Friday, August 30, 2019
BOMBSHELL POLLING ANALYSIS: Average of YouGov's Scottish subsamples since Boris Johnson became PM puts SNP on course for SEVENTEEN GAINS, and the Scottish Tories on course for ELEVEN LOSSES
It's high time that we had a look at the next best thing to a full-scale poll. YouGov announced a few years ago that they were starting to correctly structure and weight their Scottish subsamples for GB-wide polls, and it looks pretty likely from the relative stability of their figures that they've continued to do that ever since. That doesn't mean that an individual Scottish subsample from YouGov can be treated as the equivalent of a full-scale poll - the margin of error on a correctly structured subsample of 150 or 200 is still much higher than the margin of error on a full sample of 1000 or 2000. But averaging the figures over time can give you more meaningful results, and we're now in a position to do that, because there have been eight published YouGov subsamples with fieldwork that took place entirely after Mr Johnson entered Number 10.
YouGov Scottish subsample average since 24th July:
Liberal Democrats 12.8%
Brexit Party 7.0%
Westminster seat projection:
SNP 52 (+17)
Liberal Democrats 4 (n/c)
Conservatives 2 (-11)
Labour 1 (-6)
We shouldn't forget that, although the Tories have opened up a GB-wide lead, they haven't recovered to anything like the kind of levels of support that they had even a few months ago - they're still languishing in the low 30s, which normally wouldn't be enough to top the popular vote in a general election. They're leading by default because their main opponents are polling at an unusually low level too. In Scotland, it looks like they're not being so fortunate - yes, they've recovered a bit due to the Boris effect, but that's not doing them much good because their main opponent actually appears to be polling higher than in 2017.
The SNP are so far standing firm in the face of both the 'Boris bounce' and the 'Swinson surge' (the latter being a largely mythical thing anyway - the Lib Dem recovery preceded the change of leader). I thought the result of the East Kilbride by-election last night was really interesting - Labour's vote slumped by eleven points, and it looked possible that a lot of those votes might have gone direct to the Lib Dems, who enjoyed a ten point boost. The SNP seemed unaffected by the Lib Dem surge, and saw their own vote increase by four points.
OK, that's only one by-election and there may well have been local factors. But if the Lib Dems start taking significant numbers of unionist/Remain votes away from Labour in seats that the Lib Dems can't possibly win in a million years, and if there is no substantial movement of votes from the SNP to the Lib Dems, the stars might just be aligning for a dramatic SNP landslide in terms of seats.
And who knows what effect Ruth Davidson's resignation will have on the above figures - if there are any moderate Scottish Tory voters left, they might start drifting off to the Lib Dems or somewhere else.