Thursday, September 29, 2022

Staggering MRP survey from ComRes suggests the Scottish Tories are on course for a TOTAL WIPEOUT at the next general election - the SNP would take all of the Tory seats, and would also pick up most Lib Dem seats

Thanks to Anon on the previous thread for pointing me in the direction of the general election seats projection from a new MRP survey conducted by ComRes for LabourList.  MRP projects have been in vogue in recent years, partly because YouGov's MRP projection for the 2017 general election proved to be much more accurate than their conventional polling.  (Embarrassingly, they had gone out of their way to make clear on the eve of the election that they thought their conventional polling was right and the MRP was wrong.)  However, it's probably fair to say that all MRP surveys are still experimental.

The Scottish projections from this new ComRes survey are certainly eye-catching, although I'm not sure how credible they are - the patterns seem a bit too dramatic and also far too 'neat'.  Alarm bells also rang in my head when I saw that Electoral Calculus had played a role in devising the projection model, because the projections on the Electoral Calculus website (although useful) often seem a little one-dimensional and crude.  I suspect what's happening is that assumptions that might work to some extent in English constituencies have been inflexibly applied to Scottish constituencies, producing a misleading outcome.  But, for what it's worth, here's what the survey suggests would happen in a new general election, which of course we expect to be a plebiscite election in which an outright mandate will be sought for Scottish independence.

In the six Scottish constituencies currently held by the Conservatives, there would be a total Tory wipeout and the SNP would gain all six.

Moray: SNP GAIN from Conservatives
Banff & Buchan: SNP GAIN from Conservatives
Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk: SNP GAIN from Conservatives
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale: SNP GAIN from Conservatives
Dumfries & Galloway: SNP GAIN from Conservatives
West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine: SNP GAIN from Conservatives

In the four Scottish constituencies currently held by the Liberal Democrats, the SNP would gain three, and the Lib Dems would only hold their most traditional stronghold in the Northern Isles.

North-East Fife: SNP GAIN from Liberal Democrats
Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross: SNP GAIN from Liberal Democrats
Orkney & Shetland: Liberal Democrat HOLD
Edinburgh West: SNP GAIN from Liberal Democrats

In addition, the SNP are projected to hold East Dunbartonshire, the seat they gained so improbably from the then Lib Dem federal leader Jo Swinson in December 2019.

However, all of these impressive results for the SNP against the Tories and Lib Dems would be offset by losses to Labour.  The SNP are projected to lose: Airdrie & Shotts, Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill, Glasgow East, Glasgow North-East, Glasgow South-West and Midlothian.  In addition the two Alba seats (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath and East Lothian) would go back to Labour, as would Margaret Ferrier's seat of Rutherglen & Hamilton West.  In net terms, that would leave the SNP back where they started at the 2019 election with 48 seats - although remember that constitutes a massive 81.4% of Scottish representation in the Commons.

But I simply don't believe some of these projections.  As things stand (and admittedly the position can and will change over time), I don't think Labour would be gaining as many as nine Scottish seats, but on the other hand I also suspect the Tories would prove more resilient, especially in their 'Border Belt'.  My best guess is that an election right now would see the SNP with just a touch more than 48 seats.

The GB-wide seats totals from ComRes are as follows:

Labour 353 (+154)
Conservatives 211 (-146)
SNP 48 (+4)
Liberal Democrats 15 (+1)
Plaid Cymru 3 (-)
Greens 1 (-)
Independents 0 (-11)
Alba 0 (-2)


Note: The seat changes listed above are measured from the current state of the parties in the Commons, not from the 2019 election result.  And all of the above projections are based on the current constituency boundaries, presumably for the sake of simplicity.

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  1. So, another "feeble 48"......

  2. If Sir Keith can keep this lead then the results will give the red tories seats and see the blues lose some (not at the Anglicised border though). Still, Sir Keith is not winning here, the blues are losing - there is always the possibility that Truss will be replaced by a more voter friendly loon. The yellow tories are an electoral anathem, the equivalent of Independents - personality counts. The SNP will have to up their game and show themselves as inspiring idealists, not dull, unassuming accountants and jaded middle managers... a new SNP leader ASAP would help. You don't free people's imaginations with efficient, competent bores.