Sunday, July 26, 2015

YouGov poll : Perceptions of Labour in Scotland seem to be more negative than ever before

From a partisan SNP point of view, one of my concerns about the Corbyn surge has been that it might lead to working-class voters in Scotland changing their negative perceptions of Labour, even if one of the "mainstream" candidates is ultimately elected leader.  However, if the Scottish subsample of a YouGov poll conducted on Thursday and Friday is anything to go by, I needn't have worried.

Thinking about how the Labour party have performed since the election, has it made you think more positively about them, more negatively about them, or made no difference? (Respondents in Scotland only)

More positively : 1%
More negatively : 50%
No difference - I had a positive view of Labour and still do : 11%
No difference - I had a negative view of Labour and still do : 26%


That looks to me like an electorate with Labour's abstention over welfare cuts at the forefront of its mind, rather than Corbyn's success.  Having said that, there is some limited evidence from the poll that Labour might make progress in Scotland if Corbyn actually becomes leader - a combined total of 27% of the Scottish subsample say they would be more likely to support Labour if he wins, or that they would support Labour anyway.  That's the highest figure by some distance of any of the four candidates, with the next best performer being Yvette Cooper on 18%.  Unsurprisingly, Liz Kendall is bottom of the pile with just 14%.

Even at Britain-wide level, this poll again challenges the conventional wisdom that Corbyn is a guaranteed voter repellent - a combined total of 23% say they would be more likely to support Labour if he wins or that they would support Labour anyway.  That's identical to Burnham's figure, and higher than the figures for Cooper and Kendall (with Kendall again at the bottom).

Very few respondents on either side of the border give Labour much of a chance of winning in 2020, but those in Scotland are even more sceptical - just 12% of people here think Labour are likely to win, compared to 19% across Britain.


  1. Can't see Corbyn making much difference to Scotland, unless he wins and declares the Labour party in Scotland completely and genuinely independent from the Labour party in England.

  2. the devil is in the details. We'll have to wait and see if he wins and if labour rallies behind him or try to tear him down...or split. We'll have to wait and see how he feels about Scotland and if he'll make the same mistakes Miliband did over support from the SNP.

    Corbyn will only be a problem for the SNP if Corbyn talks and acts like old labour, not new labour. If its a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" then labour has problems. Remember how everyone called Miliband - Red Ed on the right and thought the party was going to shift left. Well we all know how that one worked out.

    1. Yes, but Miliband wasn't a member of the Campaign Group. I don't think there can be much doubt where Corbyn is coming from.

  3. Whoever can outflank the SNP on the left will begin to draw away their support. Labour under Corbyn would fit the bill. Once he starts all his guff about nationalising the moon etc, the hard left up here (about 30% of the population by my reckoning), will be overcome with excitement.

    It is at this point that all those jibes about "branch offices" may come back to haunt the SNP. Scots might be happy about labour being ran from London, provided the guy in London calling the shots is a lefty.

    The Corbynator is coming to get you! Prepare to be Corbynated, by pure Corbynite!

    Etc etc...

  4. A Corbyn-led Labour could be effective in Scotland but only IF he is allowed to lead by his MPs which seems a tall order.

  5. Labour doesn't, as a rule, topple its leaders. Foot, Kinnock, Brown, Miliband - all were kept in post despite being disastrous. Ironically, the one leader they came close to knifing - Blair - was the most successful leader they'd ever had.

    If Corbyn wins in September, he will lead the labour party into the 2020 General Election.

  6. How meaningful are these subsamples?

    I would've thought that most of the uk/scotland population have never heard of these four candidates or know very little about them. I remember the BBC doing a voxpop of people in London and barely anyone recognised them.

    Corbyn would be torn apart by the London Press on a daily basis over his views on Venezuela/Cuba, tax, monarchy, hamas/hezbollah, SF/IRA, strikes, nationalisation..

    I read in the Independent Corbyn's campaign team said they will purge the party of the Blairites. And at least 50 Labour MPs have said they would move against Corbyn if he won. This means that a major bloodbath would be inevitable.

    A Corbyn led Labour party would be highly fractious, unstable, tumultuous. Many Labour MPs would never tolerate or accept his leadership. A divided Labour party is an unelectable party.

  7. If Corbyn becomes Labour leader, I wonder if a snap 2nd referendum called after another seemingly inevitable Tory GE win holds a better chance?
    With Scotland facing the prospect of many more years of Tory government.
    And especially if Tories are wiped out here.