Monday, April 27, 2015

It's an SNP avalanche : Sturgeon's party leads by THIRTY-TWO points in new TNS poll

It looks like Rolfe's informant at the street stall the other day was bang on the money - just as he suggested, the start of the week has seen the publication of a poll showing the SNP vote rising by another two points.  What we couldn't have dared hope for, though, was that it would turn out to be a poll from TNS - which prior to today had already been the joint most favourable firm for the SNP, alongside Ipsos-Mori.  They now claim that mantle all for themselves.

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election (TNS, 1st-19th April) :

SNP 54% (+2)
Labour 22% (-2)
Conservatives 13% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)
Greens 2%  (-1)
UKIP 2% (+1)

The 32% lead is comfortably the biggest that the SNP have enjoyed in any poll since the referendum - the previous record was 29% in the famous October poll from Ipsos-Mori that first alerted us to the new political reality.  What makes this even more extraordinary is that the new high watermark has been recorded by a firm that just a few weeks ago looked relatively Labour-friendly.  The 16% gap that TNS reported in their first poll of 2015 was very much at the lower end of the scale, but has now doubled.

And can it be entirely a coincidence that the only two firms that have so far shown the SNP on the right side of 50% are also the only two that use a real world methodology, ie. with no reliance on a volunteer online polling panel?  You might remember the absurdly ill-informed article from ex-ICM man Nick Sparrow a few months ago in which he bemoaned how the political obsessives in online panels were artificially generating momentum for the SNP.  Even when he wrote that, Ipsos-Mori's telephone poll was already pointing to a bigger SNP lead than had been detected in any online poll.  Now that the same is true of TNS' face-to-face polling, it looks if anything as if online panellists are proving to be a drag on the SNP's numbers in online polls.  In other words, contrary to Sparrow's argument, the likes of YouGov and Panelbase could actually be artificially diluting the momentum behind the SNP (albeit not by much!).

96 comments:

  1. So all the negative, low content, campaigning has payed off for Labour.

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    1. And I make no bones about it: James Naughtie, James Cook, lesser folk like Kaye Adams, and a whole lot of BBC editors, should be out on their ears.

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    2. I second that emotion for these reasons
      http://www.weourselves.com/bbc-scotlands-project-fear-begins/
      http://www.weourselves.com/journos-tribal-defence-of-their-own-comes-before-all-else/

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    3. Brian, the letter order has been scrambled - it shouldn't be e-a-r-s, the "e" should be at the end of the word ...

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    4. The James Cook thing is bizarre. He's very even-handed. Would James Naughtie or Kaye Adams have done this?

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  2. Mind boggling, utterly numb at those numbers.

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  3. Ah but Jim's no' worried. There's going to be a huge late swing for him. What he doesn't know is it's a wee lassie wi' a tin helmet oan a wrecking ball.

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    1. Apparently, Jim was 'surprised at how easy it was to campaign against the SNP'... it was easy with a compliant media but the compliant media just let him spew on and on and now what can he say?

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  4. Surely not James Cook Brian?

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  5. So, is there enough evidence from reading the latest polls, to show the don't knows breaking mostly for the SNP?

    Jim Murphy has mentioned these DK's a few times as being key to his late comeback, so evidence showing them breaking for the SNP would certainly, put paid to that theory.

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    1. No, because the undecided rate in both of the last two TNS polls is basically the same (29% of the total sample). The higher SNP score is due to a higher certainty to vote. This is normally a good thing, but it can inflate poll scores a touch if the undecided voters do not break in your favour.

      The problem for Labour is I suspect that a significant share of the 'undecided' voters will not vote. Their certainty to vote (68%) is much lower than that of any of the major parties. SNP is 82% and the other main UK parties are in the 70s.

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    2. Thanks James,

      The Labour % is falling, so where are they going? if they are dropping into the DK section, and the DK's remain at roughly the same %, then the DK's must surely be moving to SNP or any other party who keeps seeing a rise in polling %?

      If this isn't what's happening then it's even worse for Labour, because people who had until recently said they would vote Labour are switching straight to another party, and the polls strongly suggest that party is the SNP.

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    3. TNS found a few more kippers (15) than in their previous poll (4). The movements are relatively small between the two polls. It's most likely just sampling variation. The most recent SNP increase happened in late March / early April and was picked up by the previous poll (which finished on 8 April). YouGov picked up an SNP increase / Lab decrease in early April but then there was no change in their most recent poll.

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  6. Eggpocalypse Now! :-D

    Taxi for Murphy! ;-)

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  7. Still worrying that we can't get this disgraceful mob down into the teens. Plenty of time left, mind.

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    1. They still have BBC Scotland, and the rest of the MSM covering their backs.

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  9. interesting to know why the publication of the poll was delayed by such a long time. I know TNS are slow - but releasing a poll 8 days after the fieldwork finished seems a bit odd...

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    1. It seems to me this must be the poll the guy who came up to our stall at Carlops on Saturday was referring to. Poll being sat on to come out at the beginning of the week - check. Really good for the SNP - check. 2% increase over previous result - check. (Not Ipsos-Mori - check. He said something I interpreted as it not being Ipsos Mori, though I wasn't sure I'd picked him up correctly.)

      I thought perhaps it was a poll showing a 2% increase over a previous result of perhaps 45%. Even that would have been hugely encouraging. I didn't dare hope it was a 2% increase over the previous high point of 52%!

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  10. I read that, on radio this morning, Jim maintained that, even if he loses his seat, he will lead Labour into next year's general election in Scotland.

    I wonder if his colleagues will be enthusiastic about that.

    I also wonder how Johann Lamont (who voted for Findlay and Clark) is viewing the campaign of the London Big Gun sent to save the Scottish branch.

    He started off saying that he wouldn't lose a single seat to the SNP, and now is admitting he may lose his own seat.

    I'd never make a politician. By now, if I were him, I'd be ashamed to show my face.

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    1. "I also wonder how Johann Lamont (who voted for Findlay and Clark) is viewing the campaign of the London Big Gun sent to save the Scottish branch."

      She'll be leadin the "I told you so faction" in the coming SLAB infighting and carnage tris. I bet she'll also have a few choice words for her former pal Maigrit. I'd imagine Lamont would be devastated if Maigrit got booted out. :-D

      For that matter there might even be some panic moves to try and change the rules on reopening MSP places for the Murphy 'hordes'. They have no parachute and they'll be lucky if even two or three will get the 'Broon treatment' of a Lordship considering the Lords are now comically overstuffed with failed unionist politicians. Nae maer room for 'jocks'. Such a shame. ;-)

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    2. Jim staying on to further decimate the Labour Party in Scotland, would be too good to be true, I can't help thinking though, that the trouble his 'policy announcements' have caused the Two Eds and Labour in London. will put paid to his plan and he will be booted out in no uncertain terms.

      I hope not though.

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    3. I think he was mis quoted with some key words omitted, he perhaps said he wouldn't lose so many as to be left with a single seat.

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  11. On BBC 1 tonight there is a programme featuring somebody called Nate Silver, an American statistician, who will predict the election outcome. Worth watching?

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    1. Not really. He will just read out whatever Election Forecast are saying today.

      Silver predicted the Lib Dems would win >100 seats in 2010. Oops. Predicting US presidential elections (which is what his reputation is built on) is piss easy compared to UK (or Scottish) general elections.

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    2. You'd be better off watching Phil Silvers "Sgt. Bilko" reruns!

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    3. Nate is actually very good. Very humble actually. It is hard though to fully get another countries elections . I am sure he will be far more accurate than the BBC or sun.

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  12. So, giving the standard 3% error margin, we could actually be looking, realistically, at anything between 51% and 57%. Over half the voting population and possibly more.

    As Jola would say, "Astonishing!"

    Proud Cybernat

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  13. Apparently under 55s are at more than 60% for SNP. Glasgow is over 60% for SNP 17% for Lab.

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  14. We're on the road to freedom, we shall not be moved,
    We're on the road to freedom, we shall not be moved,
    Not by the Libs, the Tories or Labour's lies,
    We shall not be moved!

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  15. We can only pray that Jim loses his seat, and then retains the leadership.
    An unelected Jim screaming his scare stories for an entire year - he'll have nothing else to do - pretty much confirms a second SNP majority and could even endanger Labour's place as the 2nd largest party.

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  16. Avalanche? Tsunami? Wipeout? Landslide?

    We need a standardised nomenclature so everyone can understand if an avalanche is greater than a landslide. I'd like to throw into the mix that at 54% we are talking about an Extinction Event.

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    1. Iain, I believe the correct technical term is that Labour are "Friar Tucked".

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    5. Would that be because the electorate have realised they have been "Hood"winked by Labour.

      I don't have a coat.

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  17. At least we understand now why the MSN have panicked and so many unionist politicians were running around like headless chickens this weekend. They must have received an early wiff of this, in addition to their own internal polling results. I suppose Murphy and his Red Tory strategists thought they could win back Labour YES voters after the referendum, but what they forgot (or failed to realise) was that a huge portion of those voters were already drifting to the SNP (cf. 2011 Holyrood result) and the referendum seems to have sealed the deal. They ain't going back very soon, Jim. People have caught the independence virus, and they have developed a nasty habit of voting SNP - at all elections!


    That said - I still don't think that Labour will be completely wiped out in Scotland (don't underestimate their ability to get their vote out) but they will be fatally damaged.

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  18. Just been looking at the tables
    SNP have the youth vote sewn up ,65 + is still only in the 30's
    H+I interesting ...over 60 % and still 40% undecided ....
    This could all be an outlier but breathtaking all the same ,It will be interesting to see where the DK's break to

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    1. There is a problem here, George. Basically, the elderly vote in large numbers and young people don't. That's why the Better Together lot had Labour people from England phoning up pensioners lying to them that their pensions would stop after a Yes vote.

      This differential voting on an age basis may make the percentage Labour vote a bit higher than the polls would suggest. Having said that, the greater the SNP lead, the less this matters.

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  19. James, remember the poll that put Labour on course to win the Holyrood election, then the SNP won?
    What is the difference this time round with the polls? Why should we trust them when a previous poll for an election went so badly awry?

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    1. I think that, by this time in the campaign in 2011, the polls had turned in the SNP's favour. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think that's the difference.

      Also, I don't think Labour ever had anything like this kind of lead over the SNP in polls ahead of 2011 so even if they claw something back, it would seem they are unlikely to over-turn it completely. Unless people are telling MASSIVE porkies to the pollsters, of course.

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    2. Those made up Murphy rallies don't lie. The truth is out there!

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    3. I think that in 2011 Labour had a 20-point lead up until six weeks before polling day, and then there was a late swing to the SNP. What seems to be happening this time is that there is another late swing, but incredibly it is going to the SNP and giving them an even bigger lead.

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    4. Holyrood opinion polls are listed on the Scotland Votes site.

      http://www.scotlandvotes.com/holyrood/opinion-polls

      The last poll to give Lab a big lead (>6 points) in 2011 was in early March (TNS, for the Herald). By late March / early April it was a statistical tie and the SNP took a decisive lead by mid-April. The swing was late, but it wasn't *this* late.

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  20. Maybe this is the common move towards the party ahead in the polls?

    Conversation

    "A'm no shair, A've ayeways voted Labour."

    Aye, me tae, bit A widnae vote for thae troughers noo. There's no mony left that will.

    Aye, a suppose ye're richt. Maybe we should gie the SNP a chance tae see whit they'll dae. They cannae be ony worse.

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  21. James,

    Could the don't knows be a significant number of unionists deciding whether to vote Labour or Tory. I have a feeling they will break Tory in Murphy's seat, for example.

    Presumably this will help the SNP.

    On the gloomy side, when the don't knows shift this so-called change will be played out relentlessly by the media in the last few days of the election that the SNP lead is falling as 'sensible' people make their minds up.

    I still fear the same old tricks from an opposition which I am now finding increasingly distasteful.

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    1. More of the don't knows are people who voted Labour or Lib Dem in 2010 than voted SNP. Some of these people will probably break back to their prior party, so the election should be significantly closer than the polls currently indicate. The problems for Labour is that even if the SNP win over relatively few undecided voters, they're going to win about 45% of the vote.

      I doubt the polls will move that much; what is more likely to happen is that the results (at least in terms of the vote share) will be relatively 'disappointing', i.e. the SNP are not going to win 52 - 54% of the vote. There was a similar pattern during the Blair era; Labour would often poll 50%+, but would then 'only' win about 44% of the vote. Of course this was still more than enough to win massive majorities.

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    2. Thanks James.

      That is what I am picking up on the doors. Going to stick to my gut feeling that anything around 30 seats will be a damn good night.

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  22. Is this a full Scottish poll or UK subset?

    Mandela

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    1. Full Scottish poll.

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  23. I hate to get too optimistic but I actually believe the SNP will drift further ahead before next week rather than there being some late narrowing of the lead. Although even a small dip in SNP projections would cause a few of the most optimistic seats not to be won.

    Hard to believe that you can barely get 5/1 with any bookies for the SNP to win every seat in Scotland. A year ago the odds would have been 100/1 if not more.

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  24. I’ve yet to hear the phrase “tipping point” but I’ll wager it won’t be long. Numbers like these will have tactical votes for Labour from Tories disappearing faster than snaw aff a dyke.

    James, not so long ago I was speculating that Labour could potentially be looking at a fair number of lost deposits but you weren’t entirely convinced. I’m going to stick with my forecast.;-)

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  25. Hold on now; this is on an effective 440 odd. The margin of error is way more than 3%.

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  26. If poll is right--my first tweet May 8th will be to Baron Robertson of Port Ellen

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    1. I wonder what the chances of a shock recovery for Labour are now. I recall when the SNP went from a ten-point deficit to a ten-point lead in about two months in 2011, it was widely described as near unprecedented. Labour now have to repeat that swing in a week and a half just to achieve parity.

      Betfair have them at 79/1 for most Scottish seats. Would that be worth a punt?

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    2. 790/1 would not be a good bet for Labour to get most Scottish seats. It is impossible for them. They are shafted, screwed, humped.

      I told you many months ago on both here and Wings that Murphy was vulnerable when many were saying ER should be written off and resources focused elsewhere. Indeed ER was being proposed for the mythical 'YES Alliance' candidate. He knows he is beaten;his canvassing returns match the SNP's; trust me on this. He could feasibly come 3rd. If he is going then what chance the rest of the shower?

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    3. Given that they've won most Scottish seats at every WM election since like 1960, I'd certainly take 790/1. I think I'll put a couple of quid on at 79/1 anyway - it'll help me drown my sorrows if Labour do pull it off.

      I meant my post above to be a reply to Wave Machine's post, by the way. Dunno how it ended up here.

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    4. "Given that they've won most Scottish seats at every WM election since like 1960"

      Totally different party, totally different personnel, totally different opposition, totally different landscape.

      It is like betting Rangers at 79/1 to win next year's SPL on the basis they have a strong history of doing so.

      (btw how awful must it be to be a bluenose/SLAB supporter presently. ouch. All those decades of certainty and establishment privilege swept away)

      Get your £2 on a lotto ticket instead.

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    5. I placed some bets soon after the referendum on the SNP winning the most Scottish seats. The polls had swung decisively to the SNP, but the betting markets simply hadn't caught up. Now that odds are the other way, I've placed some bets on Labour winning the most Scottish seats.

      Whichever way the election goes, at least I'll make a healthy profit.

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    6. Stoat

      Many would call that wise.

      Where I come from that from we call that 'Shitebag Betting'!!

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    7. Stoat - how is the tactical voting campaign coming along? You're probably the only person involved in it on here whom I'd expect to give an honest assessment. Do you think the "pouters" will manage to save a few seats, or are things as bleak for them as the polls would suggest?

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    8. keaton, I'm Labour now. Card carrying member. Joined a few months ago and campaigning, for a number of reasons. I became utterly disgusted with the Tories during this election campaign. Plus my personal political beliefs are somewhat closer to Labour than any other party. From the beginning, even though I was very eager I was at least somewhat sceptical as to just how much impact a tactical voting campaign could have in a general election and nothing happened that decreased my scepticism.

      So it's Labour now, for better or worse.

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  27. Strewth! Jings! Tsunami!

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  28. Let's back Jim to continue as Labour leader even when he does lose his seat. He's doing a great job for Sotland.

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    1. That is cruel, but I love it!

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    2. I endorse this. Murphy must stay!

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    3. If he loses, I'm sure Dugdale will be leader. It would be ridiculous for an elected(ish) politician to be deputy to some unemployed dosser.

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    4. Not just Jimbo, we must keep intact the whole triumphant triumvirate, the tremendous trio, the trailblazing troika.

      Ladies and Gents, I give you Murphy, McDougall, Mcternan: the Axis of Arseholes!

      :-)

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    5. @Keaton

      If someone like Dugdale did take over from Murphy, you can be sure the main (and probably only) message will remain SNP BAD...

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    6. @Brian

      Aye, all of those mentioned must stay as well, and Susan "The SNP are like the Omagh bombers" Dalgety.

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  29. Well done fellow Scots . The lies and scares don't work . Brilliant .

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  30. I heard on the radio that "research shows" that don't knows break 2:1 in favour of the incumbent. Accepting that such research may not be at all applicable in this situation, I was wondering what difference it would make if it did turn out that way. I am not sure how to do that calculation. I came up with and SNP on 49% and labour on 33% but I am uneasy about how I went about it. Can someone here help?

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    1. I think the incumbent rule would help Carmichael in O & S. He has steadily built up his vote at each election since he got elected there. I don't believe the incumbent rule really helps anywhere else though. James would be a better ask on that though. I think myself that the days of a personal vote are long gone Fiona.

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  31. You could be right, Iain More: but perhaps it is more of a "status quo ante" vote than a personal one?

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  32. You could be right, Iain More: but perhaps it is more of a "status quo ante" vote than a personal one?

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  33. I heard on the radio that "research shows" that don't knows break 2:1 in favour of the incumbent. Accepting that such research may not be at all applicable in this situation, I was wondering what difference it would make if it did turn out that way. I am not sure how to do that calculation. I came up with and SNP on 49% and labour on 33% but I am uneasy about how I went about it. Can someone here help?

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    1. That's absolute voodoo. Anyway, who is the incumbent in Scotland? The only major party in Scotland that is not in government is Labour! Yet they are the incumbent party in the majority of seats.

      It's worthwhile looking at the split of the remaining undecided voters, as according to TNS. There are significant chunks of 2010 Labour and Lib Dem voters there, but nowhere near enough to make the election close.

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    2. This election is way into uncharted territory, with totally unprecedented opinion polls. The only safe assumption is that "normal rules" don't apply.

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  34. Ashcroft's Scottish focus groups demonstrate why there will be no big swing back to Labour before Thursday.

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2015/04/ashcroft-national-poll-con-36-lab-30-lib-dem-9-ukip-11-green-7/?utm_source=Lord+Ashcroft+Polls&utm_campaign=cd9df54c1c-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b70c7aec0a-cd9df54c1c-71655257

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  35. "This is the moment in a general election campaign when parties show their real sense of how they’re doing by how they reposition their forces, drawing back to fight off attacks in citadels or diving deep into enemy territory, buoyed up by polling.

    The only party doing the latter is the SNP for whom, it sometimes seems, there is no enemy territory with the possible exception of the Isle of Wight.

    Labour is pulling back from defending all the Scottish seats it holds and is focusing on 12 to 15 it thinks it has a chance of holding."

    -- Gary Gibbon, Channel 4 News.

    http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-on-politics/elections-2015-david-cameron-pumps/30661

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  36. The Ashcroft focus group stuff makes for humourous reading, couple of wee gems such as "Some said this hardly mattered anyway since there was nothing to choose between a government led by Labour or the Conservatives (“it’s just a different shade of shite”)" and

    "If English voters took exception to a minority Labour government supported by the SNP, this would amount to “a wee taste of your own cake”"

    I LOL'd.

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  37. Oh my giddy Aunt. Wow.

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  38. Brian... Keaton... I am so pleased that you both have mentioned the unmentionable... " nughtie "" I thought I was alone in my detestation of this odious little creep.... which is one of my lesser compliments where that pseudo Scot is concerned... given his blatant support for the red tory cause.. his style of interrupting interview where he often speaks more with his very own interpretation on what the interviewee is trying to impart... & is so often anti anyone other than his beloved labour friends.... so.... when the results are finally declared I hope one of the very first acts is to declare this pimple persona non grata... which I do not believe will upset him unduly.

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  39. Eh what?

    "Lib Dems step up Scottish campaign after polling boost"

    http://gu.com/p/47q2f

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    1. I just read that on the Guardian website. They think they can retain the majority of their Scottish seats! I really cannot see it myself.

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    2. I'm amazed there are still people willing to vote LibDem, unless they disconnect themselves from what the LibDems have been doing in Westminster.
      We pride ourselves on having only 1 Tory MP in Scotland but effectively we have 12.

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  40. Well,the Scottish Unionists wanted Scots to come together and "heal" after the referendum.
    They should be careful what they wish for.

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  41. A copy of tomorrow's Record front page appears to show a mention of an 'exclusive pol'l that has 51% voting for Sturgeon - is this the elusive Survation?

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    1. It's definitely by survation.

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  42. Remember everyone, keep at it until next Wednesday night. No triumphalism, it aint over till the fat lady sings.

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    1. I want to say something about Jacqui Baillie's next career but I shan't.

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