Tuesday, November 12, 2019

First Scottish subsample under YouGov's new methodology is still favourable for the SNP

YouGov have changed their polling methodology for the remainder of the campaign to ensure that respondents are only asked about parties they can actually voted for in their local constituencies.  In spite of the way the first poll using the new method is being reported, the Brexit Party's decision to stand aside in Tory-held seats does not appear to be making a huge difference to the gap between the Tories and Labour.  The Tory lead would have been 13 points under the old methodology and it's 14 points under the new.  However, the Liberal Democrats will be alarmed that their vote drops under the new methodology while both the Tory and Labour vote increases.  This is looking increasingly like a conventional two-horse race south of the border between two anti-Remain parties, and the rigged ITV and BBC leaders' debates (if they go ahead) will only reinforce that.

Just for a moment, I was slightly concerned about what the new methodology would show in Scotland, because the SNP's share of the GB-wide vote is slightly lower than usual at 3%.  However, it looks like that's just a statistical quirk, because the SNP's vote in the Scottish subsample is very much within their normal range -

SNP 42%, Conservatives 25%, Labour 14%, Liberal Democrats 14%, Brexit Party 2%, Greens 2%

*  *  *

I've had a look at the SNP's prospects in two key Scottish Tory-held constituencies (East Renfrewshire and Banff & Buchan) for The National - you can read the article HERE.


  1. Remain voters in England just need to all vote Labour to ensure brexit doesn't progress. A Lib dem vote is pointless; that will just ensure a hard brexit.

    In Scotland, SNP are clearly the choice for remainers and indy supporters.

    1. On your first point, that very much depends on the constituency. There are certainly seats in England that the Lib Dems can win and Labour can't.

    2. Sure. I meant broadly speaking.

      The polls are showing the typical pattern of Lib Dem vote starting to fall away as the election approaches. They always top out at about 20% then fall back.

      That should hopefully stop the remain vote being split to much, particularly if what remains of the Lib vote is concentrated in winnable constituencies. Folk just need do vote what they voted in 2017 and brexit will be cancelled for another few years.

      Let's hope so anyway.

      Best thing for indy would be to go for it while the UK is still inside / in transition.

      We can also hold out hope the SNP get the balance of power and can stop England's brexit as long as no section 30 is forthcoming. Long shot, but hey ho.

    3. "All Remain supporters in England should vote Labour. Any Lib Dem votes are pointless."

      "That's not true."

      "Sure. I meant broadly speaking."


  2. I received this response from the BBC following my complaint. Looks like there is a 4 way debate happening

    Dear Lord Chalks

    Thank you for contacting us with your concerns about how the General Election will be covered.

    A number of people initially shared concerns following press coverage of objections from the Liberal Democrats leader, Jo Swinson.

    This in fact related to ITV’s plans for a televised leadership debate, not our own. We reported on that issue at the time:

    General election 2019: Lib Dems lodge complaint over ITV leaders' debate

    Our own plans for televised debates have now been announced:

    This will include
    - Nov 22: Question Time Leaders’ Special (including the 4 largest parties at Westminster, based on 2017 results)
    - Further special editions to include senior figures from the Green Party and Brexit Party
    - Nov 29: a seven-way podium debate between leaders or senior figures from the seven major GB political parties.
    - Dec 9: Question Time Under 30, including leading figures from each of the main parties
    - Additional special programmes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

    BBC News is covering each party’s campaign launch and will provide in-depth analysis of the key events, policies and seats across our wide range of platforms:

    Other people have commented on how other parties like the SNP, Lib Dems and Green Party should feature generally across news items and special debate programmes. Our editorial guidelines for covering elections explains our approach in detail, at: https://www.bbc.com/editorialguidelines/draft_election_guidelines_051119.pdf

    Generally speaking, editors are required to follow the BBC’s editorial guidelines and the Ofcom Code to ensure that political parties receive an appropriate level of coverage during an election campaign.

    This means we are required to assess “past and current electoral support” in making a judgment about the relative weight of coverage for each party. This includes the general elections of 2015 and 2017, as well as other elections, including those for local government.

    Like Ofcom, the BBC gives more weight to actual votes than to opinion polls in assessing current support. We take our obligation to provide fair and impartial coverage very seriously and take great steps to ensure our reporting is balanced, proportionate and in line with the relevant guidelines.

    Our aim is to cover political parties fairly and proportionately during the election campaign. We believe this is fair and proportionate.

    Kind regards,

    BBC Complaints Team

    Please note: this email is sent from an unmonitored address so please don’t reply. If necessary please contact us through our webform (please include your case reference number).

    1. Nope, there's not going to be a four-way debate. That's a Question Time special in which each leader will appear separately. Something similar was done in 2017 - the only difference being on that occasion it was split into two programmes, with Tim Farron and Nicola Sturgeon ghettoised in the second one.

      What they've set out in that reply is exactly what they announced the other day - there's nothing new in it at all. Boris Johnson will only take part in one BBC debate, and that'll be the rigged two-way debate with Corbyn.

  3. A decent sub-sample.

    We need a good SNP campaign as even in 2017, they were polling decently around 40-45% but only received 37% of the vote.

    The EU results were excellent, but there was the Brexit Party to help us out and the SNP polled 38% then too. We need to get people to move now the Brexit Party have decided to sit out Tory seats - so if we work hard we can turn these old SNP heartlands yellow, it'll take a wee bit harder of work to do it.

    1. The SNP were in the low 40's in April, 6 weeks before the GE. 45%+'s were a distant March memory by then.

    2. The final Scottish Yougov poll of the 2017 campaign, from 1-5 June had, compared with today's subsample:
      SNP: 41 (42 today)
      Con: 26 (25 today)
      Lab: 25 (14 today)
      Lib: 6 (14 today)
      Green 1 (2 today)

      So the SNP aren't that far off where the polls had them at the end of the 2017 campaign. They were 15 points clear of the Tories in the final Yougov poll, and the result a few days later, as we know, had them only 8 points clear. Today's subsample puts them 17 points clear - too close to the final 2017 Yougov poll for comfort, and a noticeable drop from the 23 point lead full-scale Yougov polls were giving them only a couple of months ago.

      So the SNP need need to be very careful not to slip back over the course of the campaign. Because if they're being overestimated, as they were last time, they risk losing seats instead of gaining them.

    3. I'd be very cautious about making that sort of comparison, because pre-2017 polls were weighted to 2015, whereas the polls now are weighted to 2017. Just because the SNP were overestimated in 2017 doesn't exclude the possibility that they're being underestimated now. There was a huge abstention rate among potential SNP voters two years ago, and that could be skewing the weightings now.

    4. I would agree. The SNP are now weighted by that low point 2 years ago making it less likely they are being overstated now. I also think in 2017 there was evidence of a last minute swing against the SNP, for example the last Survation poll showed their vote dropping to 39%. In any case, the polls were bang on about SNP support in the EU election this year, where if anywhere the party should have been overstated given the low turnout.

  4. The Scottish Nat sis need to get real and drop independence. They should campaign for Scotland to be run by the EU. That would be honest and credible.

    1. They are actually campaigning for Scotland to be in the EU. You keep attacking them for that.

    2. But to stay in the EU negates Scottish independence. The EU will dictate policy to Scotland therefore no independence.

    3. What policies will the EU dictate?

    4. You should know if you are a political animal. Do not ask me daft questions. Do try and retain your personal integrity.

  5. I wrote to the BBC and got the same reply as above.I specifically asked if the Sarah Smith debate in Scotland would be another programmme of MSPs who have nothing to do with the UK election being asked about devolved matters.I even underlined the devolved matters bit but got no answer to that.

  6. Worth remembering that Scottish polls are using Westminster past vote weighting. All the main Scottish pollsters previously concluded that this results in underestimating Yes/SNP, so stopped it. They then went back to it after 2015 like a bunch of idiots. It did work post 2015 because that election had a record low tactical vote in Scotland. This shot up again to normal levels in 2017 as Corbyn got a huge tactical vote. So you have a lot of SNP voters who voted Labour telling pollsters they 'supported' SNP in 2017. Then there are others saying they turned out when they didn't. At least it looks that way.

    So you could well find SNP are doing a bit better than it might appear.

    Certainly, Westminster post vote is not accurate for Scotland, only Holyrood past vote is.

    1. Scotland is probably the only country in the world where pollsters don't use the last national election as the primary past vote weighting factor, but instead use people's vote for a neighboring country's parliament where their representatives have effectively no power, resulting huge swaths of people not voting for who they support, but in a desperate tactical manner, and often at the last minute. Pollsters are then surprised at false recall levels.

      It's comically inept to use Westminster past vote as a weighing basis.

    2. Surely the big danger for the SNP this election then is that Labour see a similar resurgence in wayward, well-intentioned "tactical voting". They're already at an incredibly low ebb in Scotland, and the SNP don't seem to have benefited as much from that as they have in the past. But last time round Labour's recovery came at the expense of SNP dominance. And the media seem more eager than ever to make this the Boris vs Corbyn show.

    3. Yes, although the main hit in 2017 can from SNP voters who didn't turn out due to English anti-Scottish racism. Post 2014 they had been begged to stay and 'help lead the UK', so that's what they did; sending a load of Scots MPs down in 2015 for this purpose.

      England's response was to tread them like lepers, not deliver any meaningful new devolved powers, and introduce EVEL, making Scots MPs second class and so unlikely to ever hold important cabinet positions again. Add in the Corbyn factor and..

      This time the racism has become overt, with Scots being singled out as the only nation of the UK to not get the brexit deal they wanted. That and the English threats to remove the vote from Scots. Throw in the now established gross incompetence of corbyn and things could change significantly.

      If it doesn't, the SNP may well stand still just end up winning a 2017 type epic landslide again.

  7. Yep, because none of the 27 remaining countries in the EU are Independent, they're not smart like England

  8. YG poll (following news of Tory/Brexit pact) has both the standard question and how would you vote in your constituency. For the Scots crossbreak (only 139 weighted reponses)

    Standard VI Q : Constituency VI Q : Difference

    SNP 40% : 42% : +2
    Con 23% : 25% : +2
    Lab 16% : 14% : -2
    LD 16% : 14% : -2
    BxP 3% : 2% : -1
    Grn 3% : 2% : -1

    1. That's what this blogpost is about.

    2. Yep. I just added the numbers. They're often (though not necessarily) useful.

    3. The incumbent factor at play?

  9. I know this is off subject.

    Why is wings Over Scotland spreading misinformation and hateful comments about transgender people. No one seems to be saying anything about it

    1. Person self-identifying as PersonNovember 13, 2019 at 8:42 PM

      I haven't looked at his website for a while but I must say I couldn't care less about all this stuff. That's why I've stopped visiting Wings. Becoming boring and irrelevant.

  10. Can no one report him to Twitter for abusive and hateful comments he seems to have a group of people on their he uses as attack dogs to go after anyone who disagrees with him or his group. Has the the media in Scotland noticethis or am I exaggerating

  11. I feel that I was 'dead-cultured' by Wings and I'm gonna cry or punch someone.

  12. I don't do social media I just read his site I'm concerned that he's going after a vulnerable group in Society

  13. I'm just a grave digger so I don't know a lot about the the law and stuff but I know when something doesn't feel right
    Is there someone out there who has a better understanding of the subject who can look into this

    1. Here he is again -


      It's all very regrettable, but what can one do?

    2. Neither you are making any sense with your posts.

  14. Latest England Elects Poll tracker shows the Tories have stalled (-0.2%) while Labour continue to catch them up (+2.2%). Gap has reduced to 8.6 pts.

  15. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-50403118

    Election 2019: Former Labour MP Tom Harris backs Tories ahead of election

    This is the danger for Scots thinking of voting Labour. Chances are the Labour guy is a Tory.

    1. Baroness Lidl of LabourNovember 13, 2019 at 8:47 PM

      Lots of them were. It was only ever the only secure career path into politics, power and money. Darling, Brown, Reid, Baron Bomber of Islay, Wilson of Sellafield and Manhattan, and all the Low-flying Jimmies.

    2. Baroness Lidl of LabourNovember 13, 2019 at 8:48 PM

      Same set up as in Eastern Europe.

  16. Has Corbyn seriously put on a tartan scarf for his visit?

    Why not top it off with a Jimmy bunnet?

    1. Condescendo PatronisoNovember 13, 2019 at 8:39 PM

      He's getting blacked up for his visit to Senegal next month. Expects that will resonate with the natives.

  17. Corbyn and Johnson both have a deep racist hatred for Scots.


    Nick Eardley
    1h1 hour ago
    NEW: Jeremy Corbyn tells journalists he won’t say yes to #indyref2 in first term of Labour government (which is five years)

    But aides position could change if SNP win majors in 2021

  18. what would be the the state of the Scottish parliment if using the fptp voting systems

  19. Comres Scots subsample:
    44% SNP
    23% Con
    15% Lab
    7% Lib
    5% Brx
    4% Grn

  20. If Labour win the election, they should be legally prevented from taking office and implementing their policies.

    At least until later in the term.