There were two new polls on the Scottish Parliament elections today – a new TNS face-to-face poll and a new Survation online poll. Note that while they are both newly published the different methodologies mean that the Survation fieldwork is far newer than TNS’s – Survation polled over the weekend, TNS polled over the last three weeks. Topline figures are below:

Survation
Constituency vote: SNP 54%, LAB 21%, CON 16%, LDEM 5%
Regional vote: SNP 43%, LAB 19%, CON 14%, LDEM 7%, GRN 9%, UKIP 6%

TNS:
Constituency vote: SNP 60%, LAB 21%, CON 13%, LDEM 4%
Regional vote: SNP 55%, LAB 21%, CON 13%, LDEM 4%, GRN 6%

Both polls have a huge SNP lead and their victory in May seems a foregone conclusion. Labour are comfortably in second place – the last round of Scottish Parliament polling from TNS showed the gap between Labour and the Conservatives narrowing, but that has faded away again. The Survation poll has UKIP up at 6%, which has provoked some comment – it appears to be something to do with Survation’s methodology rather than a new development, looking back over past Scottish Parliament polling Survation have consistently had UKIP at 5-6% in the Holyrood regional vote while other companies consistently give them between 1-3%. John Curtice has speculated that this may be something to do with the question wording Survation use, which refers to the regional vote as a “second vote” and might lead to some people giving a second preference (this would also explain the big gap they fond between SNP constituency and regional vote). A couple of years ago Roger Scully did an experiment looking at different wordings in Welsh Assembly polling, and found you got really different answers depending on whether the question said “second vote” or “regional vote”, so it is plausible that there’s a similar effect in Scotland.


As well as the new EU poll, Friday’s Times also had a new YouGov Scottish poll. There was also a new TNS Scottish poll in the week. Topline voting intentions for Holyrood were:

YouGov (tabs)
Constituency: SNP 50%(-1), LAB 19%(-2), CON 20%(+1), LDEM 6%(+1)
Regional: SNP 42%(-3), LAB 20%(nc), CON 20%(+1), GRN 6%(nc), LDEM 5%(nc)

TNS (tabs)
Constituency: SNP 57%(-1), LAB 21%(-2), CON 17%(+5), LDEM 3%(-1)
Regional: SNP 52%(-2), LAB 19%(-1), CON 17%(+5), GRN 6%(-3), LDEM 6%(+2)

While the scale is difference, both polls have the usual overwhelming lead for the SNP. The obvious expectation is that they’ll easily secure a landslide win come May. More interesting is the battle for second place. YouGov have Labour and the Conservatives essentially equal (in the constituency vote the Conservatives are a point ahead after rounding… though this was nearly all in the rounding!). YouGov have tended to show the highest levels of Conservative support in Scotland and have had Labour only a whisker ahead of them for their last couple of polls, however other companies now seem to be showing the Labour and Conservative gap in Scotland narrowing too. TNS have the Conservatives up five points since December, bringing the gap in the regional vote down to two points, a Panelbase poll earlier this month also only had a two point gap between Lab & Con in the regional vote, MORI had the gap falling to 2-3 points in their last poll. Survation’s last Scottish poll still showed a 4-5 point gap this month, but it was down from an eight point gap in their previous poll.

Personally I’d still see the Conservatives coming second in Scotland as unlikely – while Ruth Davidson is well regarded (her approval ratings in the YouGov poll were substantially better than Kezia Dugdale’s) their brand seems almost irretrievably tarnished in Scotland. However if Scottish Labour fall far enough, I suppose it is possible. We shall see.


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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).

Ten days to go to the election and we’ve had interesting day of polls – four new GB polls, some new constituency polling and a new Scottish poll. The four GB polls today are the weekly Ashcroft and ICM telephone polls, the twice weekly Populus poll and, to come later on tonight, the daily YouGov poll for the Sun:

  • Populus had figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs). They continue to produce figures that are more favourable to Labour than many of the other pollsters – you have to go all the way back to August to find a Populus poll with a Conservative lead.
  • In contrast ICM have tended to produce some of the better polls for the Conservatives – their last four polls showed Conservative leads and today’s has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5% (tabs)
  • Lord Ashcroft’s weekly poll had topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 30%, LDEM 9%, KIP 11%, GRN 7% (tabs) – this is obviously a particularly good poll for the Conservative party, but all the usual caveats apply. No other poll is showing such positive figures for them.

Lord Ashcroft also released four new constituency polls, this time covering four UKIP target seats (or at least, four where he had previously found them doing well, I’m not sure whether Cannock Chase was ever a seat they were targetting – certainly Ashcroft’s poll found respondents reporting a lower level of UKIP activity there). When Ashcroft previously polled these seats he found UKIP in an extremely close second place, this time he found them falling back and seemingly out of serious contention in three of them:

  • Cannock Chase is a seat the Conservatives won on a vast swing last time, but where the new MP has stood down after various gaffes. In October 2014 Ashcroft found UKIP two points behind Labour, 30% to Labour’s 32%. The latest poll still shows Labour ahead, but UKIP now trail in third place on 21%.
  • Great Grimsby is widely regarded as the best opportunity for a UKIP gain from Labour at this election – a Lincolnshire fishing port where the veteran MP Austin Mitchell is standing down. In December Ashcroft found UKIP just a point behind Labour, but they’ve fallen back considerably since then and today’s poll has them 17 points behind Labour
  • Great Yarmouth fits the pattern for a typical UKIP target seat, a seaside town and marginal seat out on England’s east coast. Last July Ashcroft found a tight three way fight – Con 33%, UKIP 31%, Lab 28%. Today’s poll has UKIP falling back to 24%, but Conservative and Labour still in a close battle – Con 36%, Lab 34%
  • Castle Point is the only one of the three where UKIP still seems to be in the race. It’s an unusual seat – the former Conservative MP Bob Spink sort of defected to UKIP in 2008 and contested the seat as an Independent in 2010, coming second with 27%. In February Ashcroft found UKIP just one point behind the Tories, in today’s poll the Conservatives have widened their lead to 5 points.

Finally a new TNS poll of Scotland shows the SNP moving into an even stronger lead. Their topline figures with changes from their last Scottish poll are CON 13%(nc), LAB 22%(-2), LDEM 6%(nc), SNP 54%(+2), UKIP 2%(+1), GRN 2%(-1). Tabs are here.