Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Taxi for Bomber Admin?

Bella Caledonia has just helpfully directed me to a list of Scottish Westminster seats, sorted by referendum result.  I haven't seen anything like that before, and to be perfectly honest I'm not sure whether all of the results are definitive.  Because the referendum count was done on a local authority basis, some of them may be notional results (ie. intelligent estimates).  However, if we can assume they're probably fairly accurate, they make for fascinating reading.  Here's what leaps out at me -

1) Fifteen out of fifty-nine constituencies voted Yes - more than a quarter.  Our unionist friends used to love nothing better than a really good gloat about how only four out of thirty-two local authorities voted Yes, but that was always grossly misleading, due to two of the Yes-voting authorities being so enormous.

2) The highest Yes vote was not, as you would think, in one of the Dundee seats, but instead in Glasgow South.  Amusingly, that's the seat being defended for Labour by über-Blairite Tom Harris.  It's little wonder that our dear old pal "Bomber Admin" may soon be seeking a more constructive form of employment.

3) Glenrothes is sometimes cited as an example of a constituency that Labour might just hold, but these figures would suggest otherwise.  It was one of the fifteen Yes seats (albeit only very narrowly).

4) Slightly to my surprise, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey voted Yes fairly decisively.  I knew Inverness was a Yes city, but I had thought perhaps the rural parts of the seat tipped the balance in favour of No.  To stick with a recurring theme, Danny Alexander is toast.

5) Gordon isn't quite the hard-core No area it's sometimes portrayed as - the Yes vote there was 41.7%.  So Alex Salmond was scarcely defying gravity when he got 43% of the vote in the January constituency poll from Ashcroft.  There's no particular reason to think his support will have dipped since then, so if the Liberal Democrats seriously believe their spin about being on the brink of victory, the tactical voting in their favour is going to have to be on an industrial scale.  They were on just 26% in the Ashcroft poll, and unlike in so many other Lib Dem-seats, their candidate doesn't have a personal vote to fall back on.

6) The most No-heavy seat in the country was Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, where Yes only received 32.9% of the vote.  But ironically, if Ashcroft is to be believed, that vote share might conceivably be enough to win the seat for the SNP.  The reason is that the unionist vote is split down the middle between the Tories and the Lib Dems, and it will be virtually impossible for anyone to work out which is the more promising anti-SNP tactical option.

56 comments:

  1. Surprised that Rutherglen and Hamilton West is so low: substantially lower than Glasgow/N Lanarkshire

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    1. Labour could sneak in a seat in Rutherglen. It's been predicted by some - Tom Greatrex could survive alongside Murphy.

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    2. Yeah all the seat predictions I have seen show Lab and the SNP very close (annoyingly so, as I have a bet) but 41% seems low nonetheless.

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    3. I put bets on East Renfrewshire + GNE staying Labour, Borders going Tory and the SNP winning under 49 seats. They're only small ones though; just something to make me feel better if we don't do as well as I hope.

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    4. Is it really healthy for politics if one party wins every seat on less than 50% of the vote?

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    5. You might want to take that concern up with people who actually oppose proportional representation. The SNP are in favour of it.

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  2. Dundee was 57% Yes. Yet that website has the only 2 Dundee constituencies as 54% and 55% Yes. I think someone's made these figures up.

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    1. The Dundee seats contain bits from outside the local authority area, so it may well make perfect sense.

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    2. It does make sense the rural areas outside the council area are more Tory

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    3. Actually the rural bits of Angus that got added to Dundee East a few elections ago that made it an SNP seat are SNP/Yes hotbeds. It's the old folks here in the Ferry who are die hard Tories. This ward returns TWO Tories to the Council under STV before anyone else gets so much as a sniff.

      The landowners and some of the farmers are Tory but there is basically only one landowner, Panmure Estates to the East and a number of small villages which are heavily SNP.

      Be interesting next year with the locals being held with Holyrood if we can get a much higher turnout and give the wrinklies a run for their money.

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  3. Fair point. I see Dundee constituencies contain bits of Angus which was 43% Yes.

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    1. Dundee East contains Monifieth and Carnoustie - both who most local SNP activists think voted Yes.

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  4. I heard from colleagues that in Perthshire North I believe Perth voted No but Pitlochry and Blairgowrie and Rattray voted Yes, surrounding areas voted 60/40 No though. Maybe a few more Yes towns here and there

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  5. "Fifteen out of fifty-nine constituencies voted Yes"

    It could easily have been sixteen: Inverclyde was decided by 86 votes out of over 57,000. Yet *hundreds* of people were turned away at the polling stations: their names weren't on the list, their details were incorrect, or the station closed before they could cast their vote even though they were in the queue long before 10.

    Yes Inverclyde took thousands of registration forms to the electoral registration. I lost count of the number of frustrated, angry people who were refused their chance to vote because the office rejected their application for the most anal and unforgiving of reasons at the 11th hour.

    Despite our MP, MSP and council proclaiming the "overwhelming" result, the electorate of Inverclyde will not soon forget what they did.

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  6. I have my doubts on the Yes vote being in the low 40s for Rutherglen & Hamilton West.

    http://www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/9178/south_lanarkshire_council_area_breakdown

    South Lanarkshire council did publish some sort of breakdown (albeit not by constituency).

    Rutherglen was Y50/N50. East Kilbride was Y46/N54. Hamilton was Y45/N55. Avondale was Y40/N60. Avondale I belive tends to cover the rural areas within the constituency.

    Unless the seat for Rutherglen & Hamilton West includes chunks of Avondale, it is possible that the Yes vote was actually higher than advised in the constituency breakdown.

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    1. Sorry, I was meant to say Clydesdale...not Avondale.

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  7. What is interesting to me is that East Dunbartonshire is 50th of 59 on this list and I would be amazed if the SNP didn't take this seat. So if number 50 is going to fall is too simple to say that the SNP will get at least 50 seats?

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  8. @Laukat

    The only seats I think the SNP probably will not win are Edinburgh South, Renfrewshire East, Berwickshire seat, Coatbridge, Motherwell and Wishaw, West Aberdeenshire, Dunfermline seat, Orkney/Shetland, Rutherglen seat, Willie Bain's seat in Glasgow. There are probably some I have forgot. Even there, they may well win a few of these as well. I reckon the SNP will win around 45-50 seats.

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    1. Ashcroft had the SNP well ahead in West Aberdeenshire.

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    2. James, which seats do you think the SNP will either not win or it will be difficult to do so?

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    3. Other than Orkney & Shetland, I don't have a strong view that any particular seat is completely out of reach. I don't think the SNP will get a clean sweep on the mainland, but there are various different permutations for the seats they might miss out on. I'm a bit sceptical about the idea that Willie Bain holds Labour's safest seat. If our wildest dreams were to come true and Labour were left with only one seat, I don't think it would be Bain.

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    4. PulpstarPB:

      Hopefully not Murphy, though it could be ^^;

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    5. James, yes Orkney and Shetland is probably the one most out of reach.

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  9. Don't really understand the figure for Rutherglen and Hamilton West as the gap at the referendum was only 70 votes and that included all postal votes for South Lanarkshire. I know the Hamilton Yes figure was poor, but not that poor

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  10. This cant be right. Dundee had a 57% yes vote so how can neither of its constituencies have anywhere near 57% Yes???

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    1. See the earlier comments for a discussion of that point.

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  11. The totals for the Edinburgh constituencies are not right - the Council counted on Westminster boundaries and published the results. Edinburgh East was 47% Yes, not 40.8%. West was 34% Yes, not 40.4%. Makes me think these figures need a health warning.

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    1. Yes, I spotted that too - makes me pretty sceptical about the whole thing.

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  12. Did Ashcroft not have Chris Law in Dundee West on 59% or thereabouts?

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  13. Is last poll YouGov 10pm wed?

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    1. Probably, unless they have some sort of on the day poll. (And if they do, it won't get much attention, because the exit poll will be out by then.)

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  14. Comres subset:
    47% SNP
    20% Lab
    14% Con
    13% Lib

    For what it's worth.

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    1. A lot of the sub-samples from the UK polls published tonight are showing the SNP roughly in the 45 - 47% range. Seems to have been steady for some time now.

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  15. It made for an interesting spy at least. I think if Rutherglen is the first call to call again then we might get some idea of how many seats will go SNP on the Lab to SNP swing there. I like others don't expect SNP to take O&S, Edinburgh South, East Renfrew, Roxburgh & Berwick. I think Dumfries & Galloway will be another beyond reach whatever the polls say.

    Ashcroft might put SNP ahead in Aberdeenshire West but I don't see it unless the Lib v Tory vote cant make its mind up. North East Tories are a particular reticent thrawn crowd in my experience and don't do tactical voting. I am hoping they chose to be thrawn and stay home.

    I keep hearing that some places are very Liberal, well with the exception of O&S that is cack in my view. The Liberals got most of their seats on the back of anti Tory tactical votes. I think most of them if not all of them except Carmichael are dead in the water because of the coalition they went into with the Tories.

    I will be disappointed if the SNP don't take 50 plus seats based on the Opinion Polling.

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    1. "Ashcroft might put SNP ahead in Aberdeenshire West but I don't see it unless the Lib v Tory vote cant make its mind up."

      It's a tough seat, but a decent chunk of the Lib Dem vote from 2010 will be heading direct for the SNP.

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    2. I voted for Alick Buchannan Smith once if for no other reason than he stood up to Thatcher over Devolution. Kynoch lost the Tories that seat but to Smiths son who stood as a Liberal and not a Tory when Scotland was in a lets get rid of all the Tories mood. I hope that the Liberals get wiped out if fro no other reason than to have arch Unionist Maitland Mackie birlin in his grave.

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    3. I live in West Aberdeenshire, voted Libdem in 2010 and have gone straight to SNP. My unionist parents are staying libdem and wouldn't consider voting tory even though they seem to have more chance of winning. Because of the split unionist vote I think the SNP have a chance

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    4. West Aberdeenshire could be interesting but is winnable for the SNP. It would appear that much of the previous LibDem vote was actually an anti-tory vote. I know that's what my vote in 2010 was and many of the other SNP members I've spoken to also voted similarly in the past.

      I think if the SNP can get at least a mid-30s percentage we'll win. Both the Tories and the LibDems have written off the Yes voters as virtually all of their local election literature has been rabidly anti-referendum / anti-independence. Also, the Tories have been heavily promoting the Ashcroft Poll showing them in 2nd place and with the LibDems well behind. The LibDems on the other hand have been claiming that the Tories have "admitted they can't win the seat". As a result, if anyone was considering voting tactically anti-SNP as both parties are advocating they'll be struggling to decide which direction to swing.

      My bet is that the result won't be too far off of the Ashcroft figures. The Tory vote is likely to hold up, the LibDems will slip into 3rd and the SNP will pick up LibDem, Green and possibly some Labour vote to get past the Tories and win. The last Holyrood elections results show the potential SNP vote is there in the NE so it should be doable.

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  16. Anyone prepared to guess on turnout, and whether there will be a substantial difference between Scotland and rUK?

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    1. Guessing from my canvassing for this election in relation to the canvassing I did during the referendum, or at least extrapolating from it, I am going for a 73% turn out.

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  17. Differential turnout to make the difference in a few close contests, perhaps?

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    1. In whose favour I wonder. I did read an anonymous quote from a SLAB MP suggesting if turnout hits the mid-70's they're well and truly scuppered.

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  18. I have seen the UK wide polls out tonight. The UKIP vote seems hard and not shifting to the Tories. Cameron's strategy to draw them into the Tory fold doesn't look as though it is working. What is your take on it James?

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    1. Conversing with UKIPers on another forum for educational purposes, I think their vote level will hold as is. The flirters / protesters have largely returned to the Tory fold. The remainder wear 'che farage' t-shirts.

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    2. There's always the possibility of a last minute change of heart as they enter the polling booth - do the UKIPers really want Ed Milliband to be pm?

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  19. Chart gone, evidently they arsed it.

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  20. How the ferk are the Libs pulling 13% in Scottish sub samples!

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    1. The Lib Dems have crept up a bit in the Scottish polls - last full Scottish poll by YouGov had them up 2 points (from 5% to 7%); their sub-sample average with YouGov has similarly risen. This appears to be at the expense of the Tories, so most likely is some form of tactical shift in the seats the Lib Dems are defending.

      It won't be enough for them to save most of their seats (the drop is still too big), but I wouldn't be surprised if they pull off a couple of wins that appear to fly in the face of Ashcroft and/or bookies odds. After all, if you had 10 bets on at 4/1, you would expect to win at least a couple of them.

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    2. Am I reading the YouGov poll right? Nearly half of those voting Liberal are doing so to stop the SNP getting in - https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/tbq1budwf1/SundayTimes_Scotland_150501_VI_Trackers_Website.pdf at page 7?

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    3. Kind of looks like that to me too. Then again half of, what was it, 7%, isn't huge and much of it could be 'mis-directed'.

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  21. The list has been removed as they authors feel it wasn't accurate enough. Pity. I'd have loved to have seen it.

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  22. The Rev's Twitter thingy says he's got some interesting poll results for us this afternoon.

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  23. Panelbase/Wings (Scotland):

    SNP 48 (=),
    CON 14 (-2),
    LAB 26 (-1),
    LIB 5 (+1)
    Fieldwork 1st-6th

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  24. Post on UK Polling Report at 12.29, SNP48(=) Labour 26(-1).

    Suggestions made of a "tactical" swing from Lab/Con to LibDems who are up slightly, as per the Sunday Times YouGov.

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