YouGov have released their first (Britain-wide) poll of 2015, breaking a two-week drought...
Britain-wide voting intentions (YouGov, 4th-5th January) :
Labour 34% (-2)
Conservatives 31% (-1)
UKIP 14% (-2)
Greens 8% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 7% (+1)
SNP/Plaid Cymru 4% (n/c)
The biggest oddity is the drop in UKIP's vote, which has happened in spite of a major methodological change that ought to have boosted the reported vote for the party, arguably by quite a bit. YouGov have started prompting for UKIP along with the other "main" parties, rather than sending respondents to a second menu of options if they say they plan to vote for "some other party". However, there are two unusual factors at play in the poll - the first is the methodological change, and the second is the Christmas interruption. So it's not totally impossible (albeit probably unlikely) that prompting for UKIP is indeed having an effect, but that a substantial drop in the UKIP vote over the last fortnight is more than offsetting the impact.
Most important for our purposes is of course the Scottish subsample, which is showing : SNP 46%, Labour 30%, Conservatives 12%, Greens 6%, Liberal Democrats 3%, UKIP 2%. The 16-point SNP lead is entirely typical of the results we were seeing between the referendum and Christmas. When considered in combination with yesterday's Populus subsample, it increases the likelihood that the festive break has had no detrimental effect on the SNP's fortunes.
Intriguingly, though, today's subsample is not directly comparable with the pre-Christmas subsamples, because YouGov seem to have followed Angus Reid's good example by introducing a measure of Scotland-specific weighting (or at least sampling) for the first time - the exact words are "we are controlling our sampling in London and Scotland more carefully". It's also cryptically added that "anyone who regularly studies our crossbreaks may notice a difference within them", without any clue as to what that difference is likely to be. My guess is that we may be looking at grim news for the Scottish Tories and the Scottish Lib Dems in particular, because both parties have an especially low share of the vote today. That could add weight to the seemingly outlandish projections from full-scale Scottish polls that suggest the Tories might just lose David Mundell's seat to the SNP. Whether there's going to be any impact on the national gap between the SNP and Labour is harder to say, although the vote share for both is a bit higher than the recent average.
The party system in London is not as distinct as Scotland's, but presumably the logic for London-specific sampling is the bucking of the England-wide trend that was seen in the city in the European election results, with Labour doing particularly well and UKIP doing particularly badly.
From today until the general election, we should never again have to wait more than 48 hours for a fresh poll - as far as I can remember, YouGov don't take an Easter break or anything like that.
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UPDATE : Bizarrely, the former Labour MP Nick Palmer (who is a decent sort, not generally known for trolling) has leapt on the change in YouGov's methodology, and claimed that "the Scottish subsample today shows a narrower gap than usual". All I can do is point out the bleedin' obvious - that's simply not true. It's the opposite of the truth. A 16-point SNP lead is within YouGov's normal range, and if anything is towards the higher end of it.
I can only guess that Nick is so fixated on Labour's vote that he automatically assumes that a slightly higher Labour share must mean a lower SNP lead. It doesn't.