Saturday, October 11, 2014

SNP soar to 41% in Scot Goes Pop Poll of Polls

We'll soon see what the Sunday YouGov poll brings, but as of this moment, it remains the case that there has been just one Scottish subsample since the referendum that has not put the SNP in the lead.  The odd one out was a Populus poll, but the most recent subsample from that firm could hardly be more different - it puts the SNP at 44% and Labour at 26%.

The average below is drawn from five Scottish subsamples - four from YouGov and one from Populus.  That's the lowest number of polls that any Poll of Polls update has been based on so far, and therefore the standings should be treated with even more caution than usual.  The reason that the SNP lead has soared is that the full-scale Panelbase poll that gave them a mere 2% lead, and that previously made up more than half of the sample, has now dropped out due to being more than seven days old.

There is no percentage change listed for the Greens because they weren't included in the previous update.

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :

SNP 41.0% (+5.2)
Labour 27.4% (-4.0)
Conservatives 17.6% (-0.1)
Liberal Democrats 7.2% (+2.1)
UKIP 3.4% (-2.1)
Greens 2.8%

(The Poll of Polls uses the Scottish subsamples from all GB-wide polls that have been conducted entirely within the last seven days and for which datasets have been provided, and also all full-scale Scottish polls that have been conducted at least partly within the last seven days. Full-scale polls are given ten times the weighting of subsamples.)

If you haven't made your submission to the Smith Commission yet, it might be an idea to avoid the small but intensely irritating error that I made, which was to offer immigration as an example of the very limited number of powers that are essential to maintaining the United Kingdom as a single state.  In fact, both the SNP and the Greens have used their submissions to identify the post-study work visa as one aspect of immigration policy that can and should be devolved (in the case of the Greens they argue for joint control between Edinburgh and London).  OK, it's only a technical distinction, because both parties implicitly acknowledge that the bulk of immigration policy will have to remain reserved to Westminster, so in that sense what I wrote is correct.  But I'm still annoyed with myself for not qualifying it (or for not using a more straightforward example).

It's interesting to compare the SNP and Green submissions, because the former is a model of detail and clarity, while the latter is radical in many respects but also strangely hesitant - it's full of language like "it may now be appropriate to devolve X" or "we see no reason in principle why Y should not be devolved".  I presume that's an attempt to sound open-minded and consensual, but I'd have thought it would be much better to be confident in your proposals and then flexible in the negotiations.  I'm guessing that's very much the SNP plan - they would never have nominated bridge-builders like John Swinney and Linda Fabiani unless they were serious about getting a deal if humanly possible.

The one part of the Green document that profoundly disappointed me in terms of the content rather than just the tone was the bit about broadcasting - they do propose a degree of devolution, but of a distinctly underwhelming variety.  That shouldn't be surprising, though, because they've often gone out of their way to defend the BBC when the SNP have been critical.  It's an oddly conservative strand of Green thinking, and it would be interesting to know where it originates from.


  1. I'm a cynic about politicians! To me the SNP submission is (finally) a detailed description of Devo-Max. We now have flesh on the bones for people to vote for - but, of course, Westminster won't give it (or any SNP suggestion) house room.

    The Green proposals, however read like a list of items that would greatly benefit the governance of Scotland, and that Westminster might agree to cede to avoid being murdered in May.

    Nicola & Patrick may well have had an informal chat along those very lines!

  2. 41% could give the SNP 40 MPs. In a hung parliament, that power would be immense.

  3. Unfortunately, SNP often pick up votes in ridiculously safe Labour seats, but fail to do so where the gap is narrower. Let's hope that doesn't happen next time.

  4. Those are quite incredible numbers.

    Given a uniform swing, these numbers would result in 2 seats each for the Tories and the Libs, 14 for Labour and 41!! for the SNP, according to the advanced swingometer tool on

  5. Bit narrower in Yougov, but within current pattern shift ranges. Survation of course averages it out nicely with 50% SNP.

  6. Sorry to go off topic so quickly or if this has been posted previously, but what do we all make of this analysis? It seems to make sense to me, and its conclusion of a pool of solid NO voters unlikely to be swayed by the failed delivery of greater powers could mean that achieving the required 6% swing in a future referendium could be more difficult than we imagine.

  7. Smerral : I can't remember which thread it was, but we discussed that article at quite a bit of length. In my view it's nonsense - it takes the normal effects of a high turnout (ie. a large number of voters on both sides who wouldn't normally have voted, some of them soft voters), and sees patterns that aren't there. Even the 'received wisdom' bit is largely a straw man.

  8. Thanks James. Now you come to mention it I do remember that discussion but I didn't realise it was the same article. I'll try to find the thread and re-read it.

  9. If we get 20 MPs I'd be happy with that. As oldnat says, finally the SNP are going for what a cast iron majority want. But old labour habits die hard

  10. Prof Curtice stating even these percentages are not high enough for SNP to win that many extra seats

  11. Alex, I don't know which comments from Curtice you're referring to, but I very much doubt he's referring to these percentages. He's been studiously ignoring the Scottish subsamples from GB-wide polls, and has instead based his remarks solely on the two full-scale Scottish polls that have taken place since the referendum, neither of which were as favourable for the SNP as the average of the subsamples.

  12. Survation Poll for the Mail on Sunday gives UKIP 25% or 128 MPs at the next GE!
    Would love to see the framing of the question...

  13. James

    Perhaps the Greens benefit from the BBC's approach to broadcasting.

    Some critics of the BBC point to the decision by the BBC to depart from impartial reporting of climate change. They claim that a meeting leading to that decision was misrepresented.I googled and found this:

    The substance of it is that the BBC misrepresented the status of those attending a seminar "focusing on climate change and its impact on development". The 28 outside people invited were not "some of the best scientific experts" as claimed. The great majority were activists, WWF, Greenpeace and others. Following the seminar the BBC cited the discussion and said it had settled the argument on climate change.

    This may be a little off-topic and perhaps unwelcome.

  14. In reference to the controversial article I posted above, if this is the first time you have come across it then the original discussion is in this tnread.

  15. Excellent to see a strong SNP lead, but I still think we'll come second next year to Labour. I have no doubt at all, we will double at least our tally of MPs, but some of those Labour majorities are massive with over 50% of the vote.

    Encouraging is that - those 4 areas that voted Yes plus the 'bawhair' (pardon, mon Frenchishe) that was Inverclyde 49-51% No are ALL Labour strongholds.

    Lots of angry Labour or sorry, ex Labour supporters out there.

  16. Re the Greens. I can see the BBC pushing the Greens in an attempt to split the SNP vote.


    Uk wide debates...guess the SNP couldn't force their way in.

    So we'll have a lab v tory head to head....great.

  18. re Chalks; I think that is an opening gambit by the broadcasters (who want the ratings). UKIP have kind of accepted the formula but the Lib Dems are objecting.

    Populus subsample has SNP 36, Labour 27, Tories 23 and LD 11. UKIP 1%. No other "region" are they lower than 13.