The Sunday Times at the weekend had a Panelbase poll of Scotland, their first since the general election. It doesn’t look like Westminster voting intention was asked, but they have figures for Holyrood constituency vote intention, I think the first figures we’ve had from anyone since way back in March (and the first from Panelbase since the Holyrood election in 2016). Topline figures there are SNP 42%(-5), CON 28%(+6), LAB 22%(-1), LDEM 6%(-2). These changes are from the 2016 election. The SNP continue to have a solid lead, but it’s no longer those 20 or 30 point leads we used to see back in 2016.

On Independence the topline figures were YES 40%(-1), NO 53%(nc), Don’t know 6%(nc). Changes are since June, and obviously don’t suggest any meaningful change. NO seem to have consolidated a double digit lead, not the sort of lead that couldn’t be overturned in a referendum campaign, but not the sort of lead I’d imagine would encourage Nicola Sturgeon to push for one too early.

On that question of timing for a referendum, 17% of peple would like a referendum in the immediate future, while Britain is negotiating to leave the EU, 26% would like a referendum after Britain has finishing negotiating to leave the EU, 58% don’t want one in the “next few years”. As I’ve written before, questions like this are very vulnerable to the timebands you offer, but when you add up the pro and anti answers they tend to fall in similar proportions to support for independence – those who’d like independence tend to favour a referendum on independence sometime soonish, those who don’t want independence anyway don’t particularly want a vote on it either. Full tabs for the Panelbase poll are here.

There is also a new YouGov poll of Wales, conducted for ITV and Cardiff University, and also the first since the general election. Westminster voting intention figures stand at CON 32%(-2), LAB 50%(+1), LDEM 4%(-1), Plaid 8%(-2), UKIP 3%(+1). Labour have strengthened their position marginally from what was already a very strong position.

Voting intentions for the Welsh Assembly are:
Constituency: CON 25%, LAB 43%, LDEM 5%, Plaid 19%, UKIP 4%
Regional: CON 23%, LAB 40%, LDEM 5%, Plaid 19%, UKIP 5%
According to Roger Scully if these figures were repeated at an actual Assembly election then on a uniform swing Labour would narrowly regain their majority with 31 Assembly seats.

354 Responses to “New Scottish and Welsh polling”

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  1. Peter C
    Paul Croft

    Here is a link to a piece from Edinburgh Uni blog on Brexit that might interest you. It describes the changes in policy making, including the effects on civil servants. The pace of change means, for example, that life for those involved is rather like being in an A&E department. I find this very depressing for we have barely touched the real complexity of Brexit.

  2. @Hireton

    I think you overstate the danger to the legislation. The Tories will get some minor amendments through in the committee stage. As PeterW has pointed out they have been remarkedly united and almost all of them will have their Conservative associations breathing down their necks if they step out of line on Brexit. Plus there are 20 odd Labour Leavers that will bolster the Government.

    The Government will also ensure they hold sway on all the committees just as the Labour Minority Government did in the 1970s so Parliamentary business is not bogged down. Once the 3rd reading is passed then it is effectively game over.

    The Lords can try and amend all they like but there will be plenty of time to enact the Parliament Act before March 2019 if push comes to shove. Though I doubt the Lords would be foolish enough to let that happen.

  3. Here is a link to the delegated powers / withdrawal bill memorandum published by wer gubmint. I don’t expect anyone sane to read it.

  4. Fearing for my reason and will to live I have left the reading of the government’s memorandum (linked above) to hardier souls. Richard North has taken a look at the worked examples that appear in the memorandum. You might laugh or greet.

    “Unintentionally, in “converting” the EU Regulation into UK law, the UK law no longer applies to UK operations.”


    Good takes on the position of HMG, but ultimately what actually happens next is in the hands of the DUP, who could bring the Cons down whenever they liked. Unless, of course, there is another early UK GE in which the Cons win a majority of MPs.

    One bit of good news for the Cons in The Irish News with Trying to convince unionists of the benefits of a united Ireland is ‘insulting’, which is an interview with a senior cleric in the Orange Order.

    Statements like his: I’m British, I was born British, I will die British and I want no part of a United Ireland, I can’t be bought, I can’t be bribed are only to be expected, but perhaps not his: Regarding the border, as long as there is a border and it stays where it is I don’t care if it is hard, soft or whatever.

    Slugger has a thread on the topic here, with a number of interesting comments.

  6. @Sam

    Many thanks for the Edinburgh blog link. One of the really great things about UKPR is the referencing of academic and other substantial work that one probably wouldn’t otherwise see.

    It’s certainly worth a read. What I think it boils down to is that there is a deepening malaise at the centre of UK government, as policy making increasingly becomes a top-down, centralised, hasty and clique-dominated exercise. The moderating role of both the civil service and interest groups has been largely lost, says the author.

    I think there’s a lot of truth in this, and I suspect it’s quite a big factor in the discontent and resentment that seem to underlie people’s increasingly negative perceptions of how “they” govern “us”.

    The author cites Crewe and King, whose book The blunders of our governments is a sobering (and scrupulously non-partisan) examination of why our system of government doesn’t work well.

    While we debate endlessly the merits of Brexit and the EU, we should perhaps look closer to home for the source of many of our difficulties. Or, to look at it another way, if we don’t get our governmental act together, we are going to make an almighty hash of the biggest crash programme of change we have ever undertaken.

  7. BZ: <Slugger has a thread on the topic here, with a number of interesting comments.

    Yes. I was particularly taken with this one:

    According to Boris Johnson, (Daily Telegraph, May 12, 2013) “If we left the EU we would end this sterile debate and we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by Brussels, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills and a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capacity and infrastructure.”

  8. somerjohn

    Hard not to agree with that list of Johnson’s.

    [So long as we take it as read that his “short-termism” epithet applies to our various governments also – but especially since Cameron.]

  9. @seachange

    Possibly but

    “As PeterW has pointed out they have been remarkedly united and almost all of them will have their Conservative associations breathing down their necks if they step out of line on Brexit.”

    suggests that there is only one way to achieve Brexit and all must fall down in front of the UK Government’s version. Well, no. The EU Withdrawal Bill is a dog’s breakfast of a bill for all sorts of reasons and you can expect to see heavy and substantial amendments being forced on the Government most of which might have been avoided by a Government which consulted and listened as a first step.

  10. Sea Change – 1.37

    You are wrong to say that “The problem with (your) statement is that 19,000 laws and regulations were put into effect using “Henry VIII” powers under Section 2 of the EC 1972 Act. All without UK Parliamentary oversight.”.

    Every one of those laws and regulations came before the EU and UK Parliaments, and was approved by them, even if there was often very little scrutiny. And at least the EU Commission was bound by the treaties which govern the organisation (in effect a constitution) and could be overturned by the ECJ. The present bill has neither of those safeguards.

  11. (cont….)

    In other words, although I thoroughly approve of the attempt to maintain the continuity of law as we cross the threshold into the outer darkness, I am trying to point out, as are others, that there are far better ways of doing it.

    And I would have preferred the EU Parliament to have had far greater powers, but, of course, that was always blocked by those who now complain (strangely enough) that the EU parliament never did a proper job., and that, therefore, the UK parliament ought not to do one either. i.e. the Brexiteers,

  12. sorry – hit the wrong button.

    for ‘complain’ etc. read

    ….seem to believe (strangely enough) that since the EU parliament never did a ‘proper’ job, the UK parliament ought not to do one either.

  13. I see Boris Johnston is off to the storm ravaged Caribbean…..

    Haven’t they suffered enough!


  14. “the EU parliament never did a ‘proper’ job…”
    @John B September 12th, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Well obviously. It’s not a proper parliament. How can it be, it’s full of foreigners. Just ask half the country.

    We have never fully bought into the European project. There has never been any strong pushback on the immigration-is-the-problem perception. If you let lies like that poison the atmosphere you get Brexit. Simples!

  15. @peterw


    I was making a comment on Labour’s skills because the point you seem to be missing (I see no reason here to match your descent to personal abuse in speculating as to why) is that although there is no doubt the Committee and Report stages in the Commons will be series of battles, the Government can ultimately only lose those battles if it fails to keep its MPs (in this context including the DUP of course) in line less well that Labour does. And at present it’s doing better.

    There will be defeats. There will be concessions. And they will be just enough. And just enough, against a Labour party where you know that depending on the issue there’ll be about 20 arch-Leavers or about 50 arch-Remainers who will always feel obliged sanctimoniously to parade their consciences and vote with the Government, will be not very much I suspect.

  16. @peterw

    Yes once again the point you are missing – again perhaps you are not that familiar with Parliamentary procedure and the dynamics which attach to different stages – is that votes on Second Readings are very different to Committee stage votes. The difference is such that the Government will find it more difficult to keep its dissidents on board and Labour will find it easier.

  17. @sam

    Thanks for the link to the Edinburgh Uni blog. That certainly accords with my experience of returning to work in the Cabinet Office a few years ago after a long break from the Whitehall Civil Service which I joined straight from Cambridge. The policy function seemed to have decayed significantly both in staffing and rigour and in its openness to outside discussion.

  18. @peterw

    I meant to say that the Government’s problems will be compounded as Committee stage will be in a Committee of the Whole House not a Public Bill Committee so less chance for it to exclude its awkward members from Committee work.

  19. I really doesn’t matter how they were passed, the 19000 EU laws are the status quo. If you don’t wave them through, then you’re tampering with them. The argument that it’s somehow more democratic to tamper with how laws that we currently live by are applied without a debate than it is to adopt en mass what is already in place… and THEN debate who changes them and how seems convoluted and a touch dishonest to me.

  20. @peterw

    Sorry I think a word in a previous post has triggered automod. Essentially I was saying that Second Reading and Committee stage votes are very different beasts with different dynamics which will.favour Labour and not the Government. We can already see that dynamic working with the Tory backbench amendments which have already been tabled.

    Also sorry if you thought my original post was ad hominem, it wasn’t intended to be.

  21. Peterw

    I see no sign of any real ” Labour skills” plenty of straightforward opportunities to frustrate brexit usually wrapped up in Parliament must have the final word in laws ,which I don’t disagree with although ignored by British Politicians for the last 40yrs as they passed unopposed EU laws without any final word from Parliament or anyone else come to that.

    The real danger for Labour is in those seats now held by Labour but who voted out, if the Tories can label Labour as the party opposing the views of the electorate in those seats they may well find winning the next GE beyond them.

  22. @davidcolby

    That’s not the central issue though is it?

    There is the issue of what the Bill.does in terms of the balance of power between the executive and Parliament in making any changes which are necessary to make the transition and whether that is acceptable.

    There are the legal ramifications of how EU law is actually incorporated into UK legal systems e.g. are you happy that a new sui generis category of law will be created with an uncertain relationship between it and primary and secondary legislation?

    And there are the substantive policy issues around for example: current legal rights to challenge law and how that will be affected by whether EU derived law is incorporated as primary, secondary or sui generis law; the application or not of current EU derived individual.rights; and taking back devolved issues from the devolved administrations.

  23. peterw

    “who will always feel obliged sanctimoniously to parade their consciences and vote with the Government, ”

    So you don’t do “abuse” yet you feel able to judge the intentions behind the votes of a large number of people, that I don’t imagine you know, and label them as “sanctimonious”?

  24. Hireton

    Re Dugdale it’s more than about SLab policy under her leadership. She was very clear that she did not think Corbyn was a suitable leader and supported Owen Smith in the leadership challenge.
    Like so many Labour politicians she wrote off Corbyn before giving him a chance. Not good enough.

    I can’t prove she stopped Corbyn from going to Scotland during the GE campaign but let’s be honest she would not have wanted him there.

  25. SLAB/SNP – Holyrood v Westminster.

    I’ve asked this before but why would anyone in Scotland vote SLAB over SNP for Westminster (assuming they are a “left” voter and not in Edinburgh South).
    SNP’s history under Salmond and even the failed IndyRef have shown the power of SNP to get a good financial deal from Westminster (under both LAB and CON govts).
    DUP have most recently shown the power of kingmaker status (Gina Miller looking for another pyrrhic victory aside!)

    I understand why someone would vote SLAB v SNP for Holyrood (left-unionist vote) but why Westminster?

    Looking at the marginal MP seats in Scotland SNP could easily win back most of the loses to SLAB and ensure the Scottish voice was stronger in Westminster.

    If the next GE produces a hung parliament (as polls currently suggest) – surely as a Scottish voter you’d want SNP to have maximum number of seats. If SLAB hold/win marginal Scottish seats then Scottish voters risk a LAB majority that does not need SNP and hence have a lower incentive to help Scotland.

    Pretty clear I’m not a left vote but from a tactical perspective I’d much prefer SNP to SLAB as my MP in a safe “left” seat (e.g. Glasgow NE) and Scottish voters are very smart when it comes to tactical voting!

  26. It occurs that one thing leaving the EU might do is increase calls for British constitution. The EU has acted as a democratic stopgap limiting the extremes of government, and this will be missed.


    I enjoyed the BoJo comment as much as anyone, but my reference to “interesting comments” was more about the lack of any consensus amongst posters there across the nationalist – unionist divide. Much like these threads, I suppose, but with even more real danger to both sides if they can’t reach some kind of consensus.

  28. barbazenzero,
    “Much like these threads, I suppose, but with even more real danger to both sides”

    Not sure. Just how big was the Irish troubles death toll, and how much loss of English GDP would be needed to accomplish the same through failing social services, NHS cutbacks and so on?

  29. @BZ

    Yes, I was perhaps a bit flippant in highlighting the BJ quote – but it was irresistible!

    I agree the insight the comments provide into the remaining strong divisions and entrenched attitudes is rather depressing. A salutary warning, perhaps, of how the division of societies into two antagonistic camps can endure beyond all reason.

  30. Trevor Warne

    Part of SLABs problem I think is getting caught between two different nationalist/patriotic parties. As you point out the SNP are all about standing up for Scotland, at least that’s their propaganda. The Tories have their own propaganda of Union Jack Britishness, while looking very independent from the English party.

  31. DANNY

    Point taken, although re the Irish question it depends on when you start counting the loss in lives. Pick a date from 1169 onwards.


    No complaints. I agree the BJ quote is well worth remembering.

  33. Hireton

    Re ICM poll

    What a shame that the Grauniad didn’t bother asking about England voting for independence.

  34. Anthony Wells has heard our pleas and updated the side-bar polling tracker.

    God is good, and it gives an excellent insight into where the polls ‘think’ (sorry to anthropomorphise) the parties are: neck-and-neck, with Labour just ahead.

  35. mike pearce

    “Like so many Labour politicians she wrote off Corbyn before giving him a chance. Not good enough.”

    This has become glib folklore: for the best part of a year, maybe longer, Corbyn was widely regarded as hopeless. I can see no good reason why Labour MPs, who didn’t vote for him in the first place, should have thought “Oh well, he’s got historically low approval ratings but I bet he comes good”.

    The evidence, even in the local elections just before the GE, was still writing him off. Why would anyone have seen the conflation of his excellent campaign and May’s dreadful one when many Labour MPs were reporting at the time that he was toxic on the doorstep?

    And why should Kexia Dugdale have analysed it any differently?

  36. Trevor Warne

    “I’ve asked this before but why would anyone in Scotland vote SLAB over SNP for Westminster”.

    A number of reasons, I assume.

    Even though most people are rather hazy about which Parliament deals with particular powers, most understand that the UK Parliament/Government exercises power over all of the UK. For those on “the left” there is a judgement to be made as to whether the best outcome for Scotland is just to have a Lab Government (in the hope that they will be good for Scotland too) or for it to be a Lab Government, dependent on SNP support, so that Scotland does get consideration.

    Also, many people are strongly influenced by the media coverage. At a UK level, such coverage doesn’t much consider the interests of Scotland (and even the Scottish media doesn’t give it that much coverage).

    You think this is a huge deal but I think its basically copying and pasting.

    An EU law is already its own unique creature, it just becomes another unique (legally identical) creature. It does not matter how it passed through Westminster in the first place.
    Imagine you take all your important papers from one drawer and put them in another drawer. Nothing written on any document has been altered by this action. Later, after discussing it with your loved ones, you can move some of the documents to another drawer for safe keeping, or rip some up, or add some more.

    The courts where these laws get challenged and your rights to challenge them are entirely different issues which will be determined through negotiation.

    Also, precisely which EU laws are currently
    devolved which you imagine will now be permanently confiscated by Westminster?

  38. ORB poll on Brexit issues

    Relative importance of Immigration/Free Trade – equal at 43%

    Dissatisfaction with negotiations at 60% : satisfaction 40%

  39. Danny

    “leaving the EU might do is increase calls for British constitution.”

    Indeed, the Brexiters didn’t think it over – they may have to give the plebs some rights (just joking).

  40. @ CAMBRIDGERACHEL – I can see how a goldilocks SLAB could try and play the not too hot, too too cold roll on Independence (worked for Brexit!) but the few Scottish people I know think that is a horrific choice – similar to leaving EU only to end up in CU – neither side are satisfied. Corbyn would have to make very unrealistic promises to hope to gain say a dozen seats in Scotland at the risk of seriously alienating English voters.

    @ OLDNAT – From my analysis of 2010,15 and 17 GEs Scottish voters seems to be very astute voters (canny Scots!), maximising the tactical benefit of their vote. When Brexit drops away and IndyRef2 is deep on the back burner the 3D choice drops to 1D. I’m no expert on the subtle differences between SNP and LAB on ideological grounds but from Political Compass and bigger issues they seem to be near identical. An outright LAB majority versus a “left” LAB minority govt relying on SNP C+S deal? If I was Scottish I’d certainly vote SNP.

    Thank you both for your replies. If the next GE happens before Brexit is finalised and/or before Holyrood 2021 then Scottish voters might still have 2 or 3 dimensions to consider.

    My interest/concern is that this might make Corbyn make increasing risky decisions to try and force an early GE (eg going super soft on Brexit). I believe some of the Remain vote will become churn after Brexit and (assuming Holyrood is a hung parliament) the Unionist vote would become a very low priority for Scotland’s Westminster vote.

    Trying to win niche votes in select seats (Scotland, London) isn’t going to help LAB if it costs them chunks of the North and the Midlands (+10 but -40 = -30). They are pretty much at max in London anyway and most Londoners know the difference between the CU and SM relates to passporting of services (they are happy with free movement).

  41. Laszlo

    I thought the remainers believed it was the plebs who voted for brexit maybe they did think it out.

  42. Turk

    “I thought the remainers believed it was the plebs who voted for brexit”

    I assume that was a “tongue in cheek” remark – but the tendency of some on both sides of Brexit (or any other issue) as a monolithic group with a single opinion, is a singularly depressing manifestation of tribalism at its worst.

    Jokes (as I assume your comment was) are fine – but there are some who do seem to portray “others” as a single group – different from themselves.

  43. Jeremy Richardson,in the Edinburgh European Futures blog, ended by saying that “It is vital that these [interest] groups play an insider role in the years ahead” – correcting, that is, the top-down style and lack of consultation which has become prevalent and has led to the current “policy mess” – not only in the lead up to and conduct of Brexit but in the more general formulation and conduct of public policy – and notably in the assimilation of and any adaptation of EU/UK policy.
    He implies that there is likely to be a particular deficit in the use of a reservoir of experience – the essence of the traditional wealth of hands-on expertise of the practitioner interest group – among those UK professionals – a great army, or perhaps a great staff college, of experts and civil servants who have worked over several decades in and with the EU – primarily, inevitably, one assumes,Remainers.

  44. LASZLO
    Whatever was the basis of your taciturn response to “that sentence”? Surely not prudery, in this the SCR of blogs?
    I was, your closer scrutiny would have shown, illustrating the differing use of the third person subjunctive, possible in French – and common there between vulgar and elegant usage- in a way that may not occur in English, as an imperative. While we commonly use the direct imperative, we only in a consciously formal setting – as in, “Let them eat cake,” do so in the third person. (Instead we tend to say “They can…..”
    I was particularly interested in the prevalence in both languages of the use of that particular expletive in imperative forms of cursing. Edmund Leach once in the early ‘sixties gave a town and gown lecture to the shocked shop-keepers, clergymen and librarians of Cambridge based on a Levi-Straussian analysis the inovacations of various actions involving secretion as being taboo because they are neither you nor not you”. He drew comparison with the similar use of manifestations of god and holiness.

  45. sorry – of the invocations

  46. paul croft

    “And why should Kexia Dugdale have analysed it any differently?”

    Fundamentally, it’s the difference between wanting something akin to socialist policies and, well, just believing in being elected, and willing to adopt any policies you think might get you elected.

    The question isn’t why should Dugdale (or many of the Parliamentary Labour party) have known he was in fact electorally popular, but why was Dugdale against Socialist policies (and why would she be telling people to vote Tory, ever)?

    I don’t have much truck with the SNP but I can see why people would vote for them if the alternative was more neoliberalism or Tory policies. Basically that’s what Dugdale wanted – more of the same with her in the FM seat.

  47. stupid auto mod again

  48. @David Colby – 9.26 p.m. et al

    You seem to me to be missing the point. The Government’s proposal is not, as you seem to be claiming, to pass EU law into UK law without changing it, but rather the opposite: to make whichever changes the Government wants to make without subjecting such changes to Parliamentary scrutiny.

    Had you argued that, in transferring EU into exclusively UK law it is necessary to make some changes (for example, references to the ECJ will have to be changed, presumably to the UK Supreme Court, as will references to the common fisheries policy, the common agricultural policy, etc), then I might have been in agreement with you to some extent. But there lies the rub! The government has so far refused to give any indication of what will replace those EU bodies, leaving us with an open-ended right of the Government to do whatever it wishes to do, without Parliament having the right to have any say. That seems to me to be a very dangerous situation in which to find ourselves.

    Now, as to the 19000 (or whichever number you wish to offer) pieces of legislation and regulations, it seems to me that a large percentage of those could be put into groups dealing with the same issue; for example, changing all regulations to do with agriculture would not require analysis of each one individually but could be done ‘en bloc’ (if you will excuse the French – I doubt TOH will, but there we are….). Idem for health and safety etc. Each Government department could have been asked to come up with legislation which pertains to its particular expertise (ahem!) instead of putting it all together in one incoherent mess.

    This would have helped in legislating for the devolved administrations automatically to receive authority over the non-reserved powers which ought, under present UK law, to have gone to them, instead of getting lost in the chaos currently ruling in Westminster.

    Have a good day whilst you can….

  49. @davidcolby

    “You think this is a huge deal but I think its basically copying and pasting.”

    We’ll not just me: MPs from different parties both Remainers and Brexiters; former Tory ministers including an Attorney General and a Constitution Minister; the House of Lords Constitution Committee; the Welsh and Scottish Governments; senior lawyers; senior academic lawyers and so on.

    If you can be troubled to read it this short piece of written evidence by Professsor Paul Craig of Oxford University is a good simple overview:

    So in my view your homely analogy just isn’t right as it is not just a matter of moving papers from one drawer to another.

    “The courts where these laws get challenged and your rights to challenge them are entirely different issues which will be determined through negotiation.”

    The point is that the type of UK legislation in which EU law is incorporated will affect how far and by what means legal challenges in the UK can be undertaken. It is nothing to do with “negotiations”.

    “Also, precisely which EU laws are currently
    devolved which you imagine will now be permanently confiscated by Westminster?”

    Well firstly it is not a question of EU laws it’s a question of powers of the Scottish Parliament. To go back to basics the Scottish devolution legislation is based on the principle that anything which is not defined as reserved to Westminster in schedule 5 of the Scotland Act is devolved. As an example agriculture and fisheries are devolved but the EU Withdrawal Bill will in effect “un devolve” these areas pending decisions by the UK Government which has explicitly stated that the priority in reaching those decisions will be striking new trade deals and maintaining the recently discovered UK Single Market. Against that background it is a reasonable expectation that they and other areas will be permanently reserved and it seems this will be done not by primary legislation.

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