I don’t think we have any new GB polls today, but we did have a new Scottish poll from YouGov in this morning’s Times. Topline figures are SNP 42%(+1), CON 29%(+1), LAB 19%(+1), LDEM 6%(-1).

This is the first poll since the local elections and doesn’t show any obvious impact from them – the SNP remainly safely ahead, the Conservatives are clearly the second placed party and there does not appear to have been any real movement since the last poll. Tabs are here.

317 Responses to “YouGov/Times Scottish poll – SNP 42, CON 29, LAB 19, LDEM 6”

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  1. I wonder how focused this new Tory vote is in Scotland. If its in places where they once ruled and still maintained a decent core vote, they will get into double figures for the first time since 1992.

    If it spread thin like the SLAB vote in 2015 then it will be a no change election.

    Likely SCON gains-
    Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    Dumfries and Galloway
    Renfrewshire East

    I think those 4 go, purely based on numbers. would be interesting is anyone has some local news for these areas. On top of those there are further areas where SCON can gain if they gain votes directly from the SNP as todays poll possibly subjects.

    Perth and North Perthshire
    Moray (Angus Robertson)

    This is where other Unionist parties are already down to bare bones and its a straight CON v SNP battle. Also the other seats SCON will be looking at require a mix of SNP straight switches and heavy tactical Unionist voting.

    Aberdeen South
    Edinburgh South
    Ayr Carrick and Cumnock
    East Lothian
    Edinburgh South West
    Edinburgh North and Leith
    Ochil and South Perthshire

    Most of these are very difficult, but its very likely SCON will finish in 2nd where they do not win this time. My bet is that Robertson will hold Moray, Perth will go, angus will go, Aberdeen south and maybe 1 seat in Edinburgh. Not being Scottish makes it a pure numbers game for me.

  2. I am not convince this Crosby onslaught on Corbyn will work surely it’s already priced in?

    Still think Corbyn should have done the debate – the dynamic still would have been to pick on UKIP. He might have struggled with his EU position against the others but at least he’d have had a chance to clarify. He needs some unfiltered time & he gave up the chance

  3. @RP

    ‘On Labour – I don’t know why they didn’t adopt the policy of a referendum on Trident. True, there are some who might think irresponsible a referendum on something that its supporters regard as vital to the national interest. But the Conservatives, having organised the Brexit referendum and being unable to renounce it, would find it very, very difficult to attack the notion of giving the people a direct say in a single-issue vote.’

    Different things. There is a pretty strong majority to retain Trident. I’ve not seen recently figures but I believe that even Labour voters back Trident. There is a debate in Scotland where the SNP are against it, but not much in the rest of the UK.

  4. @RAF

    I’m guessing, but peeps like Colin and ToH might say the reason they’ve not been used is because of the deterrent. When there was no deterrent, they did get used…

  5. It’s rather funny really.

    Seeing stories about MI5 having a file on Corbyn reminds me that they had files on people like Jack Straw once.

    They’ll have a file on Theresa May too.

    Her arms look too long. She must be a subversive.

    Or a goose.

  6. @Alec

    Before my time but wasn’t there a big fuss made in the 1970s about MI5 having a file on Harold Wilson?

  7. @RAF

    Old C4 doc on that here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8WWyZmY8fU

    Interesting story!

  8. This poll should puncture some of the Labour optimism.

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling hopeful, and yes, the polls have been moving in Labour’s favour, but being realistic, Labour needs a good showing in seat numbers in Scotland if it to ever challenge again as a genuine contender for government.

    This poll shows, as do others, that Labour has died off so badly in Scotland that it’s the Tories now challenging. That is dire news for Labour, both in Scotland and throughout the UK. Corbyn claimed he could fix this particular problem, but clearly he can’t.

    For nationalists, this is also a tad embarrassing. There is a significant and growing Tartan Tory force, from a nation we were assured possessed a progressive and left of centre golden heart.

  9. @TerryP

    Aberdeen South – unlikely the Aberdeen Labour Group have been suspended for doing a deal with the Tories. All anti-Tories will vote SNP

    Renfrewshire East – Blair McDougal head of Better Together is running for Labour and this is one of the few seats Labour is spending money in likely to split the unionist anti-SNP vote

    Unlikely to be much in the way of direct SNP -> Con switching so I think Perth & North Perthshire and Angus possibly safe as little Labour or LibDem vote to squeeze.

    Moray Angus Robertson will keep – he’s a very experience politician and will know where his vote is & how to get them out.

    Edinburgh West Michelle Thomson as suspended so likely to be a SNP loss but more likely to LibDems.

    So top three on your list likely Con gain – not sure about the rest. Edinburgh West LibDem gain. Incumbency is a factor especially first time incumbents.

  10. It looks like the UKIP squeeze question was asked in a recent poll


    So if there is no UKIP candidate, 28% go Tory, 12% Labour, 3% Lib Dem, 3% SNP.

    So if UKIP does get squeezed further, it looks like the Tories have more to gain more than Labour.

  11. @Alex

    When Tories are on 29% in Scotland and 48% in England then I wouldn’t be sneering about how Tory Scotland is. And it just goes to show how many Tories were hiding in Labour clothes.

  12. @Terry P

    Old C4 doc on that here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8WWyZmY8fU
    Interesting story!”.


  13. Couper

    “I am not convince this Crosby onslaught on Corbyn will work surely it’s already priced in?”

    Presumably, Crosby thinks there are still potential Labour voters around who haven’t heard of how terrible he is, and how he will bring about the end of civilisation?

    I wonder if some of the 8% of 2015 SNP voters who now intend to vote SLab (presumably as they did in 2010) may be motivated do so as much by the attacks on what they see as “a decent guy, whose heart is in the right place”, as by anything else?

    Although geographic crossbreaks are always somewhat unreliable(!) I did note a significantly higher % in Scotland who preferred to vote for a party that focussed on social justice “even if the policies were uncosted” (I forget which poll).

    Differences in VI aren’t always (or ever?) about specific policies or strategies, but often that gut-feel (more properly, philosophical) idea of what government should be aiming to achieve.

  14. Alec

    Labour now face the problem SCON had in Scotland when they were in the wilderness. Lots of votes thinly spread, tactical voting working against them. I have seen stories of Tory voters tactical voting labour for years. Now its switched.

    Also for the SNP a governing party of 10 years still to be hitting 42% is remarkable. The SNP will still dominate after June 8th however Scotland may have an alternative voice as well on the government benches.

  15. “Labour needs a good showing in seat numbers in Scotland if it to ever challenge again as a genuine contender for government.”

    That’s clearly fallacious, for at least three reasons:
    1) Labour could form a minority government or a coalition.
    2) On almost every occasion when Labour won a majority of Commons seats, it would have had a majority even without Scotland.
    3) Parties can make recoveries from astonishingly low bases. Take some examples in Canada, which uses FPTP as we do, has a Westminster-style parliamentary system and a multi-party system. In the early 90s the Conservatives collapsed to just two seats, but after merging with Reform (a rightwing populist party with some commonalities with Ukip) they got back into government. Or look at the province of Alberta where Labour’s sister party the NDP won a landslide majority with 54 seats in 2015, having won just 4 seats in the previous election. And many other examples.

  16. @COUPER2802

    “I am not convince this Crosby onslaught on Corbyn will work surely it’s already priced in?”

    I dont think its fully priced in. Amongst that small proportion of the electorate who follow politics closely, yes it is. Amongst many others, not fully. Whilst a lot of people are aware his time as leader has been not without problems, I doubt that many are fully aware of his historic statements and associations, which I should think Crosby will want to seek to fully exploit if need be.

    I imagine they will be looking very closely over the weekend at how the Tory manifesto has gone down. Any slippage beyond say 2% will result in a lot of very negative carefully targetted stuff against Corbyn throughout what remains of the campaign.

  17. couper2802

    Interesting points. Will there be much anti tory voting this time in Scotland? or will the Indy question cut over that. My guess would have been that they anti tory vote went SNP in 2015, the unionist Labour vote is what’s left.

    However, I bow down to you superior knowledge of the area!

    I’ll do a West Midlands prediction later, it could be a labour bloodbath here! Ill say now Coventry South, Coventry North West will go conservative. They have been chipping away for years.

  18. Tartan Alec

    “For nationalists, this is also a tad embarrassing. There is a significant and growing Tartan Tory force, from a nation we were assured possessed a progressive and left of centre golden heart.”

    I don’t know whose assurances you were hearing – possibly those voices in your head?

    “Tartan Tory” is one of those very stupid phrases that Labour invented in the 1970s to describe the SNP. You are just re-allocating that term for actual Tories who live in Scotland.

    Applying the “tartan” label in that way is many things – lazy, stereotypical, useless are only some of the attributes of that usage. None of the other attributes of it are complimentary to those who use it, though they may be somewhat more accurate!

  19. @TerryP

    Yes there are anti-Tories probably most of Labour remaining voters are anti-Tories.

    Scotland breaks down:

    Indy above all else – vote SNP
    Union above all else – vote Tory
    Brexit above all else – vote Tory

    So Tories have garnered the unionist Brexit vote.

    EU above all else – to be fought over that’s why the LibDems try to question SNP EU credentials

    Anti-Tory – SNP will try to get these voters

  20. @Carfrew

    I promised you the last the word on the topic and will keep to that – these comments are on methodology.

    1) If you want someone to agree to your theory you have to have evidence – an assumption is not equivalent to a fact based on evidence
    2) A quoted source, such as Syzygy’s that states it is apparent that something was true without in itself showing the evidence is not going to persuade anyone, especially if the source itself is obviously not impartial.
    3) I am not aware of any legal judgement that has taken an action as evidence of intent existing 3 decades earlier – if you have an example please let me know
    4) One can be open to other possibilities interpretations, but if the evidence available to you favours one pov logically you should go with that to do otherwise is to have your position based on faith rather than fact. An assumption is not equivalent to a fact based on evidence.
    5) People’s views can change over time – someone could genuinely be a Communist in the 1970’s. a socialist in 1980’s a Social Democrat in 1990’s a Conservative in the 2000’s and Liberal in 2010’s. (hint what is the title of Tony’s autobiography)

  21. Lord Ashcroft has updated his model


    Interesting points – if turnout is as reported by polls/ eu referendum levels he is looking at a 140 seat Cons majority ;if turnout is as it was in 2015, if it looks like 2015 then he is looking at around 190 seat majority.

    And playing in his constituency by constituency section it looks like a bet on zero Lib Dem MP’s may be worth taking…

    Is Orkney really likely to go SNP?

  22. @RAF

    “It’s remarkable the salience given to Trident in the national security debate, given that nuclear weapons haven’t been used for over 70 years”

    Hence why its a successful………….. deterrent?

  23. @Richard

    Funny I was about to post that Orkney & Shetland would be a good SNP bet. The young woman standing for the SNP is a Shetlandet and is generating a bit of excitement.

  24. @Richard,
    Do you mean zero Lib Dems in Scotland rather than zero tout court? I presume you do.

  25. @RP

    No, I mean zero in the whole country. Lots of Lib Dems in seats that are opposed to Brexit, or want TM as leader, he shows half of them lost to other parties, and the others “too close to call”

  26. “opposed to brexit” = support brexit

  27. RE: @Couper

    “I am not convince this Crosby onslaught on Corbyn will work surely it’s already priced in?”

    Reply from @OLDNAT

    “Presumably, Crosby thinks there are still potential Labour voters around who haven’t heard of how terrible he is, and how he will bring about the end of civilisation?”

    I think the onslaught from Crosby on Corbyn is inevitable and will be in the last few days, but its purpose will not be to switch general VI, more to ensure that any strong remain elements of the core Con vote (especially in London) bother to go out and vote and not just sit at home thinking the election was won anyway. The larger leave core Con vote will turn out even if there is a hurricane, earthquake and plague on Election Day.

    Perhaps Crosby believes that differential turn out will be a very significant issue in determining the sheer size of the majority on the day even if the current VI figures remain static where they are now.

  28. @ TERRY P

    Agreed Cov NW could well flip… Geoffrey Robinson used to be untouchable there but now that the football club he was a hero for saving has all but destroyed itself anyway, I think the tide will come in faster than elsewhere. Letting him stand again at 79 while sending Bally Singh to do a pointless second practise run in Kenilworth could turn out to be a bad mistake by Labour.

  29. Kehu

    “I think the onslaught from Crosby on Corbyn is inevitable”

    I agree, and you are probably correct that the Tory plan is to maximise fear and distrust.

    Will it also maximise fear and distrust of the Tories, though?

    Good strategists win wars. Poor ones can sometimes win battles.

  30. Edge of reason

    Possible sign of desperation letting Robinson have another go, Jim Cunningham in Cov south is 76 as well! Seen his lot about quite a lot though. Labour are certainly giving it a good go in Coventry, I’ve been canvassed 3 times.

    Its grave news for them though, Andy street was ahead in Coventry south. In Cov NW UKIP got 7101 votes last time, the majority was 4509. That looks terminal if you ask me.

    Similarly it was a 3188 majority in Cov South and there are over 5000 UKIP votes to grab.

    Cov NE is safe due to wards like Foleshill, however I see the majority greatly reduced.

    After years of being a labour red dot on the landscape Coventry is turning blue, been a long term thing as well.

  31. @ RedRich

    ‘A quoted source, such as Syzygy’s that states it is apparent that something was true without in itself showing the evidence is not going to persuade anyone, especially if the source itself is obviously not impartial.’

    The article was a review of the academic work by Professor Lewis Minkin. Obviously, Red Pepper is not an impartial source, nor perhaps the contemporaneous observations by Alan Simpson who was a Labour MP who was in Parliament during the period in question. However, to casually impugn Minkin’s academic research is unjustified, as I believe this review may indicate.


  32. Zero in the whole country would surprise me a good deal, but I admit I have not yet examined the data you refer to. I just assume that even if there is a national swing against LD, their MPs have an incumbency advantage.

  33. @Richard

    “So if there is no UKIP candidate, 28% go Tory, 12% Labour, 3% Lib Dem, 3% SNP.”

    Bear in mind that UKIP squeeze in Scotland is 28% of 1.6% (0.45%)

  34. @Oldnat

    “Will it also maximise fear and distrust of the Tories, though?”

    This is the big risk, it all depends on how they go about it.

    I think they probably have learned the lesson from the Demon Eyes poster campaign that just personally attacking a person and implying they are a bad person and are going to be bad for the country does not work and has the complete opposite effect.

    This time there is no need for any fantasy or fake news, unfortunately during his life JC has left a very large archive of video of him saying things and pictures of him standing on platforms with people a majority of the population might take exception to, that even without addition comment would be sufficient boot to stick in.

  35. @ TERRY P

    Yeah, I think it’s been overlooked due to the rather poor Tory showing in 2010 and a strong UKIP performance last time. But with Kevin Foster and friends gone the Tory candidates in S and NW will looking at the current polls and reckoning they’re getting over the line.

    As for NE, you can mark how safe it is by the fact you’ve been canvassed 3 times in S and in NE I haven’t had a single flyer from any party, or seen a single poster in a window. Pretty sure everyone from Con and Lab will be helping out in the other two seats instead!

  36. At the risk of sounding like a mafiosi, I mean no disrespect….but…. why does the distribution of seat numbers in Scotland in a general election of the UK excite such passion?

    The absolute best result the SNP can achieve is to add three seats to their current total.

    Scotland returns less than 10% of the seats in a UK GE, its importance seems totally overblown to me. The polls are pored over with undeserved respect.

  37. @Redrich

    Don’t assume my priority was to secure agreement. It would certainly not be my priority when suffering the intensely disingenuous for example. A range of other more important things would come first.

    Why does it matter when evidence of intent is provided. It’s just another comical quibble. People are able to consider things from over thirty years ago. Evidence does not suddenly cease to be evidence after some arbitrary thirty year rule. Utterly weird.

    Just claiming a position is based on assumption rather than evidence does not make it so. There is lots of evidence of a shift to more liberal policy, and Syzygy has provided evidence of the effort to corral the party. Which was already a concern because of parachuting etc.

    People’s views may change over time, but if they hit the ground running with a load of stuff, probably had already changed. And as already evidenced, there was lots of unforced stuff, I could add more, like tuition fees, for eggers.

    In the end, like I said, it has been useful to be able to consolidate the liberal changes, especially the unforced ones to show it wasn’t just expediency, and Syzygy’s addition was handy too. It shows how concerted it was. But you have utterly bypassed it. Along with numerous of my points. You need to have the fortitude to engage with evidence yourself before lecturing others on evidence.


  38. @ WOODY

    I suspect it’s a combination of a unique local trend and because of its tendency to give disproportionate results. London has more MPs than Scotland, but the results are reasonably predictable compared to GB as a whole – Labour in their worst national performance since WWII still won over a quarter of the London seats and at their absolute best national performance still lost a quarter of them.

    Whereas in Scotland they just went from winning 70% of the seats to losing all but one seat with barely a flicker of difference on the national picture. And whilst Labour show no signs of reversing that trend yet, a fairly small change in the exact balance of support between the SNP and the Tories could see a dozen or more seats swing between various parties, whereas in say London or Wales for example then similarly small shifts between the top two parties would produce much smaller seat changes and thus be less relevant on predicting the overall election outcome.

  39. “The polls are pored over with undeserved respect.”

    Half of the Union doesn’t deserve the same respect that the other half deserves?

    Hmm. I have a solution, but not in here. ;)

  40. @ALEC On high-level MPs having Mi5 files anyway.

    Reminds me of this quite wonderful YPM sketch

    And of course many MPs (and certainly Cabinet level MPs) would have files. But that’s not the point of this obvious line of attack from the Tory press.

    It’s the reason-why there was a file opened. Yes it is an underhand tactic but then “politics is a dirty business”. The main damage will be done when the likes of the Sun/Express etc start plastering it on their front pages, not the DT,

    There will clearly be a concerted campaign over the last 2-3 weeks to wreck Corbyn on National Security matters and on competence.

    That this will not have an effect and is already “priced in” as some people are suggesting is probably wishful thinking if we go back to some of the attacks in past campaigns that did seem to swing voters.

    As ever we shall be glued to the polling changes on here and analyzing what might be happening

  41. So Cosby fans….

    It seems it will be reruns of existing stories about Corbyn to pave the way to discredit him and also highlight confusion of labours position on defence.

    It will all come form 3rd parties I’d be surprised if any Con Ministers say anything on either issue but I wouldn’t be suprised if UKIP and LIBs bite and do the Cons bidding on this.

    Re yesterday . Labour got a 9 year old to ask Corbyn at a press conference what “strong and stable leadership was”. Two points ..the answer was poor and.. 2 although someone obviously thought it was cleaver and humerus, they are highlighting the Tory’s slogun and USP (unique selling point) very unwise.

    On the labour to do list when they got up yesterday was attack Tory manifesto , so they went for the winter fuel payments. Seemed a bit hypercritical and wasn’t such a controversial policy. So they spent all day highlighting Tory policy, a policy which many people liked.

    So no gaffs but 2 errors of judgement.

  42. No one want a piece of me in NW Durham?


    RUDYARD where’s you wallet?

  43. @COUPER2802 – Aberdeen South – unlikely the Aberdeen Labour Group have been suspended for doing a deal with the Tories

    They have. They have also now set themselves up as an ‘independent’ group called ‘Aberdeen Labour’.

  44. Ashcrofts polls for the 2015 general election significantly underestimated the Tory vote overestimated the ukip vote and overestimated the lib dem vote and significantly overestimated the green vote.
    He did get Labour vote share about right.
    The overall prediction that the election was effectively tied was also significantly wrong

    As a method of predicting this election there is no reason to assume greater accuracy.

    The notion that the lib dems having just won the equivalent of 18% in a general election at the locals would lose all their seats is risible.

  45. @Woody : “why does the distribution of seat numbers in Scotland in a general election of the UK excite such passion?”

    Well never mind the passion, but if the post 2015 poll adjustments are now overstating the Conservative position, and if there’s a late swing to Labour and Mrs May drops an eff bomb, and as a result the Tories gain absolutely no seats at all in England and Wales, but gain, say, seven in Scotland, then they will have padded their majority from 12 to 26 and the whole exercise will have been worthwhile for the Tories. Seats in Scotland (and Wales) still count as seats.

    Whereas if the Tories gain 30 seats in England and Wales
    it won’t matter at all what happens in Scotland.

  46. Richard
    Re the UKIP squeeze question.
    28% to Con, 12% to Lab.

    That’s a lot smaller Con bonus than most assumed. The UKIPs that have already switched have gone to Con in a ratio of about 10:1 over Labour. Many of the seats UKIP aren’t standing in, only have a small number of kippers left to redistribute. Only seats that are on a knife edge will be effected.
    Using the last Yougov GB poll, there are 5 seats that would change hands if half the Kippers went to Con and none to Lab. On these figures it falls to 2 seats.

  47. @Trevor Warne

    Here is a link to the graphs for the regional data for Labour and Lib Dem:


    These are the datapoint references:

    Datapoint “Date(s)
    1 ‘3-4 Jan
    2 9-10 Jan
    3 17-18 Jan
    4 23-24 Jan
    5 30-31 Jan
    6 5-6 Feb
    7 12-13 Feb
    8 21-22 Feb
    9 27-28 Feb
    10 8-9 Mar
    11 13-14 Mar
    12 20-21 Mar
    13 26-27 Mar
    14 5-6 Apr
    15 17 Apr
    16 19 Apr
    17 20th April
    18 25th April
    19 27th April
    20 2nd May
    21 4th May
    22 9th May
    23 11th May
    24 16th May

  48. Richard (again)
    ‘No, I mean zero in the whole country. Lots of Lib Dems in seats that are opposed to Brexit, or want TM as leader, he shows half of them lost to other parties, and the others “too close to call”’

    I think they may end up with just 3 seats in England. Farron’s seat looks safe and they should win a couple in London. But that’s it.
    A disaster for the party.
    I read on here that it’s because of their Brexit strategy or legalisation of cannabis, but I don’t think that holds water. The 22% diehard remainers is a big enough pool for them to fish in. I imagine they would be delighted to garner that level of support. On cannabis, it isn’t necessarily a vote loser in the demographic they are after and their slide in the polls began before this policy was leaked.
    In my view, the voters who don’t want May have decided Corbyn is their only option. It’s hard to see what the LDs could do about it without an ‘I agree with Nick’ moment.

  49. Scottish Polling

    We seem to spend a lot of time on scotland. I suspect that is because we have a lot of nationalist posters on this site striving to have their own parochial site in due course, it is more interesting than the general scene due to Tory resurgence and has the independence aspect.

    But having said that Scotland really is not that different or exceptional:

    a. it is not the biggest geographical Remain area in the uK.That Is

    b.It is not the biggest demographical group voting remain in the UK. That is young London Males.

    c. The Tabs show that like the rest of the UK the tory vote increases as voters get older(and wiser?)

    d. That like the rest of the UK the only chance that the polling may prove to be in substantial error is if the turnout between the sub groups is different. Ie if the over 65’s are joined by irregular voters and come out in large numbers at the same time as the 18-24 snowflake group try once again to try and vote on twitter . There must have been some reason why tribes in a natural setting seem to choose to be ruled by elders rather than their 16 yr olds.

    A look at the tory referendum on scotland shows that a May Government is going to re-enter scottish Politics with its saddle bags filled with gold.It seems a change of policy to the studied indifference of Cameron to independence is under way.

  50. not referendum but manifesto….duh

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