Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election (Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 1st-5th June 2020):
SNP 51% (+1)
Conservatives 21% (-5)
Labour 19% (+2)
Liberal Democrats 6% (+1)
Greens 2% (n/c)
Seats projection: SNP 58 (+10), Labour 1 (n/c)
(Note: Percentage changes are measured from the last Panelbase poll, which was commissioned by Wings Over Scotland and conducted in early May. Changes on the seats projection are measured from the actual result of the 2019 general election.)
The seats projection doesn't include the words "Conservatives 0 (-6), Liberal Democrats 0 (-4)", because why should we treat them differently to any other fringe parties? Don't even mention parties that win zero seats and then people will forget they exist. But, no, in all seriousness, the Electoral Calculus projection model really does suggest that both the Tories and the Lib Dems would be totally wiped out on these figures. In reality, the likelihood is that the Lib Dems would hold Orkney & Shetland as they did in 2015, but it's not entirely inconceivable that the Tories could be removed from the Scottish map on 21% of the vote - and that says more about the absurdity of the voting system than about anything else. But, hey, the Tories are the most enthusiastic cheerleaders for first-past-the-post, so they're in no position to complain.
Although the Tory vote share is substantially down since the last poll and also since the general election, it may surprise you to learn that they've actually been lower than 21% on a few occasions within the last eighteen months. The lowest figure I can find is 18% in two Panelbase polls in May and June of 2019. But that was during the brief heyday of the Brexit Party, when Farage was successfully wooing the type of hardline Tory voter that other parties don't have a hope of reaching. There's no equivalent alibi for the Tory slump this time - their lost votes have instead gone to mainstream parties of the centre-left and the centre. 3% of Conservative voters from the general election are now in the SNP column, 8% have gone to Labour, and 2% to the Liberal Democrats.
Although Labour are not projected to gain any seats, there may be an indication here that the Starmer bounce south of the border is being partly replicated in Scotland. 19% is Labour's highest vote share in any poll (by any firm) since the general election. However, all that means is they're back to where they started under Corbyn on polling day in December - which falls short of their current performance in England, where they're now comfortably outscoring their general election vote share. They're plainly being hampered in Scotland by the wide appeal of the SNP. It's telling that Labour have retained a significantly lower percentage of their voters from December (76%) than the Tories have (86%). Roughly one-sixth of people who voted Labour are now minded to vote SNP, although those switchers have been offset by other voters moving towards Labour (partly from unionist parties).
Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:
SNP 53% (n/c)
Conservatives 21% (-2)
Labour 16% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (+1)
Greens 3% (n/c)
Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:
SNP 48% (n/c)
Conservatives 19% (-3)
Labour 16% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 8% (+2)
Greens 7% (n/c)
Seats projection: SNP 72 (+9), Conservatives 25 (-6), Labour 19 (-5), Liberal Democrats 8 (+3), Greens 5 (-1)
The Holyrood pattern is very similar to the Westminster trends, with the Tories polling lower than they have for months. In fact their 19% on the regional list vote equals their lowest ebb during the Brexit Party surge last year.
There's been no further progress for the SNP, but that's not surprising given that they must already have been pretty close to their absolute ceiling of support anyway. They're on course for an overall single-party majority of fifteen seats - which would be an almost unbelievable feat under a proportional representation system. I don't think enough has been said about just how phenomenal it is that they've been consistently polling in the mid-to-high 40s on the list ballot this year. Throughout the whole of 2019 they never scored higher than 39% on the list in any poll from any firm. Some of the improvement can probably be explained by the change of weighting scheme after the general election - but not all of it.
The pro-independence parties in combination would have 77 seats if this poll was replicated on polling day, and the anti-independence parties in combination would have only 52. That's roughly a 60/40 split in favour of independence. There's also a clear pro-independence majority in the popular vote on both ballots (56% in the constituencies, 55% on the list). Whatever type of mandate the pro-indy parties end up seeking next year - whether it's for a referendum or for independence - they clearly have the opportunity of gaining an immaculate one.
For the first time, the Conservatives will have to start seriously contemplating the possibility of dropping back significantly from the 31-seat haul they won under Ruth Davidson in their breakthrough year of 2016. Obviously proportional representation would cushion their fall and there would be no wipeout of the sort that is a possibility at Westminster, but slipping to 25 seats would still be a humbling experience for them.
It must be dispiriting for Labour that the minor progress they've made under Starmer leaves them significantly below their performance under Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale in 2016, and thus on course to lose more seats and slump to yet another new all-time low of Holyrood representation. It doesn't help matters for them that a full one-quarter of people who voted Labour in the general election would vote SNP on the constituency ballot - although that partly just reflects the fact that some people will always vote differently in Holyrood and Westminster elections, with Holyrood more of a "home fixture" for the SNP.
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There are several more questions to come from the poll. To be the first to know when they're released, you can follow me on Twitter HERE. You can also read my Sunday National piece about last night's results HERE.