Sunday, January 11, 2015

SNP lead by 14% in latest Poll of Polls

I had imagined I might be able to update the Poll of Polls this morning with a whole variety of polls from the Sunday papers, but as far as I can see there's only one new poll out today - the regular Sunday Times survey from YouGov, which has Scottish subsample figures of SNP 39%, Labour 25%, Conservatives 17%, UKIP 12%, Liberal Democrats 4%, Greens 2%.

All the same, an update of the Poll of Polls is still worthwhile, as it can now be based on six subsamples (five from YouGov and one from Populus), rather than the measly four last time around...

Scottish voting intentions for the May 2015 UK general election :

SNP 40.2% (+0.4)
Labour 26.2% (-1.1)
Conservatives 16.5% (+1.0)
UKIP 6.3% (+1.8)
Liberal Democrats 6.2% (-0.6)
Greens 4.2% (-1.3)

(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.)

The oddest thing about the Britain-wide figures from YouGov is that UKIP have suddenly jumped five points to 18%, having found themselves in the unusually low range of 13-15% throughout the week.  I can think of two possible explanations - a) Nigel Farage's odious remarks about the atrocity in Paris have attracted a degree of sympathy from a small section of the population, or b) this is something of a rogue finding.  I think the latter is more likely, if only because of the implausibly good showing for UKIP in the Scottish subsample.  However, even if it is an outlying result, it certainly increases the chances that the party's true position at present is more like 15% than 13%.

Meanwhile, the Tories and Labour continue to be locked in a neck-and-neck race to the bottom (in more ways than one) - they're polling at an abysmally low 32% apiece.


  1. Must admit the irony of so many right wingers shouting Jes suis Charlie (I am leftie-liberal! Charlie Hebdo being a left-liberal magazine) has not been lost on me.

  2. Ashcroft poll release at 4pm tonight.

    1. It's usually 4pm on Mondays, isn't it?

  3. They're saying he's got the days of the week mixed up on UK polling report. So probably tomorrow.

    Btw, I was thinking that, since yes support was clearly over represented on social media, it could also be the case that SNP support is over represented in these polls (most of which are conducted purely online). I did a rather crude calculation, using facebook 'likes' for the official yes and no campaigns. This showed 62% support for yes (which was 45% in reality). Assuming a similar discrepancy with online polling, the real level of SNP support isn't hovering around 45%, but around 33%. Thoughts?

    1. No, there's no comparison at all - Facebook likes are self-selecting, whereas online polls are invitation-only and weighted in line with demographic data and past vote recall.

    2. You'd need to explain MORI's (random telephone) polling; highest SNP shares so far. That might suggest online polls are underestimating SNP.

      Also, if yes was overestimated in online polls, how come they got the result right within a couple of % (normal MoE). Survation was bang on for example.

      Also, many online polls are, well, weighted to the iref result so adjust for too many No or too many Yes in a sample.

  4. When is the next full scale Scottish poll due? Do you have any indication on what the impact will be of the SNP being excluded from the tv debates?

    1. Full-scale Scottish polls are rarely "due" - they just pop up now and again, although STV have an ongoing relationship with Ipsos-Mori and the Record have one with Survation.

      If the TV debates go ahead, and if the SNP are excluded, there's bound to be a negative impact. There was in 2010. It's just a question of how big.

    2. SNP exclusion would most likely solidify or boost support. After all, they are majority government in Scotland and way ahead in GE polls. If I was Ed, I wouldn't even want to be in a debate broadcast in Scotland; could make pitiful trust / sat ratings even worse. Leave it to Murphy to get slaughtered.

      I know loads of folk that didn't vote SNP in 2010, some even not in 2011, but voted Yes and so will be voting SNP in May. You could never persuade these people to do otherwise; they despise the big 3, having had their eyes opened in the iref campaign. First thing they do when they see me is ask how the SNP are looking in polls, knowing my interest in the subject. Once you are Yes, it pretty much never goes away in my experience.

    3. What evidence do you see for any impact in 2010 James? I honestly can't see any. Everyone talks about a Clegg effect, but the SNP were in the end slightly up on 2005 and the Libs slightly down.

      All I can see in 2010 is a standard progressive swing towards a tactical vote to try and stop the Tories returning. Which failed spectacularly proving that vote Labour / Lib = get Tory (unless you can clearly see folks in England are planning Labour). The folk I mentioned who voted Lab or Lib in 2010 bitterly regret it, particularly those who voted Lib 2010 (then SNP 2011).

      Incidentally, at this time in 2010, polls were now like this:
      37% Lab
      28% SNP
      18% Con
      13% Lib

      SNP had peaked out at ~30% in late 2008 / early 2009, with Labour still in the lead, but then SNP started slipping right through 09 and into 10 bar the odd outlier as the anti-Tory vote firmed up and people tried to keep Scottish Gordon at the helm (as opposed to Jerusalem 'I'll take your pound off you' Ed).

      I see no debate effect. All that did UK wide was give Clegg a short poll boost which didn't turn into votes.

    4. "What evidence do you see for any impact in 2010 James?"

      The SNP were immediately overtaken by the Liberal Democrats after the first debate and the Cleggasm. OK, that was eventually overturned (somewhat against the odds), but it seems highly likely that the SNP would have done better than 20% without the debates.

    5. That should have been peaked out at 33%. They then dropped 5% by the time the campaign kicked off in early 2010. Tactical took the other 8%, with this progressive over Dec-May rather than e.g. abrupt as you might expect from a leader debate impact.

    6. There was a very abrupt post-debate effect. I'll try and track down the polls when I have enough time, but I recall it pretty clearly.

    7. I can see it James. A wee spike which then goes away just as quickly and Libs return to pre-debate levels, just like the UK.

      SNP were down to around 23.5% pre-debate, so within MoE. I suspect the final few % went to tactical Labour who got a few % more than polls suggested.

      Maybe seeing Gordon on the telly helped. Who knows!

      Seeing Ed won't that's for sure. Maybe he can threaten to take our pound of us and put up border posts if we don't vote Labour.

    8. How much would it usually cost to get one done?

      Do you have any indication of impact the new Labour leader has had, either way, on the polls? Is there any evidence to suggest more traditional Labour supporters turning away following his appointment?

    9. If you ask me, the tactical swing back to Labour + Libs in Scotland ahead of 2010 was down to people seeing the rUK swinging back to both. Gordon made quite a recovery from mid 2009 (22.5% Lab UK-wide) and the libs started to get increasing attention / VI scores culminating in Cleggmania. I don't think there was any debate effect - not in the sense people in Scotland were persuaded by arguments. Rather, they perceived that maybe there was a chance the Tories could be stopped and the UK was swinging back against them. Tactical voting is in the end determined in that way.

      We're in a whole different world now of course.

      If Labour shoot ahead UK wide I think that could cause some swing to them. If the Tories go out in front, the Labour in Scotland are screwed.

    10. What Scotland Thinks had all of the full scale polls going back to way before 2010, but I can't find the page now.

      Anyway, as far as I could see the SNP fall was totally down to the Cleggasm. That won't happen this time and I think it's safe to say there won't be a Milligasm.

      The damage could come from focusing minds onto an anti-Tory vote, but since over 90% of current SNP support voted yes, I think our vote will hold up quite well.

    11. Edit: Here in the page

    12. That graph basically says what I said. You can see the Lab-SNP flirtation 08-09 where the SNP start to bite heels briefly, but that is steadily lost through 09 and SNP already down again to low 20's as 2010 kicks off bar an outlier.

      What really stands out is Labour have never polled as currently before. Nor have the SNP. This is new ground.

  5. I am not sure if will have the effect some think it will have on the SNP support. It may drop slightly because they are deprived of publicity, TV coverage etc. On the other hand, it may piss off many people in Scotland, showing the level of democracy we have in the UK. What with the First-Past-the Post voting system, the unelected House of Lords, and the fact that Scotland's largest political party (both in terms of membership, seats in the Scottish Parliament), is being denied a chance to take part in the main TV debates.

    1. " On the other hand, it may piss off many people in Scotland, showing the level of democracy we have in the UK."

      It absolutely will. That sheer amount of SNP voters in scotland (which as James highlights there is no indication of dropping) being denied a voice in a blatantly unfair and obvious westminster party leader stitch up will backfire on them badly.

      Put it this way, we are preparing for a big membership drive and some intense campaigning on the ground at that time if they do go ahead without the SNP being represented alongside little Ed, calamity Clegg, the fop Cameron or Farage.

  6. This is a UK general election. The vast majority of voters can't vote for the SNP, so excluding them is not unreasonable. Scotland will have its own debate shows in which the SNP can participate fully. If people don't watch those debates or don't regard them as important, then that is the fault of the Scottish viewership rather than the TV channels?

    1. So we don't live in a democracy as some voices are more important than others!

    2. I'm not sure how you infer that from what I said. From a UK perpective, SNP are a regional party. But suppose we include the SNP, then how many others do you have to include? You could end up with the following all participating:

      Sinn Fein

      That's nine participants. But the Prime Minister can only realistically come from two of them. You'll be left with fifty odd million people scratching their heads and thinking "the opinions of the Greens and the SNP are interesting enough, but I really would like to hear what the British Prime Minister has to say".

    3. Well UKIP are a minority regional party as are the Liberals and Sinn Fein don't take up their seats, Plaid don't have anywhere near the support or representation of the SNP nor do the DUP so the TV debate should be with the parties that can make a real difference to the Westminster arithmetic the two Tory parties the SNP. Simples!

    4. But if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (as 92% of the population do), then your opinion of the SNP is irrelevant - you can't vote for them. An SNP member wanted to run in an English seat. The party leadership stopped her.

      The national debate should be limited to tory / labour / libdem, as it was last time. This simplifies matters greatly. BBC Scotland and STV can provide a platform for the SNP and I'm sure Farage will get his mug on the telly somehow. Sorted.

    5. We don't elected PMs we elect parties as leaders can change whilst in office.

    6. That's nine participants. But the Prime Minister can only realistically come from two of them. You'll be left with fifty odd million people scratching their heads and thinking "the opinions of the Greens and the SNP are interesting enough, but I really would like to hear what the British Prime Minister has to say".

      Indeed. So why include the Lib Dems?

    7. SNP are a regional party

      Separatist. Can't help but draw arbitrary lines on maps dividing the UK! So much for British solidarity.

  7. Just followed a link to the daily Telegraph on Wings, and noticed an article entitled 'Is Blairism back?' with the sub title about Jim Murphy etc.

    Even at it's most popular in the UK, New Labour/Blairism was viewed with suspicion in Scotland, so it beggars belief that So called 'Scottish Labour' are returning to Blairite politics.

    But with Murphy, McTernan, McDougal and a host of other right wingers now on board, it seems that they think this will win back the elderly Glaswegian Men that Labour need to retain a lot of their majorities in Glasgow.

    Perhaps the polls should be asking how people who have left Labour because they are no longer seen as socialist or as Scottish enough, will return to the party if Labour pursue a New Labour/Blairite approach to politics.

    Be interesting to see how popular these people would be in Scotland if our corrupt MSM was genuinely informing the people.

    1. Blairism is basically moderate left of centre politics, compatible with capitalism and much more successful than old style labour socialist policies, which beggared the country and left the dead unburied. Murphy is setting himself up as the centre of Scottish politics - with the conservatives on the right and the SNP on the left. Long term, it's a sensible path to take.

    2. Hey Anon, you say "Blairism is basically moderate left of centre politics". I'll have some of what you're smoking/drinking, it seems to be an effective amnesiac!
      P.S, What colour is the sky on your planet?

    3. Blairism is very much right-authoritarian politics. Roughly between the Tories and the BNP.

      SNP already occupy the centre ground and correctly call themselves social democratic (as opposed to left which would be democratic socialist) as a result.

  8. RE the debates...

    I'm sure a hour of 'Vote UKIP, get Labour. Vote SNP, get Tory. Vote SNP, get Labour. Vote Green, get Tory' etc will really enhance the British election experience, fostering engagement and a new, progressive politics of vision and hope.