Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tantalising TNS poll suggests the SNP still enjoy enormous lead

The long wait for a full-scale poll of Scottish voting intentions conducted after the election of Jeremy Corbyn is now over, with the publication today of the monthly TNS poll...

Constituency ballot :

SNP 56% (-2)
Labour 21% (-2)
Conservatives 12% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)

Regional list ballot :

SNP 52% (+1)
Labour 23% (-1)
Conservatives 11% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)
Greens 5% (-1)

The 2% drop in SNP support on the constituency ballot is not statistically significant in itself, but it must be remembered that the party's 58% showing in last's month poll was 2% lower than in any other TNS poll since the general election.  So it's beginning to look like the most extreme phase of the SNP's extraordinary post-May honeymoon is now over, and that we perhaps won't see the 60% barrier being broken again.  The good news, of course, is that we don't need that to happen - 56% is still an extraordinarily high figure that could conceivably lead to a clean sweep of Holyrood constituency seats if it is sustained over the next few months.

The other crucial point is that, on the face of it, the slight dip in the SNP's fortunes on the constituency ballot has nothing whatever to do with Jeremy Corbyn, because Labour are also down 2% - wiping out almost all of their supposed "recovery" from last month.  In theory, you could construct a case that Corbyn has won back a few traditional Labour voters from the SNP, and that those people have been more than offset by centrist unionist voters draining out at the other end to the Tories.  But if that's happened, why have the Tories not recovered even slightly from their unusually poor showing last month?  And why, indeed, has the SNP vote actually increased by 1% on the list?  It doesn't seem very plausible.  As ever, we'll need to see a couple more polls to be sure, but at the moment the evidence is strongly suggesting that Corbyn has failed to dent the SNP's strength.

The Corbyn factor was by far the biggest 'known unknown' as we pondered what might derail the SNP before May.  If we can begin to breathe a little easier on that front, what other possible obstacles still have to be faced?  The most obvious one is the Michelle Thomson affair.  The new poll is of no help in that regard, because as always with TNS, the fieldwork is a little out of date.  My guess is that the unionist media have significantly overplayed their hand with risible stories about SNP MPs owning homes (gasp!) and having stylish furniture.  But time will tell.

20 comments:

  1. Not much sign of that tactical Green list vote arising. Maybe they should start targeting soft Labour list voters, reluctant to give ex-MPs a career lifeline?

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  2. No counting chickens.

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  3. Perhaps the SG announcement of extending the moratorium to UCG may allay some fears from SNP thinking about Green. Seems only a matter of time before it is permanent.

    Second thought is that the Scottish GE campaign has just started it may firm SNP vote.

    Third thing; Tory Government goes right wing extreme, and doesn't look as if Corbyn is emerging as the answer, so that would hopefully persuade some more that a strong SNP Gov will be working for Scotland.

    Fourth thought; Mundell openly stating the new tax for Scotland is a trap, should piss off some Labour folks, and where are they going to go for someone to represent them.

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  4. "So it's beginning to look like the most extreme phase of the SNP's extraordinary post-May honeymoon is now over, and that we perhaps won't see the 60% barrier being broken again. "

    That was probably just 'revelling in the glory' people. It happens after big wins; you get folk who say they backed / would back the party that's just kicked ass. Lasts a month or two then settles down. TNS just seem to be falling into line with other pollsters now showing the SNP into the 50's.

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    1. "you get folk who say they backed / would back the party that's just kicked ass"

      Why didn't we see a surge in tory support then? :0)))))))

      Aldo

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    2. That wasn't a landslide / end of an era type result (see polls after 1997 for example). Labour increased their vote share more than the Tories May. Tories did quite poorly; just got lucky with FPTP to scrape them a majority.

      Anyway, the TNS numbers don't seem to have changed that much; for example this poll would show higher SNP than the last one if it wasn't for problems getting an H&I sample; heavily up-weighted and unusually low SNP. Rest of Scotland shows SNP up on last month; possibly a reaction to #Thomsongate

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    3. We probably didn't see a surge in Tory support because lowest vote share of a Conservative majority government in a century (in Scotland AND the UK, mind) doesn't exactly strike me as "kicking ass."

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  5. Glasgow Working ClassOctober 8, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    Very good polling figures for the SNP. Dreadful for the other parties.

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    1. My word is that a compliment to the SNP from GlasgowWorkingClass I think I need a lie down.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassOctober 9, 2015 at 12:19 AM

      Do not worry Paul it is an impersonator. I am the real thing. Nat si hater and Unionist.

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    3. Eat your cereal.

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    4. You are the one who appears more like a Natsi with your idiotic comments GlasgowWorkingClass are you seriously thinking that Labour or the Tories offer Scotland a better deal if so then you are seriously deluded.

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  6. Paul - Yes I believe it is...maybe he is leaving the sinking ship!

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  7. James, where did 4% go on the constituency vote? To the Greens?

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    1. From previous elections quite a fair percentage does actually go to a whole range of small parties. Independents, varieties of Socialist ( and we have Rise as an umberella now ), Religious Fundamentalists and the like. In my region it was about 8% of the actual votes cast last time out.

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  8. Looks like just problems getting an H&I sample is causing a variation. It's a tiny wee sample from there, heavily up weighted (much more so than usual), and unusually low SNP as a result. If you remove it (in this and the last), the SNP are up on the last poll by a couple of points.

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  9. Re: the theory you construct then dismiss. I'm sure you're correct and that the movements are pretty much solely margin of error noise but it did bubble up one idle thought in my head: what would it take for right-of -voters currently backing the Tories but who are not died-in-the-wool unionists to vote SNP/back indy if they thought there was a chance of there being a Corbyn UK government?

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  10. Good polling figures. 8 months to go.

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  11. As in the polling prior to the Westminster elelection,it will take a huge amount of work to turn these opinion polls into actual results.

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  12. Dreadful figures for Brit Nat Labour and that is despite getting an easy run of it in the Brit Nat Press and Media in Jockistan.

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