I don’t think we’ve had any GB polls today (not doubt there will be the usual flurry for the Sunday papers tomorrow), but we did get a YouGov Scottish poll for the Times, their first of the campaign.

Topline voting intentions were SNP 41%, CON 28%, LAB 18%, LDEM 7%. At only 41% the SNP are lower than in the Survation and Panelbase polls last weekend, but YouGov also show the Conservatives doing significantly less well than that Panelbase poll that had them on 33%. If these figures were repeated at the general election then the Conservatives would take seven seats from the SNP, the Liberal Democrats would take two.

Voting intention on Scottish independence stands at YES 45%(+2), NO 55%(-2) (and that’s without 16 and 17 year olds, so reality might be slightly more pro). Asked about a second Indyref, YouGov asked both about the principle of it and the specific timing – on principle, 42% of Scots want a referendum in the next five years, 51% do not. Asked about specific timing, a referendum before Britain leaves the EU is marginally more popular than one afterwards: 37% would support a referendum once negotiations are complete but before Britain actually goes, 35% would support one after Brexit.

Full tabs are here.


Kantar put out a new poll today – while the name is new to British polling, the people and the company aren’t – it’s a rebranding of the more familiar TNS (Kantar is the parent company, part of WPP who bought TNS in 2008). Topling figures are CON 46%, LAB 24%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 8%, GRN 4% – very much in line with other recent polling – a towering Tory lead and UKIP falling back behind the Liberal Democrats. Full tabs are here.

Kantar also released some new Scottish polling, though the fieldwork was done done between 29th March and 11th April, so it’s actually considerably older than the two Scottish polls at the weekend – presumably because it was done face-to-face, a more time consuming method. This means it was conducted after Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second referendum, but before Theresa May’s call for an early election (meaning it didn’t ask GE voting intention).

Asked about when a referendum on independence should be called, 44% named a preferred time, 46% didn’t want one at all. 26% would prefer a referendum before Britain leaves the EU (19% in Autumn 2018, 7% in Spring 2018), 18% would prefer a referendum after Britain has left (11% in 2019 or 2020, 7% after 2020).

Asked how they would vote in a second Indyref 37% said Yes, 55% No, equating to YES 40%, NO 60% once don’t knows are removed. This is the lowest support for YES in any Scottish poll for sometime… though I’d be cautious about reading too much into it. Remember the Panelbase and Survation Scottish polls at the weekend were conducted after this poll, and did not show any movement towards NO (Panelbase was 43% YES, 52% NO; Survation was 43% YES, 48% NO)

Full tabs for the Scottish poll are here.


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There are two Scottish polls in Sunday’s newspapers – Panelbase for the Sunday Times and Survation for the Sunday Post. Voting intention figures, with changes since the general election in 2015, are below:

Panelbase/S Times – SNP 44%(-6), CON 33%(+18), LAB 13%(-11), LDEM 5%(-3)
Survation/S Post – SNP 43%(-7), CON 28%(+13), LAB 18%(-6), LDEM 9%(+1)

The two polls have very similar shares for the SNP – still showing a large lead, but not at the heights they enjoyed in the 2015 election. Both polls show a major increase in Conservative support, putting them in clear second place (though the scale of that increase differs). Both show Labour sharply down, though against the scale differs – Survation have Labour losing a quarter of their support since 2015, Panelbase almost half of it.

The polls appear to be continuing a trend we saw at the Scottish Parliament election last year – the Conservatives gradually taking over the mantle of being the main opposition party to the SNP. My own best guess of what is going on is that we’re seeing Scottish politics increasingly become something where the main cleavage is Independence vs Unionism (rather than the normal economic and class cleavages that have dominated British politics), with the SNP and the Conservatives the main flagbearers of the two sides.

Anyway, that aside, what would these sorts of figures mean in terms of seats at the general election? The Survation poll would represent a 10 point swing from SNP to Conservative, the Panelbase poll a 12 point swing. Looking down the SNP defence list, these would see the Conservatives take 7 to 9 seats from the SNP: Berwickshire, Renfrewshire East, Dumfries & Galloway, Aberdeenshire West, Aberdeen South, Perth & Perthshire North, Moray – perhaps East Lothian & Edinburgh South West. On the Panelbase poll the Tories would also take Edinburgh South from Labour.

Of course that’s just a uniform swing. In reality the vote won’t be so evenly spread – for example, in his write up for the Sunday Times John Curtice notes how the Conservative increase in support is almost static amongst Scottish Remain voters, it’s concentrated almost entirely among those who voted for Brexit, so we may see a larger swing in more Brexity areas (all of Scotland voted Remain of course, but there are larger Brexit minorities in places like the Borders and the North East than in highly Remain places like Edinburgh). It will also be interesting to see if there is an across the board increase for the Tories, or if in practice Unionist voters are willing to vote tactically for the most viable Unionist candidate in their area.


There were a couple of Scottish independence polls in the week, but both of these that had fieldwork that actually pre-dated Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second referendum. The Sunday Times today have the first Scottish poll carried out after Sturgeon’s speech, conducted by Panelbase between Monday and Friday.

Voting intention in a second referendum stands at YES 44%, NO 56%, similar to that in the YouGov poll in the week. As I said then, there are conflicting pictures from different pollsters. YouGov and Panelbase are both showing support for independence at a very similar level to the 2014 referendum, the most recent BMG and MORI polls have shown a narrowing of the NO lead.

Scotland also remains split over whether or not to have a second referendum. About half want a referendum in the next few years (32% while Brexit negotiations are ongoing, 18% after the end of negoiations), 51% do not want a referendum in the next few years.

Westminster voting intentions in Scotland stand at SNP 47%, CON 28%, LAB 14%, LDEM 4%, UKIP 3%.


Following Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that she would seek a second referendum on Scottish Independence there are three polls on the subject in today’s papers.

Firstly there is a YouGov poll in the Times. As with the Survation poll, the fieldwork for this was actually begun before Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement – it just happened to be in the field when she made her announcement. Topline figures on Scottish independence were YES 43%, NO 57%. While this is not a significant change since YouGov’s last Scottish poll in November, it’s the largest lead YouGov have recorded for NO since before the first independence referendum (note also that the sample here was over 18s. 16 and 17 year olds are normally seen as a more pro-Indy demographic, so might have shifted it ever so slightly towards YES) (tabs)

Secondly there was a Survation poll in the Daily Mail, also conducted over the weekend. This had topline figures of YES 47%, NO 53%, the same as in their previous Scottish poll last September. Survation also asked about whether there should be a second referendum “before the UK leaves the European Union” – 41% supported this, 46% were opposed.

Finally there were results from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in the Scotsman. The SSAS is a large scale random probability survey conducted each year – these are high quality samples, but by definition take a very long time, so this was conducted in autumn last year. The survey does not ask how people would vote in a referendum, but does have a long term tracker on whether people think Scotland should be independent and outside the EU, independent and inside the EU, have devolution with taxation powers, devolution without taxation powers or no devolution. This wave of the survey found 46% of people in favour of independence, the highest recorded so far in the SSAS and up from 39% in the 2015 wave of the survey. In John Curtice‘s paper on the survey he explains how some of that is down to the fact that in the previous wave a substantial number of those who voted YES in the referendum opted for a form of devolution when asked the multi-option question in the SSAS survey, but that in this wave YES voters were more likely to follow through with support for full independence in the SASS question.

We still have a mixed picture. Overall the picture appears to be a lead for NO, but YouGov and Panelbase’s polls have the proportion of people supporting Scottish independence broadly the same as at the 2014 referendum (though there appears to be some churn underneath that), but BMG’s last few polls and MORI’s last poll have suggested things moving towards a much tighter race. The sheer infrequency of Scottish polls means we can’t really be sure if that variation is down to methodology or just us reading too much into normal sample variation. Either way, Nicola Sturgeon has only taken the very first step towards a second referendum; there is an extremely long way to go and I’m sure we’ll have an awful lot more polling on the subject and far more time to examine differences between them.