Tuesday, January 20, 2015

If you thought there was something fishy about the latest Panelbase poll, you were probably right

Many of you will recall that the famous YouGov poll on the penultimate weekend was not in fact the first time in the long referendum campaign that Yes had been in the lead.  The first time was a whole year earlier, when a Panelbase poll commissioned by the SNP put Yes ahead by a wafer-thin 1% margin.  But that poll was immediately rubbished by John Curtice, who claimed it had no credibility because of an unusual question sequence - the voting intention question had been asked third rather than first, and had been immediately preceded by a question that might be construed as leading.  He thereafter invariably referred to that poll as "a much-criticised poll from Panelbase", which was slightly amusing given that he was the one that had done the vast bulk of the much-criticising.  It effectively amounted to "John Curtice says the poll is bad because John Curtice says the poll is bad because..." and so on into infinity.

Bearing in mind that he made such a song and dance about the unreliability of that referendum poll, it's a tad troubling that Professor Curtice didn't bother to flag up that this weekend's Panelbase poll (showing a cut in the SNP's lead to "only" 10%) has an almost identical flaw.  We only found out about that yesterday when the datasets were published, but Curtice must presumably have known on Saturday or Sunday when he wrote his analysis.  Once again, the voting intention question was asked third, and was immediately preceded by a leading question - but this time one that was intended to cast independence (if not the SNP specifically) in a negative light.  The wording of the question points out that the oil price has fallen, which is something that some respondents will not have known or will only have been dimly aware of, and then presents this development as something that might affect the case for independence.  The reaction that people are "supposed" to have is obvious.  In response to the voting intention question that was asked immediately afterwards, it's noticeable that considerably fewer Yes voters from September said they would vote for the SNP than was the case in the Survation poll.  That in itself can explain much of the big disparity between the two polls.

Can we know for sure that the result of the poll was affected by the question sequence?  Of course not.  But we didn't know that was true of the "much-criticised" referendum poll either - it was simply assumed to be the case because the result was so far out of line with all the other available information.  That's exactly the position we're in again now.  Until and unless Panelbase replicate the lower SNP lead in a poll with a more conventional methodology, I'll be inclined to regard their weekend poll as somewhat suspect.

We've had three new Scottish subsamples from GB-wide polls over the last 24 hours :

Ashcroft : SNP 58%, Labour 24%, Conservatives 8%, Greens 4%, Liberal Democrats 4%, UKIP 1%

YouGov : SNP 40%, Labour 33%, Conservatives 17%, Liberal Democrats 5%, Greens 4%, UKIP 1%

Populus : SNP 32%, Labour 28%, Conservatives 25%, Liberal Democrats 6%, UKIP 5%, Greens 3%

Populus are consistently the most pessimistic pollster for the SNP (with the possible exception of TNS-BMRB who report much less frequently), so their result is fairly average.  The Ashcroft result is of course particularly good for the SNP, while the YouGov result shows a lower SNP lead than usual - due to the Labour vote being untypically high rather than the SNP vote being untypically low.

Enthusiasts for subsample cherry-picking, such as Mike Smithson and the new batch of trolls that we've welcomed to this blog recently, will doubtless be beside themselves with excitement to learn that a second successive YouGov subsample has shown a narrower gap.  But those results were immediately preceded by a batch of subsamples from the same firm showing large SNP leads.  So while it'll certainly be worth keeping an eye on tomorrow morning's result, the balance of probability is very much that we're merely looking at normal sampling variation.

67 comments:

  1. If you go into the tables, you can see what effect the question order may have had.

    In the Panelbase poll, 75% of Yes voters intend to vote SNP, 14% Labour and everyone else 4% or less.

    In the Survation poll, conducted in a period overlapping with Panelbase, 85% of Yes voters intend to vote SNP, 8% Labour and everyone else 3% or less.

    That doesn't sound like a huge difference, but Yes voters make up about 38% of the electorate. No voters are 47% and 15% didn't vote in the referendum.

    If Panelbase had obtained the same result as Survation for the split of Yes voters, the SNP would have been about 4 points higher (10% x 37%) and Labour would have been about 2 points (6% x 37%) lower.

    Guess what? The Panelbase poll found that the SNP were four points down on their last poll and Labour were 3 points up. In other words, the "change" in opinion found by Panelbase is largely due to their methodology.

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  2. In the next panelbase, we can stick this in before the VI question:

    "The Labour party recently voted in support of the Conservative's 'Austerity Charter', committing them to massive cuts to public services and welfare. Some have speculated that this move was made in preparation for a Labour-Conservative coalition following May's general election. Neither party has ruled out this possibility. Do you think Labour were right to vote with the conservatives on the Austerity charter?"

    Do you think it might change the result?

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    1. Would be great to see it done just to test the theory :-)

      I think RevStu is out of PollMoney, so we might need to ask Panelbase direct ...

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    2. The country needs to live within its means. To show their commitment to fiscal discipline, both main parties have now signed a charter of budgetary responsibility (not an 'austerity charter' as you call it).

      National unity coalition? I'd love it. No mad SNPers or Greens or UKIPers holding the nation to ransom. Sounds great.

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    3. The type of "national unity" coalition you have in mind would be a delicious contradiction in terms, because nothing would lead to independence more quickly.

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    4. The people of Scotland have voted against independence.

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    5. Long time ago now. Time for another vote.

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    6. LOL!

      We'll be sitting here twenty years from now, still in the UK, with the SNP a reduced force in Scottish politics. Schools and colleges will teach about the late 2000s recession and how it temporarily boosted fringe movements, with near disastrous results as Scotland narrowly avoided becoming independent on the eve of the great oil crisis.

      You know it's true. You'll be sitting in the pub in 20 years thinking "that guy was right" ;0)

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    7. Great to see George "Nostradamus" Robertson posting here again.

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    8. John Hofmeister erstwhile President of Shell Oil, who correctly predicted the precipitous rise in U.S. petrol prices in 2012, thanks to rising crude oil prices, says: "The next round of high prices is likely to start later this year, as crude rebounds to the $80s and $90s, perhaps pushing to the $100 level by late in the year or early next,"

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    9. James Kelly: "Great to see George "Nostradamus" Robertson posting here again."


      That wouldn't be George Islay MacNeill Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen KT, GCMG, FRSA, FRSE, PC, would it?

      Not the infamous "the wuruld is dooomed!" if Scotland becomes independent, George Robertson?

      The European Union will erupt, Spain will splinter, Belgium will bifurcate, and nation shall no longer speak unto nation, Robertson? The influence of the West will wane until it is forever extinguished, Robertson?

      The same George who warned western culture would be eviscerated at the instant Scottish independence was formally declared? As Scotland goes, so goes the wuruld?

      Surely not George, the global economy will be as a dried prune – its precious bodily fluids sucked out of it, Robertson?

      Would that be the same precious bodily fluids cited by US General Jack D. Ripper in Dr Strangelove? Because there is something disturbingly Ripperesque about THAT Robertson’s intervention.

      In this speech to Brookings he raised camp and hyperbole to the level of a clinical disorder.

      I’m seriously worried about George. I don't think they should have restored his internet privileges so soon.

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  3. One has to question the very, very long delay for the tables to be published, it was over 24 hours was it not? I don't recall any tables being delayed so long in the year I've been following this blog.

    That this has been part of a deliberate strategy has to be questioned and panelbase have some questions to answer themselves.

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    1. During the referendum campaign, Panelbase used to be pretty good about getting their datasets up quickly - they even posted them on Sundays when the likes of YouGov didn't bother (ICM, oddly enough, were the worst of the lot). I'm guessing they probably think there's less urgency now.

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  4. Prof Curtis must comment, the fact he discredited a poll in favour of indy but ignored the same flaw in a poll in favour for Labour suggests he may be biased.

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    1. "Suggests"? Shome mishtake shurely?

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    2. Uh-uh, no mistake . . . and stop calling me Shirley.

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  5. I suppose there is a "glass half full" way to look at the Panelbase poll.

    The question sequence used was unfavourable for the SNP, yet it *still* showed a ten point lead for the SNP. It is also somewhat useful in quantifying the effect of the oil price movement on public opinion if it is put right in front of people, i.e. it shows some effect, but fairly limited.

    Another point to bear in mind before criticising Panelbase is that the question order may have been requested by the client (Wings!), perhaps not realising the effect it would have on VI.

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    1. No, according to Panelbase, the client for those three questions was the Sunday Times. The questions commissioned by Wings were probably asked afterwards.

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  6. I took part in the Populus poll. For someone who is relatively new to this whole politics thing - I came away feeling I had been backed into a corner and made to admit that David Cameron was doing OK as PM. My answers were confusing and at one point I did state to the guy on the phone that I thought his questions were very leading!

    Sometimes I just think these polls are used to project a false impression to the public ;-)

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  7. James, as I noted in the comments in the last thread, this is a good point and needs wider circulation. The poll is not without value, since the movement in the oil price is sure to be lovingly dwelt upon by unionists, but it cannot be directly compared with other opinion polls or with the previous Panelbase poll.

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  8. Helpful for the unionists, as it lets them know that ramming low oil prices down our throats affects support for SNP.

    Therefore expect the media to be banging on about low oil prices from now until Friday 8 May 2015.

    Have to say the YouGov poll worries me. (Not populus - there is no way the Conservatives will poll 25%). Can't get my head round the concept that a third of Scots would vote Labour. But I can see that happening through tactical Conservative and Lib Dem votes.

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    1. It doesn't really work like that, though - even with a biased media, you can't replicate the effect of an entire population having a single negative thought put in their heads ten seconds before they vote. The only significance of the question sequence is that it makes the poll less reliable.

      The YouGov subsample is of no great significance given the batch of subsamples showing the SNP well ahead last week. Day to day variation is totally normal.

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    2. YG 33% for Labour is a Subset figure. The margin of Error is huge (>10%? ) as sample size only around 100-200 compared to >1000 for full poll ( around 3% MoE)

      Survation showed only 59% of Labour voters want Labour majority, compared to 80% Tories for their majority! Shows >40% Labour vote even at 26% is soft, the SLab Core could be as low as 16% now.


      James - perhaps worth appending the MoE %when showing the Subsample figs ?

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    3. "Can't get my head round the concept that a third of Scots would vote Labour. But I can see that happening through tactical Conservative and Lib Dem votes."

      The basic situation within a lot of constituencies now is that if you don't want the SNP to win and you don't have any extremely strong opinions about another party (e.g. being a diehard Tory or a UKIP obsessive) then you don't really have much option but to vote Labour.

      Do you throw your vote away on the Lib Dems? You can't vote Green because they support independence and the Tories are the Tories. Labour are getting a certain chunk of their votes simply because of that dynamic, not because people actually like them in my opinion - which ties into the figures Gordon has quoted above.

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    4. Hopefully the westminster bubble twits really are that stupid. It's not just the basic point about it merely being one leading question in a poll, (which skews the VI question) but that whenever it does get raised elsewhere there is no way on earth that even the London unionist TV broadcasters can do so without it being obvious that these are real jobs and people's lives we are talking about. If the out of touch twats seriously think that's going to come across as proof that we are "Better Together" (given that only a fool wouldn't have realised that particular unionist claim and the VOW it is based on is going to feature somewhat heavily during the GE campaign) then by all means, let them do so.

      It's hard to believe these imbeciles still haven't grasped how massively out of touch and unpopular the scottish public views the likes of little Ed, the fop Cameron and calamity Clegg. Looks like they will have to find out the hard way.

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  9. Yes, kind of like:

    "Every expert in the world in fact the multiverse has said that the SNP are responsible for the oil price crash, the banks, the economy, austerity, the high price of energy and the price of dog food, and Nick Robinson do you agree?"

    Followed by "Who will you vote for in the General Election:"

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  10. We do indeed lack evidence to back up the Panelbase poll so it has to be treated with caution until we get more polling evidence showing a swing to Labour (which might never come). It may well be that the question order is the reason for that if it is an outlier - or it could just be the random variance you get in polling. Sometimes polls get it wrong for a specific reason, sometimes they get it wrong just because of the inherent inaccuracy of polling.

    However I would really stop short of trying to argue the original Panelbase poll that showed Yes ahead was anything other than an outlier. The referendum was one of the most polled events in British political history and nobody was matching that result at the time (or for even a year after it was published). Aside from anything else, it actually suits the pro-independence narrative for that poll to be wrong because the implication of it being right would be that Yes was ahead with a year to go and the support slowly eroded to the extent that No won the referendum 55-45%.

    I really don't know why we'd even go there - the poll was almost certainly wrong and Curtice's explanation seems a fairly reasonable one to me (in the absence of any other explanation).

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    1. I think James was querying why Curtice did not draw attention to the strange question order in the Panelbase poll, rather than saying he should not have criticised the summer 2013 independence poll.

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    2. I know that's what he's suggesting, I'm just saying we really shouldn't go too far down that road of implying Curtice was wrong in the first place.

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    3. There's a good chance the whole purpose of the SNP Indy poll was to indeed produce a YES result, so as to try to change public opinion, which had previously seen Independence as an unlikely event, just wanted by a few extremists, not mainstream.

      There's a good chance this deliberately biased Panelbase poll apparently showing Labour catching up, is the same - an attempt to influence the electorate.

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    4. Some detail from the latest ICM poll that will make those who like Scottish sub-samples happier:

      Tom Clark ‏@guardian_clark · 2m2 minutes ago
      SNP is at 5% GB-wide, and at 52% in (admittedly smallish) Scottish subsample

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    5. Scotland subset:
      52% SNP
      24% Lab
      13% Con
      11% Lib

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  11. You mention that there has been an increase in trolls visiting this site. Other pro-Indy sites are also experiencing a recent increase in trolls.

    Could it really be just a co-incidence that trolling has increased at the same time as John McTernan has become spin-doctor for the Labour branch office in Scotland?

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    1. No - I think it is just blind panic from the Unionists that the SNP are consistently around ~45% of the vote and they have not even started their campaign.

      hoss

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  12. I see Mike Smithson was excited about Rob Hayward pointing out that there had not been much sign of an increase in SNP support in the handful of council by-elections since the referendum, apart from the south Argyll result. I see that there is a by-election in Kirkcaldy this week, which I would think Labour would win because they comfortably won most votes in the ward in 2012. Technically it would be a Labour gain, since it was an SNP member who resigned.

    I think Hayward's analysis may be a case of comparing apples with oranges; i.e. support for the SNP in Westminster is catching up with their support for Holyrood, rather than support across the board increasing. It's also comparing with a different baseline, i.e. the changes are relative to the 2012 council elections, which the SNP won overall. Then you also have the issue of the elections being in different formats (FPTP for Westminster, STV for the main council elections and AV for the council by-elections).

    Any other thoughts on this?

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    1. I think part of what we're seeing is the end of the Labour-SNP hybrid voter in Scotland (i.e. the voters who would back Labour in Westminster, but back the SNP in Holyrood). So long as independence is on the agenda (and it still is whatever anyone says) people are going to have a hard time backing two parties that have completely different views on the subject, even if in principle the parties agree on other issues like the economy.

      So I agree that at least some of the SNP support in the polling is existing SNP supporters changing how they vote, rather than people who have never voted for the party becoming new SNP supporters. I don't think that's the whole story - there must be people out there who had never voted who became new SNP supporters during the referendum, for instance. As a Labour voter part of me hopes there's nevertheless a bit of a residual effect going on from the referendum and that it will fall away the closer we get to May.

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    2. I think this is spot on. I've always been in favour of independence but loaned my vote to Lab for westminster elections to tactically stop the Tories. Following the iref there's no way I'll ever vote for Lab again and in any case I'm no longer sure a Lab govt would be appreciably different to a Tory one.

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    3. Agreed, but I have a slightly different perspective - I voted SNP in 2007 and 2011, but never dreamed of voting for them in 2010. Independence per se wasn't the key for me, and I'd have been happy with something a bit more devomax - at the time, constitutional issues weren't top of my agenda at all. The referendum campaign made me confront all of that, and it polarised things - it's that horrible experience of seeing people who you think of as your representatives lining up with, and spouting, the opinions of those you know to be your enemies. It's a loyalties issue: the link is broken, just as it was for many Lib Dem voters when they saw Clegg with Cameron in the rose garden. After that, you can't really go back. You couldn't really feel the same way about them again. I defended Gordon Brown against all-comers till after the last general election - I sympathised with him in his agonies. Now, after the referendum campaign, I can't stand the sight of the man.

      I don't think many Labour loyalists yet realise that a lot of people have been through a similar experience, catalysed in particular by those summer months last year. Labour cheated on us, and we're not going to take them back.

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    4. Me too. The referendum process completely changed my political outlook. If I went back to NZ to live I would vote NZ Labour again. But in the UK? no way. Not this side of Independence with them finally being forced to see the light, with a lot of new people.

      Add in being impressed by the SNP in govt. I used to think they were unprincipled and populist in a bad way, saying one thing to one group and another to other groups. I had an email conversation with someone in head office over their then opposition to GM crops that pretty much confirmed this. So I started as a pretty tribal Labour person who wanted DevoMax and distrusted the SNP to a RIC activist who is happy to vote SNP but will probably give my Holyrood party vote to the Greens (we are all conflicted over policy choices).

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  13. I noted from the referendum that given a YES/NO question polls it was impossible to predict the OUTCOME with any confidence. I appreciate how naive this sounds but we are now in a similar situation. This is not an election between two major parties and neither is it between a strong party with lesser parties competing ie Lab on its way down and Greens on their way up. Given the unionist parties fears this will be an election purely on ONE question - YES or NO to the SNP. Whilst the average voter would be happy with an SNP/Lab coalition at Westminster we have to remember that Cons would rather vote Labour than have SNP, likewise Labour's Red Tories would actually vote for the Tories to keep SNP out and they'd both do the same to put LibDems ahead. Scots have been voting tactically for decades, its nothing new but what IS new is ORGANISED tactical voting. Effectively a 'negative' vote. This will skew the results. No matter how hard they try there will be many who could not stomach voting for the old enemy but I can see it being enough to help Labour retain some seats and Tories and LibDems gain other seats with a large swing. Overall this could kill Labour's chance of forming a government even with SNP. The Tories have most to gain, or least to lose depending on how you look at it. These dirty dealings COULD put the Conservatives in power. If Labour carry on down the road they're on Ed will be history. Ed would be unhappy but cui bono??

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    1. We should see tactical voting in the polls if it is to occur. It's very obvious (e.g. SNP opting for Lib and Lab) ahead of past GE's. 2010 is a classic example. Timescales-wise, we should have been seeing the SNP losing support since mid 2014 steadily to both Labour and the Libs if the standard pattern was to repeat.

      2 seats is certainly possible for the Tories. Libs could hold 2 and maybe 3. Really depends on what happens in e.g. some borders areas.

      Certainly, the worst thing a Scottish voter could do right now if they hate the Tories and quite like the SNP is vote Labour. Labour are, according to polls, on for a hiding. If you vote for a party that has little chance of winning then odds on you are throwing your vote away under FPTP. A vote for Labour in Scotland right now looks like a wasted vote. Given the high level of support for the SNP, you can be much more assured your vote will be counted.

      If the SNP get a majority of Scots MPs, then Westminster has a serious democratic mandate problem in Scotland as Scotland just voted nationalist/home rulist/devo maxist, i.e. it withdrew much of Westminster's mandate to govern. That's much more powerful than e.g. voting Labour, splitting the anti-Tory vote and maybe helping them in by the back door.

      In the old days, when Labour polled 40%+ and the SNP 20%, Labour could to a reasonable extent argue that a vote for them would not be wasted and could help stop the Tories. Now the polls are the other way around, Labour need to accept their own logic applies in reverse.

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    2. Oooh a Concern Troll.

      No Lib Dems will win seats on tactical voting.
      No Tories will win seats on tactical voting.
      There is not even a single seat either Yellow or Blue Tories will win on a vote split.

      Concern addressed.

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    3. A vote for Labour in Scotland right now looks like a wasted vote. Given the high level of support for the SNP, you can be much more assured your vote will be counted.

      Are you saying this is what people might think, or are you saying it's the actual situation?

      Labour are consistently the second party in Scottish polls. If you're saying that a vote for them is wasted because they won't win, then there's no point voting for anyone, including the SNP, because the SNP will win whatever you do!

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    4. I was just turning around Labour's argument when they've been well ahead in polls...'A vote for the SNP helps the Tories'. That, logically, should now be the other way around now the SNP are in poll position using Labour logic.

      ;-)

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    5. "Labour are, according to polls, on for a hiding. If you vote for a party that has little chance of winning then odds on you are throwing your vote away under FPTP. A vote for Labour in Scotland right now looks like a wasted vote. Given the high level of support for the SNP, you can be much more assured your vote will be counted."

      If that's supposed to be a semi-serious dig at Labour for the purposes of humour then fair enough, but clearly tactical voting isn't about giving your vote to whichever party is going to win so you can feel better about your vote "counting" (in fact a vote for a party that's miles ahead doesn't really "count" any more than a vote for a party that's miles behind). It's about supporters of a lesser party voting for a different party to influence a close contest.

      Tactical voting is a real issue, but it's not an anti-SNP issue. It's quite likely most SSP and at least a majority of Green supporters are tactically voting for the SNP at this point. You can see that in the polling because the SSP and Greens are getting much lower numbers in Westminster than they are in the regional vote at Holyrood (some variance is to be expected, but the change here is much larger than you'd expect in the Survation poll - and the SNP's vote share drops dramatically between the constituency and the regional vote, where they only lost 1.4% in 2011).

      So it works both ways and one of the key factors in the election might well be who can mobilise those tactical voters most effectively.

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    6. I agree. You can actually see Green and SSP voter tactical plans by comparing Holyrood and Westminster intentions. Likewise constituency vs list for Holyrood.

      No evidence for any significant tactical unionist vote that I can see. Lab, Libs and Con sitting on holyrood 2011 list type levels - i.e. what core support was already in 2011.

      What the referendum seems to have done is eliminate tactical support for Labour and the Libs at Westminster level, making SNP voters and those that leaned towards them increasingly since Tony, no longer willing to hold their nose and vote for the donkey with the red rosette to stop the Tories.

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  14. LOL

    Why on earth would anyone take "stuff the jocks" Smithson on Stormfront Lite seriously?

    The data is laughably insufficient for the westminster bubble twits to take comfort from given the preponderance of rural seats, voting system used, vastly differing results and tiny number that have actually taken place.

    Clegg's ostrich faction and it's inept spinners like Smithson used to try to hype up the the lib dems chances by cherry picking council seats but they've even stopped doing that now given how laughably unpopular Clegg has made the lib dems and how blatantly obvious it is that they are headed for utter disaster.

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    1. Speaking of which, my household (in Cornwall) received a booklet from the Lib Dems today. You had to read it very thoroughly to find out it was a Lib Dem leaflet though. Titled "Cornish Voice" (appealing to Cornish nationalists?). Only the back page had the Lib Dem colour or logo. No sign of Clegg, of course.

      Absolutely pathetic. I'm embarrassed to admit I voted for them as recently as 2005.

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    2. "Only the back page had the Lib Dem colour or logo. No sign of Clegg, of course."

      That, in a nutshell, was always going to be the end result when the other lib dem MPs didn't have the balls to boot Clegg out and replace him as leader.

      Don't get me wrong, replacing Clegg would have been no panacea for the lib dems, but as I kept pointing out years ago the longer Clegg stayed as leader the more toxic he would make the lib dems as a whole. Instead Clegg's ostrich faction made things even worse by using every election (local, EU etc.) and every public pronouncement as some kind of half-arsed platform in a doomed attempt to detoxify Clegg himself. They are still at it hiring public relations chimps to try and 'soften' Clegg's image while his obsequious spinners carry on like everything is fine and a few more photo ops and radio call-ins will turn the tide. Utterly clueless.

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  15. The polls are looking so much better for Scottish Labour. Gap down to 10% the other day, now Populus showing only a 4% lead for the SNP and YouGov showing 7%. It would appear that the Ashcroft poll is an outlier and that the SNP are running out of steam.

    Jim Murphy's charisma and leadership are bringing voters back home to the Scottish Labour party.

    Looking forward to our win in May and to holding all our seats in Glasgow with large majorities.

    Happy to help.

    P Charles

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    1. Do grow up, old chap. Do you honestly think people are too stupid to understand the difference between a full-scale poll and a subsample?

      The standard of your trolling just ain't what it used to be.

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    2. Superb!

      Top quality satire and spoofery.

      We must assume the P is for Pisstake.

      Happy to enjoy your subversive comedy stylings, Chuck. ;o)

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    3. Oh dear, a Tory pretending to be a Labourite for the purposes of trolling.

      I'm struggling to think of anything more pathetic.

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    4. Oh P Charles, please do the author a favour and read the fucking post before you reply to it.

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    5. The 'happy to help' sign-off reminds me of an utter bore who used to spray the comments sections on the Scotsman and elsewhere with pish on a tediously regular basis. S/he was a right laugh - glad to see him/her back in action.

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  16. 'A vote for Labour is a wasted Vote'

    It doesn't matter how High or Low, Scottish Labours % share of the vote is, anyone who votes for them is wasting their vote and this needs to be shared with the voters during the election Campaign.

    My evidence is simple, Labour MP's en mass, did not attend or vote on the Trident debate, various Bedroom Tax debates, austerity debates, in fact a lot of debates that would impact hugely on Scotland!

    They also traipsed through Westminster shoulder to shoulder with the Tory, & Lib Dems and voted for £30 BILLION pounds of further cuts that will have a disproportionate effect on Glasgow, because they were ordered to do so.

    This was clearly against a lot of Scottish Labours MP's constituents best interests, as a lot of them are in some of the most deprived areas in the whole of the UK.

    But this wasn't as important as the fact that Ed was frightened that the Tory's would make political capital in the Middle England, if they voted against these cuts.

    So time and time again, the people of Scotland have given Labour MP's their vote, believing that these Labour MP's would fight for what was in their best interests, only for Scottish Labour MP's to either refuse to vote against, or even vote for, policies that would in fact damage these same voters, as well as policies that polling evidence shows time and time again Scots feel strongly about.

    So any Labour voters reading this, don't waste your vote, vote for a party that will genuinely fight for Scotland's best interests...

    ...EVERY TIME.

    whether it's SNP or Greens or any other Scottish Party, is entirely up to you, just don't waste your vote on Labour, as they have surely betrayed Scotland for long enough!

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  17. WeSaidNoToYesMen :-)January 20, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    This is such excellent news, if you plot the trajectory of Labour's vote on a graph we are now set to overtake the SNP by mid March and have a 20 point lead by voting day.

    Not only are Labour on schedule to keep all our seats in Scotland, we are now also predicted to take all 6 SNP seats, especially as our hundreds of thousands of foot soldiers will be campaigning like fury in these constituencies.

    We will probably allow David Mundell to keep his seat as completely eliminating the Tories from Scotland would just end up giving the SNP something to gloat about, it would be better for Labour if at least one Tory remained.

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    1. I expect Nicola Sturgeon will be begging to join Labour by the end of January. But you won't have her as you wouldn't want to be associated with the stench of failure.

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  18. One piece of analysis that struck me as worthy of comment was this contribution from the world's foremost expert on politics John Curtice:

    " no less than 59% of Labour supporters want a majority Labour government while just 17% back an arrangement with the SNP. "

    This was part of his commentary on yesterday's Survation Poll.

    http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2015/01/labour-still-mountain-climb-new-survation-poll/

    Now I may be missing something here, but if this is true, what do the other 41% of Labour supporters want?

    There is talk earlier in the article about 35% of all voters in Scotland wanting a Labour/Snp coalition at Westminster, but he is not talking about the same thing, surely?

    What am I missing here?

    Confused, Renfrewshire

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    1. You quoted all you need to know

      " no less than 59% of Labour supporters want a majority Labour government while just 17% back an arrangement with the SNP. "

      He writes up 59% of Labour voters wanting a Labour government AS IF ITS A GOOD THING. Really the most bizarre comment you could imagine.

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    2. If you look at the data table it tells you what they want:

      59% want a Labour majority
      16.9% want a Labour/SNP coalition
      12.5% want a Labour/Lib Dem coalition
      9.4% want a Labour/UKIP coalition
      1.2% want a Conservative majority

      What the last two tell you is that there is indeed some tactical voting going on here - you can't call it anything else if you have a Labour voter backing a Conservative majority. I'd imagine the UKIP figure is also a product of UKIP supporters realising their party can't win and backing Labour instead of the SNP (I find UKIP supporters tend to hate the SNP and the Lib Dems the most so if they were to tactically vote it would be for Labour or the Tories).

      Strangely enough if you look at the SNP voters' figures they also have some interesting numbers like 4.1% wanting a Conservative majority, 20% wanting a Conservative/SNP coalition, and 2.7% wanting a Conservative/UKIP coalition.

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    3. Perhaps some SNP voters are hoping that a Tory/UKIP coalition will act so badly towards Scotland that the Scottish Government will be pushed into making a unilateral declaration of independence.

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    4. There are three explanations I can see:

      1. The one you've mentioned - the existence of what might be called "destructive nationalism" (i.e. the desire to make the UK worse in the hope it will encourage more people to back independence). From my experience there aren't many people who think that way, but they do exist.

      2. Tories tactically voting for the SNP to stop Labour winning seats in their constituency (highly possible some people are still thinking this way).

      3. Independence supporters who are on the centre-right. We almost act sometimes as if such people don't exist, but it's quite possible for someone to support centre-right politics and independence. The two things are in no way mutually exclusive - the old Scottish Party was a centre-right party in many respects before it merged with the NPS.

      In truth it's probably a combination of all three.

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  19. The Answer. A sad racist turd of subhuman vomit who can still be found among the Nazis of the Telegraph signed off with "happy to help". Shame they're still breathing but good things come to those who wait, or so it goes.

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  20. I wouldn't look to far into the 1.6% who want a Tory Government etc, figures.

    It's probably people who have either misheard or misunderstood the question.

    The 59% Labour are the die-hards. The 16.9% are Labour, but have lost a lot of faith in the party through the referendum process, but have saw that the SNP do look after Our interests, so want the best of both worlds, so to speak!

    The Ukip/Lib Dems are Labour die-hards who hate the SNP so much, they want any agreement that will keep the SNP out.

    So this is an excellent poll for the SNP, as it suggests strongly that in spite of Labours showing in the polls seeming to be at absolute rock bottom, for a party that had the overwhelming majority of seats at the last election, there's still over 16% of Labour voters who are unsure of Labour and possibly prefer the SNP.

    I would imagine that this 16% are people who have been loyal to Labour for so long and come from staunch Labour families, so see turning their backs on the party and voting SNP, as a betrayal of the family values.

    Bad news for Labour, as what we have saw over the past few years is that this discontented group almost always eventually take the plunge and start voting SNP...and once they do they rarely return to Labour.

    Happy to inform :-)

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