Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dramatic TNS-BMRB poll turnaround sees SNP draw level

Remember that TNS-BMRB poll at the start of the year that showed Labour on 49%, sixteen points ahead of the SNP? Well, I'm not quite sure whether this proves that the SNP are on for the comeback of the century or merely that TNS-BMRB are rubbish, but things are looking slightly different now...

Constituency vote :

Labour 38% (-6)
SNP 37% (+8)
Conservatives 15% (+3)
Liberal Democrats 7% (-4)
Others 3% (-1)

Regional list vote :

SNP 35% (+6)
Labour 35% (-4)
Conservatives 14% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-2)
Greens 5% (-1)
Others 3% (-2)

This is now the fourth Holyrood poll in a row that shows the SNP up on their winning share from 2007. It was conducted for Scottish Television, whose Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby notes in true 'all must have prizes' fashion -

"Labour will be pleased that their vote appears to be holding up well. The SNP will be even more pleased because they are continuing to close the gap."

Yes, Bernard, with a 7.5% swing from Labour to SNP in the space of a mere two months, I think we can safely say the SNP will be "even more pleased" than Labour. How Labour's vote can be said to be "holding up well" when they have dropped eleven points since January is rather more of a mystery.

For what it's worth, my own view is that TNS-BMRB are not the most reliable of pollsters, and therefore all three of their polls this year should be treated with a certain degree of caution. I wonder if Labour's star blogger, Councillor Alex Ga...sorry, "Braveheart", will have any thoughts on the matter?


  1. The postal vote will close the gap.

  2. Oh dear, we lost the register - whoda thunkit?

  3. Elections in Scotland - banana republic - electoral commission - yer havin a laarf.

  4. Alex, son of Tom, huh? (Has anyone heard of Mr Harris recently?)

    Well, it's good news and yes, they are not the most reliable of polls, but the comparison is with one of their own polls and that must give the shift, if not the actual figures, at least a little legitimacy.

    I must admit I find it difficult to believe that Ponsonby actually does think that that kind of belly flop in figures could be described as ‘holding up well’, and I'm trying to imagine, without success, him using the same words if, god forbid, the reverse situation were to be the case.

    As for postal votes, the SNP seems to me to be a little slow on the uptake as far as underhandedness is concerned, but surely they can only get away with that little wrinkle for so long.

  5. Tris, I suppose to be fair to Ponsonby (always a dangerous endeavour), he may have felt 'contractually obliged' to pretend the previous TNS polls didn't exist because they weren't commissioned by STV. That's the usual practice of newspapers, for instance.