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. Hollande surprises with an announcement he will not stand for re-election.

    Unpopular socialist leaders who are miles behind in the polls with no chance of winning should take note – it’s not all about you.

  2. Interesting article from The Guardian:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/stop-brexit-remainers

    Time is indeed on the side of the remainers. This is why the best strategy to stop Brexit is not to beg or whine, but play up, play the game. The hard line Brexiteers want to ram through Brexit because the know that the longer the process lasts the less keen many marginal Brexit supporters people will be on the entire idea. Putting in as many legal sticks between the wheels of Brexit will help this, and exposing the cost and complexity of the whole process will help to sow doubt and concern in the minds of many. The battle will be a long one, lasting years, but ultimately there can only be one winning side and that one will be the one that is most able to persuade the fence-sitters.
    Despite what May says I cannot see any outcome other than a second referendum. It will happen.

  3. Reports that Tories in Richmond are sensing defeat.

    Odd, in that they don’t even have a runner in the race, but it would be quite a turn up if Brexit wins a seat for the Lib Dems.

    At least the 51.9% might start to realise that they aren’t the only angry ones, and ‘getting our country back’ tends to assume someone else can’t have it.

    @Hireton – quite interesting stuff about Nissan. Personally I find it disgraceful that funding promises to big business are deemed commercially confidential.

    I’m just loving the thought of the reaction from Brexiters if they were told that they can’t ask how much the EU spent on something because it’s ‘commercially confidential’.

    I suspect that there must be a terror abroad in No 11 that many more big companies are going to twist May’s arm for subsidies, blackmailing her with politically awkward threats to move jobs out unless she coughs up.

  4. @Alec

    “Also apparently the Lib Dems are ahead on the first boxes, so we might not be in for a knock-out Goldsmith victory. ”

    http://vote-2012.proboards.com/thread/8807/richmond-park?page=30

    And those folk seem to think those are the postal ballots.

    So yes, looking promising. And another polling failure if Zac does lose?

  5. Tancred

    While I love “conspiracy theories” for their entertainment value, I seldom buy into them.

    However, the contradictory statements from within May’s government, the leaks (usually often deliberately encouraged), and the general incoherence does raise a doubt in my mind as to whether Article 50 will ever actually be tabled.

  6. If Goldsmith loses, and needs to fly off somewhere more amenable to recover – will he fly from Heathrow?

  7. @Oldnat

    Surely if the court rules that “not normally” covers Brexit, then that means that Brexit is lawful under the statutory provision in the Act, and that the government isn’t ignoring the act at all.

    I agree that in circumstances where the court ruled that Brexit wasn’t what parliament had in mind by “not normal”, and parliament responded by amending the act, then it could be legitimately described as ignoring it.

    Either way, as I said, I think the “political consequences” are inherent in the differential voting on Brexit between Scotland and E&W anyway.

    I am not sure that “dragging Scotland out of the EU against her will” and “amending the Scotland Act in order to drag Scotland out of the EU against her will” are going to register as massively different earthquakes on the political Richter scale, but you’re in a better position to judge how sensitive Scottish opinion would be than me (although also prone perhaps to seeing it through a particular prism, as I’m sure I do).

  8. I meant to say earlier – tonight’s debate on UKPR seems be about the normal standard.

  9. @OLDNAT

    “However, the contradictory statements from within May’s government, the leaks (usually often deliberately encouraged), and the general incoherence does raise a doubt in my mind as to whether Article 50 will ever actually be tabled.”

    No conspiracy – I think May and the government as a whole genuinely intend to go down the Brexit path, but now are beginning to realise that it’s a huge job and that 90% of British industry is fiercely opposed to it. Dogs don’t tend to bite the hands that feed them; if business is making noises of concern about Brexit the government will listen, and act accordingly. It will try to strike a balance between what they see as an obligation to the electorate and satisfying the needs of business, but when push comes to shove the Tories will always back business.

  10. @Alec

    Where did you find your statistic about net EU migration (46k)?

    It’s just that the BBC article quotes it at 189k. More than half of all net-migration (i.e. more than non EU net migration).

    Have they boo-boo’d?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38167225

  11. @Alec

    tonight’s debate on UKPR seems be about the normal standard.

    Is that “damning with with faint praise”?…

  12. Faisal Islam? Verified account ? [email protected] · 6m6 minutes ago

    There only verifying the votes right now – but teams are sample counting the votes and Libdem’s Olney seems to be ahead – going to be close

  13. @Neil A – my figure is a tad contrived, but based thus;

    Total net migration +335,000

    Total non EU immigration +289,000 (total EU immigration +285.000, for reference)

    If we therefore stopped all non EU immigration, that would leave 335,000 – 289,000 = 46,000.

    Note that this assumes all emigration stays the same.

    My purpose for citing these figures is pretty obvious, really. If immigration is something that UK voters don’t like, and was a key motivator for leaving the EU as apparently we can’t stop immigration while in the EU, people need to wonder why we haven’t just stopped immigration from outside the EU, where we have complete authority to do so.

    Had we done this, we would have effectively eliminated the problem, as well as prevented lots of black, brown and yellow skinned people from arriving on these shores, which might have kept some people happy.

    The fact that this didn’t happen, and hasn’t happened for the last 6 years, is something that Brexit voters might like to ponder.

    [The second biggest source country for immigration was China. Is that related to the EU?].

  14. Talking about European immigrants, Manuel from Flowery Twats has died.

  15. JAYBLANC & HIRETON

    I agree with both of you entirely re “normally” and think any use of “abnormality” short of something approaching war can only help to drag the four home nations apart.

  16. @Richard

    I’ve been to plenty of counts before, and the sample counts from verification are often unreliable.

    I would add that transmitting such data is not cricket either.

    We are British!

    We follow rules!

    ;-)

  17. Election Data [email protected]_data · 44s

    Price now tumbling on LDs #RichmondPark

    Seems to be Brexit and Trump all over again…whatever the consensus is before the poll, ignore it, the result will be different?

    Jeremiah Silverstein [email protected] · 37s38 seconds ago

    Senior Lib Dem tells me most recent polling has them anywhere between 12 points behind and 8 points ahead of Zac Goldsmith #RichmondPark

    Where does that leave polls?

  18. Alec

    Sad to hear about Manuel (or more appropriately the actor)

    If Brexiteers had what is apparently their way, then there would be no more continentals working in UK hotels – and, consequently, far fewer UK hotels!

  19. @alec

    How on earth would we prevent all immigration from outside the EU, but maintain our level of emigration to outside the EU exactly the same? That seems like a bit of statistical prestidigitation to me.

    Assuming the BBC figure of net migration from the EU of 189,000 is correct, then I don’t see how anything the UK did with regard to non-EU migration would result in net migration from the EU being any less than 189,000.

  20. @Oldnat

    Can you quote me a single Brexiteer advocating that all EU citizens cease work in hotels in the UK?

    You are very particular about calling out generalisations and stereotypes about Scottish nationalists, and yet you drip constant bitter nonsense about Brexiteers.

    Don’t complain about taking it, and continue to liberally give it.

  21. @ALEC

    “My purpose for citing these figures is pretty obvious, really. If immigration is something that UK voters don’t like, and was a key motivator for leaving the EU as apparently we can’t stop immigration while in the EU, people need to wonder why we haven’t just stopped immigration from outside the EU, where we have complete authority to do so.
    Had we done this, we would have effectively eliminated the problem, as well as prevented lots of black, brown and yellow skinned people from arriving on these shores, which might have kept some people happy.”

    The Brexit supporters are either too stupid or too confused to understand that getting out of the EU will do nothing to lower immigration. They are obsessed with the daft mantra ‘take back control’ – well guess what? We have not taken back control and never will. Immigration is decided by business and the government is powerless to stop it. Why can’t people see this?

  22. Neil A

    Fair comment. I thought “apparently” made the point that it wasn’t meant to apply to all (or even most) , but obviously not.

    Apologies for the offence obviously caused.

  23. Whether the Lib-Dems win or not depends on how the Labour vote behaves. If Labour supporters vote tactically then Lib-Dems have a very good chance – much depends on this.

  24. @Tancred

    I know I am wasting my breath, but enough of the ad hominems please. I am neither stupid, nor confused. I may well be wrong, only time will tell, but I don’t need a rude, ignorant, disrespectful bigot like yourself insulting me thank you very much.

  25. @NEIL A

    I was referring to the Brexit supporters in general, not you specifically.
    As for calling me a bigot, it’s a case of pot and kettle……

  26. @Oldnat

    Very gracious, thank you.

  27. @Tancred

    Not so gracious, but thank you.

    You might want to consider that an expression like “The Brexit supporters” is fairly inclusive. At the very least “Some Brexit supporters” would have been better, although I think engaging with the opinions of others is better than describing them as stupid or confused.

  28. Neil A

    To be fair, it’s usually considered a mark of honour when you’re insulted by “a rude, ignorant, disrespectful bigot”.

    The time to start worrying is when you are insulted by a polite, knowledgeable, respectful, fair-minded person. :-)

  29. @Oldnat

    It was sort of a “by way of illustration” thing, but yes I agree with you. As the proverb goes, “Judge a man by the reputation of his enemies”.

  30. In other news it looks like Olney is going to pull off an old fashioned LD by-election win in Richmond Park.

    I am less bothered by that than I thought I’d be. Zac Goldsmith seems a bit petulant and self-indulgent to me.

    It makes the Boundary Change arithmetic that much squeakier for the Tories, mind you.

  31. @Catmanjeff

    “We are British!”

    Sorry, but you let a Zimbo/US into your midst and he doesn’t understand these rules!

    Anyway for the non Brits that don’t want to wait and are willing to speculate it seems to be a Lib Dem win. Hooray! Some good news after an awful year.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2016/dec/01/richmond-park-byelection-results-counting-starts-live

  32. If Richmond is a Lib Dem win, it will be down to an extraordinary level of ‘fixing’ regarding the ‘Progressive Alliance’.

    This is not without consequence. Many Green Party members are very unhappy about standing down (as with Sleaford). Caroline Lucas, normal above criticism, is getting some serious questions to the direction of the party under her leadership. Quite a few people have left the party in protest (myself included).

  33. @NEIL A

    You are obviously intelligent otherwise you would not be here debating. I accept my ‘faux pas’ – apologies extended to you.

  34. @Tancred

    Thank you. And for what it’s worth I withdraw my own insults, which were intended more as a poke with a stick than as a meaningful assessment of your character.

  35. @Richard

    You can speculate (unless at the count).

    It’s those at the count and leaking info out before the result that’s a little ‘naughty’.

  36. I honestly feel that if the Lib-Dems cannot win in a strongly remain part of London then they are truly up the creek. I don’t believe that Heathrow is the issue, despite Goldsmith’s effort to make it so. A win for Goldsmith would be a big blow for the remainers, and even a narrow win for the Lib-Dems would not be worth much of a cheer. Only a big Lib-Dem win would generate a momentum for remainers.

  37. Honestly I think this, like almost all by-elections, won’t mean very much in the end.

    It’s not going to stop Heathrow, it’s not going to stop Brexit, and it’s not going to alter the next GE result.

    It will probably give the LDs a fillip in the OPs for a few months, but not much more than that.

  38. @Tancred

    I agree.

    London is politically another country from most of the UK.

    I think that extrapolating the result to elsewhere is almost meaningless. The Lib Dems may win in certain London seats, but it won’t stop them losing deposits in many areas of the country.

  39. On a practical basis it means little, but the psychological effect has an impact.

  40. I should add that it’s not impossible that Olney, like a few LDs in Tory seats before her, could get embedded and hold on to Richmond for a few parliaments if she can work the seat well.

    But you have to say that with national OPs looking the way they are, she’d be vulnerable to the “Blue Wave” that might happen if that were reflected in a GE.

  41. 53.7% turnout. Not high but not hugely low either – what one would expect in a by-election. It also shows that people are not enthused by Goldsmith’s stunt.

  42. @CMJ

    “If Richmond is a Lib Dem win, it will be down to an extraordinary level of ‘fixing’ regarding the ‘Progressive Alliance’.”

    Is that what the Richmond LD/Greens are calling themselves? The LDs have shown themselves to be political chameleons by joining the Tories in 2010. Whatever their motives (and I get the social democratic/Orange Booker split) they have no right to expect Lab Remainers to vote for them against Zac, just because he’s a Leave (unofficial) Tory.

    I also don’t see the political justification for standing aside in elections. Every political party should have its own philosophy and let the people choose between them. This is a phoney election. You have a Tory who isn’t a Tory but really is, who resigned over Heathrow expansion but will probably rejoin the Tories afterwards anyway. You have a LD candidates said to be fighting on a Remain ticket after a Referendum has already been lost but who is really actually trying to begin the process of electorally reviving her party. You have no Green candidate in a very affluent socially liberal constituency. And the list goes on….

  43. @Neil A

    It could also reflect a problem for the Conservatives in that a lot of their gains from the Lib Dem collapse look like Richmond in demographics and remain/leave split. (And some of their ‘safe’ seats too!)

    The national poll for the Conservatives might well hide the issues they face in keeping the seats they won from the Lib Dems. Which could well negate the gains.

  44. RAF

    “Every political party should have its own philosophy and let the people choose between them.”

    I agree – though it can be hard to follow that principle in these silly FPTP elections, where often only a couple of parties have a chance of winning the seat.

  45. RAf
    “I also don’t see the political justification for standing aside in elections.”

    It’s just a stitch-up by the establishment parties. They don’t really care who wins so long as it’s not an outsider. UKIP are the only major party who don’t seem to play those games yet.

  46. @RAF

    I don’t see the justification for not standing either.

    It’s a phoney election and a waste of tax payers money.

    And the ‘Progressive Aliiance’ stinks too!

  47. @Pete B

    Didn’t UKIP stand down to help Zac?

  48. @PETE B

    “It’s just a stitch-up by the establishment parties. They don’t really care who wins so long as it’s not an outsider. UKIP are the only major party who don’t seem to play those games yet.”

    And that’s why UKIP has only one seat.

  49. @RAF, CatmanJeff

    If the Lib Dems offered the Greens a seat in any coalition, and a requirment for proportional representation (without a referendum), then would you agree to this kind of deal?

    If not, then is it more about making a protest vote than getting more representation?

  50. @Jayblanc,

    There are a few other “Richmonds” out there, that’s true, but probably not more than half a dozen total. The Thames Riviera seats and places like Bristol and Cheltenham.

    Enough to make a difference in a very tight election, but on current VI levels in the national polls, a drop in the ocean.

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