Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ashcroft poll : SNP hold clear lead in Lib Dem-held seats

The latest Ashcroft vanity-fest megapoll is out, and perhaps of most interest to us are the figures for Lib Dem-held seats in Scotland, and for Labour v SNP battleground seats.  Hold onto your hats for the first set...

Liberal Democrat held seats in Scotland :

SNP 31%
Labour 26%
Liberal Democrats 20%
Conservatives 16%

It's worth reinforcing that these figures refer to Westminster voting intention, and that the sample size for these seats alone was a whopping 1,151 - more than enough to be scientifically credible.  So we could well be seeing the SNP coming from third (or even fourth) place to take seats from the Lib Dems, just as we did in the Holyrood election two years ago.  On the seat-by-seat breakdown in the poll, the SNP would make six gains from the Lib Dems, including former leader Menzies Campbell's seat of NE Fife.  The Lib Dems would be left with just two seats in Scotland - and it would probably be one if it wasn't for Charles Kennedy's personal popularity.

Labour v SNP battleground seats :

Labour 46%
SNP 35%
Conservatives 11%
Liberal Democrats 4%

Most of these seats are Labour-held at present, so this looks like a no change position to me, with both parties holding what they currently have (in the SNP's case Dundee East and Na h-Eileanan an Iar).  Most of the follow-up questions in these seats are worthless because they ignore the SNP's existence, although the one that doesn't is worth mentioning -

Which party do you think most understands your part of the country?

SNP 38%
Labour 32%
Conservatives 6%
Liberal Democrats 2%

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Is Scotland even more anti-Tory than we realised?

YouGov have provided some timely food for thought for those who still delude themselves that the political centre of gravity in Scotland isn't fundamentally different to the rest of the UK...

Percentage of electorate who will definitely NOT consider voting for the Conservative Party at the next general election :

London 43%
South excluding London 38%
Wales and English Midlands 37%
North of England 49%
Scotland 61%

Percentage of electorate who will definitely NOT consider voting for the Conservative Party if they imagine that "all four parties" have a chance of winning in the local area (the "fourth" is UKIP) :

London 44%
South excluding London 42%
Wales and English Midlands 33%
North of England 47%
Scotland 84%

So in contrast to all other GB regions where it makes little difference whether all the parties have a chance, in Scotland that consideration makes over half the people who would otherwise consider voting Tory change their minds.  In other words, the Tory brand may be even more toxic in Scotland than we thought - a significant number of Tory votes may be from tactical voters who would run a mile from the party if the playing-field was level.

This is, basically, a very anti-Tory country that we live in.  And yet, if we don't vote for independence next year, we can expect to carry on being ruled by Tories two-thirds of the time - a point that needs to be driven home again, and again, and again.