Maryfield by-election result (31st March) :
SNP 49.5% (-1.3)
Labour 22.7% (-13.7)
Conservatives 10.5% (+3.2)
Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 5.1% (+3.3)
Greens 4.1% (n/a)
Liberal Democrats 3.0% (-0.7)
Independent - McLeod 2.6% (n/a)
UKIP 2.5% (n/a)
I almost always end up calculating by-election results for myself, because it's amazing how often the percentages reported on social media (even by normally reliable sources) turn out to be wildly inaccurate, probably because of the complexity of the voting system. In this case, my calculation almost tallies up with the figures reported by Britain Elects, but some of the percentage changes differ by 0.1%. I gather from Facebook that the snappily titled "Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts" are exactly the same outfit as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, who stood in the ward in 2012, so that's why I've listed a (rather impressive) 3.3% increase in their vote.
In a sense it's disappointing that the SNP's vote has slipped slightly, given that the baseline figure comes from an election in which the SNP were polling below 35% across the country. A much more crowded field this time around can partly explain the drop, although admittedly it didn't prevent the Tories increasing their vote. But the real story of this contest is a net 6.2% swing from Labour to the SNP, which is the rough equivalent of a 17% or 18% swing in the UK general election. That's a bit less than the SNP typically achieved in former Labour heartlands last year, but is still a pretty dismal result for Labour given the difficult background against which the SNP were campaigning in the ward.
The downside of the SNP getting so close to 50% of the first preference vote is that we didn't get to see the full range of transfers, but we did find out how the small number of UKIP voters transferred : Conservatives 10, Independent 8, SNP 6, TUSC 5, Labour 3, Greens 2, Liberal Democrats 2. I'm not sure that tells us a huge amount, although it's perhaps surprising the Tories weren't favoured more heavily.
* * *
There have now been four EU referendum polls conducted since the attacks in Brussels. Two (ICM and ORB) have shown a boost for Remain, one (BMG) has shown a boost for Leave, and the other (TNS) has shown no change. So taking all of the available information together, it looks as if last week's tragedy hasn't fundamentally affected the state of play, although perhaps we shouldn't jump to conclusions until we see the first post-Brussels telephone poll.
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?
50/50 ONLINE/TELEPHONE AVERAGE :
Remain 44.3% (+0.2)
Leave 40.9% (+0.5)
ONLINE AVERAGE :
Remain 41.0% (+0.4)
Leave 40.2% (+0.9)
TELEPHONE AVERAGE :
Remain 47.5% (n/c)
Leave 41.5% (n/c)
(The Poll of Polls takes account of all polls that were conducted at least partly within the last month. The online average is based on eleven polls - four from ICM, three from YouGov, two from TNS, one from ORB and one from BMG. The telephone average is based on four polls - one from ComRes, one from Ipsos-Mori, one from ORB and one from Survation.)