TNS Holyrood poll

TNS have released what I think is the first Scottish voting intention poll since the election. Prior to May Scottish polls concentrated on Westminster voting intentions (though many asked both Westminster and Holyrood), the focus now shifts over to Holyrood intentions ahead of next May’s election.

Voting intentions for Holyrood in the TNS poll are:
Constituency: CON 15%, LAB 19%, LDEM 3%, SNP 60%
Regional: CON 14%, LAB 19%, LDEM 5%, SNP 50%, GRN 10%

This is a big increase for the SNP on top of the 45% they received at the 2011 election where they won a majority in a electoral system designed to avoid them. These figures would only build upon it. Note also the dire state of Labour’s Scottish support, just four points ahead of the Conservatives, who are marginally up on their 2011 performance.

Full tables are here


So far today we have had a new poll from TNS and a Scottish poll from Survation, with YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun still to come.

  • TNS’s latest poll has topline GB voting intentions of CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5% (tabs).
  • Survation join Panelbase, YouGov and TNS in showing the SNP lead over Labour widening in Scotland. Their latest Scottish figures with changes from March are CON 14%(-2), LAB 26%(nc), LDEM 5%(+1), SNP 51%(+4), UKIP 2%(-2) (tabs).
  • YouGov’s daily poll will, as usual, be out around half-past ten. Their figures in last night’s poll for the Sun were CON 35%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5% (tabs).

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We had a new TNS poll earlier on today with topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%, reversing the Conservative lead they had last week. Tabs are here. The only other GB poll I am expecting to see tonight is the regular YouGov poll for the Sun.

There was also a new Scottish poll from YouGov in this morning’s Times which confirmed the 24 point SNP lead from YouGov’s previous poll. Topline figures were CON 17%, LAB 25%, LDEM 5%, SNP 49%, UKIP 3%. Tabs are here. There continues to be no evidence whatever of any weakening or faltering of the huge SNP lead.

YouGov also released some results for Freuds which are quite fun – showing people a selection of photos of Ed Miliband and David Cameron and saying which they found most appealling. For all the cynicism about politicians using their families for photo shoots, in both cases the photo people found most appealing was Cameron & Miliband with their respective families. Yes, it’s a cliche, yes it appears to work.

Finally a couple of people asked me about the contrast between two different polls of students that appeared on Monday and seemed to contradict each other. A new poll by YouthSight found student voting intentions with changes from February of CON 25%(+2), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 9%(+2), GRN 15%(-13), UKIP 6%(+3). A different poll by High Fliers found student voting intentions of CON 31%, LAB 31%, LDEM 6%, GRN 25%, UKIP 1%.

Both polls appear to be kosher – the differences are down to the make up of the sample and the timing of the fieldwork. YouthSight’s sample is from all British universities and years of study, High Flier’s sample is of just finalists at “high-flying” universities – primarily Russell group. Fieldwork for YouthSight was in April, High Fliers in March and, given the sharp drop in Green party support between YouthSight’s February and April surveys, this probably partly explains the difference between the YouthSight and High Fliers surveys.


Lord Ashcroft has released a new batch of Scottish constituency polling. Full details are here. As regular readers will know, national polls in Scotland suggest an SNP landslide with no sign of the SNP lead narrowing as the election approaches. In fact the most recent Scottish polls from YouGov and TNS showed the SNP lead growing. Lord Ashcroft has previously carried out two waves of Scottish polling, both showing the SNP winning in seats that were previously thought very safe.

Across the two previous waves Ashcroft polled nineteen Labour seats, finding the SNP ahead in all except East Renfrewshire and Glasgow North East. He has also polled four Lib Dem held seats (finding solid SNP leads in three and a narrow SNP lead in Ross, Skye and Lochaber) and the one Tory seat in Scotland where he found a tie.

In this latest wave Ashcroft has returned to the five of the tighter races he polled earlier, and polled three more Lib Dem held Scottish seats for the first time. Most of the close races are no longer close – in Glasgow South West (where Labour have a 46% majority) Ashcroft found the SNP 21% ahead. In Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Douglas Alexander’s seat, he found an SNP lead of 11%. In East Renfewshire he found a 9% SNP lead – this is the seat of Labour’s Scottish leader Jim Murphy and one of the two seats where he previously found a Labour lead.

People commenting on the Scottish election seem to fall into two groups – those who expect an almost complete SNP walkover, and those who expect them to merely do extremely well, to take “only” thirty or forty seats. I think the logic of most people in that second group is simply down to the scale of the SNP landslide looking unrealistic – the belief that they can’t be doing that well. I am often the first to advise caution towards polls showing huge shifts, so it’s fair to be sceptical – with a landslide of this scale perhaps the polls could be overestimating the swing… but they are consistent across national and constituency polling, online and telephone, and if they are correct the SNP are headed for an overwhelming victory and Scottish Labour towards something close to wipeout.

The polling in the sole Tory seat in Scotland remains extremely close. In his last poll Ashcroft found a dead heat between the Conservatives and the SNP, this time he found an SNP lead of two points.

Turning to the Lib Dem held seats, last time round Ashcroft found only a five point SNP lead in Charlie Kennedy’s seat in Ross, Skye and Lochaber, that has now grown to fifteen points. He has now additionally polled North East Fife (Menzies Campbell’s seat) where he found a 13% SNP lead and East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson’s seat) where he found an 11% SNP lead. Finally he polled Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk – here he found a 20 point boost for the SNP, which is enough to make it into a three way marginal but not to put the SNP ahead – the poll found the Conservatives ahead on 30%, SNP 29%, LDEM 28%.

Note that the East Dunbartonshire is one of the seat where the Lib Dems have recently released their own private polling (which may or may not be a co-incidence!). Their own polling showed figures of CON 13%, LAB 16%, LDEM 35%, SNP 32%. The SNP are 8 points lower than in Ashcroft’s poll, the Lib Dems 6 points higher. I wrote about the Lib Dem’s own polling at more length here. The primary differences are that the Lib Dems prompt using candidate name, which is fair enough, and ask about how favourably people see their local MP before they ask that voting intention question, a more questionable approach. We shall see which is the better guide. The Lib Dems have not released any of their private polling for the other three Lib Dem seats Lord Ashcroft released polls for today, from which one must draw one’s own conclusions.


We have three new polls so far today. TNS have put out a new GB poll, which has topline figures of CON 33%(nc), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(-1), GRN 5%(+1) – clearly no significant change since their previous poll (tabs are here).

ComRes have a new poll of the 40 Labour held constituencies in Scotland (that is excluding Falkirk, where Eric Joyce sat out his term as an independent). In 2010 the share of vote in these seats was CON 14%, LAB 51%, SNP 19%, LDEM 14%. The new ComRes poll found support standing at CON 13%(-1), LAB 37%(-14), SNP 43%(+24), LDEM 2%(-12). The seven point SNP lead represents a swing of 19 points from Lab to SNP, the equivalent of a sixteen point SNP lead in a national Scottish poll (tabs are here).

Finally YouGov have a new London poll for the Evening Standard, which has topline figures of CON 34%(+2), LAB 45%(+1), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 8%(-2), GRN 4%(-1) – changes are from YouGov’s previous London poll a month ago. The eleven point Labour lead represents a swing of 4.5 points from Con to Lab since the general election, the equivalent of a two point Labour lead in a national GB poll (tabs are here).