Friday, May 1, 2015

SNP still on course to defeat Jim Murphy and David Mundell in electrifying Ashcroft constituency polls

If you were hoping that further constituency polls from Ashcroft would cover interesting seats that haven't yet been polled (such as Glenrothes or Orkney & Shetland), it looks like you may be disappointed - instead he's decided to look at two key seats for a third time.

East Renfrewshire :

SNP 39% (+30)
Labour 36% (-15)
Conservatives 20% (-10)
Liberal Democrats 3% (-6)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Jim Murphy of Labour would lose his seat.)

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale :

SNP 42% (+31)
Conservatives 31% (-7)
Labour 17% (-12)
Liberal Democrats 5% (-15)

(This would be an SNP gain from the Conservatives.  David Mundell of the Conservatives would lose his seat.)

As before, the percentage changes listed above are from the 2010 result, rather than from the previous poll in each constituency.

Although Labour have gained ground on the SNP since the most recent poll in East Renfrewshire, it's important to stress that they've done this almost entirely by squeezing the Tory vote.  The SNP vote is only down 1%, which is a trivial change that can easily be explained by the margin of error.  Labour have failed to reverse the dramatic gains made by the SNP last time (they jumped from 33% to 40%).  If we take the headline numbers at face value - and for reasons I'll come to in a moment, it may be wrong to do so - this seat is clearly in "too close to call" territory, but the fact that the SNP still seemingly have their noses in front at such a late stage in the campaign is extraordinary enough.  The fieldwork was carried out over the last week and concluded only yesterday, so it's bang up to date.

In Dumfriesshire, the SNP only made modest gains in the second poll last month - they crept up from 34% to 36%, although that was sufficient to move them into a slender lead over the Tories.  Now they've made a big jump to 42%, and that can't be explained entirely by direct gains from the Tories, who have only slipped back 3%.  A troubling thought must surely be occurring to the unionist parties here - it may well be that it's the SNP who are the beneficiaries of tactical voting in this seat, and that Labour supporters are moving across specifically to maximise the chances of a Tory defeat.  OK, Dumfriesshire is an unusual constituency in that it's Tory-held, but it's scarcely implausible that there may also be many Labour supporters in other parts of the country who would be willing to vote SNP to turf Lib Dem incumbents out.

As always with Ashcroft polls, we can't exclude the possibility that the SNP vote is being significantly underestimated due to two methodological quirks.  Firstly, the headline numbers are weighted by 2010 vote recall, which is known to be unreliable due to people who switched to the SNP in 2011 getting the two elections mixed up.  In Dumfriesshire, respondents who claim to have voted SNP in 2010 have been downweighted from 114 to 73, and in East Renfrewshire they've been downweighted from 127 to 68.  Secondly, there is the spiral of silence adjustment, which artificially reallocates a portion of Don't Knows to the party they voted for in 2010.  In normal circumstances, that procedure improves accuracy, but these are not normal circumstances.

So it's not totally inconceivable that the SNP have a somewhat more comfortable lead in East Renfrewshire, and are already practically out of sight in Dumfriesshire.

54 comments:

  1. Looks like a straight tactical switch Con to Lab in ER (Con -5, Lab +5, SNP -1 vs his last poll).

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    1. Blue Tory to Red Tory.

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  2. If Ashcroft never ran his polls we could have sneaked up on Murphy unawares. Labour must be throwing absolutely everything they've got at this seat. I'll be so disappointed if Murphy wins. A three percent lead is just not enough for comfort.

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    1. If they are throwing everything into it, that simply means that resources are being diverted from elsewhere. They can't cover every angle.

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    2. I doubt that Murphy would have been unaware of what's been going on without the Ashcroft polls. Political parties all commission internal polls.

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    3. There was talk on here of polls being conducted in East Renfrewshire long before Ashcroft conducted his surveys there. Almost certainly Labour internal polling.

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    4. It's so sad to me that people are afraid of or think the SNP are so bad that it's even worth saving Murphy. Given now that it's so tooth and nail, this is the most anticipated result of the night for me. It will be almost unbearable to have this toxic man hold on by the skin of his teeth.

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    5. Whereas the look on Jim Murphy's face as he trooped of the stage, defeated in the early hours of Friday morning would be a joy to behold, him retaining the seat need be no disaster for the SNP.
      Let's face it, if he loses his seat, he is almost certainly a goner, if he holds on, he will probably hold onto the ScotLab leadership too, and that is a good thing looking forward to 2016.

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    6. @Boab I don't see his holding the seat as a disaster for the SNP, and you're right that it will just do more damage to Labour moving forward, given Murphy is dragging them through the mud with him. I just think him being voted out would be a pretty powerful message to send that Murphy's evasive brand of politics is no longer acceptable in Scotland.

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  3. Quite ironic, isn't it? Jim's been shouting every chance he has had this election two things ;

    1. Vote SNP get Tory
    2. These polls are good for the SNP, but great for the Tories.

    Yet that same man is now relying on swing Tory voters to save his seat.

    Those 5% swingers to Labour must be the hardcore Unionist first then Tory. After Ed's error last night of basically admitting he won't run a government with any form of SNP support which means if polls are correct, he has 0-2% chance of being PM then without some form of deal, then you would think clued up Tories would now vote tactically to keep Labour out.

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  4. As always, I worry about the postal votes.

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    1. Why? They're being cast just when the SNP support is riding high, in this election.

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    2. Because of Labour's history of creativity with them. I hope I'm wrong.

      Great news for Emma, that lead over Mundell.

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    3. I don't think they have much scope for that now, especially since one-party rule at council level went.

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  6. Jim Murphy attracting Tories in leafy E Renfrewshire will presumably be putting off Labour voters in the rest of working class Central Scotland. So it could be Murphy saves his seat at the expense of the likes of Ian Davidson, Margaret Curran and Willie Bain.
    Aldo

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    1. Aye, It’s becoming clear now why he has been harping on about the SNP wanting another referendum – he is speaking to his own constituents. Murphy’s silent, blue rinse BT majority may well turn out and tactically save his neck in ER, but this will not go down well at all with the Labour rank and file elsewhere.

      Still, I suppose that Numero Uno is the most important consideration.

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    2. Already not going down well!

      "Arguing that Mr Murphy’s tactics are not 'breaking through', he attacked the decision to focus the final week of the Scottish Labour campaign on warnings that the SNP will use a landslide next week to push for a second independence referendum.
      Mr Davidson said this would not work in his constituency of Glasgow South West, where he said the majority voted Yes in last year's referendum and would like another chance."

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11575502/Ed-Miliband-must-take-over-Scottish-campaign-from-failing-Jim-Murphy.html

      :-)

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  7. What was the Yes vote in this constituency? Anyone know?

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    1. YES: 36.8% (24,287)

      NO: 63. 2 % (41,690)

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    2. Detailed results by (Holyrood) constituency were only given for Edinburgh and Glasgow.

      East Renfrewshire council area (which is *not* identical to the seat) was 37 - 63.

      Impossible to do a comparison for DCT because it overlaps three council areas.

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  8. Replies
    1. So why is he called fluffy? It's not connected with the term fluffer is it?

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  9. Mot good for Lab since ER is one of the few seats where there is a significant Tory vote. There's little if anything to squeeze in most of the rest of the country.

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  10. Nats voting tactically to try and keep the great numptie in place :) He is an asset to the Indy cause.

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    1. On second thoughts. It is Tories voting for a Tory naturally.

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  11. Lead is 11% for the SNP in Murphy's seat with 2010 weighting removed. That doesn't mean that is the correct value, but it and spiral of silence adjustment are hurting SNP.

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  12. Tories voting for Jim - it's only sort-of-tactical

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  13. East Renfrewshire: Which of the following would you most like to see as the outcome of the next general election for the Westminster parliament?

    SNP & Lab Coalition
    37% -- 24th-30th April
    32% -- 11th-16th April

    Labour Majority
    Unchanged

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  14. Tremendous news for Emma in DCT, think you're absolutely right, there has always been lots of tactical voting down here so the last Ashcroft polls will have helped tactical voters identify where to mark their cross

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  15. Any other SNP supporters want to go to East Refrewshire to help the campaign to get Murphy out?

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    1. Not me. Fully committed in DC&T, now seeing the whites of Fluffy's eyes....

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  16. The YES Vote in East Ren was 37.5% ,as someone working this seat for decades I can tell you he is worried man.
    Today in Main St Barrhead he lasted about 15 mins before he and his minions left.
    The SNP Stall was there for a further 4 hours handing out posters ,badges balloons etc.
    Passers by were not even accepting their offer of leaflets.
    The cars tooting horns etc to SNP stall was really uplifting.
    We are not over confident and continue to work hard and wont stop till polls close on Thursday night.
    Fingers and everything else crossed ,we have worked tirelessly to try and secure this seat.
    One point on this poll James ,why no UKIP numbers ,is it that small it is not even registering?

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    1. UKIP are on 1% and the Greens are on 1%. Ashcroft never includes the smaller parties in his headline summaries.

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    2. There is no Green ,so where will that 1% go ,methinks we must be favourites so it increases gap a little more

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  17. East Renfrewshire Age 65+

    30% Con; 45% Lab -- 24th-30th April
    46% Con; 32% Lab -- 11th-16th April

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    1. Btw wonder how many already posted their vote & is now too late?
      It seems like the major shift is in this group.

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    2. Part of the shift is also among 18-24s, who are obviously massively upweighted, and the unweighted sample size is just 24 after turnout adjustments. This group went from 59% SNP 18% Labour in mid April to 41% Labour 37% SNP this time. If these figured had remained the same the total vote share before 'spiral of silence' adjustment would've been SNP 43/Lab 32 and the final figures would have something like a 7% lead (that's not to say the 18-24 year old share this time is any more or less accurate than last time of course). All other age groups saw the SNP vote share and lead over labour either remain roughly the same or increase, which suggests that the SNP lead this time, albeit smaller, is more stable as it's less reliant on a small subsample.

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    3. Not had a chance to look at those tables, but really that swing is mental, and from that age group too.

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    4. It's a bit of an outlier but the sample size is so small that it's not really all that surprising to see such wild swings. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle of those figures - the Dumfriesshire seat had the SNP winning 46-29 over the tories among 18-24 year olds, and most subsamples of national and other constituency polls have the SNP taking at least 50% of the 18-24 year old vote, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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  18. The SNP are doing very well to get nearly 40 per cent in East Renfrewshire with a week to go. It looks like it is going to be very close there. Sadly I think Murphy will probably sneak it. It is looking far better in the other seat.

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  19. We reckon the Yes vote was about 33% in our part of DC&T. Now 42% SNP. Having worked quite hard here for the past month or two, I'm absolutely euphoric. We just have to make sure we don't slip back.

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    1. Looks like the SNP may be benefitting from anti Tory tactical voting. Maybe the Tory vote is being underestimated because of shy Tory factor?

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    2. Tories around here are not shy. Trust me on this.

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  20. Are you getting any sense of what that extra 9% of voters are thinking? Are they Labour voters voting tactically against Mundell? Are they converts to the SNP as a voice for Scotland within the Union? Or do you think there is some local rethinking on independence going on?

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    1. I honestly don't know. It feels a bit like 2011, when we were suddenly flavour of the month.

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  21. Until today I couldn't understand why Jim Murphy and his lot in the Labour leadership were making such a bizarre, misguided pitch against the SNP with the "second referendum" nonsense, trying to drum up fear again. It was so bizarre - whatever happened to targeting Yes voters etc? I thought that there's no way they could even hold on in moderate No seats like Dunfermline or parts of Ayrshire that were going to the SNP using that strategy.

    Then I realised. Jim Murphy is going after the Tory vote. I hadn't factored that in until now because I thought that was a lost cause - they're not going to swing Labour in areas they're likely to hold/win, and the soft No seats which make up the majority of Scotland are all going SNP, and the hard No voting strong Labour seats have tiny Tory votes.

    But where in Scotland is there a strong No majority and a decent Labour majority with a strong Labour vote?

    East Renfrewshire!

    Jim Murphy is sacrificing the entire Scottish Labour party to SAVE HIS OWN SKIN. This entire month has been a "save Jim Murphy" campaign - it's got nothing to do with any other seat. The whole pitch, the leaflets, everything. He's using the entire Labour Party in Scotland to campaign just to hold on at home. He's that selfish, that self-serving. What a horrible man, god bless those poor Labour activists that are getting shafted by him. The SNP should rout him from East Renfrewshire as a moral duty.

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    1. Sorry, I meant to say "decent Labour majority with a strong Tory vote". I got a bit emotional in my anger towards Jim Murphy and his using an entire national-level campaign to save his own skin.

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  22. Brian NicholsonMay 1, 2015 at 6:54 PM

    Cinqo de Mayo is used by South American nations to celebrate their liberation from colonialism. Perhaps we can incorporate it to celebrate the day when Scotland liberated itself from the London parties at Westminster.

    Coig a' Ceitian has nice ring to it.

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  23. Someone asked about Glasgow South West - personally. I don't think Lab will win this. Two Ashcroft polls have been done, one was SNP 45%, Lab 42% and that was in January (and that was tighter) but since January polls have seen the gap between SNP and Labour grow. In fact, a poll was done mid April in Gla SW which had SNP at 55% vs Lab 34%. So unless the polls are wrong, the SNP will win this seat. Also, Tory and Libdem vote in this constituency is very low so tactical voting can't happen.

    In fact, considering the swing from Lab to SNP is larger in Glasgow than the UNS for the whole of Scotland - the SNP would easily take Glasgow North East (specially if the latest polls giving the SNP over 50% are accurate). So as much as the media expect Willie Bain to win, i'm not so sure.

    Unless the polls are absolutely wrong & unless we get tactical voting of a massive scale or another thumping silent majority going to the polls: I can't see Labour winning anything more than a handful of seats.

    East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh East (no Ashcroft polls here), Rutherglen & Hamilton West, Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, Glenrothes, Dunfermline & West Fife, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Glasgow North West, Glasgow North East. These are the only 10 I think Labour might have a shot at keeping. And having a shot doesn't mean they'll keep them all...in fact, Ashcroft has polled on some of these already and the SNP are ahead.

    The nowcast at YouGov also thinks Aberdeen North & South might be too close to call.

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    1. I would add East Lothian to that list as well. I'd be really surprised if Labour didn't win it. There's also enough Tories in the affluent areas like North Berwick to make a difference if they vote tactically. Yougov have it down as 'too close to call' at present. If the SNP win there, we're in for a very good night.

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    2. I think Tommy Sheppard will win Edinburgh East for the SNP. A good old Labour man. The SNP got a decent vote there in 2010, and I think TS is a very good candidate.

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  24. Election Predictions...

    https://meanwhileinscotia.wordpress.com/

    He has Murphy losing by 4

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  25. The SNP have George Kerevan, who is an intelligent and talented guy. I think he has a real chance, particularly with the high SNP vote in the polls.

    The seats where I think the SNP might not win are Orkney and Shetland, Renfrewshire East, Edinburgh South, Glasgow north east, Coatbridge, Motherwell and Wishaw, East Lothian, Edinburgh West, West Aberdeenshire, a few of the border seats, Lord Thurso's seat, and probably a few others that I have forgot about.

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