Thursday, October 21, 2010

YouGov : SNP trim Labour's list vote lead by five points

At long last, there is a new full-scale Scottish opinion poll out. It was conducted by YouGov for the Scotsman, and makes slightly more encouraging reading for the SNP than the figures from early September, when Labour enjoyed a comfortable ten-point lead on both ballots. Here are the full figures -

Constituency vote :

Labour 40% (+1)
SNP 34% (+5)
Conservatives 14% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-3)

List vote :

Labour 36% (-)
SNP 31% (+5)
Conservatives 15% (-)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-4)
Greens 6% (-)

The Scotsman's reporting of the story focuses on two points - that Labour is "maintaining" its "solid" lead over the SNP, and that the Lib Dems are finally taking the long-anticipated hit for going into coalition with the Tories. But this seems to me to miss an obvious point - not only have the SNP eaten into Labour's lead somewhat, but on the face of it that extra support seems to have come directly from the Westminster coalition parties, while Labour have remained roughly static. That may be a wholly misleading impression, but equally it could offer some grounds for optimism about what might happen if the coalition's (and especially the Liberal Democrats') support is squeezed yet further. Either way, I'm sure most SNP supporters will just be relieved to note that this poll shows them still very much in the game.

Another concern facing enthusiasts for the nascent Iain "the Snarl" Gray/Tavish Scott Dream Team is that, on these figures for the Liberal Democrats, such a coalition may quite simply not be arithmetically viable - even if Labour emerge as the largest party. A second consecutive minority government (of one colour or another) is looking somewhat more likely tonight.


  1. what can the snp do to win? try to convince libdem and tory voters that only the SNP can stop Labour?

  2. Anon, if the SNP can go into the official campaign period with this kind of deficit or less, I think they've got a fighting chance, for one simple reason : leadership. Once the campaign is underway, people will focus more and more on the comparison between Gray and Salmond, and that could change the complexion of the contest.

    On the other hand, there's always the danger that the lead will widen again between now and April, and a 10-15 point deficit would probably be very tough to turn round, no matter how well the campaign goes.

  3. Encouraging that the gap is closing but discouraging that about 40% of the Scottish electorate still think Iain Gray is the best man for First Minister.

    Haven't the Labour voters worked out that the Labour party will be fighting the SNP in order to keep David Cameron as the Prime Minister of Scotland and to keep George Osborne's cuts coming over the next four years?

    Someone should tell them that the Labour party slogan is, "Better Tory run and Tory cuts than independence".

  4. I'm surprised Doug, that 40% of the population has ever heard of him.

  5. Gordon Wilson taking the long view