Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll: SNP on course to win 55 of the 59 Scottish seats at Westminster, with the Tories slipping into a deep hole that could finish Douglas Ross' leadership

As I mentioned in the preview video earlier, I was planning to put out both the Holyrood and Westminster voting intention numbers from our new poll today.  However, I later spotted a small problem with the Holyrood tables which Survation are now in the process of resolving, so in the meantime I'll give you the Westminster numbers, which are nothing short of a horror show for Mr Douglas Ross Esquire.

Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election (Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll, 11th-13th January 2021):

SNP 48% (-3)
Labour 23% (+2)
Conservatives 19% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 7% (+1)

Seats projection, with changes from the 2019 election: SNP 55 (+7), Conservatives 2 (-4), Labour 1 (n/c), Liberal Democrats 1 (-3)

In fairness, 19% is not the Tories' lowest ebb recently - they fell as low as 18% in polls from both Survation and JL Partners in the mid-autumn.  However, what is new is the four-point lead that Labour have opened up over their main unionist rivals - they haven't had an advantage as big as that since exactly three years ago, when they were still basking in the afterglow of Jeremy Corbyn's moral victory in the 2017 general election.  

I am seriously beginning to wonder if Douglas Ross is heading for the same fate that befell Jim Murphy in 2015 - ie. only lasting a few months as leader before a single unimaginably bad election finishes him off.  I don't think the Tories are even close to being psychologically ready for a return to third place - it just wasn't on the radar until very recently.  Even when they lost more than half their seats in the 2019 general election, they were still comfortably clear of Labour in terms of both seats and the popular vote.

It would be completely nuts to call the SNP's 48% vote share a poor result, given that it's three points better than they achieved in their 2019 landslide victory.  However, it's their first sub-50 result in any Westminster poll since last March.  Time will tell if that's just a little blip caused by sampling variation - although in the long run it's very difficult for any party to maintain support at quite such a high level.  

Independence supporters often give over-65s a bad rap for being the only age group that is solidly No.  But it's worth making the point that even they would elect an SNP majority if they were the only people allowed to vote.  Voting intentions among over-65s are: SNP 37%, Conservatives 26%, Labour 23%, Liberal Democrats 14%. As was the case for Yes on the independence question, the SNP's best age group is 25-34 year olds, where they enjoy phenomenal 63% support, with the Tories on just 7%.

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There's still lots more to come from the poll, including a big result tonight on whether the SNP and Greens should use the coming Holyrood election as a de facto referendum on independence.  If you'd like to be the first to know, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.  


  1. Survation consistently underestimated the SNP ahead of 2019. Also overestimated the Tories.

    They're just at the lower end for SNP/Yes.

  2. The Covid broadcasts have shown the incompetence of Johnson & Co and the sheer professionalism from Nicola and the Scottish Health team.
    This has really shaken the belief among older folk that "England knows best" leading to higher SNP support.
    The Union is crumbling.

    1. And yet 1 in 5 of our voting adults would still put a cross against the Tory box. I think we have a lot of slow learners amongst us.