Saturday, January 17, 2015

SNP lead by 10% in first full-scale Scottish poll of general election year

Tonight sees the publication of the first full-scale Scottish poll of 2015, which has been conducted by Panelbase...

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 general election (Panelbase, 9th-14th January) :

SNP 41% (-4)
Labour 31% (+3)
Conservatives 14% (-1)
UKIP 7% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 3% (n/c)

As you know, the Scottish subsamples from GB-wide polls have shown absolutely no sign of a boost for Labour recently, so I'm more than a little sceptical about the apparent drop in the SNP's lead in this poll.  This is the third Panelbase poll since the referendum, and all three have shown markedly different results - the first had the SNP ahead by just two points, the second saw the gap skyrocket to seventeen points, and now we're splitting the difference with an SNP lead of ten.  The change between the first and second poll could be easily explained by the fact that the first used a discredited weighting procedure which was wisely abandoned for the second.  It's unlikely that there's been another methodological change in this poll, but we shouldn't rule it out until we see the datasets.

It could also be that there's something odd in the datasets that will leap out at us - maybe one group has been upweighted or downweighted by an extreme amount, thus potentially distorting the result.  Or we could just be looking at an extreme example of margin of error noise.  Until and unless another poll shows a narrowing of the gap, my working assumption will be that nothing's changed, and that the SNP retain the same huge advantage over Labour that they enjoyed at the end of 2014.

All the same, a 10-point lead is still plenty enough to take the SNP past the tipping-point where they would gain lots of Labour seats - even on a uniform swing.  The rather crude prediction model on the Electoral Calculus website suggests the Panelbase findings would translate to the following results...

SNP : 38 seats
Labour : 21 seats
Conservatives : 0 seats
Liberal Democrats : 0 seats

In practice we can fully expect there to be regional variations in the swing that will work in the SNP's favour.  It's also very unlikely that the Liberal Democrats will lose Orkney & Shetland, although the Tories certainly can't afford to be relaxed about their only Scottish seat.

Of the supplementary findings from the poll that have appeared on Wings over the last couple of days, the most eye-catching is the huge divergence between Scottish and English attitudes towards the BBC, with respondents in Scotland disagreeing by a margin of 45% to 42% with the proposition that "the BBC provides balanced and unbiased political coverage".  (To use the BBC's favourite phrase from late September, that's a "decisive margin".)  We have to be cautious about treating a result like this as gospel, because it's an online poll, and volunteer online polling panels tend to have a disproportionate number of politically engaged people on their books.  It's possible that a telephone poll would have been slightly more favourable for the BBC.  But if nothing else, this finding is compelling proof of what we already knew anecdotally - that there has been a catastrophic loss of trust in the state broadcaster among a large portion of the Scottish population, and that this has been directly caused by the BBC's dreadful failings during the referendum campaign (particularly during that crucial penultimate week).  When the corporation's chief political adviser Ric Bailey appeared on Scotland 2014 a few days after the referendum and attempted to defend the indefensible, he kept starting his sentences with : "The BBC is trusted because..."  After this poll, it'll have to be : "The BBC is trusted, except by viewers in Scotland, because..."

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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

This update of the Poll of Polls is based on the full-scale Panelbase poll, plus nine Scottish subsamples from GB-wide polls - six from YouGov, one from Populus, one from Ipsos-Mori and one from ComRes.  As ever, Opinium is excluded because they don't provide a geographical breakdown of their results, and the recent TNS-BMRB poll is excluded because it was too far out of date even on the day it was published!

I can't provide a vote share for the Greens, because we haven't got one yet from the Panelbase poll (and on past form it's possible that there isn't one).  What I find interesting is that adding the various subsamples to the Panelbase results makes very little difference to the SNP's share, but reduces Labour's share quite significantly, and leaves us with a markedly bigger gap between the two parties of 12.6%.  (To avoid confusion, please note that the percentage change figures below refer to something different - ie. the change since the last update of the Poll of Polls.)

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :

SNP 41.3% (n/c)
Labour 28.7% (+2.8)
Conservatives 15.8% (-1.1)
UKIP 6.2% (-0.4)
Liberal Democrats 3.6% (-2.5)

(The Poll of Polls uses the Scottish subsamples from all GB-wide polls that have been conducted entirely within the last seven days and for which datasets have been provided, and also all full-scale Scottish polls that have been conducted at least partly within the last seven days. Full-scale polls are given ten times the weighting of subsamples.)

136 comments:

  1. People are starting to see through the SNP's fantasy economics.

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    1. Why are the SNP heading for a historic win in the general election, then?

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    2. People are still angry about the referendum result. Plus the SNP is an 'anti' party (anti austerity / anti-Westminster / anti-anything that might be considered to be a wee bitty right wing). So they attract protest votes. I'm sure that, come the election, people will have calmly weighed things up and accepted the fact we are still a part of the United Kingdom. I predict a dead heat or a small lead for either the SNP or labour. Labour will win the most seats - but not by anywhere near as big a margin as last time. As for who ends up governing Britain, we could yet end up with a rainbow coalition of left wing parties including the SNP. In the long run, this will have the effect of boosting conservative support. In other words, the SNP will have achieved the very thing their supporters most wished to avoid - a period of conservative dominance (with no need of a coalition partner).

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    3. Why would the 45%+ of people who don't want to be part of the United Kingdom suddenly become as "accepting" and "calm" as you want them to, and all within the space of three-and-a-half months?

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    4. Because they've been living in the United Kingdom their whole lives. They've merely been deprived of something they never had to start with - nor did it ever look particularly likely to happen, even when the polls did converge towards the end. You make the most of any situation you find yourself in. This is a human trait. After initial moaning, you adapt. The best party to represent the interests of most yes voters is labour. They are Britain's centre-left party and want to slow down austerity. Now, you can vote SNP expecting some sort of radical 'tartan coalition' and lots of goodies for Scotland and particularly Scottish nationalists (referendum 2?). But it's more likely that they'll find themselves in opposition, with no leverage over the government whatsoever. At least, if you elect a big chunk of labour MPs who end up contributing to a labour majority government at UK level, you retain some influence. If labour get flushed out of Scotland but still find themselves in government anyway, they'll make us pay. It isn't fair - but that's politics.

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    5. In which case you're not relying on polling data - you're relying on psychobabble and blind faith. I wish you luck - you'll need it.

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    6. I don't think I've said anything that was particularly wild or inaccurate. Political parties punish areas that don't vote for them. The SNP did it when they cancelled the Glasgow Airport rail link. I was dismayed this was forgotten so soon by the residents of my home city.

      The last time I checked, there was only a 35% chance of the SNP helping to form the next UK government. That means there is a 65% chance of a large contingent of SNP MPs being elected simply to sit on the opposition benches - plenty of anger and hot air, but absolutely no influence whatsoever. If that's what Scottish people want for Scotland simply because they lost fair and square in a democratic vote, then have at it. But I will no longer recognise the country in which I grew up.

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    7. "The last time I checked, there was only a 35% chance of the SNP helping to form the next UK government. "

      Who did you check with? The Brahn Seer?

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    8. Electoral calculus, which has now begun factoring in the labour 'difficulties' in Scotland into its projections.

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    9. Political parties punish areas that don't vote for them. The SNP did it when they cancelled the Glasgow Airport rail link.

      You've got the rule wrong. A political party will not punish an area simply because it voted against it last time, as this would reduce the chances of their winning it next time.

      Political parties punish areas that vote the same way all the time. A "swing" area can expect inducements from government. One in which the government always wins, or expects never to win, can expect nothing.

      Scotland, at least for the moment, is in quite a healthy situation, as many of the traditionally safe seats look like they're in play for the first time in decades.

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    10. As I noted in the blogpost above, Electoral Calculus is a very crude model, but in any case coalitions go beyond electoral maths. What you've just said reminds me of watching the CBC coverage of a Canadian election a few years ago when they kept "projecting a Conservative minority government". There's no way of "projecting" any such thing - it's not an election outcome.

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  2. I could be wrong, but from memory of a couple of Panelbase polls last year on the GE for Scotland, Panelbase showed the lowest support for the SNP and the highest for Labour, so this could be taken as the low baseline for the current SNP lead.

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  3. All in all it's a fuck awful poll, not because it shows a fall in SNP support, it will need corroboration to confirm this possibility, but because it's gonna give the red tories some headlines and possibly some heart.

    There's been at least two recent subsamples which have bothered me, it's not panic stations, in fact, it's still pretty awesome on 2010 but meh, I really want this 45% to be hit again and whether its oil price being bullshitted by the MSM or a tail in the support post September, it's annoying.

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    1. Alasdair : All I can say is that your comment utterly baffles me. I've no idea which subsamples you're talking about - the subsamples have been consistently fantastic for the SNP.

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    2. The response to the oil price questions in this poll show it could be having some effect - with even 22% of SNP supporters saying it's reduced the case for independence. However that question could be difficult to interpret - logically even committed independence supporters might say it's reduced the case given a higher oil price is evidently better than a low one for the Scottish economy. That doesn't mean they've suddenly changed their mind on independence itself.

      The issue is whether it actually changes people's minds on independence/the SNP, not strictly speaking whether it strengthens or weakens the case in comparison to a situation in which oil is $110 a barrel. It's pretty self-evident to me that all things being equal it would be better if oil was at $110 a barrel rather than $50, but that's a very different thing from saying I'm less likely to back independence or the SNP because of the oil price.

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    3. The obvious way to assess whether it's affected support for independence is to ask the independence question itself. The last time it was asked, the Yes vote was well up on the referendun.

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  4. Are the Labour party gaining on the SNP?

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    1. Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)January 18, 2015 at 12:42 AM

      Don't look at the figures in one poll, look at the trends from all the polling organisations. Not look good for Labour in Scotland or the UK

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  5. Confusingly, there are two YouGov polls out on the same day (one for the Sunday Times, one for the Sun on Sunday). The Sunday Times was conducted on Friday and Saturday, whereas the Sun on Sunday was on Thursday and Friday.

    The Sunday Times effort has the lowest SNP lead of the year so far: SNP 33, Labour 31, Tories 21.

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/wt26kxdn72/YG-Archive-Pol-Sunday-Times-results-160115.pdf

    The Sun on Sunday poll has a much bigger SNP lead: SNP 41, Labour 24, Tories 20.

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/2rm33oydgm/SOS_Results_150115_Website.pdf

    Both have pretty big down-weighting of SNP identifiers. I'm a little bit suspicious of the Sunday Times poll in respect of Scotland because it shows an unusually high approval rating (minus 42!) for Ed Miliband. I don't see any reason why he would go from minus 60 or lower that we have consistently seen recently to the dizzy heights of minus 42.

    In terms of the picture more generally, I think people will really be waiting for the Ashcroft polls. Much more people sampled, most likely in seats that the SNP have a good chance of winning. It should then give us a better idea if the national (both Scottish and GB) polls have been reasonably accurate (i.e. showing a SNP double digit lead).

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    1. I think the Ashcroft polling is much more likely to confuse the situation, because of his silly system of headlining the results of the second question, to which some respondents probably feel they're expected to give a different answer. If the SNP are ahead in several seats on the first question but not on the second, we'll be none the wiser. As Scottish Skier has pointed out, there's also the issue of whether Ashcroft will feel he has to use the discredited weighting by 2010 vote recall to keep his results consistent with his English constituency polling.

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    2. What other weighting system could he use? He can't use 2011 because that's different boundaries.

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    3. If you know that 2010 weighting is going to produce distorted results, you shouldn't use it, no matter how many difficulties that causes. If no past vote recall weighting is possible, so be it - that's hardly unheard of in the industry.

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  6. Historically, Scottish GE polls give a 10% range for both Labour and the SNP. Labour getting e.g. 42% in one poll then 32% in the next is not unusual, even from the same pollster. Ranges are similar for parties in UK polls. If the SNP are say, in reality, on 45%. We can expect 40% to occur readily. You could even get a few of these in a row, then suddenly a 50%. You'd average these and get a value lower than 45% so actually be off. There's not much that can be done here. Only a high frequency of polls from different pollsters helps as you can start to see the range. The true value most likely lies in the middle of the range.

    On the subject of 2010 voting... I was wondering about how reliable 2011 weighting may be. We know that a lot of people say they did something different in 2010 to what they actually did. We can't be quite sure about the reasons, but there is some evidence for regret to the point of blocking it out or actually lying, rather than being solely a confusion with 2011. And we know that people lie to pollsters readily, just as they tell white lies in real life.

    I wonder if we might see a 2010 like problem emerge for 2011. After all, a lot of people voted Labour in 2011, then voted Yes. Would these people state they voted Labour in 2011 if e.g. they were really angry at Labour / felt stupid for having voted for them? Even torn up their membership card? I'm not saying we will see a problem here, but something to watch. The evidence would be the same anyway; too many people saying they voted SNP in 2011 or higher values than normal (for a given panel) saying that at least.

    In the end, past vote weighting is designed to iron out smaller variations caused by random oversampling of a particular voter group. It is based on the presumption that people's party loyalties don't change massively.

    Hence the problem of past weighting in Scotland. We have seen a huge step change, first Lib+Lab to SNP at Holyrood. Then No to Yes, now a further shift in the form of Lab to SNP at Westminster. And of course, as a result, our past vote weighting system is falling apart. Definitely for 2010 anyway. 2011 looked ok post 2011, but might be worth looking at whether it is holding up post Sept 14 when our next big sudden shift occurred.

    Also, the same applies to referendum vote weighting. If someone regretting voting a particular way, the may well say what they wished they had voted. Of course this applies to both sides, but you might expect it to be more prevalent for people who wished they had voted Yes; the side that lost. It would manifest as too many people saying they voted Yes.

    No past vote weighting is of course an option. That's what MORI do. As a result, their polls are more volatile, but at the same time they've done not too badly in predicting outcomes close to votes.




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    1. Oh god.

      Record high numbers claim to have voted SNP 2011 while record lows claim to have voted Lab 2011 in the latest poll from all the online pollsters. Trend towards this apparent from the time the polls started to show the Y/N gap closure ahead of the iref. More and more people apparently claiming to have voted SNP and not Labour in 2011. Shades of 2010...

      There may therefore be some truth to what I posted above. Of course this could result in SNP down weighting / Labour up-weighting. Which is what happened in e.g. the last panelbase.

      If that is happening, the effect would not be as silly as 2010 weighting, but could mean 45% becomes more 40%.

      Scots - can you please bloody well tell pollsters what you actually voted for in the past! They won't tell anyone!

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  7. I think I saw RevStu tell someone on Twitter that the Greens had been less than 1% of the poll's respondents, in explaining why he had not been discussing what their supporters' social attitudes were.

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  8. This poll alongside putting Labour again above 30% and the Sunday Times poll showing a draw prove Labour supporters are coming back home. Jim Murphy seems to be doing a great job and is winning back the so called 190,000 voters that deserted Labour on the referendum. Also, the recent Scottish Labour membership drive has meant 3,000 new members in the last couple of weeks.

    I think the electorate are seeing the holes in the SNPs economic policy, specially when it comes to oil. The recent drop in oil price not only makes an independent Scotland financially non-viable, but also renders devo max as pointless. With the actual oil price and under devo max, Scotland would face larger cuts - even larger than those that we would suffer under a new Tory government.

    I have canvassed in Glasgow East and most locals love Margaret Curran and think very highly of her work and the way she stands up for local residents. Many Yes voters on the constituency will vote Labour and she will be re-elected with a large majority.

    Scottish Labour will win a landslide in May and Ed Milliband will be our new PM, with a Labour majority government. This is far better for Scotland than a Yes vote. The SNP will be in no position to gain concessions. There will be no independence through the back door.

    P Charles

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    1. Are the 'Red Tories Out' signs dotted about the Glasgow area some sort of reverse psychology?

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    2. Have you ever thought about working for the North Korean news service, Mr Charles? Your evident talents as a comedy propagandist are wasted on Labour.

      Did John "I'm a gardener!" McTernan send you here, by the way?

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    3. Wow, a Tory pretending to be a Labour supporter for the purposes of trolling. How pathetic.

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    4. P C

      When was the last time a party won an overall majority with 32% of the UK vote? In 2005 Labour did get an overall majority with 36% of the vote. However since then the political landscape has changed and not for the benefit of Labour. In 2005 Blair was still fairly popular but Milliband is not especially in Scotland.

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    5. You just have to love these characters. It's like PG Wodehouse in a contemporary Scottish setting where the Drones Club has been replaced by ScotLab.

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    6. Is Labour the only party that talks about voters "coming home"? I've never heard anyone else using this phrase, but they're always at it.

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  9. If I were a pollster, I think I'd slightly concerned if I was consistently having to downweight one psrty substantially. If ALL the other pollsters were having to do it too, I think I'd be starting to question my sampling methods.

    On a somewhat related note - given Scotland's smaller population, is there a smaller theoretical margin of error on a poll of 1000 people?

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  10. Yet today’s poll also confirms the evidence of other recent polls that Mr Murphy is not a major crowd puller...

    Moreover, while Jim Murphy’s ratings may not be stellar, those of the man he is trying to persuade Scots to vote for as Prime Minister, Ed Miliband, are little short of dire. Just 13% say they are satisfied with his leadership, while 59% are dissatisfied.


    http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2015/01/reason-labour-smile-little/

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  11. How many full 1000 plus sample sized polls have ever put The SNP ahead of the red tories? And can some clever bugger plot them by year or quarter so we can see if there may be a developing trend?

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    1. Plenty. I have a chart, but it makes little sense as different pollsters are getting widely different results. In Panelbase's case, they have had 3 very different results themselves, and the polls come out not over set periods but, you can have 3 in a day then none for a couple of months.

      I'm sticking with the YouGov daily samples to keep me in tune, and tey show a pretty consistet picture for the last 3 months. SNP around 42-44, Lab around 26-28.

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  12. 'I have canvased Glasgow East End and most people Love Margaret Curran and how she stands up for locals?'

    Really? since the east end is one of the poorest parts of the country, I would have thought a lot of these locals would have been asking you if Margaret voted for the latest Tory Austerity measures, as this will hit our poorest communities the hardest!

    Unless these poor people have been so badly let down by the BBC/Daily Record/ MSM, that they don't even know that people like good old Maggie Curran, and almost every other Labour MP in Glasgow, yet again betrayed their own constituents, turning their back on their own people, in order to vote for cuts in services that a Lot of Glaswegians depend on, all so as to make sure that voters in the South East of England, would not be frightened off from voting Labour.

    Why oh why do people like you still campaign for this bunch of Labour traitors, when they have been caught out lying so many times.?

    You either have no brains, or you have you no shame?

    I will let you look in the mirror and decide for yourself.

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  13. As a conservative supporter planning to vote tactically for the labour party, I must say I'm quite pleased with this recent poll. It shows that labour are still in the fight and a five point swing would be all that is required (provided the poll is accurate), to put the two parties into a dead heat - a situation that would greatly benefit labour in terms of seats. A five point swing is more than possible given the context and backdrop to this election plus the fact there is still four months to go. So I'm happy today - but not complacent.

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    1. Unfortunately for you, though, it seems highly unlikely that Labour are only ten points behind. This poll is out of step with what we've been seeing, and one swallow does not a summer make.

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    2. And if Panelbase had shown an even bigger SNP lead than last time - would you urge similar caution?

      There are a few reasons to be cheerful here:

      1) It's a fully fledged Scottish poll - a rare beast - and far more significant than any crossbreak or series of crossbreaks from a national poll (although Yougov today does put the SNP only two points ahead of labour; 33-31).

      2) It fits in with the concept of reversion to the mean or swingback or whatever you want to call it. The last labour lead in Scotland was recorded only last year. Nothing significant has changed in Scotland since then. There has been no war or depression - just the referendum result (which was widely forecast as a no anyway, even before the referendum was formally agreed).

      3) The SNP has had bad press lately. The oil collapse, the underspend, problems in the Scottish NHS.

      4) Panelbase was more accurate than Yougov during the referendum. They were ridiculed for showing a tight race back in the Spring and were even accused of having been compromised by pro-yes entryism. But they were spot on - consistently showing the race as tight when most other pollsters were all over the shop, including yougov.

      So all of these things provide a context in which the Panelbase poll results can be carefully welcomed by people like myself.

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    3. If the SNP lead had increased, I would only have advocated caution if the increase had been so great as to tale the lead outside the recent reported range, ie. 16-29 point. It's the fact that this poll is so far out of step that raises the obvious question mark.

      And you guys are really going to have to get over that single YouGov crossbreak in the Sunday Times! That has "freak result" written all over it.

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    4. It's becoming more common though.

      33-31
      35-33
      29-29

      These are all crossbreaks that have popped up in the last few days. Taken with the Panelbase poll and the bad press for the SNP, it looks like something could be happening.

      Or it might be nothing.

      What was it Tony Blair said about the last few months leading up to the 97 election - "like having to carry a priceless vase whilst skating across an ice rink", or something to that effect...

      Sir Alex Ferguson put it more succinctly: "squeaky bum time" :0)

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    5. @Anon

      I agree, there's reason for optimism here if you're a Labour supporter. One thing that hasn't been picked up on is that aside from the oil price and the bad press over the underspend (I'm not convinced either have had a huge impact) we've also seen the campaign really start kicking in. There was always a feeling among some people that once that happens and everything starts to be framed around Labour vs the Tories then the support for the SNP will fall back a bit. We'll see if that's the case when we start getting some more Scotland only polls coming in.

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    6. When did the SNP not get 'bad press'?

      braco

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    7. As ever the media will take a unionist point of view on the election. Hopefully most of the Scottish electorate will, after experiencing the referendum coverage, be immune to such unionist bias.

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    8. "When did the SNP not get 'bad press'?"

      It's not about bad press, it's about being ignored (which is even worse in politics). Here are the SNP's results from general elections in relation to the previous Scottish election:

      1999 Holyrood: 28.9%
      2001 Westminster: 20.1% (drop of 8.8%)

      2003 Holyrood: 23.8%
      2005 Westminster: 17.7% (drop of 6.1%)

      2007 Holyrood: 32.9%
      2010 Westminster: 19.9% (drop of 13%)

      2011 Holyrood: 45.4%
      2015 Westminster: ?

      Clearly it would be bucking a trend if the 2015 result matched the result from 2011. Some people think we're going to get that because the referendum has changed how people think about politics in Scotland, but put in context I think anything close to 40% would be a huge result for the party.

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    9. Yougov last 5 poll crossbreak averages:

      44% SNP
      27% Lab
      16% Con
      4% Lib

      = business as usual.

      Unless I'm missing something?

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    10. It's becoming more common though."

      I'm sorry, but that's complete rubbish. If anything, those tight results are becoming somewhat less common, as anyone who has followed all the subsamples since September will tell you.

      In particular, you can forget about celebrating the TNS result - the SNP have jumped from third place last time to first now.

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    11. How many Scottish respondents are involved in your typical national poll - 150 perhaps? You'll need to have over a thousand before you can start to see a meaningful trend.

      Also, we do not currently know anything about geographical distribution of SNP votes. The results, even for full Scottish polls, aren't broken down by region as they are for England. It would be mightily impressive if the SNP scored, for example, 80% in one of the Dundee seats. But it's a hell of a lot of supporters going into a return of just one MP. If that situation is repeated across the country i.e. if the SNP vote is highly concentrated in poor, urban areas, you may find yourselves struggling in terms of number of seats won. This is the exact same problem that has dogged the conservatives for years - support concentrated in too small an area (in their case SE England).

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    12. According to an analysis by the BBC's Prof C., the SNP's surge has come mainly in Lib dem areas and particularly in Labour heartlands that voted Yes. So, Yes, in existing SNP areas they are unlikely to gain much if this is true.

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  14. This poll could be the start of a trend, or considering the volatility we see in British polls, it could mean nothing at all. We'll just have to wait and see.

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  15. As far as the fall in oil price goes, I'm not entirely sure the general public will make the same connection that unionists do about the oil price and the SNP. During the referendum campaign there were many damaging headlines for the SNP and yet the polls remained very stable.

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    1. SNAP(ish)! :-)

      braco

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    2. "During the referendum campaign there were many damaging headlines for the SNP and yet the polls remained very stable"

      Headlines are far more damaging if there's some substance behind them. For instance, the "supermarkets will raise their prices" headlines that came out right before the referendum probably had almost no impact because it was barely a real issue. The oil price, on the other hand, is clearly a real issue regardless of what the papers say about it. We couldn't sustain current spending levels as an independent economy with an oil price of $50 a barrel - it's not as though the papers have simply made that up so it clearly has more of an impact.

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    3. What on earth does that have to do with the election. It is the Tories and Libs causing unemployment in Scotland and damaging one of its major industries that matters. That and Labour gleefully cheering them on.

      Jobs, jobs, jobs. That's what wins elections. London is currently working to slash Scottish jobs. It could come to the rescue at any minute with a tax adjustment, but it is not.

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    4. If the Scottish public can't see the connection between the oil price collapse and the implications for the tax base of an independent Scotland then it doesn't say much for our education system.

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    5. "What on earth does that have to do with the election"

      If you're implying that the case for independence is completely irrelevant to the SNP's chances of success in 2015 then that's pretty misguided to put it mildly. I've barely seen an article about the SNP in the past week which doesn't immediately have, as one of the first comments, someone making a flippant remark about the oil price. It's basically the go to play for anyone wanting to attack the SNP's credibility at present.

      If you want to try and frame it around jobs in the oil industry, rather than the viability of independence, then fine, but the fact that it convinces you doesn't mean it convinces the entirety of the electorate. We're having a descriptive conversation about what people think, not a normative conversation about what people should think.

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    6. Erm, they can see that not having an oil fund is a disaster caused by the union. They can also see that the ones causing job loses to be worse are in London. They can also see unionists like yourself calling them thick and slagging off Scotland.

      This is an election. Can't you get over the referendum. Move on? Jeez, let it go, you won. You sold the 'broad shoulders of the uk' protecting jobs in oil and gas. Now deliver or pay the price at the ballot box.

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    7. @Billbury.

      I'm just relaying conversations with voters, from both within the industry and not. Note that the Tories and Libs historically do quite well in the NE. They are causing their own voters to lose their jobs. People that voted No. If you think causing someone to lose their job after voting for is a vote winner, by all means campaign on that.

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    8. This whole oil thing is beginning to feel like another 'punching the air' moment for unionists. The loss of the BofS and the glee with which the news was received, left a long and damaging legacy for them. It's just not 'normal' for supposed 'patriots' to wildly clasp and trumpet what is ostensibly bad news for their own country, in order to try and make obvious and cynical political capital. This of course is normal politics in a normal country, but in a devolved set up, 'our' unionists are being seen to confuse damage to Scotland as somehow the same as damage to the SNP.

      This is incredibly stupid, only going to underline just how out of touch and disengaged from the economic realities and political self perceptions of the Scottish electorate they purport to represent. This attitude and it's obvious and distasteful 'a price well worth paying' attitude (in the medium term and no matter the headlines), WILL be the death of unionism in Scotland.
      Good riddance!

      braco

      Delete
    9. "Erm, they can see that not having an oil fund is a disaster caused by the union."

      Whereas if we were independent today then in addition to lacking the resources to bail out oil workers, we'd also be suffering a shock to our economy and would be forced to cut spending, raise taxes, or borrow just to maintain our current level of public spending. Why is that a better situation?

      By all means argue the government should do more, but as it stands we're not in a "disaster" - the country is actually marginally better off by most people's estimates as a result of the oil price drop. We're not going to have to cut spending or raise taxes as a result of the oil price because we're pooling our resources with rUK and they can cover for the effects of the shock (the main benefit of being part of a larger economy).

      The oil price will eventually go back up, of course, but it's pretty much a textbook demonstration of why staying part of the UK ensures fiscal stability for the country. I feel sorry for the people who will lose their jobs in the short-term, but having worked in the industry myself I know well enough how cyclical it is.

      Delete
    10. Eh? So folk losing jobs is not a problem. Man you'd be great out campaigning on the streets, especially in the NE.

      London is causing job loses in the NE and this is a vote winner? Jesus wept.

      Think what happened last time a big industry in Scotland was trashed by London... Nearly ended the union; only devolution saved it.

      People voted No in September you dimwit! The iref is over. Move on - No won! People voted on the promise that being part of the UK would protect one of Scotland's biggest industries.

      And you are seriously arguing that just months after voting for protection of Scottish jobs as part of the union, voters will be happy to sit back and watch London trash Scotland. Many voters were warned Scotland would be punished for the audacity of holding an iref, just as it was shat on for 1979. They are watching this some true as London bleeds the NE with tax rates designed for an oil price well over double what it is. Voters are not stupid.

      What amazes me is unionists watching London do this and they are pleased about it.

      You got your No now you are getting your thanks from London for it. That thanks is job losses.

      Would anyone disagree that London rushing to the rescue with a rapid tax break, bringing levels down to what they were when the price was lower would not be greatly welcomed by the electorate? If so, they must concede that London not doing this will have the opposite effect?

      Scotland pumps £600 billion in direct and indirect taxes in London over the years from the industry and when it needs a little help, London just squeezes it to the max and watches the jobs go. Brilliant vote winner.

      And yes the price will go up. Likely to higher than 110 by the next time we are voting on indy. At that point, the price will become of some relevance to campaigns.

      Delete
    11. Which Country though anonymous?

      Yes we mismanaged Raivenscraig, Mining, Shipyards, Fishing, Oil (etc) for years, but our UK broad shoulders can pay you the dole now. Don't you see the benefits to the 'Country'!

      braco

      Delete
    12. I can't respond to incoherent ranting. You're trying to make the point that we should all focus on job losses in the oil industry rather than the macro situation with respect to the effect of the oil price on our fiscal position. As I said, by all means argue the government should do more, but that doesn't make the macro position irrelevant. The independence issue isn't "over" by anyone's stretch of the imagination so you can hardly be surprised people are pointing out the blindingly obvious.

      Nobody, anywhere, is celebrating job losses in the oil industry (which, incidentally, are happening just about everywhere - Norway has lost thousands of jobs over the last few months).

      Delete
    13. "our UK broad shoulders can pay you the dole now"

      ...and the NHS, education, transport and every other aspect of public spending that would be impacted on by a shock to the economy.

      Delete
    14. We are part of the union. Scotland voted No. The oil price is only relevant to the UK's fiscal position. Our block grant is determined by spending in England.

      Currently, Scotland's GVA without oil is higher than the UK's with oil revenues, so even if we were independent and mismanaging the oil like London, we'd still be better off.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countries_of_the_United_Kingdom_by_GVA_per_capita

      But that is not relevant as there is no iref on the horizon. There may be in the future, but for now the election is at most about more devolution. If in the future we are in a independence campaign, but all means talk about oil prices. Otherwise, your incessant re-living of a campaign that No won is tedious.

      Does Ed have plans to save jobs in the industry? At least Dave has said they are looking at it.

      I only see the SNP definitely campaigning to help the industry through this difficult time and London smiling while people lose their jobs.

      'Leftie' Norway is a neo-liberal low tax haven for the industry by comparison with the UK BTW. London has done nothing but squeeze Scotland for every £ of subsidy it can get and now its sitting back as jobs go with you supporting it.

      Delete
    15. PS I work in the industry. So do 450,000 others, roughly split between England and Scotland. Clearly, that means a bigger potential impact in Scotland per capita.

      Your general dismissal of the issue shows why I don't vote and won't vote unionist. I want to hear solutions and quick. Come back to me on the fiscal situation of a theoretical indy Scotland when that's what we are voting on.

      Delete
    16. This fall in oil price is a crisis for the industry because of decades of mismanagement by Labour and their Tory allies. Used as a cash cow with no thought to price fluctuations or giving anything to future generations.

      Delete
    17. It's a bit rich the SNP calling on the UK government to act when they wanted that government to have as much say in the running of our country as the government of Swaziland :0)

      As for an oil fund, you can either save money to offset against downturns in the value of the commodity or you can spend that money. Being in the UK has allowed us to spend it on hospitals, schools etc as the country as a whole is big enough to absorb blows like the one we are now witnessing without the need for an oil fund.

      As to anyone voting SNP, they need to consider that they are not voting to guarantee further devolution or universal benefits. They are voting for independence, plain and simple. It therefore makes no sense for a no voter in the referendum to vote SNP.

      Delete
    18. 'Nobody, anywhere, is celebrating job losses in the oil industry'

      Really not how it's coming across I am afraid anon. BoS all over again.

      braco

      Delete
    19. The majority of Scots voted for the UK government to control oil and gas. They asked the UK to help the industry. The UK is letting them down big style while the SNP fight Scotland's corner.

      The SNP have ruled out an iref in their manifesto. Rather, more devo is what they are pushing for as is very popular. That's why up to 61% could vote for them (see herald poll below).

      Delete
    20. 'As for an oil fund, you can either save money to offset against downturns in the value of the commodity or you can spend that money. Being in the UK has allowed us to spend it on hospitals, schools etc as the country as a whole is big enough to absorb blows like the one we are now witnessing without the need for an oil fund.'

      Oh..... so that's why Norway has no hospitals, schools etc. and can't absorb blows like the one we are now witnessing. I see.

      braco

      Delete
    21. SS,
      have they really ruled out a second indy ref?

      braco

      Delete
    22. @SS "Currently, Scotland's GVA without oil is higher than the UK's with oil revenues, so even if we were independent and mismanaging the oil like London, we'd still be better off."

      Our current spending is far higher than the UK average so that statement is completely incorrect. Scotland produces more revenue per head of population than the UK average and spends more per head of population than the UK average. If our spending was proportionate to the UK average (our taxation revenue without oil is roughly the same as the UK average) we'd effectively be cutting our current budget by over 10%. You've either fallen for a bit of misinformation or you know this already and are attempting to BS your way through an argument hoping you won't get called out on it.

      "If in the future we are in a independence campaign, but all means talk about oil prices. Otherwise, your incessant re-living of a campaign that No won is tedious."

      That's completely fine if we're all going to stop talking about independence. It's been mentioned several times in this comment section by independence supporters - are you going to call them tedious as well or is it only people on the No side mentioning it you take issue with?

      Delete
    23. Norway has a smaller population, more oil, and higher taxes across the board.

      Has the SNP ruled out an indyref? Very interesting if they have. Of course, they could always go back on it or seek to destabilise the UK in such a way that independence is inevitable.

      Ruling out a second indyref may gain them the support of moderates and no voters but lose them the support of hardcore yessers who want independence by ten o'clock tonight.

      Delete
    24. SNP only need Yes people to vote for them to do well in 2015 anyway. Although I see 61% are considering voting for them (below) which must include a lot of No voters. By far the most attractive party according to that poll. Probably because they have accepted the iref result and moved on rather than re-running the campaign over and over again tediously like unionists.

      Delete
    25. @Braco

      All I've heard for 2015 is about more powers and how they will not put another iref in the 2015 manifesto.

      Nothing about not putting an iref in the 2016 manifesto though. That could be certainly justified.

      Delete
    26. Of course the SNP haven't ruled out an indyref. What SS is referring to is the fact that they're not putting it in their Westminster manifesto. They'll decide whether to put it in their Holyrood manifesto towards the end of this year.

      Delete
    27. The SNP moved on from the referendum? When did this happen? If true then the ten o'clock news should be leading on this. Wonderful news! :0)

      Delete
    28. And if the SNP win a 'majority' based on 45% of the vote as they did last time - will they still ram through referendum mark 2, even though we voted on the same issue just recently on a huge turnout and decisively rejected it?

      It should be categorically ruled out for the next 15 years. The fact it hasn't been indicates no respect for democracy among the SNP. They are prepared to use democracy as a tool to get what they want - but not prepared to accept it when it goes against them. This makes them unfit to govern.

      Delete
    29. I see the SNP focussing on jobs (tax changes to the North Sea for example) while Jim, Danny etc just go on and on about the iref. Been the same this evening on this forum.

      Delete
    30. Ruling one out completely sounds a bit rash to me. What difference does it make, Westminster or Holyrood? It's the SNP. If they get elected in 2015 on a manifesto of no referendum, how can the MP's then break that Westminster pledge and support a second referendum a year later just because it's now in their Holyrood manifesto? Surely this would lead them to rule out a second referendum only until they write their Holyrood manifesto?
      It's an honest question BTW. This is the logic of focusing power and decision making in Scotland and Holyrood.

      braco

      Delete
    31. "It should be categorically ruled out for the next 15 years."

      So if the Tories win the election, another GE should be ruled out for 15 years? I mean the people would have spoken right?

      This is why I can't vote unionist; they have no concept of democracy.

      People in Scotland decide whether they want another iref. The SNP could rule one out for 15 years, but they are democratic, unlike unionists, so will not.

      Delete
    32. A bit odd for someone to prattle about "respect for democracy" having just demanded that the electorate be BANNED from voting for another referendum.

      Delete
    33. 'They are prepared to use democracy as a tool to get what they want'..... and their doing it on purpose! Ho ho :-)

      braco

      Delete
    34. We're talking about a major constitutional issue that is existential in nature. To compare it to normal general elections is disingenuous in the extreme. The matter must be settled for a substantial period of time to safeguard against civil unrest and damage to the economy. That has to be longer than a few years.

      But I'll give you your due, you at least support the decision being placed in the hands of the Scottish voters. Good. So if unionist parties between them get a majority of the popular vote then no mandate for indyref 2. Anything else would be undemocratic wouldn't it?

      Delete
    35. Braco : There's no question of any contradiction. The Westminster manifesto isn't going to state "there will not be a referendum". It just won't promise a referendum.

      Delete
    36. "So if unionist parties between them get a majority of the popular vote then no mandate for indyref 2."

      By all means campaign for a change in the electoral system if you want to. But as the current system was introduced by a Labour government in an attempt to shaft the SNP, it does seem a bit rich for you to be complaining about it now.

      Delete
    37. So the (hopefully) very large block of SNP MPs we send down to Westminster will not be able to point to their manifesto as their moral strength when attempting to secure support for holding that (possible) second indy ref (Edinburgh agreement 2) if the SNP decide to include a possible indy ref in their Holyrood manifesto.

      Seems like a weakness, not a strength. Surely some oblique wording could be found?

      braco

      Delete
    38. I would find it very odd to downplay the indyref2 angle completely. The people voting for the party have that in mind so if the leadership were tripping over themselves to avoid saying it (and we know they'll get asked about it constantly by the media) it's just going to seem a bit weak. One thing that always plays badly with the electorate is appearing indecisive.

      It doesn't need to be full on Jim Sillars "let's declare independence if we get a majority of MPs" mode (some people think that's a good idea, I personally think it's completely mental) but there should be some party line on it.

      Delete
    39. James, we are still, legally, a unitary state. If a majority of Scotland's voters continue to vote for unionist parties and politicians, then I expect the UK government to exercise its authority and block indyref 2 on those grounds.

      Delete
    40. "It's a bit rich the SNP calling on the UK government to act when they wanted that government to have as much say in the running of our country as the government of Swaziland :0)"

      No, no it isn't. As the UK government got the No vote it wanted, these things remain its job. Perfectly reasonable to accept it to look after its citizens as it is meant to.

      Delete
    41. "But I'll give you your due, you at least support the decision being placed in the hands of the Scottish voters. Good. So if unionist parties between them get a majority of the popular vote then no mandate for indyref 2. Anything else would be undemocratic wouldn't it?"

      Unless you think anything anyone has in their manifesto cannot be enacted unless they command 50% +1 of the vote, then I don't see how a second indyref can be the one thing subject to this kind of rule. Ridiculous.

      Delete
    42. I can't believe i just read "They are willing to use democracy as a tool" and it was used in a derogatory fashion.

      Someone doesn't know what democracy is.

      Hint - its a TOOL you USE to get your AGENDA accepted.

      Delete
    43. But when your agenda is rejected, you honour the outcome - especially if your signature is on a legal document saying "I will respect the outcome".

      The SNP have zero respect for the sovereign will of the Scottish people. They have proved this with their hints at UDI and referendum #2. Yet a large minority of the Scottish population - against all common sense - will apparently vote for them in May. Never has the expression "dancing with the devil" been so appropriate.

      Delete
    44. It is not for the UK government to 'manage' the oil industry out of this crisis. It is ran by private sector companies. Let them get on with it.

      And it would be nice if someone in the SNP could at least acknowledge the damage that would have been done to the indy Scotland tax base and budget. But they arrogantly bat away legit criticism with yet more BS about Westminster.

      Delete
  16. The big worry for Labour, is that the SNP have still not even fully chosen their candidates to fight the general Election yet, so have not started their campaign.

    The great unknown in UK politics is this:

    What will happen when the SNP unleash their new army of activists, for the upcoming General and then Scottish Parliament Elections?

    We all saw the power generated by a few thousand enthusiastic activists, having conversations with their local community, so multiply that by 10 and think about all those uninformed people learning all about Jim Muphy and the Henry Jackson Society, the McCrone scandal, the labour MP's who voted for austerity/bedroom tax/ nuclear weapons, etc etc, something the MSM has been keeping quiet about...

    ...Oh, if I was a Tory, voting Labour, I'd not be so confident, just yet,

    Us Nationalists are only beginning to get warmed up!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Is it just me or are there an increasing number of fairly scripted attacks across pro-SNP sites? I've noticed a few of the 'atttackers' have only recently set up their accounts. Smells co-ordinated......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may not be entirely a coincidence that John "I'm a gardener!" McTernan has just started working for Jim Murphy - he was known for that type of tactic during his ill-fated spell working for Julia Gillard.

      Delete
    2. Did it work?

      Delete
    3. You mean John 'Failure' McTernan?

      Might make some sense I suppose.

      Failures tend to try and re-live past glories. Hence the theme of re-running the iref over and over again by some on here rather than focussing on the immediate priorities such as jobs.

      Delete
    4. Well they seem to be in overdrive tonight. I've never seen a post hit over 100 comments in this blog, since I started viewing it in Aug 14. When are the SNP going to start the fightback, or a continual advance forward ? They are showing signs of it now with a credible come back on oil. It's just a shame the media have another agenda other than being an unbiased media.

      Delete
  18. The oil situation is currently very damaging for the unionists. Westminster is causing people in Scotland to those their jobs. They could easily come to the rescue and reduce taxes back to what they were when the price was last at the current level. Fair enough to increase taxes when the price is high, but you need to cut them when it falls.

    George and Danny are doing another Ravenscraig. I'm not sure how that could be perceived as good for the unionists. I work in the industry and know even Tories who are planning SNP as a result.

    If Scotland was independent right now (which it wouldn't be even if we had voted Yes), it would be Scotland's problem to deal with. As Scotland is not independent, all eyes are turned South to see if those promised 'broad shoulders' do come to the rescue. So far, they are not, which is a disastrous thing for the unionists to do ahead of an election.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As for 'swingback'

    People know what this means right? It describes a normally modest swing back to the party currently in government ahead of an election as people opt to stick with the current devil instead of instigate change / go for the unknown.

    Currently, the government is, well, the Tories + libs. In Scotland, it is the SNP.

    So any swingback will mean Labour are more likely to lose May's election UK-wide, and possibly lose more votes to the incumbent SNP in Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely swingback - which is the electorate becoming more risk averse and leaning back towards "the devil they know" - applies to the governmental level for which you're actually voting in that particular election. So you would expect swingback to the SNP for the next Holyrood election, but not for the Westminster one.

      Delete
  20. What I find astonishing is the fact that the oil industry under Westminster's control is going to go the same way as our heavy industries, and manufacturing sector, and yet the SNP are the ones who take the blame for it! The fact is that the British state has pissed Scottish oil wealth up against a wall, and has nothing significant to show for it. Unionists in Scotland will refuse to face up to this reality. They will continue to blame the SNP for the mismanagement and economic ineptitude caused by Westminster's disastrous economic record and rule in Scotland. Then they have the gall to say we are too small, too poor, too stupid to govern ourselves. You could not make it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What unionists seem to forget is that Scotland, in 1997, economically on it's knees with its industry utterly destroyed by London... a place the equivalent of the population of Dundee had left in search of a better life, and with an oil price of a paltry $25 a barrel, would have voted for independence. That's why we got devolution.

      You don't keep an electorate in your favour by shitting on them. London is shitting on Scotland now and unionists seem to think that will win them votes. It's nuts.

      Delete
    2. The government withdrew state support for failing industries. This idea that the British government intentionally destroyed livelihoods to get some kind of sadistic pleasure out of it is wrong. They'd been propping up zombie industries for years and as a result we had runaway inflation and a dearth of growth in potentially profit making areas of the economy. What Thatcher did was to make decisions that her predecessors had been putting off since the 1960s - but which were essential for the creation of a modern, dynamic capitalist economy. When the tories left office in 97 we were the fourth largest economy in the world and growing, with low debt and low inflation - a legacy that labour squandered and which the SNP would choose to completely reverse in an independent Scotland.

      Delete
    3. Out of interest, could Thatcher have done what she did without North Sea oil revenues to pay for the unemployment bill?

      The undisputed answer is of course no. Thatcher's economics were a grand failure as she needed to use free and unexpected money to implement them. If she hadn't had that, she'd have been out of office in no time. She was economically illiterate; it's why her own party dumped her in the end.

      Delete
    4. Anon,
      is that your East end, 'isn't Margaret Curran wonderful' doorstep shpiel then? I hope so. :-)

      braco

      Delete
    5. I think you overstate the boon from North Sea oil. Thatcher's record speaks for itself - a failing socialist economy transformed into a successful capitalist one. In any area of the world, where capitalism has replaced socialism, the economy has boomed and the people became richer and happier. The most prominent example is China - where the economy took off the minute Chairman Mao's experiments in collectivism were ended. Britain from 1979 to 1990 tells a similar story, albeit on a smaller scale.

      Delete
  21. Nobody is interested in the Sunday Herald poll?

    Who could the Scots vote for in 2015?

    SNP:
    Definitely vote for: 34%
    Plan to vote for: 8%
    Could vote for: 19%
    Never vote for: 33%

    Labour:
    Definitely vote for: 13%
    Plan to vote for: 9%
    Could vote for: 32%
    Never vote for: 41%

    Conservative:
    Definitely vote for: 8%
    Plan to vote for: 6%
    Could vote for: 17%
    Never vote for: 64%

    LibDems:
    Definitely vote for: 2%
    Plan to vote for: 3%
    Could vote for: 24%
    Never vote for: 66%

    Ukip:
    Definitely vote for: 4%
    Plan to vote for: 4%
    Could vote for: 19%
    Never vote for: 67%

    Green:
    Definitely vote for: 2%
    Plan to vote for: 7%
    Could vote for: 34%
    Never vote for: 53%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would seem the SNP are the least polarising party in Scotland!

      Delete
    2. Jeez, just 13% would definitely vote Labour compared to 34% for the SNP.

      And the unionists are busy losing voters by smiling about job losses in Scotland rather than rushing to the rescue.

      Delete
    3. Implies (definitely + plan = VI) SNP 42, Lab 22, Tories 14, LD 5, UKIP 8 and Green 9. Also shows a very hard floor for the SNP vote.

      I see the poll was done by ICM for "British Future", a think tank concerned with race relations / immigration. It's a little out of date though, as the report text says it was conducted before Murphy was elected. Also a health warning is that the Scottish sample size is only ~400.

      A paradoxical little tidbit: 29% of Scots want Labour in (UK) government; 37% don't. But overall majorities want both the Tories and Lib Dems out.

      http://www.britishfuture.org/articles/year-of-uncertainty/

      Delete
  22. Suggests tactical voting by unionist extremists in some parties, if true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be the 'extremists' who want to preserve the status quo, lol!

      Delete
    2. More WMD and more illegal wars and more austerity cuts. LoL

      Delete
    3. Accuse others of extremism and then go on to make an extremist comment yourself. Nice.

      Delete
  23. I'll need to go now. Been great chat though! One last thing - if the largest single bloc of voters in Scotland wants something that the fractured and splintered majority doesn't and is prepared to use their FPTP 'majority' to continue pushing for it regardless - is Scottish democracy dead? If the unionists can't organise themselves into an effective opposition then they will forever be governed by people they disagree with and subjected to the same question time after time until they give the 'correct' answer. This isn't democracy - it's like something you might expect to see carried out in a CIA black ops prison (only applied to a country rather than an Afghan taxi driver).

    Goodnight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to push for a Tory-Lab(-lib) coalition as per BT, but for elections. I understand it hasn't been ruled out by the parties involved.

      Delete
    2. Then we end up like Northern Ireland. Great.

      Delete
    3. While the continued British occupation of a part of a sovereign state was always going to be a problem, there are actually quite a variety of parties to vote for over there, rather than just two. It is certainly not just Tory or Labour anyway, and with PR for Stormont, NI is quite considerably more democratic than the UK.

      Delete
    4. But it's essentially loyalist v nationalist, Catholic v Protestant - with matters of left and right, the role of the state, and public provision a secondary consideration. This is the way Scotland is going. We'll become defined by nationalism / unionism. And when you get two opposing sides of that nature, hatred and conflict (God forbid) may become a problem for future generations of Scots. A generation that grew up in wealth, stability and peace will bequeath turmoil on future generations - and all because of their own grasping selfishness and self importance.

      There is only one good thing about Scotland now - the exit.

      Delete
    5. "A generation that grew up in wealth, stability and peace"

      Do you mean the post war baby boomers here? I'm imagining so as they would fit your description quite well.

      I'm one of Thatcher's children so obviously didn't see that period of wealth, stability and peace.

      --

      Oh, and I'm a lapsed protolic / cathestant with no internal conflicts resulting from this. Maybe you do, but that doesn't mean others have the same issues.

      Delete
    6. Use it then and let those that care and value the country get on with the business of creating it's future. You sound pathetic, moaning about democracy because you now have no guarantees of continuing to get what YOU want. Even raising spectres of violence, hatred and conflict of which you have zero evidence for!

      And I suppose you took this self pitying attitude into the polling booth with you last September, voted NO and got what you wanted. Now it's all doom gloom and bloody civil war just because the YES side want to carry on with the 'democratic process' (no matter how flawed).

      I will say it again, PATHETIC.

      braco

      Delete
    7. Calm down. I'm simply pointing out that repeated referenda against the wishes of the majority of the population will lead to conflict. Long before it gets to that point, however, business and capital will have taken flight. So there wont be much to fight over.

      You really have to accept that you lost. Talk of a further referendum four months on from the last one is simply crazy. Your poll leads are going to your head - you need to come back down to earth or face becoming victims of your own success.

      Scottish skier, growing up in 1980s/90s Scotland (as I did), how were you deprived exactly?

      Delete
  24. Anon,
    poor poor yous!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Survation / Daily Record poll out tonight

    SNP 46, Labour 26, Tories 14

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/revealed-scots-want-labour-govern-5001611

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tables (appears to now be a regular monthly poll, which is quite useful).

      http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Scottish-Attitudes-Jan.pdf

      Delete
    2. Scottish Parliament constituency VI: SNP 50, Labour 26, Tories 12.

      Scottish Parliament list VI: SNP 39, Labour 23, Tories 14, Greens 10, Lib Dem 7, UKIP 6.

      Delete
    3. Hey, I thought Labour were surging back to victory!

      Man I've wasted a lot of time on this thread today.

      But what the hell, it was a sunday.

      Delete
  26. Still four months to go and all to play for.

    The Scottish parliament election is so far away that any discussion of it is pretty pointless.

    ReplyDelete
  27. SNP looking really strong in Labour areas in that Survation poll, as per Prof C's previous analysis. 48% in Glasgow vs 30% Lab. 58% in central vs 28% Lab for example.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Interesting that only 13% definitely vote for Labour, as this was the exact figure that I said accualy supported the party, (based on the fact that this was the number in Scotland who thought Ed would be a good leader)

    the rest are people who are able to be frightened into voting Labour for fear of what the Torys might do or that they might lose pensions if the SNP get in etc.

    In other words, all Labour have left to offer the Scottish electorate is Lies.

    ReplyDelete