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”

1 2
  1. No obvious sign so far that the additional polarization Brexit brings to Scottish politics is affecting the overall balance of Union vs Independence.

    Could it be that opinions are fairly coalesced now, and that all that changes is which party gets what share of each half?

  2. There was also a BMG poll independence Yes 49% No 51%.

  3. Just when you think things have coalesced, that’s when they get you!!…

  4. @Couper2802

    There’s also another way of looking at it: if you want to know what people think about Scottish Independence, hold a referendum on it! A General Election is not a referendum.

    Also, had the SNP started the IndyRef 2014 campaign at 40-45%, they probably would have won it.

  5. Just now Labour NEC is deciding on candidates for vacant seats. They must go for strong local candidates or it will be carnage

  6. I think Labour losing this election heavily will also guarantee the 2022 election for the Tories. After this election and the re-drawing of boundaries, lots of current marginal seats will become Tory safe seats. I just don’t know how Labour will have a chance to win enough number of those seats even with a new leader.

  7. RAF,

    “Also, had the SNP started the IndyRef 2014 campaign at 40-45%, they probably would have won it.”

    Eh, nope!

    You can’t assume that the increase for Yes would have been the same from a higher base” it could easily have ended up exactly where it did!


  8. @Peter Cairns

    Ok, maybe not.

    But we can at least agree that were the IndyRef 2 campaign to start today they would begin from a higher base.

  9. I know it’s nice to go for female only shortlists but the electorate don’t like it and labour need the best candidates,,,sex irrelevant..

  10. UKIP local hustings to select GE candidates nationwide are tomorrow, I suspect they will not be able to fight as many seats as last time.

  11. northernruralmodeoman

    “I know it’s nice to go for female only shortlists but the electorate don’t like it”

    You may be right – in which case I’d like to see the polling evidence for it, since I haven’t seen polls on that topic – though doubtless they exist.

  12. @Pete B

    Another party appears somewhat to have stolen their thunder.

  13. This must be the least valuable of all the polls published since the election was called.

    The UK wide figure tells us no more than we already knew and the Scottish figure is so out of date and out of line with more recent ones, it’s useless.

    As for all woman short lists, I would have thought they must disadvantage the candidate who emerges to stand. The public surely determine who to vote for based on the candidates they see in front of them.

    It’s difficult to see why anyone would vote for a candidate solely on the grounds that she has come via an all woman list. But there might be a number who will vote against her, for that reason.

    What, for example happens when the public see two women candidates, one who has come via an all woman short list and another who has had to compete with all comers.

    The public are, I would suggest much more likely to vote for the one who has beaten off all challengers.

    An all woman short list, increases the chances of the candidate selected, being a woman, but after she’s been selected, it must surely reduce her chances of getting elected, as compared with her chance had she been picked via open competition.

    I don’t imagine the effect is much more than minor but it might well be enough to cost Labour one or two very narrowly contested seats.

  14. RAF
    Agreed. If we assume that UKIP lose 50% of their vote and it’s to the Tories (an oversimplification I know), I posted on another thread that ceteris paribus the Tories would gain 33 seats from Labour on this effect alone. Nevertheless, that would still leave circa 2m voters with no MP, which would be a chunk of the electorate worth chasing. However, the Tories wouldn’t need to bother, Labour under Corbyn would have no chance and neither would the Libdems because of their pro-EU stance.

    So what happens? 2 million votes would have changed the result in the majority of post-war elections. Will UKIP gradually dwindle away with the majority of their voters going to the Tories? Or have most of the ex-Tories already returned to the fold and post-Corbyn Labour be the main unexpected beneficiary of the rest?

    Although everyone has probably quite rightly been writing UKIP off as a potentially significant parliamentary party, UKIP voters are another matter.

  15. 2022 depends on how Brexit goes.

    Would the Tories have won in 2005 had the financial crisis happened in 2004? Probably.

    It took Labour one election to recover from their 1935 drubbing (after a humdinger of a crisis and a delay of course!)

  16. YG looks at demographics and voting in GB (mainly England, of course).


    Strong support for the Tories among those with least education and among those with lots of cash!

    The first correlation, of course – as has oft been pointed out here – is somewhat indirect, as the elderly generally had less education.

  17. ON
    So poor educated people don’t vote Tory? If they’re that well-educated why don’t they make more money? Is it because they have degrees in Film Studies or something?

  18. Watched the vox pops from Wales on Newsnight just now. Rather depressing, not so much for this GE but for the longer term. One woman in particular had always been Lab but looks like switching because that one whose name she can’t quite remember (May) is alright but she doesn’t like Corbyn. There’s a good chance that having made the switch she’ll stay switched, at least until the Tories make their next humungous mess (though that could easily be very soon – NHS, crime, housing, elderly care,migration already off the rails, education, economy, employment likely to follow soon).

  19. Governments in the UK rarely change unless there is a humungous mess (indeed they rarely change at all). The last non-FUBAR related change of government was probably 1970.

  20. Pete B

    For heaven’s sake, look at the damn tables, instead of making daft comments!

  21. Guymonde
    That’s a tad partisan. What about raising the tax threshold, thus taking many out of income tax altogether? Stock market at or near all-time high, etc? I’m not a Tory but we need to try to stay balanced.

    G’night all.

  22. ON
    Saw your comment after what I thought would be my last post tonight. I won’t reply, as my instinct was to frame words unacceptable in polite society, which I like to think this place usually is. There are always a few barbarians who spoil it.

    Really g’night all.

  23. @PETE B

    “So poor educated people don’t vote Tory? If they’re that well-educated why don’t they make more money? Is it because they have degrees in Film Studies or something?”


    Yes, despite everything, you still seem to be overselling the earnings thing.

    There are numerous worthy, skilled careers of quite some value to us, where they don’t make loadsa money. E.g. paramedics.

    Equally there are careers where they earn a lot and aren’t much cop and cost us dearly, see Banking Crunch for details.

  24. Mctavish
    ‘ I just don’t know how Labour will have a chance to win enough number of those seats even with a new leader.’

    Not necessarily so. By 2022 people may well be fed up after 12 years of Tory Government. Moreover, Labour would possibly only need to get to circa 250 seats to form a minority non-Tory Government given likely support from a block of 60 non-Labour MPs made up of SNP , Plaid, Green, SDLP.In addition there would be likely to be 10 – 20 LibDems who by that time would not wish to pop up a Tory minority Government.

  25. @ Pete B

    I seem to remember the relationship between IQ (as opposed to education) and income stops at about 115 or thereabouts.

    People with higher IQs tend to derive greater satisfaction from pursuits that don’t necessarily increase their incomes.

  26. I think it is generally wrong when in modern society one doesn’t pay income tax, we have the technology to create a progressive taxation for every penny earned. It would help Labour immensely (would eliminate quite ambit of instinctive criticism).

  27. SSIMON

    There is a fairly good body of literature that considers IQ a flawed concept (admittedly, there is another one that doesn’t share this view).

  28. Pete B

    Yeah. That was a rather tetchy response form me – put it down to an allergic reaction to “right wingers”, after today’s Holyrood debate on the Family Cap and Rape Clause.

    he rest of this comment is general, not to you)

    Whether the condemnation of that policy by every other party in Scotland will have any effect on VI, is unknown.

    Were the issue to have salience in the English polity it would be polled, but I suspect it won’t be here.

    So, all we have is speculation!

    Lots of people who have moved from other parties to now supporting SCon will share that “to reduce the deficit, we must attack the poor” argument, and their VI will remain unchanged.

    However, there may be others who are less convinced and/or are morally outraged by the idea.

    Without polling, we can’t know, but it is clearly a salient issue in Scotland (if not anywhere else in GB), so it has the potential to affect VI.

  29. @pete b
    yes guilty as charged, though of course the tax threshold thing helps middle and higher income people more than lower income and other changes have clearly penalised the poor.
    But that’s not really the point, which is more about a perception that the current rather complacent view of the state of the nation could turn very quickly. Actually, my sense is that the view generally does change rather suddenly and sometimes without a very predictable cause ( see recent ructions in Scotland).

  30. I actually didn’t see anything disheartening about those Newsnight interviews – unless I want to blame the electorate, which is obviously self defeating. It gives an opportunity to Labour, providing that they (both sides, although at the moment there is more concern for Corbyn’s wing) could somehow revisit their confirmation bias. These are the people, with their own unique world views (even if statistically we can cluster them) that have their roots in the way in which live. So then there is an objective basis on which policies could be formulated in a sufficiently flexible manner so that groups with relative distance in their views could be captured.

    It is quite a leftist way of thinking (certainly in epistemological terms), yet the centre right seems to be better in doing it (I take out Scotland from this – the presence of the national question sets the context very differently).

    Someone (was it Robin?) in the previous thread correctly said that there is no coherent philosophy (I would say world view) in Labour’s messages, which could reflect, apart from the internal conflicts) the belief in a rigid perception of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, thus believing that some values are independent of contexts and overrule other values (misinterpreting nested decision making). Well, there is no such a thing by the evidence available.

    Judging from responses on social media (not at all scientific judgement) Labour attempts to appeal these assumed intrinsic values, which then fails when it triggers a conflict between the espoused values, and values that actually govern behaviour.

    (apologies for the quite abstract thoughts, but I think they are rather relevant to the polls, and even more relevant for actions that the Labour Party may take to address the threat what is coming).

  31. Hawthorn and others.

    You fail to understand the historic and social perspective which underlies these electoral trends. Worse still you appear unaware of the facts.

    The ‘recovery of Labour’ (in 1945) after its ‘drubbing’ (as you call it) in 1935 was not a ‘recovery’. It was the latest stage of it’s long term upswing of support.

    In 1935, Labour received 38% of the Vote, which was by far the highest it had ever had. Its’ advance placed Labour in a strong position to win any future elections. It’s support was only 9.8% behind the Tories, (which is only 3 points more than Ed Miliband was in 2015). In 1935 however labour were, 7% higher in the popular vote than Miliband managed.

    In 1945 Labour rose to 47.7%. Even that (less than 10%), rise however, was only achieved after ten years and an historic change in the social attitudes brought about by having lived through a ‘life or death’ battle. Enough people, particularly returning soldiers, and those who could remember the horrors of the 1920s and 1930s, concluded that a totally new kind of co-operative ‘socialism’ might work.

    What’s happening now, is the complete opposite. It’s the death throes of Labour. who’s electoral base has gone altogether. Labour will be down to perhaps as low as 25% in this election. It’s base in Scotland and Wales has gone, and Labour hasn’t won the highest share of the votes in England since 2001, when Tony Blair was at the pinnacle of his electability.

    There’s no way back now for the Labour Party, as presently constituted. It needs a total purge of the people who’ve joined it since 2015 and a rebuild, far in excess of what Blair achieved. When Blair took over, Labour had only narrowly lost the 1992 election and was already well ahead in the polls.

    In due course, a new opposition will arise. But it won’t be ‘Labour’ as we know it, any more.

    How long it will all take is another matter. The opposition now consists of a fragmented assortment of self indulgent warring parties so entrenched in their own diametrically opposed dogmas that they fight each other as much as they fight the Tories. For example it suits the SNP and the Lib Dems to have the Tories in power, as long as they can carry on denouncing them, and avoid public association with them.

    The Parliamentary Labour Party appears to have no connection with the Party being advertised by Corbyn. I doubt of we’ll see any any Labour politicians, apart from a tiny group of the most unpopular Corbynites and Keir Starmer who hopes to take over after Corbyn has lost, on TV in this election.

    The rest of them will be in their constituencies keeping their heads down and hoping to hold on, by disassociating themselves from the Labour Party itself.

    My view is, that Labour will just carry on as it is after the election and plunge to a slightly less (assuming it gets a proper leader by then), a disastrous defeat in 2022, by which time the new constituency boundaries will be in place, removing the existing huge bias in Labour’s favour.

    But the days of Labour being able to win an election are long gone. Only three leaders have won elections for Labour in its entire history and only then because they were exceptionally electorally attractive, clever at what they were doing, and, had (with the exception of 1945), faced disastrous Tory opponents.

    Society has so fundamentally changed it’s impossible for Labour as they are now, to win again. Their time as a viable force came in 1935, or maybe a few years earlier, and ended in 2017, although, again, the seeds of their fate have been present for years.

    The real difficulty with Labour is, the type of people it attracts as Members It attracts the disaffected, embittered, and socialists. But, for the most part, the voters are not any of these things. If they are embittered and disaffected they are equally as likely to be anti socialist than pro socialist. If they are socialist, the market is already crowded with choices like the Greens, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Lib Dems, the BNP etc.

    Attlee never had to cope with any of this. In his day people were Members of Trade Unions rather than hating them, and were willing to show self discipline and Vote Labour. Nowadays the Left are all over the place, and hot on noise, going on demos, and trolling on social media, but freezing cold on action and meeting normal people.

    Parties have no right to expect to last forever. The Tories are a remarkably successful political phenomenon, unequalled in the Democratic World, and have deep and abiding roots in society which they keep renewing. The Tories over the years have shown themselves able to adapt and reinvent themselves.

    Whether these ‘reinventions’ are anything more than superficial, is irrelevant. But the Tories do, what they have to do to win. Labour and the ‘left’ claim always to be ‘fighting’, ‘campaigning’, ‘converting’ and ‘educating’ people, to their way of thinking, and ‘smashing the Tories’.

    But they never do anything of sort. All they do is talk to one another and hurl verbal abuse at everyone else. When anyone, including their own side, offers constructive advice, they hurl abuse and accuse people of being ‘Tories’. All you hear from them is ‘Tory this’ ‘Tory that’. They imagine that just saying the word ‘Tory; gets them votes.

    The Tories on the other hand, are there on the ground week in week out, decade after decade, gathering votes.

    The best thing that can happen to Labour in this election is to suffer the biggest defeat possible. Then they might come to their senses and bring forward the time when they grow up and start from scratch to create some sort of proper potential opposition , free of the Trade Unions, Socialism ma ‘Remainer’ backwoodsmen.

    It’s a tall order and will take years.

  32. Laszlo

    No need to apologise for “abstract thoughts” (though Neil A would doubtless disagree!)

    While this is a polling site, we frequently explore the views that underlie VI.

    Indeed, VI is incomprehensible, if people think of it as a reaction to policies, or any other “rational” process.

    Most of the elections that I remember over the last 60 years have essentially been between different “world views”.

    The precipitating issues varied – state v private ownership : Scotland’s relationship to UK/the rest of the world :individualism v communitarianism etc etc.

    Lots of people have a fixed world view, and constantly vote for that (although the parties they vote for may change.

    Others are tribal loyalists and their world view is determined by their party (the authoritarian follower) so may support opposing views at different times.

    There are others …….:-)

  33. this election is becoming so unexciting that i have even been reading Old Nat posts through to the end. I regretted it of course..

  34. Nestle exporting jobs to Poland (mail) and the Times apparently led with a story about Trump putting us after the EU in trade deals (friend told me this, was she correct?).

  35. @Laszlo
    As ever, I have to read yours more than once to get them – not a criticism, you live in a more abstract sphere than I do and, whilst I struggle to make the journey, it’s often rewarding to take a short break in your sphere!
    I agree that there is no coherent world view expressed by Labour: this was true under Miliband (and I think led to canards like the Edstone and some meaningless slogans) and is equally true now, though IMO this incoherent story is being sold (or mostly not sold) by a much less credible team than 2 years ago, partly because many of the more credible ones won’t work with Corbyn, or vice versa. I’m beyond blame here, just stating a position on what i see as the facts.
    What dismayed me at the time about Newsnight was the sense that there were some tribal voters that seemed to be lost. People denigrate tribalism, but actually it is I suspect the way the vast majority vote, me largely included. People have a sense of which party is on their side and can be trusted : they don’t really know individual policies and in most cases don’t much care about them.
    The vast majority of people I doorknock will say ‘we’re all Labour here’ or ‘of course’ I vote Labour or ‘we’re Conservatives in this house’ (very often followed by, ‘but thanks for calling and good luck to you’).
    It’s vanishingly rare to be challenged on an actual policy – any challenge is more frequently about leader image (and always has been – this is not particularly a Corbyn phenomenon, though it’s more frequent now)

  36. @Oldnat

    Yougov did a poll on all-women shortlists back in 2014 (if there is a more recent one, I haven’t found it).

    They found strong opposition to the idea across all ages, genders and voting intention, with the exception of Labour voters where opposition is fairly weak (40% in favour, 46% against).

    Source: https://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/08/28/across-the-board-opposition-all-women-shortlists/

  37. guymonde

    Did you ever see that YouTube video that someone took when Labour called to canvass and they seemed taken aback to be asked about a policy ?

  38. Guymonde

    I agree that tribalism is deeply ingrained (and not necessarily bad – just a thing). Pretty much the only time that I have ever been asked about policy on a doorstep was when a LibDem supporter spent five minutes trying to delay me! It turned out he was the agent of the LibDem candidate…

    I’m also not sure about the influence of all-women shortlists. Of course many people may dislike the concept, but there is a huge jump from that to saying it significantly influences people’s voting decisions. For a start I doubt that many of the electorate are even aware.

    In other polling news I carried out a totally scientific* Twitter poll on people’s least favourite leafletting challenge, and the results are:

    Stealth dog 33%
    Second flap/killer spring 28%
    Letterbox at bottom of door 20%
    Brushes in letterbox 19%

    *1619 people were polled. Totally legit, obv.

  39. The Sheep

    You forgot spider webs strung across front paths and mailboxes somewhere outside because dogs eat stuff put through letter flaps in doors.

  40. @sheep

    I love the ‘stealth dog’ moniker

    In 1980/1 I took the desperate step as a student of taking on some work for the census.

    When the supervisor gave his brief introduction to our task the mood in our little group of canvassers plummeted.

    We were advised that the canvassing was going very well, then given a long briefing on how to run away when threatened. The penny slowly dropped that with poll tax being based on numbers, census canvassers were to say the least unwelcome.

    Our situation was as bad as it cold be as we were about to canvas one of the worst estates in our Scottish town.

    I had a few angry shouts and slammed doors (and an unfortunate and horrible one where I suspiciously enquired about a husband only to find he had died that morning).

    But the one that sticks in my memory was at the top of a block of council flats , about 4 stories high. I banged on a very scruffy door a few days and was about to mark it down (thankfully) as a no show when the door swung open and a bedraggled man in a semmit (vest) Rab C Nesbit would have put in the wash asked what I wanted. I started my spiel about the census and he gave me a baleful stare, and without a word to me turned to look behind him and shouted “SATAN!”

    I thought this might just be an expletive but an inner door burst open and a large pitch black hellhound with bared teeth came storming towards me.

    I honestly think if there was a world record for descending stairs I would have comfortably broken it.

    I am ashamed to admit I ticked the box for ‘tried three times but no response’ meaning that my supervisor would have to visit him next.,.

  41. After delivering leaflets I have great respect for postmen and women. Those brushes are awful.

    I would be crap at actual canvassing as my biggest fear is someone opening the door and engaging with me.

    As for Labour’s message, I would like to see a link made in their campaigning between poor social services, housing security, pay and conditions, and poor productivity ( is there research on this?).

    A happy workforce is a productive workforce sort of thing.
    A Maslow sort of thing I suppose as Laszlo brings it up above.

    “at least until the Tories make their next humungous mess (though that could easily be very soon – NHS, crime, housing, elderly care,migration already off the rails, education, economy, employment likely to follow soon).”

    That looks a trifle partisan, let’s look at what the voters think now:
    The Tories have a 29% lead on the economy and a 3% lead on the NHS (Sunday’s YouGov). From memory they are about evens on education and well ahead (as always) on crime, and employment. I think Labour leads on housing.

  43. TOH

    :-) :-) :-)

  44. @ Old Nat


    The funny thing is that Hadrian’s wall here is never going to be built. But this is a good way of throwing a further monkey wrench into the planning.

  45. COLIN

    I think the Tory lead on the NHS is interesting. Obviously one conclusion is that Labour would not do any better and of course the Welsh experience backs that up, but is it also an indication that the voters actually “get” that there is no simple answer and that a change to the method of funding is going to be required?

  46. @ Old Nat

    There’s something else interesting thinking about world views. We increasingly have a paradigm in politics of global financial elites v. right wing, racist, zenophobic, populist backlash. You see this in the Macron v. LePen runoff in France. You seem to have avoided this in Scotland (every part of Scotland voted against Brexit). We’ve avoided it out here too (mostly).

  47. @TOH
    To be fair, I did plead guilty! Apologies. I made a later post which was a more polling-related version of the story – along the lines that political direction often changes as a result of an unexpected event – not always particularly earth-shattering – changing the narrative.
    Well, allow me a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, pretty please.

  48. COLIN
    That article in the newstatesman is remarkable.

  49. I have come to the conclusion that Labour will cease to exist if the polls lead to the type of results Professor Curtice envisages (i.e. the possibility of Labour on 120 seats and restricted to London Liverpool and some other places) see: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/26/labour-sandbags-survive-yory-tidal-wave-tactical-voting-progressive-alliances.
    My reasoning is that the differences between those in the PLP and a large group of the membership cannot continue: there will be a split and the only question will be who gets the assets. Such a split will further denude Labour of its appeal and is bound to change the centre of gravity in political parties (e.g. SDP MkII or an expansion of Liberal Democrats). In our FPTP system is that will lead to huge parliamentary majorities and in Lord Hailsham’s words “an elected dictatorship”. This may raise social tensions to a dangerous level: even those who are died in the wool conservatives must begin to realise the dangers: it almost happened with Blair, the supine posture of the opposition to the Iraq war shows the kind of problems that can emerge.

1 2