Friday, July 31, 2020

YouGov poll: Nicola Sturgeon's net personal rating is 87 points higher than Boris Johnson's

YouGov today published results of a full-scale Scottish poll, but it only contained favourability ratings for various leading politicians.  It would be odd to conduct a poll of that sort without also asking for voting intentions, so I'm wondering if there might be more to come, possibly for a Sunday newspaper.  In the meantime, we have the familiar picture of Nicola Sturgeon towering over her unionist competitors - 

Net favourability ratings:

Nicola Sturgeon (SNP)  +36
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)  +7
Sir Keir Starmer (Labour)  +1
Richard Leonard (Labour)  -28
Jackson Carlaw (Conservative)  -32
Matt Hancock (Conservative)  -38
Dominic Raab (Conservative)  -38
Priti Patel (Conservative)  -48
Boris Johnson (Conservative)  -51
Michael Gove (Conservative)  -57
Dominic Cummings (SAGE)  -69

I know some will say that this is mildly encouraging for Sir Keir Starmer, but given that he hasn't had much time or opportunity to get on anyone's nerves yet, I'm not sure a neutral rating is much to write home about.  Meanwhile, these numbers are a rude awakening for anyone in the Tory ranks who would fondly like to imagine that Michael Gove's Scottish background and accent are some kind of secret weapon - he's somehow less popular than even the Prime Minister.

To return to the subject of last night's stitch-up at the SNP's NEC, quite blatantly intended to prevent Joanna Cherry and James Dornan standing at next year's election, what I would say is this.  When we have a wildly popular leader, who commands respect and admiration in Scotland, the rest of the UK and to some extent even internationally, it would plainly be in all our interests to be able to get behind her and achieve a thumping, united mandate next May.  But if that's going to happen, it really does take two to tango.  You can't turn the SNP into a cold house for those with certain perfectly legitimate views (for example self-ID sceptics) and then lecture the people you've alienated about how they still have to vote for you anyway.  Maintaining a big tent requires a bit of give and take, not just a one-way process of take.  Nicola Sturgeon is in so many ways a good leader, and now would be an excellent (and indeed essential) moment for her to demonstrate that once again by asking for the NEC's decisions to be urgently reviewed before any lasting damage is done.  

So many independence supporters would prefer to stick with the SNP in May.  Make it possible for them.  Don't put up needless walls.


  1. Well said James, well said.

  2. James, regarding whether there were other questions that were asked, I will copy across my post of the other day because I think I took part in that poll. Firstly, because I did a YouGov poll this week and secondly because (as I remarked) it asked about a slew of Tory figures. The one thing I seem to have got wrong was that I suspected it was a Labour poll. I said....

    "A YouGov poll in the wind asking a heap of things. My suspicion is that it's one commissioned by the Labour Party.

    I didn't take note of all that was asked but they did ask for sure:

    i) Westminster voting intention;

    ii) Holyrood list and constituency;

    iii) A separate question about the list asking for rating out of 10 on how likely one was to vote Tory, Lab, Lib Dem, SNP or Green;

    iv) independence question but with 6 options, 'definitely yes', 'probably yes', 'not sure', 'definitely REMAIN in UK', 'probably REMAIN in UK', 'wouldn't vote' (so look out for misrepresentation if this poll sees the light of day);

    v) asking whether thought there should be an indyref in next 5 years (no 'next 2 years' query);

    vi) Asking what you liked about the party you support;

    vii) Asking what Labour could do to get you to vote for them;

    viii) Asking whether it was likely or unlikely that you would ever vote for a party with an opposing view to yours on indy;

    ix) Asking whether the Scottish Parliament or both the Scottish Parliament and UK Gov should make the decision regarding an indyref being held;

    x) questions about Holyrood and WM handling of Covid (approval);

    xi) questions about approval/disapproval of a slew of Tory figures, Nicola Sturgeon, Keir Starmer and the Labour Party as a whole.

    There was more but these were the main ones."

  3. In general I agree with you, and in terms of the specific decisions taken I do think they're tactically counter-productive.

    That said, when you're talking about an issue like the GRA, where the two sides are advocating diametrically opposed and zero-sum agendas - the GRA can either exist or it can't, the main issue the "sceptics" have with it is the main reason it's being proposed, ie self-ID - it's a bit simplistic to present it as you do. How many SNP politicians are stridently and publicly opposed to other party objectives like, for example, being anti-nuclear weapons? I've no doubt there are a few who'd like to keep them outright, and certainly some who'd rather use them as a bargaining chip, but even the latter know to couch their sentiment very carefully and I've heard nary a peep from the former in years. Because it's understood that if you disagree with a policy your party holds, you have three choices: smother your objections in favour of some wider objective you do still share with your party; take your shot at changing that policy with the understanding that if you fail your colleagues and activists might view you differently and your choices narrow to the previous or the following; or you accept you can't reconcile the party's support for the policy with your opposition to it and you quit.

    The anti-GRA folks took their shot and they failed. They can certainly plan to do it again in future, but if they continue public opposition in the meantime they can't whinge when they experience some pushback.

    I also want to take a bit of issue with something from the previous post - your characterisation of TERF as a slur and your reasoning for why. Firstly, I would argue that the primary purpose of a slur must be to cause offence, it must have that *intent*, and TERF does not, it's merely an acronym. That some people have chosen to *take* offence at it is not the same thing. Also, I'm not sure if you're aware why folk who advocate for trans rights have so little regard for that taking of offence or not - it's because the original assertion that TERF is a slur rests on a group of feminists who hold trans-exclusionary views asserting that it is specifically a *mysoginist* slur, and their reasoning for that is that it's primarily used by trans folk to describe trans-exclusionary feminists, who in *their* minds are male and female respectively. I suspect that's why I have rather less regard for Joanna Cherry than yourself, since I've seen her characterise people referring to her as a TERF as "misogynist abuse/trolling" on a few occasions, which has always read as a dogwhistle to me and rather undermines the sincerity of her "all sides deserve to be heard, I'm just the reasonable one who wants a debate" positioning.

    1. I'm sorry, but your point about "TERF" is ludicrous. The use of that word is without a shadow of doubt intended to be insulting, derogatory and offensive. I have no time whatever for this "oh, it's only an innocent acronym" line - that's no more convincing than the argument that no-one should be offended by the P-word because it's just a contraction of "Pakistani".

    2. People who claim they are offended by words have personal problems and have no words to explain why they are offended. Why would you be offended if someone said Budapest is a fat bustard.

    3. If you deliberately use a word to describe someone knowing they are unhappy to be called that, then it's a slur.

      This is primary school stuff.

    4. Genuine question, but why have I never heard the acronym TERM being bandied around?

      Surely it should be heard in equal measure?

      Must be a man thing.

    5. TERF is an acronym, but it is misapplied to ANYONE who is deemed to have the wrong opinion on transgenderism, whether they are a feminist or not. In fact, it's used to denigrate people and to silence them, and it is most definitely a slur.

      Why does this happen? Because those who use it know that they have a week argument and feel forced to quickly resort to insult as a result.

    6. "Genuine question, but why have I never heard the acronym TERM being bandied around?"

      What would that stand for?

    7. How can I be hypocritical? If I call someone a pervert, it's a slur.


    8. Its the male equivalent of a TERF.

      Except we don't hear it used.

      My guess is that's because terf is a male slur for women.

    9. The F in TERF stands for feminist. It can be applied to men and women. What's the M stand for in TERM?

    10. Masculinist. Obviously.

      What on earth else could 'the male equivalent of a feminist' be exactly?

      Strangely, I've not heard any women using this acronym, yet an identical group to 'terfs' exists among males.

    11. Apparently, according to wikipedia Terf translates as "TERF" a TERF (/ˈtɜːrf/, also written terf) is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

      I can just about get my head around that.

      Is there an especial term for "Trans inclusive radical feminists"?

      Tirfs or summat?

      Frankly I don't give a damn about anyones sexuality as long as it doesn't effect anyone else's. This, it seems to me, pushes the envelope.


  4. I wonder if the NEC will reverse ferret on this. Looks like it's going down like cold sick even among many of those who don't have any time for Joanna Cherry or the GRA obsessives.

  5. I have to say I always agreed with your position regarding tactical voting on the list.

    But more and more these days I find myself praying that Alex Salmond is going to set up a list party, and imagine if Joanna Cherry joined him.

    Otherwise its hold my nose, vote SNP twice, and give them one last chance to deliver independence - then vote them out!

    1. As I said the other day, although I would have doubts about the strategic wisdom of even an Alex Salmond-led list party, I would probably get behind it if it was formed, because it would be a credible outfit, large enough to win seats, and somewhat closer to my own personal views than the SNP under the current leadership.

      My guess is that Joanna Cherry wouldn't join, though, because for a Westminster MP to do that would cause further rupture. I think she'd be highly sympathetic in private but wouldn't actually join.

    2. She will settle for Lady Cherry eventually if she can squeeze into the Lord's. Over eighth hundred now at three hundred and thirty quid a day. WORTH the squeeze.

    3. Name all current SNP members of the Lords.

  6. Well said in that piece, JK. I couldn't agree more.

    That besides, given Dud Leotard's personal rating almost as awful as the now-exited Jackless Carlot, can we possibly anticipate a change taking place in BritLab's "northern no-powerhouse" as well?

    I propose Jackie Baillie, Lab stalwarts. Test your "no surrender" policy to destruction, why don't you...?

    1. Ripple FoundationsAugust 1, 2020 at 10:50 AM

      I hope to see James Kelly MSP chosen as Lenny Richardson's replacement. It would be a fitting note to that party's demise.
      Then on to campaign for Annie Wells as manager of the other lot.
      Leave Willie Rennie where he is. Nobody notices.

    2. Oh /that/ James Kelly. You had me wondering for a second! But you could be right on all counts. I suspect though that those two jokers will only get selected /after/ their respective parties implode. Self-inflicted coups-de-grace, so to speak. But in any event the sooner the better!

    3. Grizebard - you post the biggest amount of nonsense about voting for Holyrood elections. Total nonsense - so much so that it is clear you do not have a clue as to how the system works. It would be better if you stuck to posting about something you actually understand.

  7. Good to see a remain alliance here.

    Since Scotland is adapting the Republic of Ireland app, which uses the Apple-Google framework, it will also be compatible with the apps used Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.

  8. Marvin said it at 11:40 above. One last chance for SNP to actively fight for independence from the base of next May's election or I'm offski.
    Deeply disappointed by the exec decision re Cherry/Robertson. At one level it is clever politics. It takes a position that is correct in principle for many of us - not letting people build up collections of positions and thus personal power; but uses it for blatantly factional purposes. So, clever SPIV POLITICS.

    An exec which prioritised issues and, as they always should, put independence at the top of the list would simply not do this - Cherry is far to valuable to the cause and the Westminster 'front' is becoming a side show in comparison to what happens in Scotland.

    I've always been one of those who thinks that after indy all previous party loyalties are off and we shall see what we shall see. Now, added to that, I find that I've woken up this morning deeply alienated from the leadership of my party.

    All manner of clocks are ticking loudly. Get things moving SNP. For me, and I suspect many others, it is 'very soon or bye bye'.

    1. Alt Clut: I've always been one of those who thinks that after indy all previous party loyalties are off and we shall see what we shall see. Now, added to that, I find that I've woken up this morning deeply alienated from the leadership of my party.

      Isn't that the main problem with the present SNP leadership? I've got a feeling their main reason for not doing much indy-wise is
      their desire to keep Tories (especially Johnson's Tories) as their main opposition for ever. Nicola can scare the Scots with bad Boris forever (and Boris can scare the English with scary Nicola forever). It's like a win-win for both of them. The problem for us is that this excludes indy for like forever.

  9. Might soon be time to quarentine all arrivals from England.

    UK science advisers not confident English R rate is below 1

  10. Some (unionist) folk clearly not too happy with the above polling.

  11. I said out loud at a branch meeting about 5 or 6 years ago all ex-Labour are welcome just leave the Labour cliques behind. It was a fear I had that they would bring the bad along with the good and cause us harm, hate to see it and say it, but it looks like my fear came true.

  12. Can someone explain to me how if being in Holyrood was so important to Cherry, why did she not stand down in the 2019 election?

    1. Because it wasn't a choice between the two THEN as it has been turned into NOW after she successfully won the seat FOR the SNP.

      Funny how some folk are so keen to reward the person that LOST their seat in 2017. Maybe Nicola feels guilty about the abysmal campaign that caused that and has promised to make amends.

      Although some believe the promise has been made for certain other services that have been delivered.

    2. Not an SNP member, so don't really care who the candidate is.

      But being an MP or MSP alone is a full time job, and with pay to match. Having a dual parliamentary mandate is unprincipled within a democracy.

      It denies another person's voice from being in parliament. When politicians do it, just look like they're in politics for themselves.

    3. Joanna cherry has stated that if elected to Holyrood, she will resign as an Westminster MP.
      Anyone who alleges she will be pocketing two salaries and expenses need to pay more attention.

    4. Honestly just as bad.

      ‘If I get what I want I’ll stop doing that, but if I don’t I won’t stop doing that.’

      Notice no one can give a reasonable explanation for: if being in Holyrood was so important to Cherry, why did she not stand down in the 2019 election?

    5. While there was still a chance of perhaps being the "kingmakers" at Westminster,and using that as leverage for a referendum, then Joanna Cherry exercised good judgement in standing in 2019.

      Unfortunately, the result gave the Tories an impregnable majority, and the SNP in Westminster is now an irrelevance.

      So it's perfectly natural that she might wish to come home to where the REAL Independence struggle will be waged.

      However, when the NEC start bandying about talk of £10,000 "fines" to finance a by-election, and demanding that she fire her staff and resign before she even gets the nomination? Well, I'd say that was just machiavellian chicanery. When's the last time anyone said to you "We're not giving you the job interview unless you quit your present post first - and, by the way, we want you to pay for recruiting a replacement in your present post"? That would be absolutely nonsensical in any normal job, so why is it acceptable in politics?

      She's already said that she would not hold both offices concurrently, and would resign at Westminster if elected. What more could you reasonably ask? It would be more sensible to ask Angus Robertson what has happened to his sense of shame. He seems perfectly willing to go along with this farce just to get back to a position of personal power. I really hope the Branch chooses someone else just to curb his hubris. The man has no honour.

    6. ScottytheScotinScotlandAugust 1, 2020 at 6:39 PM

      "The man has no honour. " behind every great man with no honour is often a woman with even less honour.

    7. Sorry bobelix, but for every other job you don’t get elected by the general public.

      When you put yourself up for election, people do expect you to serve a full term in that parliament (unless you die).

  13. Some people think that Nic can turn water into wine but so far she's just turned marmalade into marmite.

    1. I would vote for you if you had your hair in a scrunch fountain style.

  14. Seems like WOS is still ahead of the curve, like or dislike got to respect the content of his blog.

    1. I used to like it. Now, not so much. I have, frankly no respect for him nowabouts. Talk about losing the plot!

    2. He's certainly helped to get the SNP hitting new polling highs.

  15. ScottytheScotinScotlandAugust 1, 2020 at 4:43 PM

    Excellent article. Good to see you stepping up to the plate. Ignoring actions that are out of order creates disunity. It is the people responsible for the poor decisions that are the problem.

  16. This was the last straw for me as a member. This kind of stitch-up takes voters for granted (interesting that Marco Biagi has thrown his hat back in the race for Edinburgh Central) and reminds me of Labour back in the Blair/Brown era. Anyway, I'll vote SNP on the constituency and probably SNP on the list, but I'll no longer be a member. This might be the last time I will vote for them. They had better do something with my vote or I'll get looking for another port even if that port is spoiling my ballot.