We finally have a Scottish poll on the Megrahi release. The Mail is reporting a new YouGov poll, which shows 43% of Scots thought that releasing Abdelbasset al-Megrahi was the right decision, with 51% saying it was wrong.

Voting intention questions were asked, but so far I can only find the Holyrood constituency figures, which are CON 16%(+2), LAB 31%(+5), LDEM 16%(+2), SNP 33%(-6). Changes are from the last YouGov poll I can find in Scotland, which was conducted back in April June.

UPDATE: There was one in June too, so changes have been updated.

UPDATE2: Full tables are now available from YouGov here.

Regional voting intention figures are CON 17%, LAB 28%, LDEM 15%, SNP 27%. Westminster voting intention figures are CON 19%, LAB 33%, LDEM 16%, SNP 25%.

Other questions that specifically asked about al-Megrahi showed 69% of people thinking that the decision had diminished Scotland’s international reputation.

Asked about the future of Kenny MacAskill, 32% of people said he should resign over his decision, 20% said they disagreed with his decision, but that he should not resign.

On other questions, asked how they would vote in a referendum on Scottish Independence using the wording that has been proposed by the SNP, 28% would vote Yes, 57% No.

We should be getting Ipsos MORI’s monthly voting intention survey soon, but in the meantime we do have their monthly issues tracker (they are done seperately these days – when MORI shifted to phone polling for their voting intention their unprompted most important issue tracker remained face-to-face).

The economy is, unsurprisingly, still seen as the most important issue, mentioned by 54% of respondents (significantly lower than its peak of 70% in January). Sharply rising now though is unemployment, the third most mentioned issue on 30%. According to MORI this is the highest level of concern over unemployment since 1995.


Canadian pollsters AngusReid have conducted a UK poll (on what appears to be a nascent UK panel) on Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s release. The poll was conducted between the 20th and 23rd of August, so presumably almost all after the announcement that he was to be released.

Given the choice of whether to release him on compassionate grounds, transfer him to a Libyan prison, or make him serve his full sentence in Scotland, 15% said they wanted him to be released, 31% transferred to Libya and 48% kept in a Scottish gaol.

There was a cross-break for Scotland, which suggested 22% of Scots supported his release, though given that there would have been very few Scots in a representative UK sample of 1,133 the crossbreak should probably be taken with a pinch of salt. The most interesting polling on the release will probably come when someone gets round to commissioning a proper Scottish poll addressing it.

ICM monthly poll

ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian has been released. The topline voting intention figures, with changes from their last poll a week and a half ago, are CON 41%(-2), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 19%(nc).

The Conservatives are down slightly from the 43% they enjoyed in the last ICM poll, but that itself was a rise from their previous poll (hence the Guardian’s report of this poll showing the Conservatives unchanged), so I think what we are actually seeing here is the same as the other polls in August so far – little or no change.

Asking specifically about the NHS, 48% thought it would improve under a Conservative government, compared to 41% who think it would be worse (I’m assuming, given those rather high figures, that people were not given the option of saying it would make no difference). Asked which party would be better on health Labour still lead, but by only 3 points, compared to 8 back in February and 13 back in 2005. Far from the row over the NHS damaging people’s perception of whether the Conservatives can be trusted with it, it looks as though they are continuing to move ahead.

ICM also asked about alternative Labour leaders. It isn’t clear exactly what they asked, but their report says David Miliband was the only one to match Brown, while Harriet Harman performed the worst.

Sunday Polls

I was up in Scotland at a wedding this weekend, so wasn’t around to herald the arrival of ComRes’s latest poll for the Independent on Sunday last night (I had set a Sunday poll discussion thread to automatically appear for you all… but it didn’t. Such is life!)

Anyway, topline figures from ComRes were CON 41%(-1), LAB 24%(nc), LDEM 18%(nc). Other parties remained on 16%. While the Conservatives have shifted slightly in the rounding, this is essentially showing no change in support at all since ComRes’s last poll at the end of July. As suggested by YouGov’s poll last weekend, the row over the NHS doesn’t seem to have had any effect upon party support.

On the specific issue of the NHS, ComRes asked if people agreed or disagreed with the statement “The NHS would be safer under Labour than the Conservatives”. 39% of people agreed, but 47% disagreed (I would, however, be slightly wary about drawing the conclusion that Andrew Hawkins of ComRes did that this means Labour have lost their advantage on the NHS. We can tell that 39% think Labour are better on the NHS, but that 47% don’t necessarily prefer the Conservatives as someone who thought both parties were equally bad could also disagree with the statement).

ComRes also found 65% of people agreeing with the idea floated by Compass that there should be a “high pay commission to curb excessive pay and bonuses”.

There was also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday. The Mail on Sunday reported the topline figures as CON 36%, LAB 24%, LDEM 17%. The changes since the last BPIX poll back in May would be Conservatives down 6, Labour up 4 and Lib Dems up 2, with others presumably remaining on 23% (it wasn’t made clear in the MoS).

Other pollsters have shown support for others falling significantly since then, so this seems somewhat anomalous. Mike Smithson has raised the question of whether these figures were re-percentaged to exclude don’t knows or not. If not, the figures obviously wouldn’t be comparable… but without the tables we can’t tell.