Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tip-top TNS poll suggests SNP honeymoon has extended into the summer

The monthly TNS poll of Scottish Parliament voting intentions has been published today...

Constituency ballot :

SNP 60% (n/c)
Labour 20% (+1)
Conservatives 14% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 5% (+2)

Regional list ballot :

SNP 51% (+1)
Labour 21% (+2)
Conservatives 13% (-1)
Greens 7% (-3)
Liberal Democrats 5% (n/c)

We obviously have very limited information to go on since the general election - just two TNS polls and one Survation Poll (and precious few Scottish subsamples from GB-wide polls).  But it looks as if we might see a pattern of 'real world' pollsters such as TNS and Ipsos-Mori showing even better results for the SNP than online pollsters such as Survation.  Today's poll has the SNP 4% higher than in the Survation poll on the constituency ballot, and 6% higher on the list ballot.  This, of course, is the complete reverse of the pattern seen during the independence referendum, when online firms - with the exception of YouGov - showed much better results for Yes than 'real world' firms, prior to the Great Convergence at the end of the campaign.

Labour's recovery in this poll from their catastrophic showing last month is so modest that it may well be margin-of-error noise.  However, it's probably fair to say that they've either recovered a tad, or that their sub-20 figures last month are likely to have been misleading.  Much the same can be said about the Lib Dems' position on the constituency ballot - they were on just 3% last month.

Probably the Greens are the party that will be most disappointed with today's numbers.  It could be that their 3% slippage is an illusion caused by sampling variation, and the fact that Survation had them up slightly would tend to support that view.  Nevertheless, TNS have clearly downgraded the higher-range estimate of Green support.   It's unlikely to be higher than 10%, and in reality is probably a little lower.  That decreases the chances of a telling breakthrough for the party in terms of seats.

12% of Labour voters from this year's general election told TNS they are planning to vote SNP next year on the list ballot.  That sort of finding wouldn't have been very surprising in the past - we'd have interpreted it as the normal phenomenon of people voting Labour for Westminster and SNP for Holyrood.  But given that Labour's support was stripped to the bone in May, this looks like something a little different.  Is it really conceivable that people who stuck with Labour at the general election, in spite of everything, have since been won over by the SNP?  Or are these just "honeymoon switchers" who will revert to the old Labour-voting habit when it really comes down to it?


  1. It's not a honeymoon, it's an Indymoon.

    The fact that a party, that has been in power since 2007, still continues to grow in popularity defies all normal political rules. It's like a constitutional black hole, where the normal rules of physics do not apply. The SNP will become more and more popular until Scotland finally becomes independent.

  2. Can we either stay in bed until election day or go on holiday if the polls are static?

    1. There have been times over the last election campaign where I wouldn't have said no to an offer of being placed in a medically induced coma.

    2. I think a lot of SNP opponents are still in a coma.

  3. Labour is in turmoil about its future direction.
    But since the referendum, I think SNP is getting the aspirational vote in Scotland.

    The whole campaign made things clear.
    More powers, not less powers. What this country can do - not can't do.

  4. SLab continues to split the Tory vote.

  5. The Greens have done nothing since the Referendum but shoots themselves in the foot. Well Patrick Harvie who actually impressed me during thee Referendum has been doing most of that self inflicted harm. Caroline Lucas voting with the Tories to shoot down SNP amendments to the Scotland Bill did them zero favours and has permanently lost them votes on the list vote where they could have had a windfall.

    1. I'm getting a bit tired of Greens whining on Twitter, "oh look at all these SNP list votes, what a waste!"

      These votes aren't wasted as they will probably contribute to electing an SNP MSP, which is what the voters presumably want. We saw in the North-east last time that 52% on the list there (from 44% nationally) was enough to elect an additional member even though the party won all the constituencies.

      Only in the Lothians did the SNP fail to get a list member, even though it fell short of a complete sweep of the constituencies. The reason for that was SNP supporters deserting in considerable numbers to vote for someone else on the list - Margo MacDonald. No doubt everyone was well satisfied with the outcome. Better Margo than a toe-the-line SNP-approved candidate, probably! But losing an SNP MSP in the hope of getting a Green - why should the Greens imagine SNP supporters would be susceptible to that suggestion?

      The sense of entitlement is getting wearing.

  6. polling is amazing. 60%. means many no voters are voting SNP.

    it's been such a rise. I do hope the SNP have a functioning opposition though. The NHS and Police have taken a bit of a knocking recently. I don't want hubris and hope things on the ground are improving.

    Politics is swings and round abouts. I'm concerned Westminster are going to dig their heels in and not give Holyrood the full powers required in the hope the SNP slip away in half a decade or so. Indy threat will be required. Labour have no hope other than buggins turn.

  7. I think the performance of SLAB next year will be influenced heavily by who wins the UK Labour leadership. Discounting Kendall as she appears out of it, if they elect Burnham or Cooper then I really cannot see them recovering in Scotland, they are more likely to deteriorate further. Cooper and Burnham are very much in the SNP bad camp of UK Labour, and they both appear to have almost zero charisma, and coming after Miliband, that would be disastrous. Corbyn is not exactly the most charismatic of politicians, but he likely to have much more vision than the other two. Corbyn would probably help to at least stabilise their position in Scotland, but to be honest I can see the MSM and New Labour combining to make sure he does not win. Presumably Kendall's followers are going to support Cooper or Burnham when she gets beaten.

  8. 60% voting SNP is insane. I'm not doubting the polls, but 60%? Fcuking hell!

    What interests me is the complete lack of support for any of the Socialist parties. They were so active during IndyRef, but unlike the Greens, seem unable to take advantage of the situation.

    There's at least a seat waiting for them in each of Glasgow and the West if they got their houses in order.

  9. SNP support at 60%, but Yes support at around 44% and consistently trailing "no". This should worry independence supporters as it shows a disconnect between SNP support and support for indy. Around 80% of SNP supporters would vote yes. Virtually all of the remaining supporters of lib/lab/con/ukip would vote no. This would mean a second unionist triumph.

    And if people are voting SNP for reasons other than wanting independence, then those voters are fertile ground for the traditional unionist parties. All they need to do is make them a big enough offer and win them back.