Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sumptuous Survation survey suggests SNP still lead by 31%

With these Holyrood polls, you are spoiling us, Mr Ambassador!  This must be the fourth in what, a couple of weeks?  It's the latest from Survation, who now seem to have firmly revived their monthly series for Cleggy and the Vow-meisters...

Constituency ballot :

SNP 53% (+1)
Labour 22% (+1)
Conservatives 16% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-1)

Regional list ballot :

SNP 45% (+3)
Labour 18% (-2)
Conservatives 15% (-1)
Greens 9% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-2)
UKIP 6% (+1)

Both this poll and the recent Ipsos-Mori poll are challenging our perception that the SNP have been suffering from a very, very gradual downward drift - it looks like that process may have been halted, and possibly even reversed.  The party will be particularly relieved to see a decent bounce-back in their list vote, because it was a tad worrying that the last polls from both Survation and YouGov were giving them a slightly lower list vote than they managed in 2011.  The conventional wisdom is that they're doing much better than five years ago, but the recent evidence had just been beginning to call that into question.

Another important recent trend has also been bucked - as in the Ipsos-Mori poll, Labour's lead over the Tories in the race for second place on the constituency ballot has increased, not decreased.  The increase isn't statistically significant, but it now looks like the recent cluster of polls seeming to show that the Tories were on a trajectory to overtake Labour (or even in one case that they had already moved into second place) was a bit misleading.  Still, it's the list vote that will be entirely responsible for deciding the runner-up spot in terms of seats, and with just a 3% gap between the two parties on the list ballot, the emergency for Dugdale is far from over.  Perhaps more to the point, 18% is an all-time low for Labour with any polling firm, and in a proportional system their share of the vote is bound to feed through into the absolute number of seats they win.  Unless something changes soon, they appear to be heading for a total electoral meltdown that will make the 2011 result look like the Attlee landslide.

Of course, the other point that leaps out from this poll is that both the Greens and UKIP appear to be on the brink of a spectacular breakthrough - but that may well be an illusion.  Survation have consistently been the most favourable pollster for both parties.  Their Holyrood polls are conducted among a volunteer online polling panel, and it may simply be that they have a disproportionate number of core Green and UKIP supporters on their books.  Past vote weighting is intended to eliminate that sort of bias, but smaller parties are probably harder to deal with.  YouGov seem to have a similar problem with the SSP (no other firm has had the SSP or RISE higher than 1% in recent months, but YouGov have sometimes had them as high as 3%).

It's particularly difficult to believe that UKIP are on course for as many as six Scottish Parliament list seats when recent polling using a 'real world' methodology (telephone or face-to-face) has had them on 1% or lower. Experience at a Britain-wide level suggests that UKIP tend to end up with a vote share that's roughly midway between their online and telephone polling numbers - if that happens in this case, it's very hard to see how they're going to win any seats at all, because no online firm other than Survation has had them higher than 3% over the last few months.  But I suppose it's not totally impossible that they might do particularly well in one region, and nick a single seat somewhere.

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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

Constituency ballot :

SNP 52.6% (+0.2)
Labour 20.6% (+0.2)
Conservatives 17.2% (n/c)
Liberal Democrats 5.4% (-0.2)

Regional list ballot :

SNP 47.2% (+0.6)
Labour 19.0% (-0.4)
Conservatives 16.8% (-0.2)
Liberal Democrats 6.4% (-0.4)
Greens 6.4% (n/c)

(The Poll of Polls is based on a rolling average of the most recent poll from each of the firms that have reported Scottish Parliament voting intention numbers over the previous three months, and that adhere to British Polling Council rules. At present, there are five - Panelbase, Survation, YouGov, TNS and Ipsos-Mori. Whenever a new poll is published, it replaces the last poll from the same company in the sample.)

45 comments:

  1. Polling fairly stable at the moment.

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  2. 6% for UKIP on the list ballot? Surely not..

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  3. According to Weber Shandwick, that would give UKIP 7 MSPs...

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  4. You beat me to it anon - 7 kippers on their way to Holyrood. This would give a kipper ratio of 5% to Westminster's 0.2%, ironically (and the EU referendum campaign isn't even underway yet!)

    Sit them next to the Greens I say.

    Aldo

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    1. It's called proportional representation...

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  5. Would,the LibDems be near wipeout on that level?

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    1. The lib dems won 5 seats in 2011 and it is unlikely they will fall below that. They may even gain one or two. There is an old joke about the only thing that would survive a nuclear war being liberal democrats. This would seem to be holding true as they live to fight another day, again.

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  6. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 17, 2016 at 11:52 PM

    Scotland has certainly demised into the abyss since the Enlightenment. How on Earth could a good , great and ancient country like Scotland elect a shower of Nat si wasters and hypocrites.

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    1. The show isn't over til the fat lady sings GWC. I expect the SNP to win but it will be a close run thing. And who knows? Major upsets do happen, from time to time. I can well imagine a situation where nat complacency causes problems for them in actually getting out their vote.

      And even if they do win, what exactly have they won? Think about it. There's a big crowd of angry people out there who aren't going to get what they want (another referendum followed by independence). A huge rammy awaits.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 18, 2016 at 12:34 AM

      To elect a responsible government the electorate need to vote SNP on 5th May on constituency and list.

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    3. Behold dear readers, two testacles holding a conversation. Whad a thocht it?

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  7. I'm confused,is the FM saying fiscal framework has to be decided this friday

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    1. Then maybe she should stop demanding English taxpayers' money when Scotland gets to keep all of its income tax revenue.

      Make unreasonable demands / talks break down / blame Westminster. Apparently this transparent sh1t stirring is what passes for government in Scotland.

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  8. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 18, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    The FM wants more money from the English taxpayer. This matter will not be resolved she and the Nat sis will not tax the Scottish better of. The old blame the English tactic will be played out again and again. When it comes to paying your way the Scots look elsewhere.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 18, 2016 at 12:37 AM

      She doesn't say that at all and it comes from revenue raised in Scotland. Some people should stop having an inferiority complex. Nothing optimistic to say.

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    2. We now have a situation where Labour is identifiably left of the SNP. Probably for the first time since 1994. And the SNP only overtook Labour by outflanking them on the left. Interesting. I don't expect the electorate to immediately recognise this but, eventually, with deep cuts to local services, people may actually start to take notice of the fact that there is a valid redistributive option out there (and it aint the SNP).

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 18, 2016 at 1:23 AM

      Aldo, when were the Nat sis ever on the left? They are left right and centre to keep the faithfull on board. They in reality are the most right wing party to have power in Scotland. Surprised you have not joined them!

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    4. Nigel wants to know how many leaflets you want. No rush - he knows you need to finish delivering the Tank Commander's.

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    5. Not sure how a 'penny for trident' tax on the lowest paid could be construed as left of centre redistribution.

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  9. I can see the Tories falling back if the Scotland bill falls through, due to their backtracking on the 'no detriment' principal of the Smith commission. Their position looks incredibly weak when the SNP has the support of prominent economists and the relevant committees in both Parliaments.

    Every other party at Holyrood is backing the Scottish Government. No wonder - because it is Scotlands future budget that would suffer with an unfair deal. The Tories are isolated on this, and they will get hammered during the TV debates if Cameron refuses to deliver the extra powers as promised.

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    1. How much detriment would there have been had Scotland become independent in the midst of an oil crash?

      From what I can see, there is a process of negotiation taking place here and the SNP refuse to budge. Their interpretation of 'detriment' seems to be that Scotland will miss out on a potential boon from growth in English tax revenues. Well, deary me, if that's so bad why don't they abandon independence and go back to a fully integrated tax system?

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 18, 2016 at 1:03 AM

      The Nat sis want their cake and the English taxpayer to pay for it. Tax the Scottish rich and landowning class. Get the revenue in from Scots stop begging have some dignity.

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    3. Seriously, how can you possibly think calling people Nazis will win them across to your perspective?

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    4. Aldo - Scotland's position under independence, good or bad, is irrelevant here. This is about the further devolution promised if we voted No. About the Tories keeping their word on fulfilling the Vow and Smith Commission principles.

      To uphold the 'no-detriment' principle, well established demographic trends have to be accounted for, to compare with a position of no change. Especially as the Scottish Government still has relatively few powers to grow the population and tax base.

      We were promised these extra powers, however limited they might be. But if the Tories make it unworkable by slapping on an extra £3 billion price tag, they will pay the price at the Holyrood elections and help the SNP towards another majority.

      I honestly have no idea what they are playing at here.
      Self-defeating behaviour. You would think Davidson and Mundell would be on the phone to Cameron telling him to get a grip.

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  10. The SNP BAD crap from the Brit Nat Press and Media still isn't working then.

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    1. Aye, yet it's all they have to defend the farcical united[!] kingdom. Britnat media is laughable. If anything it helps the independence movement in Scotland. Yet, as I say, we can expect more of the same.

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  11. Is the Barnett formula fair? No. It was always a bribe for us to look the other way while the UK stole the oil. I hope that Swinney and Sturgeon tell the Treasury to poke their fiscal framework. The cynicism displayed by Westminster is awesome. If you are going to lie, tell whoppers and they have fully subscribed to that theory! By the way, James - your two fake creatures GWC and Aldo? They are becoming too caricaturish to be believable. Time to "de-Spanner" and admit that you invented them as a source of "straw men" arguments.... :)

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  12. The yoons don't like it up em!

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    1. Neither it would appear do the yessers, hence they all vote SNP.

      SNP Gooooooooooood!

      Aldo

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  13. This is another good,strong poll for Scotlands party.Solid.Its very similair to what we're finding on the doorsteps,but we're not taking anything for granted.We're going to canvass thoroughly and use the information to get our vote out on polling day.I think UKIP could get a "bounce" due to the EU ref campaigning,possibly enough to win a seat or two,but there's going to have to be a lot of things line up for that to happen.

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  14. I think ardent unionists need to shout 'SNP = Bad'...'SNP = Nazis!' etc louder if they are to make headway before May's election.

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    1. I don't think anyone really expects to make headway skier. Most people learn the hard way - through experience. It will take another 5 years of blame shifting, hypocrisy, inaction and neverendum before the Scottish people finally get fed up, paving the way for a unionist majority. Until then, the only vote that really matters is the EU referendum.

      Aldo

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    2. I was thinking more 60 years; that's the party cycle in Scotland. Yellow liberals peaked late 19th century then died away to the Tory+Labour peak in the 1950's. Labour and Tory been in decline since then as the yellow federal / indy vote rose again.

      So I'd expect the SNP to dominate until 2070 or so. Unless Scotland becomes independent of course; then they'll take off their yellow t-shirts; well the left and right edges of the party anyway, with the middle forming the Scottish Social Democrats.

      Of course a return of Labour+Con depends on a new, jointly agreed, left of centre post-war consensus that bound the UK in social(ist) solidarity and gave us our 1950's unionist party peak.

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    3. I don't think anyone really expects to make headway skier. Most people learn the hard way - through experience. It will take another 5 years of blame shifting, hypocrisy, inaction and neverendum before the Scottish people finally get fed up, paving the way for a unionist majority. Until then, the only vote that really matters is the EU referendum.

      You always express confidence that things will inevitably turn round for the Unionist parties at some unspecified point in the mid-future. How did you predict things would go immediately after the 2011 election? Did you think then that the SNP would be going into 2016 looking likely to get an even better result?

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    4. I think that's a really interesting way of looking at it Skier, although I'd offer up that the whole internet/digital comms/social media element is probably going to speed the cycle up (and possibly make the swings more extreme, because negative events will get a wider audience than before).

      Smaller items are now magnified both in scope and reach compared to even 20 years ago, so I expect we'll see much more aggressive shifts in the balance of power going forward.

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  15. The Scotland Votes calculator gives the Lib Dems a constituency seat even if you put 0% in the predicition box, so I will take what they produce with a large grain of salt.

    Even if UKIP get 6% nationally on the list (they want) that will be heavily centred in two places - South and Highlands. So given Sco Votes seems to apply a uniform swing to their list vote methodology (only reason I can think of for 6% getting 7 MSPs), they are way off the mark. On a good night UKIP could get 2, but I suspect they'll end up with zero, although not a million miles away in South (they may be dependant on the Tories getting 2/3 constituency seats to boost their chances I think).

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    1. UKIP are on ~2% average on the Regional list. About what they got in the UKGE.

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  16. Since Labour are unlikely to win any constituency seats, the number to focus on is their share of the list vote. At less than 20% it looks like being their worst election performance in Scotland since...actually, since last May!

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  17. So that Muppet Glasgow Working Class is blaming the electorate for his Red Tory pals demise I suggest you take a long hard look at your self in the mirror fool. No one wants your childish politics or you Red Tory buffoons away and plague their site as it is they who are disappointing you with their right wing policies or else seek out a shrink there is obviously something mentally wrong with you!

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    1. Impotent rage at the electorate is a common symptom of political rejection. See Jim Murphy's entire output since East Renfrewshire got rid of him.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 19, 2016 at 8:30 PM

      The Nat si Tartan Tories are probably more right wing than the normal Tory variety.

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  18. Re: the high Green / UKIP scores with Survation, Prof Curtice noted in his last blog that the minor parties do well with them (and not with other pollsters) because the wording of their question makes it sound like the regional list is a second preference vote.

    Curtice: "The problem that pollsters face is that when voters are asked to give two voting preferences, some may think that the second vote is a second preference. This would appear to be a particular risk with the way in which Survation ascertain people’s list vote"

    Their question reads, "Your second vote will be a party list vote to elect representatives from your region of Scotland by a form of proportional representation. If the election were tomorrow, which party would you be most likely to vote for with your second, regional list vote?"

    http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2016/01/survation-poll-reports-record-conservative-holyrood-share/

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  19. Survation splits by region. Some of them are around 150 a person. So they have standard errors of 4 percentage points but they are part of a trend with TNS also doing them. table 7 is interesting and lends some justification to the wait and see approach on the list in Lothian. Mid Scotland & Fife, Highlands and Glasgow. Table 4 is the consituency by region which is also improtant and Mid and Fife is low there although sample sizes there are getting pretty inaccurate.

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Final-Scomnibus-I-Tables-DR-1c0d2h9-51.pdf

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  20. http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Final-Scomnibus-I-Tables-DR-1c0d2h9-51.pdf

    P7 regional list
    P4 constituency.

    Sample size limitations apply when doing regional assessment but with TNS and other Survation there is evidence that a watching brief in Lothian, Fife, Mid S and highlands on list vote choice is prudent. Stellafella.

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