Monday, May 3, 2021

Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll: SNP would win even bigger landslide victory in a new Westminster election, with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats losing seats

So there are still a handful more results to come this week from the Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll - starting with Scottish voting intentions for the next Westminster election. Obviously Westminster is not the most pressing concern at the moment, because no UK general election is due until 2024 (and if Alba have their way, Scotland will be independent before then in any case). However, these numbers will still be of great interest to political anoraks, because as far as I can see they're the first Westminster numbers from Panelbase since the poll I commissioned myself way back in November. 

Now, there are two big health warnings here about the interpretation of these numbers. Although they appear to show a sharp drop in SNP support, that's over a period of six months, and we were already aware of the fact that the party's vote has come down a bit from its peak last year. And secondly, it's crucial to remember that this is the Panelbase poll that was conducted between the 21st and 26th of April, when the SNP were only on 45% of the Holyrood constituency vote. There's since been a more recent Panelbase poll conducted between the 28th and the 30th which had the SNP back up to 48%. If that poll had included Westminster numbers, it's likely (not certain, but likely) that there would have been a corresponding increase for the SNP there too. The BMG poll for the Herald yesterday had Westminster numbers which showed the SNP on a very healthy 48%. 

But with those caveats in mind, here are the results... 

Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election (Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase poll, 21st-26th April): 

SNP 45% (-5) 
Conservatives 22% (+1) 
Labour 19% (-1) 
Liberal Democrats 7% (+2) 
Greens 4% (+2) 

Seats projection (with changes from 2019 election): SNP 52 (+4), Conservatives 4 (-2), Liberal Democrats 2 (-2), Labour 1 (-) 

So although the SNP are reported to be on exactly the 45% they received in 2019, they're still on course for seat gains, because in first-past-the-post it's the lead over other parties that matters, not your own vote share. The Tories are four points down on their 2019 showing, and the Lib Dems are 2.5% down. The four seats projected to change hands are West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine and Moray (both of which go from Tory to SNP), and Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross and North-East Fife (both of which go from Lib Dem to SNP). In practice it might be even better than that, because the Greens are unlikely to put up candidates in every seat, so some or most of their 4% might well go to the SNP. 

This is a truly dismal result for Labour. We were constantly told that the only reason Labour were doing so badly was because of Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard. Well, both of those individuals are long gone, and yet under Starmer and Sarwar the party is right back to where it was in the 2019 general election under Corbyn.

The SNP have been more successful than any other party at retaining their 2019 vote. 89% of people who voted SNP in 2019 would still do so - the equivalent numbers for other parties are 80% for the Tories, 74% for Labour and 60% for the Lib Dems. The extra support that has completely offset the SNP's losses has mostly come from former Labour voters. 

Always of interest are the figures for English-born voters - the SNP are ahead even with them: SNP 35%, Conservatives 32%, Labour 17%, Liberal Democrats 9%, Greens 4%.

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There are more questions to come from the poll - if you'd like to be the first to hear the results, feel free to follow me on Twitter HERE.


  1. James, have you seen the National anti-Tory Indy poster campaign ??

    see here

    Anyone with out a subscription to the National is not serious about independence

    Keep up the good work

  2. 51% for the SNP on the constituency from opinium. Also apparently voter registrations have been really high, suggesting we could get a good turnout

    1. Knock of 3% from the SNP total and you get what all the other polls are hinting at. The changes in the Opinium poll from their earlier poll is just sampling margins. No real change, the voters minds seem to be settled.

    2. Yes, a very stable picture since mid march. SNP on 49% on the constituency, but might do a little better when ~8/10 of the few% saying Green here discover they can't do that.

      On the regional list, the main shift has been SNP to 3% Alba and +2% to 10% for the Greens at the same time. Harvie & Slater may yet owe Stuart Campbell a drink for his promotion of the supermajority thing.

  3. Does the weather really effect the turnout anymore? What with the high level of postal votes.