Monday, April 27, 2015

Stupefyingly staggering Survation survey shows SNP 25% ahead

Crikey, what a day.  No sooner had I finished pointing out the significance of the fact that only non-online pollsters have been registering an SNP vote of more than 50%, along comes an online pollster registering an SNP vote of more than 50%.  This is the monthly Survation poll for the Record -

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election (Survation, 22nd-27th April) :

SNP 51.2% (+4.1)
Labour 25.6% (-0.5)
Conservatives 14.3% (-1.2)
Liberal Democrats 5.4% (+1.4)
UKIP 2.0% (-2.3)
Greens 1.4% (-0.8)

The point about the divergence between online and non-online polls still holds true, though, because even 51.2% from Survation falls short of the 54% reported by TNS earlier today, and also the 52% reported by Ipsos-Mori in their most recent poll (which was way back in January, so logically the figure would probably be significantly higher in an Ipsos-Mori poll conducted now).

The general direction of travel now is blindingly obvious - all four polling firms that have produced full-scale Scottish polls in the last few weeks have shown a record SNP lead, and in most cases the previous record has been broken by quite some distance.  Survation have actually only broken their own record by 1% - their poll in December had the SNP ahead by 24%, although in retrospect that looks like an outlier.  The strong impression that there has been substantial additional movement towards the SNP recently was also bolstered by the Ashcroft constituency polls, which showed further swings across the board in seats that had previously been surveyed.

It's also the case, of course, that half of the pollsters that have been active in April are now showing that an absolute majority of the electorate plan to vote for Nicola Sturgeon's party.  That's a pretty startling position to find ourselves in with just ten days to go until the election. OK, the TNS fieldwork is a little out of date, but the Survation fieldwork isn't - it started last Wednesday and finished today.  The 50% barrier may be a purely psychological one, but it's massive all the same - how many times have you heard a unionist politician or commentator attempt to downplay the significance of the SNP's mandate in 2011 by pointing out that less than 50% of voters backed the party?  That simply may not be possible this time around - the moral authority of a manifesto that commands the support of an absolute majority of voters would be overwhelming.  Only one other party in post-war Scottish history has achieved that feat, and it wasn't Labour.

Most important of all would be the unambiguous demonstration of majority support for the SNP's policy of full fiscal responsibility.  If the incoming government (of either complexion) failed to respect that mandate by delivering enhanced devolution that goes well beyond the Smith proposals, the legitimacy of Westminster rule could quickly be called into question once again.

*  *  *


There's about a million and one other things to say about both the Survation and TNS polls, but I've had a long day, so instead I'm going to buy you off with the long-awaited (sort of) return of the Poll of Polls.  This update is based on the full-scale Survation and Panelbase polls (TNS is excluded because the fieldwork is too far out of date), plus thirteen Scottish subsamples from Britain-wide polls - five from YouGov, two from Populus, two from Survation, one from ComRes, one from ICM, one from Ashcroft, and one from Opinium.

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :

SNP 47.7% (+4.1)
Labour 26.4% (+0.9)
Conservatives 15.1% (-1.0)
Liberal Democrats 6.0% (-1.6)
UKIP 2.3% (-1.0)
Greens 1.8% (-1.6)

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


  1. Tables:

    1. Interesting that Survation have 18% of 'no' voters intending to vote SNP. That's the biggest figure I have seen for that.

      They have also tried to tease out tactical voting by asking people whether they would consider voting for a party that is not their primary choice. This is the similar to what Ashcroft does / less leading than YouGov.

      "Would consider" figures:

      Con - 18% of Lab, 44% of Lib Dem, 11% of SNP, 29% of undecided

      Lab - 18% of Con, 30% of Lib Dem, 29% of SNP, 42% of undecided

      Lib Dem - 34% of Con, 26% of Lab, 14% of SNP, 24% of undecided

      SNP - 12% of Con, 28% of Lab, 22% of Lib Dem, 34% of undecided.

      Not much potential for tactical voting there, apart from maybe Tories voting Liberal. Labour voters are more likely to consider SNP than either Tories or Liberal. There simply aren't enough Lib Dems left to make a difference in their non-target seats.

      As always with online polls, it's the more committed people who respond. Implied turnout of 77% at the 2011 Holyrood election!


    It's not the Labour surge we have to's the Libdem surge that should now concern the SNP apparently. Tactical voting is bound to change things...specially in Libdem held seats. According to Libdem 'private' polls.

    "The private polling data and canvassing returns suggest the party is in the lead in several constituencies including East Dunbartonshire, being defended by Jo Swinson, and West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, which is held by Sir Robert Smith.

    At least five more seats where the Lib Dems are fighting to overturn an SNP lead, including Edinburgh West, Argyll & Bute and Inverness, could be held because of an upsurge in tactical voting by pro-UK party supporters, the party believes.

    The Lib Dems also expect to hold Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, which is the most northerly seat on the UK mainland and being defended by John Thurso...".

    Big lols...specially on Inverness. I can't see Lab voters rushing to save Danny Alexander.

    Should we dismiss this as pure BS or is there any truth in it?

    1. Jo Swinson has been polling again has she :) Do the Liberals seriously think they are going to be forgiven this Millenium for sleeping with the Tories by their own voters or Labour voters? They sound in need of medication every bit as much as Murphy.

    2. It's the comfort polls with the leading question sequence. They've released the exact figures from East Dunbartonshire and West Aberdeenshire, so there's no mystery over what's being referred to. It's just a pity that the Guardian have swallowed the spin whole.

    3. Bit long to include herein but worth reading the Survation very clear disclaimer at the bottom of my post here -

    4. Lib dem surge indeed!


      Clegg's ostrich faction are completely delusional.

  3. Holy Bazinga's! Roll on election day. Watching Labour MP after Labour MP getting unseated by the SNP is the stuff of dreams and it is all coming true.

    Can Labour hold it together until election day? Will the blame game, back-stabbing, leadership jockeying and talk of schisms from the UK party, start early?

    Labour are so fookied!

  4. Let's not set expectations too high, the chances of actually polling 50% plus must be pretty remote. Anything above 45% and 40 seats must be viewed as an astounding outcome. Don't let Labour win the expectations game. I was at a hustings tonight with John Robertson MP for Glasgow North West and he dismissed the polls as misleading and hinted that action should be taken to stop the freedom of polling companies in some way exerting their malign influence. He seemed genuinely confident that his canvass returns indicated he would hold his seat. He is also a big supporter of Trident, so let's hope he is very much mistaken about his prospects.

    1. "Let's not set expectations too high, the chances of actually polling 50% plus must be pretty remote."

      I'm not going to get into the game of pretending that something can't happen just for the sake of lowering expectations. I'm not predicting 50%+, but self-evidently the chances of that happening are now far from "remote".

    2. Apologies for me thinking that the Record had simply 'binned' this poll.

      Unbeliveable scoring. I can understand your reservations, Donald. I think after September, many are still catious, but just have a look at the polls on the Wiki General Election page and the Scotland section - although many haven't voted, what a commanding lead, we have.

      And don't worry a jot about complacancy. I know of none of my pals or activists who are becoming that. If anything, these polls are pushing on to finish the job (so to speak).

      Personally I know of 5 new votes for the SNP. I am in Dundee East, so we of course are the 'Heartlands' of the SNP - but 4 friends are all definitely voting - 3 didn't vote in 2010, and the other voted SSP.

      All of them are talking politics. Following potential MPs on Facebook, Twitter, and one has even sent off his SNP application tonight.

      It's natural to be pessimistic considering September's disappointment, but keep positive and if you have a spare hour or two, your local SNP branch would love your input ;)

      To use a terrible cliché (I think girlfriend and pals are fed up of hearing this, but here ya go folks )
      I keep saying this is the Bronze medal match. We lost the Gold in September, but we have an amazing chance at getting something out of this, and our opponent is a veteran, weary, but still has some skill - although they are knackered. We're winning, we just need to keep our cool.

    3. Damnit Donald, I'm in Glasgow North West too, where are you getting details of these hustings? I missed the Drumchapel one and neither Robertson nor Monaghan are getting back to me with details of any others (and etc is equally unhelpful)

  5. So what polls are left between now and the election or is this the lot for Scotland?

    1. I'm sure there'll be plenty more. Ipsos-Mori for STV will be of particular interest.

  6. Scotsman is reporting that 14% are prepared to vote tactically in posh seats to keep SNP out and another 10% thinking about itwhich might mean more Tories getting seats.

    1. I did my first physical canvass of a high value housing area last night. Usually I am not faced by any challenging stuff on the doors, and mostly its just pushing at an open door. I got good and unfamiliar questions directed at me, and after finding my feet, I went on the offensive.

      Stress the economic management demonstrated by the SNP. We have held the council tax down for many years. Small businesses have had 100% rates relief. The government needs all the financial powers of FFA to grow our economy. They are acutely aware that the only way to pay for social spending is to grow the economy. They have a good track record at delivering infrastructure on time and below budget. They don't indulge in vanity projects.

      People who believe they pay for everything don't want to hear they are going to pay more. They want to hear that what they pay for is efficiently delivered, and that measures will be taken to grow the economy.

      We want a better Scotland for ALL the people who live here. It is in the interest of ALL our people to elect the SNP.

  7. I was visiting Scotland last week, I have been an SNP member for over 30 years but now live in the USA, out of the blue, 3 Labour activists from Fife got on my train in Edinburgh after I had a days sightseeing (I would have canvassed but the other half would not have been happy) I only knew they were Labour after they started talking election. Well, lo and behold they start talking to each other about how Labour in Fife cannot get leaflets out and in fact didn't even have them printed until the lady on the train intervened - she got off at Inverkeithing, they had an all hands to pumps activity day in Kirkcaldy last Saturday in an effort to save it. They said there is a letter being prepared for the day after the "carnage of the 7th" (direct quote) I tried to listen to what the letter was about but couldn't hear. But they just looked devastated.

  8. I live in fife, Gordies old seat, if it wasn't for postal drops, Labour wouldn't have managed to get much information out at all. Having spoken to a few of the people we have seen delivering leaflets by hand. Several have freely admitted that they are only delivering as they are being paid to do so. £40 for a couple of map areas is the going price. Even among the folk being paid to deliver leaflets, most freely admit that they aren't voting Labour.

  9. Latest unholy unionist alliance to prevent democracy...should we be concerned James!

    1. The Scotsman would be dangerous if their journalists could read polls correctly.

      14% of people in the poll linked below said they would vote tactically.

      This consists of 7% of SNP voters, 20% of Con voters, 16% of Lab voters and 27% of Lib Dem voters. That means out of the 14% who are voting tactically, about 1/4 (7% of 49% = 3.5%) are actually voting FOR the SNP on a tactical basis.

  10. The Daily Record has a pie-chart showing the numbers but the bizarre thing is that all the part colours have been swapped around. The SNP’s 51% slice of pie is coloured red of course. Labour is orange, the Tories are yellow, Lib Dems are green and others blue.

    What is this? Some kind of positive reinforcement for Labour on the basis that Record readers would not bother with the story and take comfort in the graphic?

    That’s really taking the piss.

    Here’s the link

  11. Is that only 12% don't knows in the Survation poll? Much more encouraging than TNS's 29% if I'm reading it right...

    1. Neither figure is correct. Face to face polling will lead to be people being unduly shy, because they may be giving responses in front of other people. Online polling gives results that are too certain, because the people responding tend to be committed (they have volunteered to be on the panel).

  12. Three of us took advantage of a window in the bad weather to go out and finish leafleting the village with the current lot of leaflets (the third time round these houses). We encountered the Labour candidate with a small team, canvassing. At 11 am. I mean, there were very few people around. He must have found a few in though, because the air of gloom over the posse was a bit like the cloud of dust that follows Pigpen around.

    A single Tory lady was also leafleting, though she also seemed very fed up. Possibly because of the cold weather and being on her own, while we had security in numbers. This being Mundell's seat, and he ain't beaten yet, I don't know why she would have been particularly despondent.

    We did 125 houses, to finish the village. Then I popped back with posters for the six SNP members who live in that particular group of houses. Get them up there chaps, show our strength!