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.

87 Responses to “Kantar polls on Scotland and the General Election”

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  1. I have to say that the last post is written with a very heavy heart, but I do not think that I should “whistle in the dark” any longer.

  2. @ Bardin1

    The dog story reminds me of election leaflet distributing in Pudsey some years ago, we were trained on dangers to watch out for whilst out on the streets. One of the warnings related to front doors left ajar to allow dogs to come and go. I went down a lovely long tree lined drive that led to a small terrace of about 5 houses, I noticed a door ajar on the penultimate house on the right so I started on the left thus leaving an escape route if needed. I was just walking back up the path of the second house and I looked to my left for a self survival safety check and a fat head of a Labrador had now appeared at the doorway, my initial thoughts were “it’s a Labrador, no problem” but one proper look at it’s eyes followed by hearing a low growl told me a different story. The dog knew exactly what I was going to do so we took off simultaneously up the drive, it was a straight race to my car of 100 metres or so. Fortunately I was a runner and I’d left the car unlocked so escaped without physical injury but the dog went back to it’s owner proudly displaying the torn remnants of the back of one of my trouser legs in it’s mouth as a trophy! I wouldn’t get away with it today!

  3. TOH

    There is a very interesting article in today’s Times about Tory Election strategy in light of these Polls.

    TM’s is clear-preaching the dangers of a “coalition of chaos” , and sticking to the strategy on no complacency.

    The article suggests that, given the prospect of a LibDem/Lab/SNP/Green arrangement which produces a viable administration is vanishingly small-a more positive Tory message is permissable.

    The one suggested is something like -” Until the Labour Party can get a Leader fit for High Office-vote for me” !!

    I prefer the No Complacency stance myself-polls can change-or be wrong !

  4. @Colin

    I just don’t get Labour’s strategy. Why all these policy announcements – In the light of the opinion polls no one is listening, they can tout whatever policy they want but it’s not going to happen.

    So why aren’t they running a completely negative campaign on the dangers of ‘unfettered Tory rule’ and a plea NOT to give May a huge majority which means she can push through any policy she wants…..etc

  5. COUPER2802

    I presume that Corbyn thinks his policies are popular, doesn’t believe the Polls, and/or doesn’t care what the electorate think because he just want to preach to the converted?

    But-who can tell???

  6. I am waiting for game changing news to come out during the election, that really has an effect on polling. If this does not happen, then the Tories will win with a vote exceeding 40% and probably about a 100 seat majority.

    What parties could be doing is spending money on finding out unhelpful information on other parties and their candidates. Turn it into an election about the candidates and what the parties stand for, not about specific issues on tax, Brexit etc.

    I have a feeling that the Tories have won over significant numbers of Brexit voters and it would be difficult for Labour to get these back. Just trying to copy the Tory Brexit plan with minor differences, is unlikely to work. But if Labour were willing to take on the Tories on moral values which chime with centre left/centre ground voters, then they might have a chance of winning support of enough voters to hold onto more seats.

    Because Corbyn has decided on a campaign supporting the Brexit vote, it will mean that Labour are likely to lose votes to Lib Dems in many seats. This may cause Labour to lose some seats, that they might have won, had they supported another referendum on the Brexit negotiation outcome.

  7. Bardin1

    Brilliant story – almost the political / urban equivalent of James Herriot.

    Thanks. :)

  8. Whatever people think of Corbyn he appears to want to run a postive campaign on Labour policy, whatever people think about the particular policies and their achievability. The Conservatives are mostly running a negative campain attacking Labour and other parties, the so called ”coalition of chaos”
    I suspect the Conservative campaign will have more traction, fear, unfortunately, seems to work better than hope.

  9. Couper2802

    I think Labour has to put forward SOME polices – if only for appearances sake! I agree it won’t make a great deal of difference but it might assist when running it alongside the negative campaign you recommend – unfettered tory rule etc.

  10. Colin
    That’s a fascinating article that you linked to. Well worth the long read.

    French Election

    I posted a link on my Facebook page to an article in the uk Press regarding the two contenders for President with the comment, surely Macron will be the winner. The comment from my French farmers wife neighbour, early 40’s was along the lines of, So the choice is the pestilence, or the plague? What choice is that?

    There is a report in the Times today, probably elsewhere as well, that government borrowing is back to pre crash, Brown era levels. Progress being made.

  11. I read recently, I forget where, may have been here, that negative campaigning by any party has the effect of reducing turnout.

    The clincher was the reduction was higher in groups more likely to vote for loc groupings, thus negative campaigning favors the roc groupings.

  12. Couper2802
    Completely agree re Labour strategy.

    I’m starting to think that JC and his camp see this election as their chance to test public support for their particular leftwing agenda: they want to lay their policies before the public and give people what they see as the first chance in ages to vote for a ‘genuinely leftwing’ platform.

    Presumably they believe this platform will attract much more support than the ‘pragmatic’ wing of the party gives it credit for, despite the polling evidence.

    It is a pity that the agenda is so incoherent and the presentation so inept. Both these factors mean that the election result cannot really be considered a definitive verdict on support for a more leftwing agenda. But a bad result will still damage the prospects of any kind of coherent, leftwing policy platform gainng popular support in the UK for the foreseeable.

  13. @COUPER2802

    I suspect the Labour focus on all the policy announcements is to try to take the attention away from their key people. They must know that Corbyn is a big reason why many voters who would usually vote Labour will not do so this time. And the other ‘big hitters’ in the shadow great offices of state – McDonnell, Thornberry and Abbott – are hardly any help. I cant help but notice that the latter 3 seem to be keeping a low profile since the election was called. Perhaps Labour thinks its only chance is by having a whole series of eye catching policy announcements in the hope that some will catch on and get that all important momentum of movement in the polls as election day approaches. Very unlikely.

  14. Meant to put a ? After my final sentence to make it non partisan. Apologies.

  15. ROBERT

    It is-the Comments at the bottom are predictable.

    I hope that as Public Finances move into balance after all these years, May can start to redress the squeeze on some areas of Public Services. The Downing Street Declaration was great-but it’s implementation needs cash.

  16. @Colin
    @ David West

    You know I think Colin might be right. I can almost hear Corbyn saying … ‘our policies are popular, once people hear our policies they will vote Labour’ Not realising that people have to first believe you have a credible chance of winning before they will look at your policies.

    SNP don’t make that mistake they will run an entirely negative anti-Tory campaign. even independence will be marginalised. SNP cant win in WM so their whole campaign will be on how they will oppose the Tories – but unless Corbyn can get a reasonable number of seats in rUK there will be no coalition of chaos and SNP may oppose but they won’t have much effect – which is actually a good argument for independence.

    Then of course this is compounded by the fact that the Tories successfully use ‘Corbyn being propped up be the vile SNP’ to put rUK off voting Labour.

    Labour are in a very tricky place – only a full scale no holds barred negative campaign can save them – a Project Fear on steroids.

    Hide Corbyn – he is a vote loser and send out attack dogs…

    Privatised NHS
    Selective education (not your child)
    No welfare state
    No workers rights maternity pay etc

    No matter how extreme the smear just go for it, every spokesperson, every advert, every day.

    I really should be a political strategist not a software engineer.

  17. @MarkW

    Yes that was then but since those loc working class groups are now voting Tory…..Labour’s best hope is to depress the turnout of Lab->Tory leaners & switchers via negative campaign.

  18. If negative campaigning is seen as an essential step it doesn’t come without risks, and can backfire.


    Negative campaigning appears often to have the effect of stimulating the engaged and committed positively but at the risk of alienating larger group at the center.

  19. couper2802, yes I was thinking that as I wrote too and I accept what you suggest. Confusing times I guess.

  20. Colin: The article you referenced should be required reading for Labour insiders.

    It has been clear to me, as a long-time Labour voter, that this election was lost the first time Corbyn spoke after his election as leader of the party.

    What I find amazing is how little has been said or written about his approach to the deterrent and how it is not only at odds with the view of the country at large but his own party.

    It’s rather like a crowd watching a runner about to set off in a race with hobnail boots on, a heavy overcoat and both legs tied together and shouting encouragement with genuine enthusiasm and hope.

  21. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-polls-snap-general-election-2017-live-poll-under-40s-young-people-older-winning-a7702616.html

    Labour is doing much better amongst younger people, a group much lass likely to vote.

    It is possible that a positive campaign that engages more of this group of supporters to vote will be more productive than a negative campaign.

  22. It seems the mood is a wave of almost patriotic Tory support. Anecdotally folk are lending their vote to the Tories, to support ‘plucky’ Mrs May in her negotiations on behalf of the UK – to get the ‘best deal for Britain’

    When every one is running in one direction slowing them down is much easier than turning them round.

    So Labour should be dampening turnout, dampening enthusiasm, putting fear and doubt into the electorate.

    The goal would be at least to decrease the Tory majority & May’s authority, with an outside chance of a smaller Tory majority than May has today.

  23. @MarkW

    Again I can almost hear Corbyn saying:

    ‘It’s the young people and the non voters that we will enthuse with these policies and they will turn out – polls don’t take that into account’

    But they won’t young people and prior non-voters will vote in the same proportion to the over all turnout as they always do.

  24. From Mike Smithson

    UKIP slip to just 5% with Panelbase. CON riding high
    CON 49 (+10)
    LAB 27 (-4)
    LD 10 (+4)
    UKIP 5 (-9)
    GRN 3 (-2)

  25. Couper2802
    The problem is that Labour have to avoid the ‘Do you really think Corbyn would do a better job in the Brexit negotiations than May?’ question, because that prospect appears to be driving normally non-Tory voters to vote for May. They’d rather hand her carte blanche than risk having JC negotiating on behalf of the UK.

  26. Couper2082

    Your use of the word ‘patriotic’ really resonates. The Brexit effect is becoming almost like the Falklands. In the circumstances, I think your damage limitation approach is all Labour can do – and probably even that won’t work to any extent. The plus 20 lead seems to be there to stay although a bit of tactical voting might work – again to a limited extent.

  27. UKIP do seem to be on a downward track. Con and Lab scores seem variable between pollsters while the Lib Dem score seems to be 10-12% from everyone.

  28. Couper2802, He may well be. And there appears to be some evidence supporting that idea.

    I was just looking at the pros and cons of negative campaigning and not attempting to support anyone, but i personally dislike negative campaigning so I am sure my own confirmation bias steered my reading.

    I worry that negative campaigning is bad for engagement and creates cynicism.

  29. I’m being selective here but, according to a new yougov poll, fewer people are unfavourable to Nuttall than Corbyn.

    Mind you, the whole thing is odd and I can’t understand quite what Tim Farron has done so badly wrong as to deserve his pretty poor negative ratings.

    Churchill’s dictum about language, Britain and America, could probably now be about religion. [Assuming that that is indeed part of Farron’s problem with the voters at large]. We really don’t do religion here [somebody said that a long time ago] but they certainly do over there……..


    No problem, I have been known to be partisan myself. :-)

  31. What I think will happen is that there will be some blunt negative campaigning from Labour but i don’t expect that JC will be the main conduit.

    I would prefer no negative stuff but that just makes me look like the Mr Pooter of politics I suppose.

  32. Colin

    “I prefer the No Complacency stance myself-polls can change-or be wrong !”

    Totally agree with you, complacency is the biggest danger to the Tories IMO. I would also like to see the Tory manivesto laying out what they will do for the next five years in a positive way. At the moment they are setting the tone and that’s fine for now but nearer the day I would hope they would want people voting positively for them, not just to keep Corbyn away from power.

  33. I’m thinking of this election more and more as a repeat of 1931 – another election called in response to a national crisis. Just as in 1931 we’re seeing a widespread endorsement of the government’s response from the electorate* that transcends traditional boundaries. Again just as in 1931, Labour is going to focus on complaining about public spending cuts and take an almighty pasting (although not as bad this time round… probably).

    *I suspect that in such situations you would always get such an endorsement, unless the government is blamed for the situation (see 2010) or the government’s solution is resoundingly unpopular. The opposition has to overcome the fact that a change of government in such situations is a large negative, so whatever they’ve got to offer has to be astoundingly convincing in order to overcome such a barrier.

  34. New thread guys

  35. imperium3

    Thanks. My mind must have been on some other political issue in 2014. :-)

  36. I haven’t been on this site since the last GE but it is interesting to see some of the same “old” (no offense intended) campaigners having a go at each other.

    One interesting thread today seems top be the idea that negative campaigning is effective.

    I disagree as I seem to remember that in the EU referendum it was the Remain campaign that was overwhelmingly negative and the Leavers were overly optimistic and I seem to remember they won!

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