in Scotland. The centre ground is a political kiling zone. As the libs found. As labour is finding.

    In my opinion, the parliamentary labour party is much more in tune with the London vote than the north. That being so, they would be pretty stupid to adopt policies which are pro north and anti the sentiments of their London voters. The result at the next election would be massive gains for the liberals and potential decimation of labour both north and in the cities. The truth is that Brexit is not what northern voters want, even if they think they do.

    People seem to keep forgetting is that it is impossible to appeal to 100% of voters, and you only need 40-50% of those who turn out to win, maybe less with favourable circumstances.

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