Friday, January 16, 2015

SNP and Plaid Cymru close to within just 1% of the Liberal Democrats in today's Britain-wide YouGov poll

For the third time in 2015 so far, the combined vote for the SNP and Plaid Cyrmu has reached 5% in the YouGov daily poll - which on this occasion leaves them just 1% behind the Liberal Democrats across Britain.  You'll probably recall that we saw quite a few results like this towards the end of last year.

Britain-wide voting intentions (14th-15th January) :

Conservatives 32% (n/c)
Labour 32% (-2)
UKIP 16% (+1)
Greens 8% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (n/c)
SNP/Plaid Cymru 5% (+1)

The Scottish subsample figures give the SNP their biggest lead of the year so far (and also the biggest since YouGov's methodology change) : SNP 49%, Labour 22%, Conservatives 13%, UKIP 7%, Liberal Democrats 5%, Greens 3%.  The flipside is that, just for once, there hasn't really been any significant downweighting of respondents who say that the SNP is the party they most closely identify with.  All the same, this gives an indication of the results we could probably expect on a regular basis if it wasn't for the distorting effect of Westminster-centric party ID weighting.

A GB-wide Ipsos-Mori telephone poll was also released yesterday.  As ever, it gave two sets of voting intention figures - without the turnout filter, the SNP have a 39% to 28% lead in the Scottish subsample, and with the turnout filter the SNP lead by 43% to 21%.  Technically the latter figures should be regarded as the headline result, but either way the sample size is absolutely tiny.

Someone who wishes to remain firmly incognito (never let it be said that I don't listen!) contacted me last night to suggest that I might like to scroll down through the Ipsos-Mori datasets, and take a look at the geographical breakdown of Ed Miliband's personal satisfaction rating...

Net satisfaction in Ed Miliband's performance as Labour leader :

North of England:  -24
English Midlands and Wales:  -38
South (excluding London):  -36
London:  -31
Scotland:  -55

Ouch, ouch, and thrice OUCH.  This is starting to look like a consistent pattern.

I'll hold off from updating the Poll of Polls for the time being, because RevStu revealed yesterday that there are voting intention figures to come from the new full-scale Scottish poll conducted by Panelbase.

By the way, in case you missed my reply on the previous thread to a suspected "concern troll" (someone posing as a "concerned" supporter of independence in an attempt to sow division and lower morale), I've had a wizard idea for today -

In honour of Mr (or Ms) Anonymous, I propose that we declare today "Address Your Opponents With A Song In Your Heart" Day. I challenge all readers of this blog to say at least three nice things about Jim Murphy before each criticism, and that way we'll have converted the whole world to independence by teatime. I'll kick us off.

Jim, your bone structure is epic, you're considerate to your neighbours by having such a hushed voice, and I have no reason to believe that you're not kind to cute kittens. But do you really have to put a weapons system on the Clyde that has the sole purpose of mass-murdering hundreds of millions of men, women and children, and condemning the unlucky survivors to a slow, painful death through radiation poisoning?

*  *  *

UPDATE : There's a bizarre graphic on the Guardian website, purporting to illustrate the relative membership sizes of "the five parties".  Yes, you're way ahead of me here - the SNP don't appear, in spite of being the third largest party in the whole UK, with far more members than three of the parties in the graphic.  What makes it even more extraordinary is that the graphic is directly preceded by a passing reference to the SNP's membership numbers - apparently even that juxtaposition hasn't been sufficient to generate self-awareness at the Guardian's HQ about one of the more ludicrous examples of their London-centricity.

The whole London media are fast becoming a self-parody on this topic.


  1. Credit where credit is due... Jim has been offering direct funding to the local Irn Bru and Scotland football top production industry, in addition to free advertising for these. Has also been promoting the banks of the river Clyde in terms of an area for recreational activities whilst encouraging a healthier lifestyle (to counter the Irn Bru consumption).

    I think overall though, his biggest contribution to Scotland has been pure comedy value.

    Meanwhile, here's Ed's regional ratings from statgeek as derived from Yougov:

  2. Jim is calm. Jim thinks before he speaks. Jim is a good listener.

    But Jim always works in the best interests of Jim, never of the electorate. A tragic waste of what could have been an outstanding political career. I blame his inexplicable attachment to the evil Blair. An appalling mentor who has poisoned the souls of his (few remaining) worshippers.

  3. Why do you think Labour seem to be putting all their Scottish eggs in the "Vote for us to get Cameron out" - not just the Tories, but Dave in particular - when he's consistently get better personal ratings than Miliband north of the border? It seems an obvious miscalculation.

  4. Sub-sample results

    Populus: SNP 29, Lab 29, Tories 25, LD 9.

    SNP respondents down-weighted from 62 to 29.

    TNS: SNP 35, Labour 33, Tories 9, LD 9.

    Sub-sample size less than 100.

  5. This isn't pro Jim Murphy per se, but I think Labour actually did make a good point today about the new electoral registration system. It might be a better way of doing it long-term, but it is going to lead to some people suddenly realising they can't vote when it comes to May. The attitude so far from the government seems to be a bit of a "well if people don't register it's their own fault" effort, but that's the exact opposite attitude we should be taking if we want to help raise turnout.

    1. Agreed. This is the sort of nonsense that typically goes on in America, where the Democrats are desperate to get as many people from young and ethnic minority demographics as registered as possible, while the Republicans try to stop them.

      It seems like this is being imported to the UK. Further to the point about the lack of youth registration, you also had some Tory backbenchers whining a week or so ago that the electoral law should be changed to remove the vote from Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK. Lord knows how that would affect the situation in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile the Tories have also been trying to improve turnout and make the rules more lax in respect of UK citizens living overseas.

    2. "but that's the exact opposite attitude we should be taking if we want to help raise turnout."

      Well, there's your answer. They (As in the Conservatives) obviously don't want to raise turnout. Conservative support is most concentrated in groups (Wealthy or elderly, for example) that already have a very high turnout, so it would be quite unrealistic to expect to expect the Tories to encourage people to vote when they know they'd be encouraging the groups who are more likely to vote against them. No party is going to take measures to encourage people to vote against them.

    3. Am I correct in thinking that if you are already registered, you don't have to do it this one time (but will have to register individually after)? That seemed to be what the letter I received said anyway.

    4. "Am I correct in thinking that if you are already registered, you don't have to do it this one time (but will have to register individually after)? That seemed to be what the letter I received said anyway."

      I think so, my letter was along those lines. The ones who are missing out seem to be mostly students who move around a lot.

  6. Jim's vocal impersonation of Mrs Thatcher is superb.
    Jim has had a long and fruitful university education.
    Jim is so unselfish he let's John McTernan take over the labour party leadership in Scotland.

    Jim probably has a lot of friends at the Guardian so their strange omission of SNP membership should be no surprise. Like the Guardian Jim is blind to his own hypocrisy concerning the welfare of the poorest in Scotland and Labour's support for Tory austerity measures.

  7. I really admire Jim's ability to make things up and tell a story. A lot of his stories are contradictory to each other and contrary to reality. That’s talent. I wish the pedants who desire facts and consistency would give him a break.

    On the negative side, I am worried that Jim may be damaging his (and his Party's) credibility and trust with the electorate. Not everyone likes the idea of a comedian running the country.

    I do hope he doesn't stand down before the General Election but fights on to be the Socialist MP that East Renfrewshire knows, loves and wants to represent them.

  8. Well, Jim conducted himself well at Clutha, he put a lot of energy into his Irn-bru crate tour, and he's completely entitled to say he's not a Unionist even though he was a NO voter and campaigner. I don't really do negatives about him, I keep them for IDS, Osborne, Danny Alexander and Alistair Carmichael. And Balls - Osborne's alter ego.

    I have some sympathy for what the "concern troll" has to say. After the Ref there was a lot of anger against the NOes, that died down a lot as people realised that to ever get Independence being the "45" was always going to fail, we needed to get a load of the "55" onside. Well, what Murphy is achieving before our very eyes, is a re-polarising of the attititudes against the Noes - the Unionists. This not only means we could have Ref after Ref and the result would always be 45% YES, it doesn't help for the GE 7/5/15, where many YES voters are effectively telling the No voters to f off. I'm seeing even YES voters becoming uncomfortable with the re-polarisation.

    Which brings me neatly to these poll results, and others. Considering that the SNP pre-Xmas poll shows excluding don't knows, 60% in support of the full Devo-Max all bar defence and foreign relations, and that the SNP is the main party standing for Westminster on this platform, support for the SNP at 49% is actually LOW. Add 3% for Greens and perhaps 1% for SSP and we still only get 53%. It should be 60%.

    A similar thing happened in the Ref where support for and confidence in the Scottish Government was higher than the YES vote. We're missing something here, and I think it's this hardline attitude against those who were "thick, evil or cowards" and voted NO.

    1. In that case the concern troll should perhaps have directed his ire towards someone taking a hardline attitude towards No voters, as opposed to fatuously reacting to a perfectly respectful submission to the BBC trust as if it was something akin to Mein Kampf. I have absolutely no respect for that kind of nonsense.

      I doubt if our anonymous friend was genuine, but if he is, I would advise him to actually make a 'reasonable' submission to the consultation that is more to his taste, rather than taking pot-shots at those of us who are trying to do something constructive.

    2. Yesindyref2 - I really agree with everything you've said there. I dare say it was what we did in our (admittedly pretty small town) campaigning where I live. If anything we were probably nicer to the No people we spoke to than the Yes people.

      My experience of arguing about politics is that people can pretty much take anything negative you throw at them, but what really makes them think is when you listen to them. For example there was an older lady who said to us she'd vote No because of the pensions issue. Instead of disputing it, we just said she was right to be worried about it, that there were some real questions (and so on) but that if you looked at it in a different way most of what she was worried about would be ok in practice. I don't know if she voted Yes in the end, but I'd say for certain she was more Yes than when we first met her.

  9. James, sorry if that came across as a criticism of your comment, my comment was more related to his concerns rather than the context. It's possible too that, like me, the poster has concerns and took an opportunity to air them, rather than relating them correctly to your posting. This is something I'm noticing though (not you, just generally), as he says "be reasonable and stop acting as though anyone who isn't with us already is an SNP-hating scumbag".

    1. Sorry to interrupt but I don't recognize the "re-polarising" you mention. May be I live a sheltered life.
      If Murphy and McTernan have achieved anything it is the absolute establishing, once and for all, of so-called "Scottish" Labour as a fundamentally untrustworthy party. Traditional Labour voters - both Yes and No voters - deserve some sympathy, and friendly encouragement to support pro-independence parties.

  10. I would shudder at the idea that we could end up being at 45% for ever, until that is I do a little digging around in Scotlands demographics and discover that it was the over 55s who voted NO in sufficient enough numbers to overturn the under 55s, who voted YES by a large majority.

    I then realise that this demographic must terrify Westminster and Labour MP's as to put it bluntly support for staying part of the UK is 'dying out'

    The net gain to the Yes demographic is 4% per year, so give maybe 5 years (20%) and see what the polls say, which works out nicely as the next General Election will be due at that time.

    So don't tell Unionists to f off, as most of them are still swayed by the BBC/MSM, and were also the main target of 'Project Fear'

    If you can make people scared, you can get them to do almost anything.

    Oh and lets not forget Gordon Brown using the fact that a lot of the older generation still view him as a trusted Labour Socialist, and with the help of said MSM, he used this to betray his own nation.

  11. Wonder who has the right to publish the Panelbase voting intentions? Sunday Herald maybe?

    1. Could be, although RevStu once passed a Panelbase poll to the Sunday Times.

  12. A tale of two parliaments.
    Murphy's mission,should he be successful,is to ensure that England's parliament continues to rule over Scotland's.
    All the rest is smoke and mirrors to blind Scots to the lack of democratic accountability here in Scotland.

  13. Why the delay in the release of the Panelbase Westminster voting intentions?

    1. If it's one of the Sunday papers he sold the rights to, then it will be embargoed till 10pm tonight.

  14. BBC on-line reporting that 25% of 16 to 18 year olds were so enthused by the referendum vote, that they have since joined a political party to become activists.

    they didn’t say what party these kids joined (of course)
    but this may go a long way to explaining why a lot of unionists don’t want this age group to have a vote in normal elections

  15. Couple of GB polls out so far today, Opinium and ComRes.

    Opinium don't give regional / national breakdowns of their results, but the SNP score can be guess-timated. The number of Scottish respondents was 161, weighted up to 172. The SNP scored 59, weighted up to 67. 67/172 is 39%, but the total includes don't knows and would not votes. These groups formed 23% of the total sample. Being conservative and assuming it is 20% in the Scottish group, that would reduce the number of Scots (weighted) with an intention from 172 to 138. 67/138 = 49%.

    ComRes do give regional / national numbers. 156 respondents expressed an intention and were 5 to 10 likely to vote in Scotland, weighted down to 125. Of those the SNP scored 47%, Labour 22 and the Tories 17.

  16. Something I found interesting tonight was the #MyFutureScotland thread on twitter. A foolhardy and backfiring attempt by Scottish Labour to garner Yoof support.

    What's just struck me is that, as expected it's been hijacked to laugh at Labour and support Independence. But the real revelation is that it's been COMPLETELY hijacked. There are, pretty much no backers of Labour or the Union posting to this thread.

    It makes me wonder just how much of the Better Together social media campaign was real during the referendum. There is literally nothing for the Union on a hashtag which has been trending UK wide since at the latest 6pm and is still there in the top ten. But virtually nothing in favour of Labour despite it being "their" hashtag.

    1. People never get particularly enthused about the status quo. Plus Better Together never really set out to enthuse and inspire people, that wasn't what the campaign was all about. So it was always going to be the case that our own supporters would be spending their free time at leisure rather than involving themselves in political discourse.

  17. “A Labour government would lead to economic chaos”

    Agree – 42%
    Disagree – 30%”

    Roll Up, Roll Up, All vote for Economic Chaos!

    Which will serve to put Labour/Red Ed under even more pressure to 'prove' he is economically trustworthy,

    Or to put it in more honestly blunt terms, This will get Labour attacking the poor even more than they have been! and shows why Labour MP's were ordered to troop into the voting chambers shoulder to shoulder with their Tory chums to vote for a further £30 Billion austerity cuts.

  18. That's right folks, IT'S PANELBASE TIME!!!!

    SNP 41%
    Labour 31%
    Conservatives 14%
    Ukip 7%
    Lib Dems 3%
    Others 3%

    This takes me back to the referendum campaign, waiting until 10PM for the poll results.

    1. Change on their last poll, which was in early November, is SNP -4 Lab +3.

      Perhaps a continuation of a recent trend, which started a month or so before the referendum, of Panelbase being less optimistic / friendly towards the SNP. 17 points in November was a lower lead than others were showing (e.g. Ipsos or Survation). This result is actually closer to what the Electoral Forecast ("Newsnight Index") thinks is the current state (SNP 44 Lab 31).

  19. So the panelbase poll is no change.

    Not sure why that needed any mystery / hold then release to a paper.

    I thought the fact it was being held / published in the MSM might hint at a new development.

    Not that I'm complaining at the numbers though!

    1. So the panelbase poll is no change.

      Do you mean "No change" as in the overall winner, or the headline figures? Because the gap has closed a little, though obviously the SNP are still well out in front.

      Not sure why that needed any mystery / hold then release to a paper.

      I thought the fact it was being held / published in the MSM might hint at a new development.

      Free advertising for Wos? I noticed that when RevStu gave a poll for the Sunday Times to release, the paper mentioned Wings Over Scotland in the actual article. So maybe it's a case of him saying to the Sunday Times "Here's a free poll if you mention our name".

    2. Huh? It's quite a big change, at the extremities of margin for error.

      It's being published in the Sunday Herald, but they are (perhaps understandably) playing down the VI results and talking about other findings on the front page.

    3. @ James

      Up to a 6% (+/-3%) change in a single poll is fairly normal. It could be something, but unless it keeps happening, you must assume it's nothing.

      If we get a MORI, ICM and survation showing similar trends, then we can start to speculate. Otherwise, we have a poll within recent ranges and we sit and wait for the next.

      I just wish we had the huge number of polls we get for UK VI. Although of course the problem of variance does not go away!

    4. Definitely agree that you can't rush to judgement on the basis of one poll. Though I know that some on my own side will be eager to paint this as some sort of unstoppable momentum brought to us by our exalted Saint Jim!

    5. @stoat

      I think Jim will be able to bring over the hard right conservative vote, even some UKIP and BNP to Labour under FPTP to stop the SNP. So I do expect Lab to do better than polls might suggest right now.

    6. I've thought to that effect myself. Murphy's still a Blairite and for all his talk about reaching out to left wing Yes voters, I would imagine that he would be more adept at reaching out to the centre right.

    7. Except that surely when thinking about voting tactically with the overall UK seat count in mind that the last thing any Tory or UK supporter is likely to want is to give more seats to Labour. The same effect means that I don't expect many Labour supporters to turn out to save Mundell :-)

      I guess that LibDems may get some bounce back benefit from this at some point - but I'd not expect enough to save many of them

  20. @stoat

    Yes, an SNP majority of MPs would be a severe pickle for the UK which WoS would enjoy promoting. Me too!

    My hope is 29+ SNP MPs so that Westminster doesn't have a clear electoral mandate for Scotland.

    Any more is a bonus.

  21. No matter how polls oscillate, variations should not lead to swings in emotion or in determination to get the result 1.5 million odd supporters of SNP and YES want.

    Once the worst of the winter weather is over they absolutely have to get out posting fliers and stickers, canvassing, informing,talking to family,friends and neighbours, holding meetings, evenings in pubs and clubs, knocking on doors relentlessly .And so on. Indyref mark II

    Before polling day they have to keep a keen eye on postal votes, particularly in old peoples and nursing homes. Anywhere where groups are voting
    On the day they have to get voters out by whatever means possible - encouragement, insistence, transport etc .

    all of this is possible and feasible in every constituency

    If they put in the work I am confident they will get an SNP landslide . I sincerely hope they do