Monday, April 26, 2021

Exclusive Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll suggests the supermajority is on: the SNP, Alba and the Greens are on course to win 62% of the seats in the new Scottish Parliament

I've tried to keep the arrival of this latest exclusive Scot Goes Pop poll under wraps, but my interests do betray me, and there was at least one person on Twitter who clocked that the Panelbase survey under way over the last few days was probably commissioned by me!  If you saw the video teaser earlier, you'll already know the list results from the Scottish Parliament voting intentions, but as I mentioned, the constituency results show more extensive changes.

Scottish Parliament constituency ballot voting intentions (Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll):

SNP 45% (-2)
Labour 22% (+2)
Conservatives 20% (-3)
Liberal Democrats 8% (+2)
Greens 4% (-)

Scottish Parliament regional list ballot voting intentions:

SNP 36% (-)
Conservatives 21% (-1)
Labour 18% (+1)
Greens 10% (+1)
Alba 6% (-)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-)
All for Unity 2% (-)

On behalf of Scot Goes Pop, the polling company Panelbase interviewed a representative sample of 1075 adults in Scotland, including 16 and 17 year olds, from 21st-26th April.

Seats projection (with changes from 2016 election): SNP 61 (-2), Conservatives 24 (-7), Labour 20 (-4), Greens 11 (+5), Alba 8 (+8), Liberal Democrats 5 (-)

Pro-independence parties: 80 seats (62.0%)
Anti-independence parties: 49 seats (38.0%)


So Labour are gaining a bit of traction and moving ahead of the Tories, but ironically only on the constituency ballot, and not on the regional list ballot where they actually need it.  That would leave them stuck firmly in third place in terms of seats.  The Greens are probably overestimated on the constituency ballot because they're only standing in a dozen constituency seats, so the SNP can confidently expect to take some (but not all) of the Greens' 4% vote share.

But the big story is Alba's showing on the list.  This is the third Panelbase poll in succession to show the new pro-independence party on 6%, but in this case the seats projection is even more favourable than before, with Alex Salmond on course to lead an eight-strong group at Holyrood - bigger than the Greens and Liberal Democrats had in the previous parliament.  If that's how it turns out, Alba will arguably have succeeded in bringing about the 'supermajority' they promised, albeit with the Greens playing a crucial role as well.  Pro-indy parties in combination are projected to have 80 seats, which amounts to 62% of the 129 seats in the parliament.

The key is that the Greens and Alba are doing well at the same time - it's not as if there's just a rearranging of the deckchairs with one pro-indy party gaining list seats at the expense of another.  Only 70% of people who voted SNP in the 2019 Westminster general election are planning to vote SNP on the list this year, but the vast majority of the others are going to other pro-indy parties - 11% to Alba and 13% to the Greens.  And the figures are very similar among Yes voters from 2014 - 12% are voting Alba on the list and 14% for the Greens, with 60% in the SNP column.

On the constituency ballot, Labour take 16% of people who voted Tory in 2019, while the Tories only take 5% of those who voted Labour two years ago.  But the equivalent numbers on the list are much closer (13% and 9% respectively), which explains why Labour aren't making enough headway on the more important of the two ballots.

Curiously, the seats projection shows an exact repeat of the 2016 result in the constituency ballot, with Labour holding all of their three constituency seats.  Whether that's actually what would happen is hard to say, given that they should really have lost Dumbarton and East Lothian last time.  All of the changes are on the list seat allocation.

*   *   *

There are lots more questions to come from this poll - Westminster voting intention numbers, independence voting intention numbers, and a number of supplementary question that should be of considerable interest to the whole independence movement.  If you'd like to be the first to know when they're released, feel free to follow me on Twitter HERE.


  1. Never forget the old adage: "Brittania waives the rules."

    Westminster will refuse to acknowledge anything less than 87 seats - two-thirds of the seats plus one, as "a super-majority," even then, they will endeavour to pauchle such a result to try to defer considering Indyref2.

    But, with a strong ALBA presence in Holyrood, the Sturgeonistas will struggle to avoid the issue too.

    1. I am struggling on who exactly was in charge when the SNP Said " once in a generation" . It's funny that she is bound by it, at least as a restraint, but they guy in charge just gets to pretend he didn't make it.

    2. They both said it. Alex Salmond was First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon was Deputy First Minister, and they both used the same phrase. But it was always stressed that they were not binding future parliaments.

    3. Aye James, that's correct. Someone should tell Salmond as he's kindae 'airbrushing Sturgeon from 2014 history here'.

      Just sayin! :-)

      The dynamic duo they very much were.

    4. In a democracy no vote can bind a future parliament.

    5. I know I shouldn't give in to the temptation to 'feed the trolls', but, Scottish Skier, neither Alex Salmond nor Nicola Sturgeon have any more authority than Boris Johnson or the Queen of England to agree or withold the right of the people who live in Scotland to decide on their mode of governance, and to choose for themselves when and how to exercise that right.

    6. @Frank

      Absolutely. My post was actually directed at those (trolls included) who moan that the SNP 'wiped Salmond from history', which I found amusing in light of him seeming to do rather similar in his own conspicuously sturgeon/swinney etc free recollection of events! :-)

      They were of a course all a team and along with the rest of the party, worked equally to deliver iref1. Likewise, as James notes, Salmond can't have the generation thing pinned on him for he wasn't the only one to accidently give the unionists those words to misconstrue.

  2. Disturbing that there is no SNP majority in seats here.
    That, in my ooinion, is what WM fears most and is a prerequisite to move on to both Indyref2 and Indy.

    1. It says a lot about the perverted media and despicable UK establishment that we will be told a lack of snp majority means indyref2 is off the table...... Even if there is a large majority for a referendum in the parliament, which is all that actually matters. Part-time democrats, they make me sick to my stomach

    2. You're right, Al, a pro-indy parties majority is more important than a single party majority. Regardless of what the britnats say. The SNP leadership would be faced, should this poll be correct in the final result, with two options: agree with the britnats or join with Alba and Greens to actually fight for independence. If they dare choose the former then hell mend them.

    3. That's my fear; no SNP majority will be the story regardless of any SNP + Alba + Green "super-majority". It'll be spun just like 2016 when you would have thought the Tories had won the election by coming 24.5% behind the SNP on the constituency vote they way the media went on.

      No SNP majority and the knives may well come out for Sturgeon as well.

      That said if Salmond ends up with a group of 8 MSP's it will be harder for the SNP to ignore Indy

    4. Do not agree. After over 40 years of supporting Indy, watching and listening closely to how WM reacts to everything so far and also being realistic enough to know that we should always play our strongest card with them, my opinion is that the one single thing that WM fears most is an SNP Majority Govt. THAT should be the over-riding focus for all Yessers on May 6 - and I believe it ultimately will be. Everything else will be secondary to that.

    5. Looks like that ship has sailed unless they can do it with constituency MSPs.

  3. Obviously 80 pro indy seats would be remarkable but the thought of the Unionist parties holding on to all their constituencies after what’s unfolded Brexit-wise, and in the Tories case, Johnson/pandemic-wise, would be somewhat disappointing

  4. Sorry for going off topic, but I had some difficulty finding the IndyLive podcast with Professor Curtice you mentioned a few articles back. Here's a link to the relevant Soundcloud page. It's in the eleventh group down the page "Daytime Show Recent Interviews, Professor John Curtice Holyrood 2021".
    Hope this helps.

  5. Alba holding steady at 3% (2.8%) since launch, with SNP on ~49% for the constituency since early March.

    The only Yes party creeping up over that period is the Greens on the list, which I imagine they can thank Alba voters for. Wings pushing the 'SNP wasted list votes' thing has been of notable benefit to Harvie and Co it looks like. Which I find very funny.

  6. the greens msps were all 6th or 7th on the list, alba is competing for the same seats

    1. It doesn't work like that. The 2016 result isn't frozen in time - if the Greens are polling higher than five years ago (and they are) their seats become much less vulnerable.

  7. The SNP campaign should be all about turnout, focusing heavily on the constituency vote and especially focusing on the constituencies they can win (which, let's be honest, is most of them.) General election level turnout of pro-indy voters would most likely give the SNP every single constituency in Scotland. Worrying too much about the list vote is naïve because by their own logic, winning 50%+ of the vote is key to getting a recognised mandate for a referendum. They've always known they would lose support on the list to the Greens, so the constituency vote was always the only place they could get that outright majority of the vote. Green and Alba seats should be the icing on the cake, helping to steer legislation through Holyrood in the face of extreme unionist opposition, and changing the tone of debate at Holyrood to a discussion about independence tactics, strategy and post-indy planning rather than a dogfight just to be able to vote on the issue. If the SNP don't manage that outright majority, they really have nobody to blame but themselves.

    1. 50% of the vote is not needed for an Indyref mandate in a multi-party SP election.
      Only unionists are trying to plant this in folks minds as some kind of a requirement.
      50% plus of course is the target in the Indyref itself, but the two are completely different - but you knew that Eh?.

  8. My own PoP plot.

    SNP really unchanged on the constituency since March. Alba 3% since launch, so a change of a few seats if this is regionally localised.

    Greens look to have steadily risen since the 'supermajority' idea was first floated.

  9. But you know it's e.g. Patrick Harvie that's 'evil and dangerous', not the hard right tory government of England. It's fine and you can flee there (Bath is lovely apparently) to 'escape the dangerous SNP/Green led Scotland'.

    'We are very afraid': Father, 67, taken to hospital after Home Office dawn raid

    Dawn raids are for terrorists, murderers and drug dealers. And, it seems to England, also for families quietly at home if they are foreign.

    But hey, #wheeshtfortheunion

    1. I want an SNP majority, I don't want them beholding to the greens or Alba. The green influence is I believe behind some of the controversial policies that causes ructions within the SNP.Causing a brilliant politician like Joanna Cherry to be in effect ostracised for the crime of protecting women's rights and science for that matter.

      Whatever Alba's faults and god knows they are legion, independence support is not one of them. The greens are pro-indy as it gets them more say and influence than they would other wise. They are more wrapped up in reality denying gender politics perhaps even more than the environment. The have arch anti- independence candidates amongst their ranks. And despite zero chance of winning them are happy to stand in a dozen constituency seats with the only possible casualty being the SNP as the pro-indy vote gets split.Both votes SNP for me and it really does matter

    2. Sure, but I don't believe you can class e.g. Joanna Cherry, Joan McAlpine, Lorna Slater, Patrick Harvie as 'evil people who hate women' like unionists claim, e.g. as per this hard right-wing southern English blog:

      Which was what I was eluding to.

      I'm voting for Grahame and McAlpine (list) again incidentally. I'm very happy with my local SNP reps.

      I'm not really fussed about Alba or the Greens. Everyone needs a home. I don't like folks trying to mislead on the electoral system; that will have me on the attack, whoever is up to it.

  10. James, do you have the polling data for each of the 8 regions? If so, are you able to share it please? (i put this on Twitter as well)

  11. Well done James - a very timely poll, with interesting results. Alba are doing pretty well, considering the short time they have been in existence and the near total MSM blackout.

    Do you think that "shy Alba voters" may be an issue, since all the bad news about Alex Salmond may well make a few intending voters to be coy about supporting Alba? Just a hunch, although I do accept that AS still has low approval issues, following the prolonged character assassination courtesy of the MSM and a few SNP politicians that ought to know better. What are these polls weighted on - 2014 recall? If so, I can see problems - very unpredictable. Anything can happen. Game on as far as I can see.

  12. If Alba’s support keeps rising at this rate we may well see double figures in vote percentage and.seats gained. However, I wonder if anyone in the SNP has realised that without AS’s support the SNP constituency vote may well have been 6% lower.

  13. Interesting in that at first glance the combined SNP/Green/Alba list vote is over 50%. In previous years that would have been a majority for independence. Given the recent muddying of the waters it's a pro indyref2 majority.