Monday, August 10, 2015

Songful joy for Sturgeon as SNP reach 62% in melodious TNS poll

This month's TNS poll of Scottish Parliament voting intentions is out today, and there's no sign of the SNP's honeymoon ending yet.  If anything, the marital bliss is just growing stronger.

Constituency vote :

SNP 62% (+2)
Labour 20% (n/c)
Conservatives 12% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 3% (-2)

Regional list vote :

SNP 54% (+3)
Labour 20% (-1)
Conservatives 12% (-1)
Greens 8% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 4% (-1)

This is the third TNS poll since the Westminster general election in May, and it's comfortably the best showing for the SNP so far - on the constituency vote they were on 60% in both of the previous polls, and on the list vote they were on 50% and 51% respectively.  The increase could just be an illusion caused by sampling variation, but if so that would require us to revise upwards our 'central estimate' of the party's support over recent months.  Alternatively, the SNP may genuinely have become even more popular since last month's poll, although I can't think of any obvious reason why that would have happened.  It would be easy to blame it on Labour's antics (the welfare abstention and so forth) but in fact Labour's support hasn't really dropped any further - they've slipped 1% on the list vote, but that still leaves them 1% higher than where they started two months ago.

Weirdly, the record-breaking SNP numbers have come about in spite of TNS having to massively weight down respondents who say they voted SNP in the general election - they've been reduced in number from 456 to 366, which in turn has led to respondents who plan to vote SNP next year being weighted down from 434 to 366.  Among the raw unweighted sample, the voting intention numbers were : SNP 67%, Labour 17%, Conservatives 10%, Liberal Democrats 3%.  Of course the adjustment made is entirely appropriate, but it's disconcerting that it had to be done, because prior to the general election TNS typically had to do the opposite - ie. downweight people who recalled voting Labour in the past.  Are Labour voters suddenly keeping their heads down when pollsters come chapping on their door?  Or are some of them following the prevailing fashion and falsely claiming to have voted SNP?

We should count ourselves lucky that TNS are persevering with their monthly polls.  Since the humbling of the polling firms in May, voting intention polls have become unbelievably scarce, to such an extent that the TNS series alone could almost be enough to leave us with as many Scottish voting intention polls as Britain-wide ones.  (That's an exaggeration, but not a huge one.)  The snag is, though, that TNS and Ipsos-Mori seem to have established themselves as the most SNP-friendly firms in recent months - an ironic turn of events, given that they were both among the most No-friendly firms during the referendum campaign.  So if we become too reliant on TNS to track the Holyrood race, we could easily end up with an over-inflated sense of how well the SNP are doing.  But with a bit of luck we might at least get semi-regular Survation and Panelbase polls to provide a little balance and perspective.

48 comments:

  1. Great numbers here, glad it's continuing to hold.

    James, do you think you'll ever write a blog post that summarizes your opinion on where both our votes should go to maximize progression towards an independence-supporting majority in parliament?

    I understand you have communicated your views about tactical-voting but it would be interesting to see where you would put your metaphorical votes in order to maximize the chances of progression.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be surprised if James' advice wasn't, in whatever region, to vote for what you believe in and don't take chances trying to game the system by voting tactically.

      Delete
    2. That, and if independence is your first priority, vote as many times as you possibly can for the party whose first priority is independence.

      Delete
    3. Not all the numbers are great by any means. It's easy to look at great headline numbers and ignore some that are not so great at all beneath that.

      Delete
  2. How long can this keep going on? forever I hope or at least till independence.

    ReplyDelete
  3. James, your headline should have been "It's an A for Sturgeon!" :0)

    Of course, the polls that really matter are on the Yes/No independence question. And, so far, no cigar (although you do get a C, by SQA standards).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are they? There's no independence referendum coming up, whilst Holyrood elections are soon, if not imminent. That makes the Holyrood findings of more immediate practical significance.

      Delete
    2. Not one of James's 20 best headlines, I have to admit.

      Delete
    3. "The poll that really matters is the only one in which my side isn't doing abominably."

      Delete
    4. I obviously can't really comment on the quality of my own headlines, but in case anyone doesn't know, it's a tribute to Stephen Daisley, who demanded that left-wingers speak about Tony Blair's achievements with "songful joy" in their hearts. To the best of my knowledge, that wasn't intended as a joke.

      Delete
    5. I'd forgotten about that. If I even made it that far down the article. In context, it's a fun headline. I take it all back.

      Delete
  4. Interesting thst the only post-GE2015 Holyrood polls are all from TNS. It would be nice if we had some from other companies. Not that I'm expecting anything dramatically different from them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've had a panelbase and a Survation.

      53% and 56% SNP on V1 respectively.

      Delete
    2. OK, then. Seems I'm not taking much notice.

      Delete
  5. I blame that Nicola Sturgeon.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rather high disapproval on police is a definite weakness though. The Scottish Gov't had best get that sorted and pretty rapidly before a campaign is underway. Firing House would be a good start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do you think they haven't sacked him yet? I can only assume it's because they're not sure they could find a replacement who is sufficiently politically loyal. If there's a nobler possible explanation than that, I can't think of it.

      Delete
    2. Could you tell me exactly what is wrong with the Poiice Scotland and Stephen House?

      Apart from being the target of a nasty long running MSM campaign, that is? It has been going on for well over two years that I am aware of.

      Every time one of these stories has come up, I have done research and found that the press is distorting the facts. They do so love to quote the WM parties and you know how accurate they are - NOT.



      Delete
    3. Well, most recently, if his prejudging of the investigation into the M9 deaths wasn't a resignation matter I don't know what would be. Why even bother with the investigation, when "Sir Stephen" has already put all the blame on some minimum wage call centre grunt?

      I don't doubt some of the many PS controversies have been overblown by a hostile media, but I've never heard a decent explanation as to why - for example - they continued to stop and search children after House said they wouldn't.

      Delete
    4. You are a sad wankstain. It is an established fact that the reason there was no police response to the M9 crash was due to the person who took the phone call not passing it on.

      And the reason for searching so-called children is the same as it ever was. Scum use their wee brothers/sisters to transport drugs or knives until they are needed. Relying on bleeding-heart lefties preventing the police from searching the drug mules.

      No sympathy for them.. We are not talking about ordinary children playing in the street and being frisked.

      Delete
    5. So why has Matheson ordered a review of call handling procedures, if everyone (well, you and House) already knows the blame is confined to a single individual?

      Also, I didn't ask why PS were searching children. I asked why they said they'd stop, and then continued.

      Delete
    6. @bjsalba Whether you like it or not, one of the areas where the SNP polls the weakest (not terrible, in my opinion, but definitely weakest) is policing and in my judgement which you are welcome to question his handling of a number of situations has been quite poor. His handling of the M9 crash situation was so poor, I do consider it worthy of firing.

      Delete
  7. Just asking. Has there been any polls about the independence %?

    ReplyDelete
  8. James: what do you think of this "neither" category? Why not ask to vote 1 to 5 or similar? It also seems to me that it may clash with DK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A word like 'adequate' might have been better. That might not have stopped those who are doing so pretending that 'neither' might as well equate to poor, right enough!

      Delete
    2. Agreed. Does any other pollster use "neither"?

      Delete
    3. Agreed. Does any other pollster use "neither"?

      Delete
    4. You can take the neither as being 'adequate / satisfied / ok'.

      It's a weird way of asking and I don't know why they did it, however, people will see it as 'good / ok / bad (or dk)' generally. When you consider this, it ties in with SNP sat ratings from other polls of ~70%.

      You certainly can't class the 'neither good nor poor' as a negative; if someone thought they were doing badly here they'd tick 'poor'.

      Delete
  9. James: what do you think of this "neither" category? Why not ask to vote 1 to 5 or similar? It also seems to me that it may clash with DK.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rubs eyes and thinks nah. No way Jose etc! It is only going to increase the hysterical attacks from the Brit Nat Press and Media. I would like to see the looks on the faces of Disreporting Jackie and the viperous Wark and Adams, oh and that Eleanor will no doubt be submitting FOI requests by the dozen if not the hundred even as I write this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more insults from the unionist media the better for the independence movement. People in Scotland have had three years of full-blown unionist crap dumped upon them; they are immune to it all now.

      Delete
    2. Dan is ra man loyal and true tae Scotland foreverAugust 10, 2015 at 9:28 PM

      I assume Dan that if unfortunately Scotland split from the Union you would stand by Scotland even if the economy collapses. You would not do a runner over the border to Engerland. Your Scottish Pride would stand firm.

      Delete
    3. "I assume Dan that if unfortunately Scotland split from the Union you would stand by Scotland even if the economy collapses"

      Many of us already did this in the Thatcher-Major destruction of the Scottish economy. I for one refused to leave Scotland in search of work in the mass economic exodus of those years; the equivalent of the entire population of Dundee just up and leaving hoping for a better life.

      I, as a recent graduate at the time, stayed, and tailored my education to ensure I could find work. It was probably the one major thing that made me support indy. Here I was with degrees from two of Scotland's best uni's but to get a job in 1998 I was having to look in the SE of England where all Scotland's revenues were being spent. Sod that.

      Was the reason why 74% voted Yes in the 1997 devo ref. So much for rule Britannia...

      Delete
    4. The SNP voted to bring down Labour and that is something you ignore to your discredit. The SNP were complicit with the Tories for their long term plan. The loss of the old industries was of no concern to the SNP as they knew it would eventually happen but lied to the Scottish people and blamed their Tory pals.

      Delete
  11. Absolutely humungous lead for the SNP. I wonder what the regional breakdown is in those private polls - Ruth Davidson seems to be in an awful hurry to get out of Glasgow!

    ReplyDelete
  12. SNP = Fahrenheit
    Labour = Celsius

    ReplyDelete
  13. Or how about -
    SNP = Kelvin (science)
    Labour = Fahrenheit (old hat, hardly anyone uses it)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Or how about -
    SNP = Kelvin (science)
    Labour = Fahrenheit (old hat, hardly anyone uses it)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Any calculation for seat numbers on these sorts of results?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scotland Votes makes it 78/25/15/9/2. That's just on the headline numbers, though, so UKIP are at 0%.

      Delete
    2. Fantastic, thanks. Good SNP and Green numbers. Shame no LibDem wipeout. Looking good for getting over the 67 majority threshold anyway,

      Delete
  16. It's important not to get too carried away with this poll.

    In the constituency polling, the SNP are on 36% including undecideds, which are at 30%. Granted, more than 1/3 of those undecideds didn't vote at the 2015 WM election, but 34% of Tories, 32% of Labourites and 45% of Liberals are also undecided, which perhaps suggests they'll wait and see who's the strongest unionist challenger. Having said that, of the total undecideds, 50% rate the SG's performance as so-so, compared with 25% who say poor, and 17% who say good.

    In addition, just 7% of SNP constituency voters are planning to vote Green on the list. Any second vote strategy is yet to take root.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why would any SNP voter even consider voting Green?

      Delete
    2. Gordon Broon Retired Get the Jocks Back Tae WorkAugust 10, 2015 at 9:44 PM

      The GIRO was Green.

      Delete
  17. Piemonteis,
    aye,but by the same token if you include 30% undecideds you get Lab 14,Con 8,Libdem 2.So,less than a quarter of folk have decided to vote for a unionist party.Theres a long way to go til polling day,but these figures look seriously bad for those three parties however you look at them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I had a debilitating illness I would ask you to say something that was common sense before I go meet Chief Sitting Bull.

      Delete