Saturday, November 23, 2019

Seat projection suggests SNP landslide and Lib Dem meltdown

Are we going to get through yet another Saturday night without a full-scale Scottish poll?  Well, the night is young, maybe something will appear at midnight.  What we do have is a UK-wide seat projection based upon 270,000 YouGov interviews, of which presumably around 20,000 will have been in Scotland.  So although the model is untested (it's not the official YouGov projection model that proved reasonably accurate in 2017), it deserves to be taken seriously, and it offers good news for the SNP.

Conservatives 349 
Labour 213 
SNP 49
Liberal Democrats 14
Plaid Cymru 5 
Greens 1

If that turned out to be the final result, it would be an absolute catastrophe for the Liberal Democrats - they'd be six down on their pre-election tally, and only two up on their 2017 showing.  I would guess that around 4 of their 14 seats would be in Scotland, but if they're really underperforming badly, perhaps I shouldn't even make that assumption.  But let's say four Scottish Lib Dems for the sake of argument, and Ian Murray holding Edinburgh South for Labour.  That would only leave space for five Scottish Tory seats, a drop of eight.  In psychological terms that would be a really dramatic step forward for the pro-independence movement.

It's striking that the Tories are only projected to have a middling overall majority of 48, in spite of their double-digit GB-wide lead.  That suggests they could possibly be denied a majority if their lead is cut to six or seven percentage points - but time is running out for that to happen.  A large number of postal votes will be cast in the near future.

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UPDATE: We may get more information soon on an exact forecast for Scotland, because details for individual seats are being mentioned.  For example, this tweet from Tim Shipman -

"Some good news for the LibDems, Datapraxis model has Jo Swinson holding a 4 point lead over the SNP and likely to benefit from any pro unionist tactical voting"

I'm not sure on what planet the Lib Dems only being 4 points ahead in their leader's seat is supposed to be good news for them - I would have expected it to be far higher than that.  That's a drop of 6 points on her lead in 2017.  Perhaps it's 4 points before tactical voting is taken into account, that would make more sense. 

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I have two more constituency previews in today's edition of The National - this time it's Lanark & Hamilton East and East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow.


  1. Tactical voting can work in the opposite way and vote against Swinson. It isn't a one way street.

  2. I told you Jo Swinsons coat was on a shaky peg and you said I was wrong, todays doorknockers in East Dunbartonshire report bad vibes for the Lib Dem leader following her car crash TV appearance, the possibility of her losing is now real

    1. I'm still not convinced, but I can certainly imagine that it's a tighter race than seemed likely a few weeks ago.

  3. YouGov's model was most wrong in Scotland in 2017. Based on a report I read about it, it didn't use independence vote in their model (as it was a GB-wide model) which would be very important in Scotland.

    Factors used are on page 19+20:

    That could affect how accurate it is in Scottish seats, albeit the 2017 unionist shift may make it more accurate without an independence variable.

    1. Also on the matter of YouGov, the Datapraxis report on their website notes that YouGov are going to be producing their own model:

      Hopefully that will be publicly available again.

  4. That prediction means we are well and truly out of the EU. The Nat si Mps do not want to be in Westminster with their large salaries and high standard of living. Aye Right! They want to be EU martyrs. Aye Right. They want to return to Scotland and get a real joab. Aye Right. Reality will kick in when we leave the EU and real Scottish Nat sis can campaign for a real independent Scotland.

    1. We have tracked your IP... we know who you are.

    2. It's Mr Andrews. Everyone knows that already.

    3. The more raw honk GWC posts the more SNP goes up and the rest go down. Keep posting you nutter. It's working wonders.

  5. YouGov subsample.

    SNP 43% Con 25 Lab 16 LD 15 Oth 2

  6. Article in the Sunday Times

    Jeremy Corbyn’s hope that Scots voters could help him lead the biggest party at Westminster have been dashed, with the first Scottish opinion poll of the election campaign suggesting a virtual wipeout north of the border.

    A Panelbase poll of 1,009 voters in Scotland points to a collapse in support for Labour since the 2017 general election, from 27% to 20%, and a surge in support since last month for the Scottish Tories since Boris Johnson secured a revised Brexit deal with the EU.

    It means Labour can expect to lose all but one of its seven seats, only holding on to Edinburgh South, held by Corbyn’s arch critic Ian Murray — exactly as in the 2015 general election.

    The SNP is on course to be the clear winner, heading for gains with support up from 37% to 40% since 2017. Assuming a uniform swing across the country, John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, forecasts its tally of seats would rise from 35 to 41.

    That would be a decisive victory for Nicola Sturgeon’s party but could disappoint some in the SNP given it is well short of the high water mark in 2015 when a landslide saw the party win 56 of the 59 Scottish seats. On this showing, the SNP could expect to lose North East Fife, held by Stephen Gethins, to the Lib Dems, whose support is up from 7% to 11%. That single gain would take Jo Swinson’s party up one to five.

    Meanwhile, with the collapse of the Brexit Party, which polls less than 1% in Scotland (down from 5% last month), the Conservative vote is holding up at 28% — down just one point since 2017 and up seven points since October. SNP sources say there has been significant levels of doorstep feedback showing people who tend to vote nationalist will vote Tory this time due to their support for Brexit.

    The poll suggests that Boris Johnson’s party will lose one seat (with Stirling going SNP), taking its tally down to 12. However, Curtice adds that there are four other seats where the Tories could lose if the swing against them locally is more than the 2% recorded in this poll.

    With Brexit and independence two major campaign issues, the Panelbase survey, conducted from November 20 to 22, shows 37% of voters in Scotland believe independence is the greatest threat to the Scottish economy, while 39% believe Brexit is the biggest risk. About a quarter (24%) say neither or that both are equal.

    Independence is seen in positive terms by nearly twice as many, however, with 45% saying it offers the greater opportunity to the Scottish economy, compared with 24% for Brexit and 31% who say neither or that both are equal. Support for Scottish independence has dropped one point from last month’s poll to 49%.

    Sturgeon, who performed well in the BBC’s leader interviews on Friday, remains the only leader with a positive approval rating among Scots on +3, down from +6 last month. Johnson has a slightly improved personal rating, up from -36 to -34, which remains better than Corbyn on -41 — a gain of one from last month.

    Swinson’s approval rating has fallen from -12 to -21, echoing recent research that indicates the more some voters see her, the less they like her. Meanwhile, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has dropped to -38 from -30.

    Writing in The Sunday Times, Curtice said the Scottish Tories “have good reason to be pleased with this poll”.

  7. James that is a Johnson majority of 49. Moreover, it looks as if where this is going is a pretty unified Leave campaign forming up round the Tories, facing (in the UK) a split Remain camp, with little possibility fo unification as long as Corbyn and Swinson are in charge of their parties. If this becomes a trend then we would be looking at a majority greater than 49 - maybe twice as large.
    As you point out 49 seats, assuming the Lib Dem MPs all hang on, Murray does his great escape act again, probably means 1 Labour, 4 Lib Dems and 5 Tories. If there are same moves in Scotland as in England then its possible that the Unionist contingent could be even smaller.
    However even with these numbers, the SNP have won not only a majority of WM seats, but over 80% of them. However they will face a govt, on record as saying that there will be no second referendum (whether they will repeat they see no sign of support, I would be less sure).
    Particularly if there is this polarization - which would mean more Tory MPs, but perhaps a few more SNP MPs - with little apparent prospect of a S30 order and a referndum, what comes next? Harder to justify doing nothing.

    1. "If this becomes a trend then we would be looking at a majority greater than 49 - maybe twice as large."

      I don't follow that line of argument at all - it's already a trend and yet the projected majority is only 48. If anything, the Lib Dems' downward drift suggests that the Remain vote might become more unified as the campaign progresses, not less so.

    2. The Scotland poll you report in on in another blog suggests that the Tories have probably eaten up the Brexit Party vote here (no real surprise). The problem is that if Scotland follows rUK in there being a Remain vote distributed over 3 parties, while Leave focuses on just one then it's got to be good news for BoJo.
      The Herald reports, the likelihood is that this would leave Murray as the only Labour MP, and that Stephen Kerr would lose Stirling. If we are looking for good news (like the Data Praxis forecast) then it would be that the Tory vote is holding steady, but that the Labour and Lib Dem vote is bleeding into the SNP - that (Panelbase) Labour vote in particular seems to me astonishingly high given what has been written about them recently.
      In short James I am much more pessimistic than you about how far the Remain vote is capable of being unified (other than about the idea of not leaving the EU). Swinson in particular seems to me an obstacle to this, particularly as the only other vote (in rUK) is for Labour and she hardly makes a secret of her view about Corbyn.
      The Lib Dem vote has declined, but is still somewhere about the middle teens, which is about twice what they got in 2017.
      If Johnson is polling at anywhere near the middle 40s then there is no room for a vote that is split at all. UK polls just now (try suggest that the entire Labour + Lib Dem vote is needed for Remain parties to poll more than the Tories (and perhaps important to remember Labour are not unambiguously Remain - they will negotiate a less "hard" Brexit).
      Of course Scotland is "different", and there is an alternative to Labour/Lib Dem that has had a consistent Remain stance since 2016. In Scotland I hope you are right - no lets not be mean, I think you are. HOWEVER - and it's a BIG HOWEVER - I suspect that high forties + SNP MPs are likely to be facing a Tory majority of more than 49. Can you see Johnson granting a S30 Order? I can't - he would surely "die in a ditch" first. So, what then?

  8. We are oan the march wie the Boris Army. WE WILL REALLY SHAKEM UP WHEN WE LEAVE THE EU fur we are the greatest team in ra land.