Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pivotal Panelbase poll pushes SNP to record-breaking 21% lead

I think I spoke too soon a few days ago when I observed that full-scale Scottish polls were coming thicker and faster as election day approached - there's been a frustrating silence over the last crucial week, which has seen people start to vote in huge numbers by post.  Tonight's Panelbase poll is likely to be the first Scottish poll conducted (at least in part) after some respondents had already voted.  The results are, therefore, rather encouraging for the SNP.  ***UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT***

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election (Panelbase) :

SNP 48% (+3)
Labour 27% (-2)
Conservatives 16% (+2)
Liberal Democrats 4% (n/c)
UKIP 3% (-1)
Greens 2% (n/c)

This is the fifth Panelbase poll since the independence referendum, but the first and third used weird methodologies, which probably led to the SNP lead being understated.  So, assuming there hasn't been any more methodological changes, tonight's result can be most meaningfully compared to the second and fourth polls, which produced SNP leads of 17 and 16 points respectively.  In theory, the big leap to a 21 point gap could just be an extreme example of margin of error "noise", but it almost certainly isn't, because it replicates what we've seen from TNS and YouGov, both of whom also recently reported the SNP lead jumping to record-breaking levels.

And this isn't merely corroboration of the trend shown by other firms.  Because the fieldwork dates for tonight's poll are more recent, it also provides us with our first indication that the additional surge for the SNP hasn't gone into reverse over recent days.

Respondents were asked whether they favoured Full Fiscal Autonomy, and by an impressive margin of 53% to 33%, they said they did.  This should not be remotely surprising, given that previous polls have consistently shown that voters want Devo Max - which entails Full Fiscal Autonomy and a lot more besides.  However, Labour and other unionist parties have bet the ranch on the idea that people will be more scared by the sound of Full Fiscal Autonomy than they are by the sound of Devo Max.  It appears that hope is largely without foundation.

My guess is that Labour will always find it a lot harder than they think to frighten people about self-government within the UK, no matter how radical the proposal being made is.  After all, the anti-independence campaign repeatedly told us that they were offering "Devo SUPER Max", "near-federalism", "Home Rule" - and if they of all people claimed to be comfortable (and enthusiastic) about such a big transfer of power, why would anyone else be terrified by the prospect only a few short months later?

The independence question was also asked -

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 49% (-2)
No 51% (+2)

There hasn't been a consistent trend in favour of either Yes or No across the polling industry in recent times - some polls have shown Yes up a bit, and others have shown No up a bit, which probably means that sampling variation is disguising a largely unchanged position.  However, all of the polling firms with the exception of ICM are in agreement that the Yes vote increased by several points after the referendum, and hasn't slipped back to any significant degree since.  We know that the swing to Yes is real and not an illusion caused by methodology, because the results are now being weighted by recalled referendum vote.

All firms apart from ICM also agree that the race is now a 'statistical tie' - ie. because of the standard 3% margin of error, it's impossible to tell whether Yes or No are in the lead.

Rolfe mentioned on the previous thread that she had been approached at a street stall by someone who said they work for a polling company, and who claimed that a poll showing a further increase in the SNP lead was being sat on until the start of the week.  If that's true, I don't see how it can be the Panelbase poll, because that was commissioned by the Sunday Times, and has therefore been released at exactly the moment you'd expect.  Maybe it's the overdue monthly Survation poll for the Record?  (Mind you, it's Ipsos-Mori that have their call centre in Edinburgh, so it could just as easily be the quarterly "I'm John MacKay" poll.)

*  *  *

As part of an epic journey to the theatre in Edinburgh (it was Birdsong at the King's, since you didn't ask), I somehow found myself at the Hope Over Fear rally in Glasgow by complete accident.  I stayed for about five minutes and heard a little of Tommy Sheridan's speech, before I had to rush off and catch my train.  Here are some pictures...







(Click to enlarge.)

82 comments:

  1. At the George Sq rally today one speaker was the 17 year old girl who was attacked by loyalists on 19th September and had her Saltire taken from her live on TV... amusingly she said that as a member of the Scottish Green Party she was happy to encourage everyone to vote SNP. Seems like all the Green voters have taken her advice.


    ( I mention this because in all the discussion of tactical voting it seems like the most important form of it will be Greens-to-SNP, since with their big membership boost after the referendum and UK-wide enhanced media presence you'd really expect the Greens to do a bit better than 2%)

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    1. Yes, I can confirm that I, and most Greens I know, will vote SNP in this general election in order to get more powers to Holyrood. Holyrood should be the centre of Scottish political life. We're also taking the opportunity to train our volunteers in electioneering in this election, but we're not expecting to win anything.

      In 2016 we go all out to win.

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    2. I hope that is the case. I will be voting SNP / Green in 2016 myself. I hope SNP members see fit to lend their list vote to the Greens.

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    3. Yup I will be looking to vote SNP / Green in 2016.
      I think the tactical voting wheel, will be far better used on social media by us cybernatz, and we will see a big upsurge in green seats being won on the list at the expense of Unionist parties.

      Must be terrible to see every ploy you engage in order to thwart the SNP, being firstly ignored, then expertly utilised against you..lol!

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    4. "I hope SNP members see fit to lend their list vote to the Greens."

      What on earth for? To 'tactically' ensure that the SNP don't win a majority?

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    5. To maximise pro-independence representation in Holyrood. If the SNP do well in the constituencies the threshold to win list seats will be very high. Voting for a different pro-indy party on the list would be much more efficient under the D'Hondt system.

      If all SNP votes in the regional lists had gone to the Greens in 2011 there would have been 97 pro-independence MSPs in Holyrood, including 53 SNP. As it turned out there were 72 pro-independence MSPs elected.

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    6. That should perhaps be a goal of us CyberNatzys so we can show how wide ranging our movement is. Get the establishment to open their eyes or get out

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    7. Tactical voting on the list DOES NOT WORK. It has every chance of backfiring and DECREASING the number of pro-independence MSPs. For tactical voting on the list, you'd need an incredibly precise level of foreknowledge about the results not only on the list, but also in 8-10 individual constituencies. That precision simply isn't available in opinion polls - not even close. The 2011 result demonstrated that with bells on. It's a mug's game.

      By all means vote Green on the list - if the Greens are your first choice party.

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    8. In North East Scotland in 2011 it took 140,749 list votes for the SNP to get ONE list MSP elected. Those same votes would have elected FIVE Green MSPs on the same regional list.

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    9. Thankyou for mentioning the north-east in 2011, because that's a fine example of how tactical voting on the list is likely to backfire. I lost count of the number of SNP supporters or even members who 'tactically' voted Green in the north-east because the SNP 'couldn't' win a list seat and the Greens 'could'.

      Actual result? One SNP list seat, zero Green list seats. The Greens weren't even close, and those 'tactical' votes were thrown away.

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    10. I don't get the anti-Green stuff. Both parties support independence, but the Greens have far better policies beyond that. Clearly voting for them in 2015 is pointless as they can't win a seat, but the merit in a PR system is you don't have to be so tied to tactical voting.

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    11. What "anti-Green stuff"? If that's a reference to my comments, I hope you can justify it. I haven't said anything even remotely "anti-Green" - I've simply pointed out that tactical voting on the list doesn't work.

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    12. It depends what the situation is.

      If the polls next year are anything like this year then there really is no point in voting SNP on the list as it will:
      1) likely win virtually every constituency anyway and have a majority without any list members
      2) have little chance of winning any list seats South of the Tay

      If the polls are closer, then James is right as it is incredibly difficult to foresee which party wins which constituency and, crucially, how the list vote will break region by region.

      Me? I think I'll vote SNP / Green regardless as I don't want the SNP to become a replacement Labour party and, regardless what people in the SNP like to think, today's SNP membership is made up the same kind of people as yesterday's Labour membership.

      A credible pro-Independence alternative in the parliament will serve the SNP well.

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    13. "What "anti-Green stuff"? If that's a reference to my comments, I hope you can justify it. I haven't said anything even remotely "anti-Green" - I've simply pointed out that tactical voting on the list doesn't work."

      That's a pretty irate response to a fairly bland comment. I suggest calming down a bit and thinking before you type.

      My perspective is quite simply that the Greens have better policies and I'd prefer in an ideal world the Greens winning a majority, not the SNP. I know that's not going to happen, but I don't like to see anyone discouraging people from supporting the party. The SNP to me are pretty much what Labour would look like if they supported independence: the Greens are the genuine anti-austerity, environmental party I think a lot of people want.

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    14. No, if the polling situation is roughly as it is now, we'll be in the same ball-park as 2011, when the SNP needed list votes in seven out of eight regions. They'd need to be polling at 55%+ before SNP supporters could justifiably feel safe playing silly buggers on the list.

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    15. Pilkus : You're damn right my reply to you was irate. This is another irate reply. I always think before I type. Do you?

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    16. You losing 'count of the number of SNP supporters or even members who 'tactically' voted Green in the north-east' is simply not the same as a concerted tactical voting drive by Indy supporters intent on producing a properly representative parliament on the subject that they consider of primary importance.

      The actual numbers given by Holebender for the North East prove this point beyond argument. Your anecdotal 'lost count' just is not born out by those figures. If I am missing something please put forward figures to illustrate your case as Holebender has.

      braco

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    17. Personally, I'm not advocating tactical voting. The best scenario would be a formal pact in which the SNP does not contest any regional list and encourages all its voters to vote Green (or SSP) in the list vote. The quid pro quo being no Green or SSP constituency candidates and those parties encouraging an SNP constituency vote.

      This would also allow (e.g.) Patrick Harvie to take up a Cabinet post.

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    18. "You losing 'count of the number of SNP supporters or even members who 'tactically' voted Green in the north-east' is simply not the same as a concerted tactical voting drive"

      If you're referring to a situation where the SNP actively recommend that their own supporters vote Green on the list, then you're correct - it could work. That situation is not going to arise. Tactical voting will be on the micro and not macro scale, and therefore will not work - and has a fair chance of backfiring horribly.

      I am also absolutely dumbfounded that you are persisting in claiming that the 2011 result harms my argument rather than helps it. Simple question - how many list seats did the Greens win in the north-east in 2011?

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    19. "What on earth for? To 'tactically' ensure that the SNP don't win a majority?"

      I don't want the SNP to have a majority.

      We Greens are "lending" the SNP our votes this time around for the specific purpose of getting more powers for Holyrood. Once the powers are in Holyrood, we'll do our best to ensure those powers are best used for the collective good. That means we can't be having you in a majority, much in the same way you don't want the Labour party in London to have a majority.

      In this general election, we're adding our votes to yours to give you an avalanche instead of a mere landslide. Without our votes, you'd be looking at 35-40 seats, basically replacing Labour folk in their seats. With our votes, you're getting nearly everything. That's fine. But we don't want you to have a majority.

      Unlike the Labour party, we don't break out in hives at the site of an SNP person. We can work together, and we have. Both when you had a minority, and in the referendum. We can work together in respect of the Scottish people's wishes. But working together doesn't mean we agree with you. And it doesn't mean that we won't work as hard as possible to reintroduce normal, boring, sensible politics at Holyrood.

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    20. "I don't want the SNP to have a majority."

      That's an answer to a question I didn't ask. I asked Anon why he/she thought SNP supporters (not Green supporters) should vote Green on the list. In case you're in any remaining doubt, you can scroll back up to the bit in this thread where I explictly said "by all means vote Green on the list - if the Greens are your first-choice party".

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    21. James: You seem to be creating an argument here out of thin air. If you don't support the Greens then fine and I accept the point about genuine SNP members not tactically voting, but I think it's perfectly legitimate that those of us who do support the Greens should argue the case (forcefully if need be). I also think it's worth saying that a lot of "SNP members" might be closer to the Greens in reality on tax/spend policies and the environment - in fact I know several people who are members of both parties.

      Even if the only purpose in the Greens is leveraging the SNP toward better policies (e.g. ending our love affair with oil, making a real break with austerity) that would be worth it in my view.

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    22. Pilkus : If you don't want to have an argument, then please stop evading the point. Who or what did your comment about "anti-Green stuff" refer to?

      By the way, anyone who is a member of both the SNP and the Greens is breaking the rules of both parties.

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    23. James,
      the current Westminster SNP vote is in essence 'tactical'. Everyone that wants an indy Scotland, or more powers to Holyrood, is voting SNP to make the biggest impact. I am one of those people and have no specific allegiance to any particular party as yet (as no party in Scotland has access to proper power yet). My sole intention is to use what power and votes I do have to maximise the chances of creating an independent Scotland, within which I can then choose from a range of parties with real power to deliver their varied policy promises. If that entails tactical voting to create a viable Indy supporting Green party that the SNP can form Indy supporting coalition after coalition with in Holyrood (much as the Unionists designed Holyrood for a Lab Lib Union supporting political domination of Scottish politics) then so be it.

      It's very easy to forget how structurally difficult it really is for a single party such as the SNP to win majorities in a Holyrood system specifically designed to stop that exact scenario. That same system was however designed to deliver constant domination by parties in coalition. At the time of design by the unionist establishment, Scotland had no second Indy supporting party big enough to share power with the SNP by forming a coalition, while Labour thought they would always have the LIBs for coalition or the Tories in a worst case anti Indy Ref vote. We are now in a position to turn their own gerrymandering political structures against them in Holyrood, just as we are at the moment (by tactical voting) in their first past the post structural domination of Scotland for Westminster.

      You seem to be very happy to advocate tactical voting for Westminster that the SNP gain from, but unwilling to advocate tactical voting in Holyrood that the SNP will lose from but that Indy supporting majorities into the future are most likely to come from.

      All that I and others is asking for are your reasons for this.

      braco

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    24. Braco, how many times have we been over this? It's one thing asking for my reasons, but quite another to get my reasons about a million times and then vexatiously claim you don't know what they are.

      As I'm sure you know perfectly well, the distinction I am drawing is NOT between tactical voting which benefits the SNP and tactical voting which does not. The distinction I am drawing is between tactical voting in single-member constituency elections (which can work in certain circumstances) and tactical voting on the regional list in a mixed-member proportional system (which is likely to backfire). Understood?

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    25. Personally Id vote for Iddy Amin, if it gets us Indepndence .... I do laugh when I here folk getting all hot under the collar about this kind of issue .... bottom line is nothing is going to change until we are independent ... apart from a bit of tweaking! IMO its a matter of looking at the situation on you own patch... evaluating what will maximise the pro indy agenda regardless of political colour ... and going with that. It'll be different in different areas ... no one policy is a universal solution. .... chill hold hands ... and march together in the same direction ... leave it to the unionist Tartan Morris Dancers ... to fight amongst themselves as they increasingly find themselves abandoned by the coloial maters!

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    26. Anon : At the 2011 election, the Greens made clear that they were open to a deal with either Labour or the SNP, and they weren't making a deal with Labour conditional on constitutional progress. Even leaving aside the fact that tactical voting on the list isn't really possible, people who propose a kind of happy-clappy, "indy-first, party-second" approach need to bear in mind that the Greens (quite properly) have priorities that they rank higher than independence.

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    27. Yes James we have been over this many times. I completely understand that the voting systems are different and therefor the tactical voting strategies will have to be different. This does not mean that tactical voting in the Holyrood system, under the correct conditions, is somehow impossible or morally reprehensible.

      Last time we spoke on this you accused me of undemocratically suggesting we 'game' the d'Hondt system. Tactical voting IS gaming an electoral system. That's it's nature. The voter is using the system to try and secure what they perceive to be the best result within the limitations of the voting system they have been presented with are working within. Now you are claiming I am vexatiously claiming I don't understand what you are saying. I am not. I understand what you are saying, I just don't understand why you are saying it, as your reasons do not make sense to me.

      Please note, I have not claimed your responses to our debate as 'vexatious' or inferred they were in some way tediously repetative, just because I continue to disagree with them and you refuse to stop arguing your point. It would be nice if you returned the courtesy.

      braco

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    28. You see, this is getting deep into straw man territory, and that's why I can't return the supposed courtesy. Where did I claim that tactical voting on the list was "morally reprehensible"? I didn't, did I? I simply said that it didn't work. Will you acknowledge that, please?

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    29. I make it that the only Holyrood seats outwith the SNP's reach based on the swing from 2011 to today's WESTMINSTER polls are Coatbridge, Dumfriesshire, Eastwood, Ettrick/Roxburgh/Berwickshire and Shetland.

      Provan and Renfrew South are a stretch but would fall on the slightly more favourable numbers the SNP sees for Holyrood. Orkney is difficult to judge due to the Independent who took 2nd last time (and close 3rd for SNP).

      Therefore the SNP could quite reasonably expect to take 67 or 68 constituencies on current polling which is a clear majority without any list seats.

      If the polling position is maintained, I see no electoral reason why the SNP and Greens could not come to arrangement such that the Greens commit to support a minority SNP Govt should it fall short on the constituency vote in return for giving the Greens a clear run on the list.

      It won't happen of course because, when push comes to shove, it would require individual SNP parliamentarians doing without the safety net of the list.

      However, the SNP needs to think hard about how it can GUARANTEE a pro-Independence majority in Holyrood. 2011 was a perfect storm and is unlikely to be repeated by design.

      I think it is simply wrong to suggest that tactical voting can't work under D'Hondt. Just like under FPTP it can be successful if it used the right way and under the right circumstances.

      Whether that can be done is an entirely different question.

      FWIW this is the main reason why I favoured (and still do) an alliance fighting Westminster this year because it would have blooded a new pro-Indy electoral entity that could have fought the list in place of the SNP next year (with SNP people on its lists!!!) Sigh.

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    30. James KellyJanuary 19, 2015 at 2:01 PM

      '...Cheating the AMS system with "official strategies" isn't like trying to gain a small edge here or there - it's heavy-duty cheating that would seek to gain 20+ seats that we aren't entitled to. Thankfully decent politicians like Patrick Harvie and Nicola Sturgeon would never be party to it, so it's an academic point.'

      'Morally reprehensible' was a paraphrase from my memory but I think the above quote from your post carries just the same meaning and attitude.

      Seems we don't talk about this nearly as much as we feel we do James as it took me bloody ages to track down that thread! ;-)

      braco

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    31. We are campaigning for this westminster election so are the greens. They have stalls, activists, leafleting, canvassing and they are sending out election literature along with with everyone else.

      They have NOT made any kind of arrangement to stand aside or call for tactical voting for us in this this GE and it's ludicrous to expect the SNP to do so for them next year. Make no bones about it, those green votes could well be the difference in some westminster seats that are bound to be extremely close including some of the ones local to me. But here's the thing. That's politics. I don't throw my toys out of the pram and demand green voters change their allegiance and I'm still delighted to talk to their activists when we cross paths. We are friendly with them as we are with the SSP.

      If you are a green voter (or SSP) and you are determined to vote green/SSP I can't change your mind and I'm not about to try. Likewise, in 2016 if you are a green/SSP and you want to vote for your party then do so with BOTH choices. Don't try to second guess a list system that was designed specifically to try and stop a majority as there is no way on earth you can predict what will happen by splitting your vote. Vote for your party first and second choice then you know what your choice was and that it will have the precise effect you desire instead of backfiring.

      As has been said greens (and SSP) have different priorities which is as it should be. We have a common goal with Independence which is OUR priority (the clue is in the name) along with quite a few other policy areas. However, let nobody think we are interchangable because we are not. Scottish voters are also pretty well informed on what the greens will prioritise and what we or the SSP will so there's no point trying to deny it or pretend those differences are not there.

      There are no guarantees for 2016 because there are no guarantees for even (less than) two weeks ahead. Sure, the polls look stunning but very, VERY few of us in the SNP are naive enough to base everything on polling. Indeed most of the people I know are still hoping for a 35-40 result as that would still be incredible progress. Anything more will be astonishing and wonderful.

      Nor do we have the faintest idea where things will stand in 2016 save for the fact that Labour and the Lib dems are going to be in some of the deepest trouble they have ever known and that Nicola and Alex will have to use all their skill to try and push reasonable and progressive policies through westminster in the teeth of a corrupt establishment and rabid unionist media.

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    32. "but I think the above quote from your post carries just the same meaning and attitude"

      No, it categorically does not. That does not refer to tactical voting, but to actual cheating on behalf of political parties that use "alter ego parties" to get seats they aren't entitled to. I really, seriously hope you are not proposing that kind of jiggery-pokery - although as I noted in the quote you've given, Sturgeon and Harvie would have no truck with it anyway.

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    33. Anon,
      thanks for that research and I couldn't agree more with your analysis. A popular second pro indy party is needed within the current Holyrood electoral system in order to (long term) keep ensuring pro indy majorities are returned in future parliaments (in the same way that the Unionist establishment thought the lack of such a party would secure them an indefinite anti indy majority within Holyrood no matter the fluctuations in their own [Labour] vote).

      It's the only (long to medium term) way of turning a system designed against us, into one that is consistently to our advantage.

      braco

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    34. Have to agree with Braco. Just take the principle to its logical extreme: if every Green/SNP supporter voted for the SNP in the constituency vote (which is essentially what's happening in 2015) and every Green/SNP voter backed the Greens in the second vote, the pro-independence parties would easily win a majority. If every SNP supporter backs the SNP in both votes then there's a fair chance they won't get a majority if the current level of support drops back a bit.

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    35. Mary : The most likely scenario for the SNP failing to win an overall majority is people buying into this crazy idea that every SNP voter (or that more than a tiny fraction of SNP voters) can be dragooned into voting tactically for the Greens. It isn't going to happen without official SNP endorsement - and as I noted above, that wouldn't be tactical voting, that would be cheating.

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    36. "if every Green/SNP supporter voted for the SNP in the constituency vote (which is essentially what's happening in 2015)"

      It is most assuredly NOT what is happening for 2015. I've done the canvassing and spoken to the voters since January so let me be crystal clear. Dedicated green voters are still voting green. SOME floating voters who move about from green/lib dem etc. may choose the SNP but the vital fact is that the greens are also picking up votes from failing westminster parties like we are. Obviously nowhere near as much but they have unquestionably benefitted. There are some former Labour voters who have went green and there is absolutely a sizeable chunk of former lib dems who intend to vote green for the general election. The votes will be tallied on the 8th so any delusions about that not being the case will very soon be cured.

      If you want to be certain, and not risk everything on the uncertainties of a Labour designed voting system, then choose your party and vote for them on BOTH choices in 2016. Be it SNP, Green or SSP.

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    37. James: Clearly the idea that every SNP voter is going to vote Green is nonsensical - that's why I said I was taking the principle to its logical extreme to prove the point.

      We won't have a tiny fraction of people doing this, though: it's already happening without any prompting. Look at the latest YouGov poll for evidence of that. The Greens/SSP are getting a combined 1% in Westminster voting intention, a combined 2% in Holyrood constituency voting intention, yet 9% in the list vote. If you assume 8 of that 9% are all backing the SNP in 2015 then it means roughly 16% of those people backing the SNP at Westminster are Green/SSP supporters when it comes to the list vote in Holyrood.

      There's another danger, though, which is that if there isn't some kind of organised co-operation those supporters could drift away. That's precisely what used to happen in Scotland. I was involved with the SSP in 2003 when we had our breakthrough election and most of our platform was focused on attacking the SNP as much as Labour. I still have some of the pamphlets from that time and it's got the phrase "Tartan Tory" on almost every page. These parties aren't going to align themselves with the SNP indefinitely if it means they get wiped out in the process and it's clear to me that the Green/SSP strategy at present is largely focused on getting SNP voters to back them in the list vote.

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    38. What you are saying could just as easily have applied in the run-up to the 2007 or 2011 elections - the Greens were expected to do better on the list than they did, hence the completely mistaken "tactical votes" that many SNP supporters indulged in. Nothing has changed - opinion polls haven't suddenly become more accurate. Tactical voting on the list depends on a precise level of foreknowledge of the result that simply won't be available.

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    39. Mick: "It is most assuredly NOT what is happening for 2015. I've done the canvassing and spoken to the voters since January so let me be crystal clear. Dedicated green voters are still voting green."

      If that were actually true then according to the latest polling the Greens are only backed by about 1-2% of the electorate (yet oddly several times that in the list vote at Holyrood...)

      I think even the Greens' worst enemy would concede they have the support of more than 1-2% of voters.

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    40. James,
      that quote was written by you in response to that threads discussion on tactical voting. It was you that started calling it 'cheating' etc.

      My point is that any tactical voting participated in freely by voters in order to achieve that voters wishes and priorities, within the law and electoral system, is absolutely legitimate.

      As for Nicola and Patrick being unwilling to participate, as Mick has already pointed out is the case in this election, they won't have to. The voters will decide on where and how they will support each party. What is required (and I agree it's a BIG what) is effective and detailed information disseminated widely enough to allow those voters who would want to, the ability to make that decision as knowingly and effectively as possible. Technology is fast making just such a thing possible.

      The politics of Scotland are clearly not that of a single party state, even though that's what it will most likely look like on the electoral map come May 8th. I would surmise from this that the electorate have chosen to turn the SNP into their chosen tool to best achieve the advancement of their Indy and or devo Max priorities. This, even though other pro Indy parties and pro devo parties are standing with very likely closer everyday political policies to their individual liking.

      No electoral pact was required for Greens, SSP, Labour, Lib and even some Tories voters to choose to vote SNP at this election. In fact it was the pro indy supporting parties unwillingness to form such an alliance that has forced everybody and their dog (unless already SNP voters) to think carefully and use their vote tactically. Why can't this desire and willingness to prioritise their vote for the best advancement of further Scottish autonomy be harnessed in the same way but for the different electoral system of Holyrood elections?

      braco

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    41. "that quote was written by you in response to that threads discussion on tactical voting. It was you that started calling it 'cheating' etc."

      Please stop this. This is not doing you any credit. I did NOT refer to tactical voting as cheating. I referred to "official strategies", ie. the use of "alter ego parties" to fiddle the system, as cheating, which is self-evidently what it is. That is a very clear distinction, and I don't see how this exchange can move forward until you acknowledge that.

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    42. 'official strategies' for tactical voting are not 'cheating'. This exchange does not need to move forward so let's just get back to the issues raised about tactical voting etc.

      braco

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    43. "'official strategies' for tactical voting are not 'cheating'"

      Don't be ridiculous - if an officially-sanctioned "tactical voting" strategy seeks to fiddle the d'Hondt system, of course that's cheating.

      I agree with you that this exchange does not need to move forward. But if you don't want me to refute absurd points, feel free to stop making them.

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    44. James (Kelly) - I seem to remember you doing a whole blog post that explained the difficulties (impossibility) of trying to use the list vote for tactical voting purposes (although it could just be a recollection of a series of comments). Would it be possible to do such an article before the Holyrood elections, because I do see a lot of people advocating this approach, without appreciating the dangers?

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    45. We are making plans for 2016 right now. We have no intention of letting any of our support just drift away. Nor do I think the greens or the SSP are intent just to coast along as their parties have seen an unprecedented intake since the first Indy referendum as well. Just not on the scale we have.

      They will have plenty to do to harness those new members just like we have and they are already beginning to adjust to those new logistical challenges. I have no doubt they will be a force in Holyrood but it's still up to them what kind of force they choose to be. They are however, hugely unlikely change their stance now though after the first Indyref boosted their fortunes so much. So I somehow doubt we have much to worry about when it comes to them copying the failed westminster parties with their rhetoric or anti-SNP stance. We will be focusing our attention on those failed westminster parties and winning over their disillusioned voters just like they will in 2016.

      As to the differences between Holyrood and a GE. You really have to ask why that might be? We were squeezed for decades and you can't just assume one or the other is the 'natural' level of a party. They are different elections with different priorities just like the parties have. What I do know for a fact is that the greens and SSP benefited hugely from the first indyref and that when I have been canvassing or in the street meeting green voters and have yet to meet one who says he is 'lending' his vote to the SNP. Sure, that may be just me and I will happily concede there is bound to be some that are indeed doing so but it DEFINITELY not organised nor is it on a massive scale. At the end of the day greens are still greens, the SSP are still the SSP and the SNP are still the SNP.

      The green activists I know do not expect SNP voters to vote for them in 2016 out of some imaginary 'duty' when they are on the ballot and campaigning for this GE in under two weeks just like we are. Same goes for the SSP, It's totally unrealistic. Both parties might well try some list based tactical stuff but they would be well advised not to and just concentrate on building up their party and vote from the boost they got from the first Indyref. They have the chance to replace the likes of the lib dems and even Labour (to an extent) but they sure as hell won't do that by asking voters to gamble everything on Labour's own uncertain voting system. They want the seats they'll need to go after them and take the campaigning to get those lib dem and Labour votes body and soul. Something many of them already know I might add.

      They might or might not get a huge breakthrough in 2016 but they now know for a fact though that the best way ahead for them is in an Independent scotland. That's why they aligned with us, they why they got such a huge boost from the first indyref and that's why most of them will celebrate along with us while we get closer and closer to that goal.

      The ones doing all the greetin on May the 8th will be the tories, the red tories and the yellow tories. :-)

      Delete
    46. I think the Referendum and the need for the Greens and SSP etc. to come out and really nail their pro Indy stance to the mast has changed many, many peoples view of their electoral atractivenes or even viability as a possible serious alternative for their vote. I know my views have certainly been widened in that manner.

      I think Mary is correct in warning that the window of opportunity for pro Indy supporters to turn one or more of those 'fringe' pro Indy supporting parties into a solid mainstream electoral success and possible (long term) coalition forming ally to the SNP (in the Unionist way the Lib Dems were to Labour) won't stay open forever.

      If they feel that their current pro Indy leadership has lead them to electoral destruction at the hands of the (once equally hated) SNP, it would not be surprising to see that leadership removed and replaced with another batch of short termist, attack dogs against the Holyrood party of power. Ending up in the same bad old party political chauvinism that we were getting so used to pre referendum.

      I think all pro Indy supporters of Party politics need to have a good look at what is in effect a case of enlightened self interest. Holyrood cannot afford to be viewed as a single party Parliament, in the way Westminster is going to be. We need as wide a variety of pro indy party voices in Holyrood as is possible in order to show to the Scottish public just how varied and open the domestic politics of an Indy Scotland will obviously be. We will have enough accusations to counter of the Single party state scare stories type and hyperbole after May 8th. It would be nice to be able to point to a multi party pro Independence majority sitting in Holyrood come May 2016.

      braco

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    47. Allan Bothwell,
      yes this would be great James and very helpful.

      braco

      Delete
    48. Mick: with respect there's a pretty major contradiction in what you're saying. You've said that the Greens have benefitted from the referendum and that Greens aren't tactically voting for the SNP in 2015. If the latter comment is true, however, then the Greens are genuinely on 1-2% support in Scotland (substantially less than their sister party in England is getting). That doesn't suggest much benefit from the referendum outside of membership numbers.

      To be honest, I'm not even sure why we're debating this. The Greens have zero chance of winning a seat in any Scottish constituency, whereas the SNP essentially have a chance of winning every seat except perhaps Orkney and Shetland. It would frankly be a bit odd if there wasn't tactical voting going on under those circumstances.

      The implication I'm getting from your comments here is that you're happy for the Greens to pick up votes, but only if they're coming from Labour or the Lib Dems. I'm sure most people here would love the Greens to take votes from those two parties, but that just isn't realistic in my view post-referendum: if the Greens are going to pick up support it will primarily be coming from the SNP, but there's nothing necessarily worrying about that because it simply demonstrates that the independence movement is bigger than one party.

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    49. You see this from James and Mick and it's perfectly understandable from partisans however there are others who wish for a new mature style of politics rather than replacing a corrupt Labour with a fresh and dynamic SNP.
      For the SNP members like James and Mick, it's incumbent on them to keep the SNP honest from the inside. For the others it's important to provide healthy competition for the SNP with someday the possibility of becoming the govt in Scotland.
      I think that many who aren't primarily independence supporters will vote SNP in the constituency but another in the list. I doubt that hardened nationalists will do vice versa.
      If you want an SNP govt, vote SNP. If you want a fresh parliament like in 2001, use the list vote.

      On the other hand I've been frustrated at Greens who criticise the SNP over fracking for Westminster without seeming to care that green votes will assist Labour (who back fracking but lie about it). It's hopeless tactics as the point of maximum pressure on the SVP over fracking will be in 2016, not now.

      Delete
    50. "You've said that the Greens have benefitted from the referendum and that Greens aren't tactically voting for the SNP in 2015"

      Certainly not any greens I know.and it's just a fact that their membership shot up which, if you'll pardon me saying so, can hardly be shoved aside as some kind of minor benefit considering we ARE talking about small parties here.

      They are easily smart enough to contrast what's happened to them with the fortunes of the unionist parties and they know perfectly well how good the first Indyref was for them. Does it mean instant huge electoral success for them? Obviously not but they have a new and promising platform to build from for the future where previously they did not. Whereas the unionist parties are not just facing their membership's disappearing down the tubes but an inevitable demographic change that ensures they will be on the back foot from here on in.

      As for tactical voting, sure we will be getting some, but it's absolutely not why we are where we are. We are changing minds not asking for a mere loan of a vote. We are also facing a bombardment of encouragement from the unionist parties and media on their side to tactically vote against the SNP so they will get some too. Just not very much and as even Curtice points out not enough to matter even if it did go all their way. Something which should be a caution to anyone putting all their hopes on tactical voting.

      What matters most isn't tactical voting for one set of elections or another but voting from now on, winning voters over and getting them onboard from here on in. We started that long, long ago and it began to bear fruit first in 2007 then in the 2011 landslide. So I'm afraid any unionists looking for crumb of comfort that this is all somehow some temporary tactical voting phenomenon just haven't been paying attention. This is a rolling earthquake that not only IS changing the entire map and patterns of scottish voting but already HAS changed it.

      The implication I'm getting from your comments is that you think the small parties are in some way 'owed' a tactical vote when they are out campaigning to win seats in the westminster GE just like we are since they are different and separate parties and always will be.

      What isn't realistic is to expect the SNP to encourage it's supporters to vote for another party in either this election or Holyrood next year and we won't.

      The greens and SSP are our allies but they know they are small parties who still have to stand on their own two feet for Holyrood. They have their own priorities when it comes to policy. Everyone knows the SNP is the party of Independence who they joined forces with for the first Indyref campaign. Something which the SSP and greens are VERY far from regretting, I assure you.

      The alternative for them would be facing the kind of tsunami and backlash that the unionist parties have been crushed by. So I'm not exactly worried they will suddenly start down the unionist parties path nor do I think it remotely likely to happen.

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    51. "if the Greens are going to pick up support it will primarily be coming from the SNP"

      The greens are picking up support outside of scotland at the expense of the lib dems tends to confirm that they do indeed have an excellent chance of getting a boost from the yellow tories as they continue on the path to oblivion. Clegg's ostrich faction in scotland are rightly terrified that they will be losing activists and members not just to us but to the greens since they have a quite obvious policy overlap in some areas. Same goes for Labour and the SSP as the SSP are going balls to the wall to attack the red tories.





      " it simply demonstrates that the independence movement is bigger than one party."

      Nobody is claiming it isn't and I have good relations with the greens, SSP and have plenty of friends who went to hope over fear and spotted a few of their allies from the greens and SSP. I was too busy campaigning for my party at the time to enjoy the rally which is kind of the point. Party politics did not end after the first indy referendum and we will only see the kind of joining of forces the first indyref saw at the next one.

      Until then it's up to the scottish voter to decide who to vote for and how best to get to that referendum. Which is as it should be as the kind of policy wonk attitude that tries to parcel up voters to tactically 'distribute' as they see fit has a habit of ending in tears for those trying to do it.

      It's not a coincidence this westminster establishment shambles of a campaign has seen their incompetent leaders shrieking incessantly about 'a vote for X is a vote for Y' as they watch their own vote shrink. You put your case for your own party to the voter and THEY decide. Anything else is asking for a hammering.

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    52. Let's drop the obvious bullshit about partisans shall we since it is undeniable the greens and SSP are campaigning for their party just as much as we are for ours in this GE. We are not the same party and never will be. End of story.

      Some would also do well not to copy the unionist crap about 'healthy competition' when we have endured a Labour monopoly for decades and it didn't bother them one jot. If the SNP get as they are polling it will be a breath of fresh air not to be dominated by westminster parties at a GE and we all know it.

      Those who gamble on the Labour parties Holyrood voting system with list vote uncertainties shouldn't be surprised if that backfires on them.

      Those who want to vote for a party vote for it first and second to be sure of giving your chosen party support. That goes for SNP, greens and SSP. Anything else is risking not just a wasted vote but a counterproductive one.

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    53. Mick,
      very eloquent, but to anyone who holds independence utmost, and emotionally separate from absolute party political loyalties (until it is finally gained), your posts will induce groans of fear and recognition. You are unkowingly voicing the same attitudes of allegiance to party, first and foremost, that has already lead the Labour party (originally from and then eventually) in Scotland to the shameful, unethical and unprincipled position it now finds itself, without any understanding, in.

      I and others have put forward good reasons of 'enlightened self interest' for why the SNP should act as leaders of an Independence movement rather than simply as a narrow political party, operating within the electoral systems and campaigning agendas set outside of Scotland, it can sometimes seem to those not aligned totally to the party, as an attempt to control completely the political agendas in Scotland outside of the question of Scottish Independence.

      Those political parties and individuals that convert, or always agreed on, the SNP's original central purpose, ie Independence, should be encouraged and supported FOR their different views and the varied political philosophies that they offer as authentic choice to our electorate, within the absolute and primary necessity of Scottish Independence.

      I have already mentioned and explained the structural necessity of this attitude in order to produce a long term and reliable independence supporting majority within Holyrood (and into the future). Added to that, and perhaps even more important to winning the next Indy ref however, is the need to bring on board all those no voters that just could not see, for their own equally strongly held party political loyalties to your own, a place in the image projected of a future Indy Scotland by the SNP alone. Only variety of party political choice (under the umbrella of Indy support) will, in the end achieve proper political unity behind Scottish Independence. Everything else will always, no matter the protestations, require the holding of noses, breathing deeply and then, finally voting tactically.

      That was the power of the referendum for the non 'loyal' to any particular political party. We enjoyed, for the first time, the ability to campaign and vote for Independence while still getting to argue whole heartedly for our own visions of political policies and possibilities unhindered by the need to, in the end, finally vote tactically. This was the power and enthusiasm behind Ric, SSP, the Greens etc. etc.

      Maybe the true party political believer has never felt the need to vote tactically, or suffered the democratically debilitating effects from the feeling of being consistently cornered and forced into such 'lesser of two evils' compromises. Maybe you have.

      Mick I honestly believe that it's been this feeling, among the usually non party politically aligned electorate, that the referendum awoke and that the SNP are currently custodians of. I am apealing to you as an obvious old school SNP guy, to look beyond the massive new membership numbers (difficult I know) onto the general majority of voters out there, who's party politically transient nature was re awoken by the reality of the referendum shock, not the previous party political 'earthquakes' of new and historic SNP Governments. (2011 turnout 50.4%, Referendum turnout 84.59%)

      braco

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    54. " but to anyone who holds independence utmost"

      Damn! There's me foolishly thinking voting and working for something since I was 16 meant I self-evidently had it utmost. Well that's me telt and no mistake

      LOL

      " You are unkowingly voicing the same attitudes of allegiance to party, first and foremost, that has already lead the Labour party (originally from and then eventually) in Scotland to the shameful, unethical and unprincipled position it now finds itself"

      So anyone reading this blog and seeing me state with crystal clarity that they should vote for the party they want (be it SNP, green or SSP) simply doesn't have your acute instinct to see imaginary apocalyptic warning signs of an inevitable descent into unionist party behaviour. How on earth did they miss that?

      "I and others have put forward good reasons of 'enlightened self interest' for why the SNP should act as leaders of an Independence movement"

      We'll take it under advisement seeing as how we must have struggled blindly in the dark without your sage wisdom and must have 'accidenty' managed to do what was thought impossible by getting the first indyref through decades of hard work.

      "should be encouraged and supported FOR their different views and the varied political philosophies"

      You mean like I already did on multiple occasions.

      "Only variety of party political choice (under the umbrella of Indy support) will, in the end achieve proper political unity behind Scottish Independence. "
      A variety which we now have and from which the greens and SSP have already benefitted hugely. It's entirely up to them if they want to keep down that road not us. But given how catastrophically it's turned out for the westminster unionist parties it's stretching credibility to breaking point to think they will just abandon that choice because they don't storm westmisnter or Holyrood next year with dozens of MSPs. Again that's down to them since it shoudl be clear that they have to give the voter their reasonsd to vote for them, not us. We certainly didn't give up when we were in single figures and a small party so I doubt they will either.

      This was the power and enthusiasm behind Ric, SSP, the Greens etc. etc.

      Which I saw first hand and will never take for granted but we haven't yet won a single seat for this GE yet. So forgive me for not taking lectures on what to do in 2016 (never mind the next indyref campaign) too seriously.

      "Maybe the true party political believer has never felt the need to vote tactically, or suffered the democratically debilitating effects"

      Yeah it was a fucking breeze supporting the SNP in the decades when Labour had a complete hegemony in scotland while we were struggling to get MPs. I never realised we had it so easy in retrospect.

      "to look beyond the massive new membership numbers (difficult I know) onto the general majority of voters out there"

      You can't seriously think we are spending all our time talking to our own supporters after the first Indyref, can you? My time (along with so many others) is almost all spent reaching out to those who we did NOT persuade because we now know who they are and we know why they didn't vote Yes. If you have the slightest doubt as to that then I would direct you to what Nicola has been doing as she could hardly have been more clear that we are not just reaching out to No voters but even voters in England as we reassure them too in the face of a unionist media onslaught of hatred against her and the SNP.

      I have zero time for any idiots who tried to place all the blame on No voters without understanding that the westminster establishment and media were the ones behind Project Fear and all the false promises and vows. I direct my scorn and contempt towards them where it rightly belongs. The ordinary scottish public and voters we will continue talk to, reassure and explain what we want to do and why.

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  2. Latest survation/mail poll has a question asking if in the event of a Labour minority supported by SNP would 'Englandandwales' be better off if Scotland was independent.

    Link to pdf

    Apart from Scotland and the 'other party' column (ie Plaid) in Wales it's mostly yes.

    Can you feel the love?

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  3. Very encouraging - just at the right time as postal votes are being cast.

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    1. Indeed, I wonder if there is an age breakdown for the poll. Let's hope for a good over-65 SNP showing in the postal votes.

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  4. "Pivotal Panelbase poll pushes SNP to record-breaking 21% lead"

    Triumph for the Eggman! :-D

    LOL LOL and thrice LOL


    Obviously the right-wing newspapers are sounding even dumber than usual but they are being hard pushed by some 'quality' stupidity from all three westminster party leaders.

    The out of touch twits really are excelling themselves as little Ed, cowardly Cameron and Calamity Clegg reach new levels of campaigning incompetence. It's a rolling car-crash but a hugely enjoyable one as they all stumble from gaffe to gaffe on the campaign trail somehow still wondering why they are all so unpopular.


    Could they get even more laughable before polling day ? Happily, Yes! ;o)

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  5. Predictions that the SNP might take 52-55 seats look pretty realistic now. I have been looking at some of the bookies odds for certain constituencies and election night should be a profitable as well as very enjoyable one! Labour seem to be clinging on to the incumbent effect but this is fanciful thinking. Alexander (x2) and Murphy for example are doomed barring some late miracle. Sadly this will only mean them returning on the list for 2016, but let's enjoy our victories when we have them.

    Murphy has been very quiet the last week or so...I wonder why?

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    1. Its actually not such a bad thing if the ferrets are fighting in their sack for seats at Holyrood. It demeans the stature of the place if a party which claims leadership sends people of the quality Labour presently sends to represent it. Pretend politicians to a pretend parliament as it were.

      Indeed the current Labour talent pool are a bit like trident. Useless except as an expensive deterrent. It cannot have but aided the No side in some quarters that there was a prospect of people like them becoming ministers in a future independent country. Folk you'd be frankly scared to hire to watch your dog.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. "Murphy has been very quiet the last week or so...I wonder why?"

      Those emotionally draining dawn nano-rallies mean he's asleep in his drawer by noon.

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  6. Professor Curtice, saying in the Scotsman, that the SNP lead over Labour has fallen!

    He was looking at a poll of polls using subsamples which we know have been all over the place.

    Why not stick to real Scottish polls prof?

    Oh I get it, it was an article for Scotland on Sunday, who don't want anything as inconvenient as the truth.

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    1. In fairness to him, his article is perfectly neutral - he notes that the sub-sample lead is bigger than it was at the start of the campaign and that the movements in the last week are likely due to the vagaries of sampling variation. It's just the bias of the SoS to put "SNP poll lead falls" as the headline.

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  7. Panelbase have published tables for the poll.

    http://panelbase.com/media/polls/W6836w5.pdf

    Nothing obviously "wrong" with it that I can see. It's weighted by 2011 Holyrood and 2014 referendum, but there are no great corrections needed from the unweighted samples. Unlike YouGov they don't weight by place of birth, but there's no reason to think that they have a particular problem in this respect (unlike YouGov).

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    1. The implied turnouts for 2011 and 2014 are too high, but that tends to happen with online panels, i.e. the people who volunteer for them are more politically active than the general population.

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    2. There's a fairly consistent pattern of online pollsters having too few Scottish-born people in their samples - it's not only YouGov.

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  8. "We know that the swing to Yes is real and not an illusion caused by methodology, because the results are now being weighted by recalled referendum vote."

    Could it be a simple case of people being inclined to the indy romanticism (however real or imagined), but when actually pushed to vote, they voted 'No' for other, perhaps personal reasons?

    Signed:

    @statgeekUK

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    1. Could also be people looking at (and believing) the prospect of their Scottish vote actually having an influence for once down at Westminster (Current press and Unionist hair on fire etc. reinforcing that belief).

      The question is, how will these same people react when they inevitably find out that even 59 SNP MPs will end up with only very limited power/influence in the event of a hung Parliament and less than zero influence in the event of another Tory coalition or slim outright majority?

      braco

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    2. With the stark realisation that they have made fools of themselves by believing they were equal partners in a great enterprise of equals. The clamour for independence will then become overwhelming and the second referendum will be a landslide.

      So long as a large contingent is sent of honourable people with the good leadership we have, then we are in pretty much a win-win situation. Thats why Westminster is shitting itself. Nicola has the wind up them and she's not even Eck.

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  9. I still think the Labour share looks too high - I can't believe they are only just below their 2011 level of support.

    I suspect the SNP share is understated also as the uptick from 2011 locally is much higher than this poll shows (and that is in an area that was already 10% ahead of the national SNP average).

    However, anything better than 2011 in the context of a Westminster election would have been unimaginable back then, so I'm not going to get greedy! :-)

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  10. Kenny Farquarson is keen to push this as a fall of 3points in the support for the SNP.

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    1. He's referring to John Curtice's Poll of Polls for the SoS, which seems to be based on subsamples rather than full-scale polls.

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  11. Kenny F being Kenny F and trying to see the good news where there isn't. The SNP support is even higher than 2011 from the looks of it...and if the Lord Ashcroft polls are to be believed, it is difficult to see what seat in Scotland will Labour hold after the election. If Jim Murphy is 10 points behind, that tells you all you need to know.

    Labour might keep a couple of seats but unless there is major tactical voting going on or the polls are wrong, I can't see how this will change in a couple of weeks. The Westminster establishment and MSM have gone amok again trying to scare people about the prospect of the SNP having any sort of power. Labour has even attempted to go into the scaring pensioners theme (by effectively saying FFA would put pensions at risk) but none of this seems to be having an effect in polls this time round.

    If the SNP lead was to dwindle, this would have probably happened already or we would have seen some evidence of that. But it all appears solid to me, as I say...unless the pollsters are wrong (which I doubt). Even people I work with who voted no are still leaning SNP because they effectively do not like neither Cameron or Miliband.

    It's definitely gearing up to be a very interesting election night, although I will say something: i'm still gutted that we voted no. That was our best shot to change Scotland to the better, and no matter how many SNPs we get in - I do not think that is going to make a substantial difference or bring any new powers to Scotland.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/26/ed-miliband-rules-out-confidence-and-supply-deal-with-snp

    Miliband has effectively given in to the Tories today and ruled out a confidence and supply deal with the SNP. In fact, Ed has said a lot of times that he's not going to do any deals & that Labour will do a Queen's Speech and then it's up to the other parties to decide how will they vote. In fact I think Labour would actually rather make a deal with Nick Clegg if they get half a chance. (Although the seat arithmetic might not quite work).

    Basically, it will be an exicting election and I think sending a strong contingent of SNP MPs does send a strong message. However, I believe that despite their power - SNP MPs might not be playing the part we were hoping and that Labour will do their utter best to sideline them. I am no expecting any concessions on Trident, austerity, FFA or anything else.

    Whilst we're part of the Union it'll be status quo.

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    1. "Miliband has effectively given in to the Tories today and ruled out a confidence and supply deal with the SNP."

      LOL So fucking what?


      We're not the one's looking at a complete wipeout in scotland, they are.

      If we don't like any of his his red tory nonsense we vote it down. Simple as that.

      If he wants legislation passed then he'd better make sure it's reasonable and progressive because we are under no obligation whatsoever to either vote it through OR put him out of his misery. He wants another election (that we know he can't afford) then he'll need to collapse the government himself otherwise he'd better get used to begging for the tories to help him.

      There's also the obvious fact that whatever little Ed says now will very, very soon be backtracked on if it's politically expedient. Remember the cowardly fop Cameron saying "vote Clegg get Labour" in the 2010 campaign? Yeah, you didn't hear him saying that much after the election, did you?

      *chortle*

      If the red tories and Blairites want to keep sprinting over the cliff even after the election that's entirely up to little Ed. So if he wants to keep up the austerity and tory nonsense (bringing in Heseltine indeed! ROFL ) little Ed will have to do it by being backed by the tories/yellow tories. And if he does it certainly won't harm us, quite the reverse.

      He can also wave cheerio to the north of England/Wales as it will most assuredly go the way of scotland eventually the more red tory stupidity that get's piled on to disillusioned Labour voters from an out of touch London Labour HQ and westminster establishment leader.

      It's also VASTLY unlikely that calamity Clegg will be around for very long after the election anyway as his ostrich faction will be the first to run away to try and escape the blame after the lib dems get hammered. Another tory coalition would destroy them forever even if they did have the numbers for it, which they do not. The fact that Clegg is still on his knees to Cameron trying to make an imaginary one happen says more about Clegg's ostrich faction and their love of the trappings of power than any realistic or coherent lib dem strategy likely to unfold on May 8th. They'll be somewhat busy trying to rebuild their shattered party over the next decade or so and they'll find that just a touch difficult if they keep voting for tory policies rather than the progressive policies we'll put forward.

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    2. It does seem hard for the scare stories about pensions etc to work as we were assured that a No vote would make them, along with everything else, safe.
      If Labour do sideline SNP MPs it will show clearly, at least to younger voters, that the Union is not fit for purpose.
      Though I am well aware that the Labour ruling class are to insulated to see that themselves.

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  12. "Whilst we're part of the Union it'll be status quo."
    If what you say is true anon - and you could well be right - we will not be part of the Union for long. Westminster will have had its last chance, so to speak. I thing there would be a high probability of another indyref after 2016, this time with a positive outcome.

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  13. 10 days to go and I just hope these polls stay strong and we see a lot of SNP MPs returned to London.

    If Labour are foolish enough to outright reject any discussions with the SNP, then that will be it for them long-term in Scotland, and possibly the Union itself.

    A lot of If's and we have not went to the polls yet.

    What I can see panning out is ;

    We'll not get enough or any concessions from a Labour minority govt for a supply/confidence deal. Depending on the numbers of the other parties - Labour will go sniffing around them.

    SNP can say in 2016, ''We tried, they don't want us'' and then stick a FFA refrendum in their manifesto which will be supported by the Greens and the SSP.

    Then it gets exciting.. If Holyrood returns enough pro-Indy MPs, and then if there is a Yes to Devo Max.

    Tons of If's, and the Union at present is a precarious position, but certainly Election Night and the days following will be extremely interesting. Not just to see how well the SNP do, but if there will be a 1992 silent Tory vote rush at the last minute? If the Libs will be wiped out (or if, as they continue to spout ''Where we are strong. We are strong'') rings true?

    10 days to go. Keep up the good work, folks.

    P.S I'm enjoying reading the Green-SNP Holyrood discussion.

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  14. I voted SNP one in my Highlands Constituency but voted Green for the list, the Green List vote was effectively wasted in 2011. Not that it mattered as the SNP secured a majority. It was a majority I didn't expect though. The Greens though will have to give me something to vote for as well, they cant take that list vote for granted.

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  15. Meanwhile In ScotiaApril 26, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    Remember when all the Labour activists were celebrating a Panelbase poll showing a 10 point gap, and they assured us they had the big Mo?! Ah funny times.
    If Ipsos-Mori are sitting on a poll which shows a bigger gap than the current 28 points, i think Jim's heid will explode!

    I've started my own blog, purely to have my prediction set out in stone before the election. I'm very confident, and am predicting 56-1-1-1
    https://meanwhileinscotia.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/election-forecast-pt1-north-east-scotland/

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