Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Scottish Labour's pipe-dreams are PULVERISED as subsample average from recent days shows SNP on course to win 91% of Scottish seats at Westminster - with the Tories wiped out

We've now moved very abruptly into a new era where there is a clear expectation for the first time that a Labour government will take over at Westminster in 2024. The Truss U-turn yesterday on scrapping the 45p tax rate may stabilise the sense of Tory freefall somewhat, but paradoxically if it also helps shore up her own position as leader, it may make the impression of inevitability about a Labour general election victory even stronger, because it's surely only with a new leader (yet another one) that the Tories have any chance whatsoever. 

With their customary sense of entitlement, Labour are assuming that their breakthrough in England is bound to be replicated in Scotland, and that the last three landslide election victories for the SNP at Westminster will be left looking like a historical aberration. That assumption is based on little or no evidence, because there hasn't been a full-scale Scottish poll since the tide turned down south. However, there has been a veritable blitz of Britain-wide polls in recent days, which means there are enough Scottish subsamples that we might at least be able to glean a clue by calculating an average. Long-term readers may remember that I took a similar approach in the weeks after the 2014 indyref and spotted early evidence of a massive swing from Labour to the SNP which very few other people were even talking about. I was criticised at the time for using subsamples, but in fact when a full-scale poll finally emerged from Ipsos-Mori, it turned out that the subsample average had actually underestimated the pro-SNP swing.  So will a similar exercise now show signs of a mass swing back to Labour?

Although this new era was caused by the contents of the mini-budget on September 23rd, it didn't actually begin on that date - it wasn't until the effects of Kwarteng's folly started to be felt a few days later, with the collapse of the value of the pound and highly unusual interventions from the IMF and the Bank of England, that voters turned decisively against the Tories.  So for the subsample average, I'm only going to include polls that were entirely conducted after the 26th.  And obviously I can only include subsamples if the data tables have actually been published.  But what that leaves us with is...

SNP 45.1%
Labour 31.8%
Conservatives 12.9%
Liberal Democrats 5.8%
Greens 2.5%

Seats projection (current boundaries): SNP 52 (+4), Labour 5 (+4), Liberal Democrats 2 (-2), Conservatives 0 (-6)

Seats projection (proposed new boundaries): SNP 52 (+4), Labour 3 (+2), Liberal Democrats 2 (-2), Conservatives 0 (-6)

The average is based on eight subsamples - two from Redfield & Wilton Strategies, one from YouGov, one from Survation, one from Deltapoll, one from PeoplePolling, one from Omnisis and one from Opinium.  Although the data tables from the Techne poll have been published, I had to leave that one out because there was no sign of the Scottish subsample figures.  

Although we'll have to wait for a couple of full-scale Scottish polls to see whether these figures are broadly right, they do have the ring of truth about them.  Given the scale of the swing to Labour in England, it would have been unrealistic to think that there wasn't going to be any read-through to Scotland at all, but by the same token it would have been wildly unrealistic to think that SNP supporters were going to suddenly say to themselves "who cares about independence now that we can have Sir Keith as British Prime Minister".  What we've ended up with is something in between, with a sizeable increase in the Labour vote, but mostly at the expense of the Tories, and with the SNP vote holding up reasonably well.  

In spite of the narrowed gap between SNP and Labour having a 2017-type look about it, the SNP wouldn't suffer in the same way as in 2017 because there's no pincer movement from two unionist parties this time - the Tories are instead on course for total wipeout.  Nevertheless, a narrowed gap between SNP and Labour carries greater risks than a similar scenario with the Tories in second place would.  It wouldn't take that much more of a swing to Labour to see a very large number of SNP seats put in jeopardy - which underlines yet again that we can't afford to play silly buggers in any Westminster election used as a de facto plebiscite.  Due to the first-past-the-post voting system for Westminster, there has to be just one pro-indy candidate in each constituency to ensure the vote isn't split and to maximise the chances of containing any Labour surge.

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  1. Of course, Labour ma well not get the vote they want - depends; but a hung gov in WM is not impossible if the tories recover a bit

  2. Whit’s the UK wide seat prediction on these percentages? If Robertson thinks the SNP will be the official opposition in Westminster, he must be oan the glue.

    1. Well, based on James' post from a few days ago, the You Gov poll would result in two Conservative MPs and the SNP would be the Official Opposition by quite some way with 51 seats. However, based on the Survation poll from the same post, the Conservatives would have 91 seats. Both are according to the predictor on Electoral Calculus.

      Exactly why the SNP would wish to be His Majesty's Loyal Opposition is beyond me.

    2. There are so many reasons to criticise Angus Robertson that I don't see why we have to reach for this one. It was pretty clearly just a lame joke about the magnitude of the UK government's collapse in the polls. Or do people seriously believe that he thinks there's a realistic chance that the SNP will have more seats than the Tories UK-wide?

    3. Of course it was meant as humour, some folk are just so stupidly literal they hope others are as well

  3. John REDACTOR MAN Swinney claims he is unable to insulate Scots from the policies of the Tories. Aye he has been too busy covering up for his boss by hiding and redacting documents. If Swinney cared about Scots we would be independent years ago. He is a devolutionalist and therefore a Unionist who bows before the English establishment.

  4. Very close to a majority for independence (50%+) on these figures. Really encouraging.