Monday, July 17, 2017

SNP buoyed by two new polls

I'm not sure if it was Wimbledon or the Doctor Who announcement that distracted me, but I completely forgot to check on Saturday night whether there were any new opinion polls.  As it turns out there were two Britain-wide polls - one from Opinium and one from Survation.  Both had the SNP slightly ahead on the Scottish subsample...

Survation: SNP 33%, Labour 25%, Conservatives 24%, Liberal Democrats 14%, UKIP 4%

Opinium: SNP 35%, Conservatives 31%, Labour 29%, UKIP 1%, Liberal Democrats 1%

Survation's subsamples are always particularly small and not correctly weighted, but as it happens the recalled vote of the sample on this occasion is reasonably close to the actual result in June, so there's one less reason to be sceptical than usual.

In conjunction with the SNP's creditable near miss in the Elgin by-election, where the swing against them since May was negligible, I'd say these new figures move the balance of probability back towards the SNP having some sort of continuing lead in Westminster voting intentions.  There have now been nine Scottish subsamples from various firms since the general election, with five putting the SNP ahead, three putting Labour ahead, and one putting the Tories in front.  The SNP have never been lower than second place, whereas both Labour and the Tories have been third some of the time.

My best guess is that if a full-scale Scottish poll of Westminster voting intentions was conducted now, it would probably show the SNP with a narrow lead over Labour, with the Tories in third place.  I certainly wouldn't exclude the possibility that Labour have a small lead, but I don't think there's any real danger that the Tories are ahead.


  1. That's quite a margin between the Lib Dem results on offer there!

  2. Trying to draw anything meaningful from these wildly varying and minute samples is ludicrous. If the Founding fathers had relied on polling telling them what to the Butcher's Apron would still be flying over America. Time to get on and take our independence.

    1. "Trying to draw anything meaningful from these wildly varying and minute samples is ludicrous."

      Yeah, that's what Labour supporters said in the autumn of 2014 when the SNP surge first showed up in subsamples. They were wrong then, and you're wrong now. I've been very, very cautious about the conclusions I'm drawing, but I'm confident they're the correct ones - ie. that the SNP are probably in the lead, and at worst are a close second, and that the Tories are not in the lead.

      By the way, if you object in principle to someone blogging about polls, it might be best not to visit this blog in future, because I'm afraid there's a lot of it about.

    2. Are you willing to take a stab at predicting the headline figures from the next full scale Scottish poll James?

  3. Thanks James, always interesting to read your blog.

    I find it depressing to even contemplate that any unionist party could be ahead in any way when it comes to Scotland. They kept Scotland poor for far too long, bringing the country to it's knees, sending more than a £billion back to WM when they were in charge at Holyrood. Absolute disgrace.

    Scary to visualise a labour revival in Scotland, or via a Scottish Labour MP revival, before we are independent.

    1. Far more was achieved for Scotland under direct rule than has been achieved since. NHS, new towns, welfare. Economic, industrial and scientific progress. Workers rights. All achieved without an MSP in sight.

      The SNP underspends its budget to a far greater extent than the Labour led coalition ever did. You say there was a 1 billion underspend for 1999-2007. The SNP managed about 400 million in a single financial year recently.