Saturday, December 10, 2022

Find Out Now that a FOURTH poll in a row is reporting a pro-independence majority - and it's a big one

Thanks to Marcia for alerting me to yet another new independence poll, which shows much the same pattern as the recent ones from Redfield & Wilton and Ipsos UK.

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Find Out Now, 1st-8th December 2022)

Yes 54% (+2) 
No 46% (-2)

The percentage change required for Yes to jump to 54% may look surprisingly low in this case, but there's nothing suspicious about that - it's simply caused by the fact that Find Out Now's previous independence poll was way back in the spring of 2021, at the tail end of the prolonged good spell for Yes caused (to a large extent, anyway) by Nicola Sturgeon's popularity during the worst part of the pandemic.  So there's no particular evidence that Find Out Now are on the Yes-friendly end of the spectrum, and thus no easy way for the unionist nutters on social media to attempt to discredit the poll - although after their extraordinary behaviour over the last 48 hours, we can rest assured that they'll give it a go anyway.

Because Find Out Now do not frequently conduct full-scale polls in Scotland, I'm not very familiar with their website, and I'm not entirely sure where to look for any data tables - I presume they're not out yet.  However, I did manage to find the tables for their spring 2021 poll, which reveal it was an online poll and was weighted by past vote recall.  So presumably the new poll will be the same - which is important, because that makes it very different from the Ipsos poll, which used telephone fieldwork and was not weighted by past vote recall.  And yet the results are extremely similar.  The trolls have fastened on to the past vote issue in particular as an excuse for dismissing the Ipsos results - well, it looks like they might have to come up with something else, because past vote weighting by Find Out Now doesn't seem to be making the Yes majority go away.

We now have three polls from three different firms since the Supreme Court ruled that Scotland is a prisoner in a non-voluntary union, and all three have shown Yes majorities.   If we only had one poll to go on, it would be possible that the trend was an illusion caused by sampling variation, but that now looks incredibly unlikely.  Of course this doesn't necessarily mean that the Yes vote will hold up at its newly elevated level - we could in theory be seeing a temporary surge that will shortly subside, as we did in the early days after the Brexit referendum in 2016.  But it's nevertheless encouraging that the fieldwork dates for Find Out Now are a bit later than those for Redfield & Wilton and Ipsos (although admittedly there's some overlap with the Ipsos dates).

I pointed out the other night that there was a very real chance that the average Yes vote in all polls in 2022 would overtake the 2021 average and become the second highest Yes average in any calendar year - and also an outside chance that 2022 would join 2020 as one of only two years in which the polling average has shown an outright pro-independence majority.  Well, the latter is more than an outside chance now.  Here are the updated figures, with three weeks of the year still to go in which more Yes-majority polls might appear...

Average yearly support for independence in conventional opinion polling:

2016:  47.7%

2017:  45.3%

2018:  45.5%
2019:  47.6%

2020:  53.0%

2021:  49.6%

2022:  49.6%

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Friday, December 9, 2022

This is the corner unionist politicians have ludicrously backed themselves into with their anti-referendum extremism - they've left themselves with no option but to argue that opinion polls have more constitutional legitimacy than real elections, and are then going into complete meltdown when opinion polls show a pro-independence majority

Immediately after the Supreme Court verdict, I predicted that it would be unionist politicians who would try to resurrect the prospect of an independence referendum.  That seems paradoxical, but in winning the court case they've killed something that was actually far more valuable to them than it was to us.  They needed the bogeyman of a referendum to motivate their base through fear, and they also needed it because it gave them power - the power to say "no", or "not yet", or "we'll set the conditions".  If the independence movement's attention now shifts to a scheduled election, there's nothing unionists can do to stop the vote taking place - all they can do is try to prevent us winning the vote, which understandably they find a much scarier task.  Of course they can still refuse to recognise the outcome of any democratic vote (as Keir Starmer has threatened to do), but in that case they're tacitly admitting that the UK is indeed a prison and Scotland has no democratic means of choosing to leave, which as we've seen in recent days is likely to thoroughly rile up the Scottish electorate.

My prediction came true much earlier than I expected it to, because within around 24 hours of the ruling, the former Tory MSP Adam Tomkins seemed to suddenly realise the self-made trap he and his fellow travellers had just blundered into.  He quietly deleted an earlier triumphalist tweet in which he had declared a "5-0 victory" for the Supreme Court justices over independence - as I pointed out, that had seemed to suggest that judges were more important than voters, and that persuading judges to prevent people from voting was an equivalent achievement to actually winning a referendum.  It was very easy to predict how the public were likely to view that kind of astounding arrogance.  After the deletion, Tomkins hastily tried to repair the damage by seeking to bring back the prospect of a referendum from the dead, but having already dismissed any idea that the Scottish electorate could simply use the ballot box to trigger a referendum, he had to come up with an alternative mechanism.  And literally the only place he'd left himself to go was opinion polling.  He absurdly suggested that the UK government could be trusted to monitor the polls and grant a referendum out of the goodness of their hearts once it was clear that there was sufficient demand in Scotland for independence.

This means that Tomkins is saying that an opinion poll of 1000 people from a volunteer online panel has greater democratic legitimacy, and should carry more constitutional weight, than elections in which the entire adult population of Scotland can vote.  That is a barking mad position for any politician to adhere to, let alone a Professor of Public Law at Glasgow University.  It means, of course, that polling methodology can no longer be considered a private matter for private polling firms, because sleights of hand like YouGov's infamous "Kellner Correction" (which artificially reduced the reported Yes vote in the indyref campaign due to Peter Kellner's entirely subjective opinion that Yes couldn't possibly be doing so well) could end up determining the destiny of a whole nation.

And then of course there's the question of what unionists do when the polls actually start showing a pro-indy majority.  In the last 48 hours, we've seen them running around like headless chickens trying to discredit Ipsos UK's polling methodology, because they simply can't cope with the reality of a credible poll showing 56% support for independence - on the terms Tomkins has set down, that's literally enough to call into question the legitimacy of London rule in Scotland, so Ipsos apparently now have to be destroyed or brought to heel.

In the old days, when Stephen Flynn did what he did on Wednesday and mentioned the results of the Ipsos poll in parliament, it would have been easy to shut him down by saying "the honourable gentleman may be obsessed with polls, I'm more interested in how millions of people vote for real on the day". But if there is no "day" on which real votes can be cast, if opinion polls are literally the only way Scotland can express its democratic will, it's entirely legitimate for Flynn to say to Rishi Sunak: "Ipsos / Redfield & Wilton say we want out, so what are you going to do about it?"
That response from Ipsos is incredibly important, by the way, because it explains why the real problem may not be Ipsos overestimating the Yes vote - it may be other pollsters overestimating the No vote due to the increasingly dubious practice of relying on respondents to accurately recall and report how they voted more than eight years ago.

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Thursday, December 8, 2022

There's now a real chance that the polling average for 2022 will show the second highest pro-independence vote in any calendar year - and an outside chance it will show an outright Yes majority for only the second time ever

One of the side-benefits of the (failed) attempts by Stuart Campbell and his most fanatical followers to bully me into silence a few weeks ago was that I ended up calculating the average Yes support in every calendar year since 2016.  It took me forever, but the advantage is that I now have those figures if I need them in future, and I'll never have to calculate them again - except, of course, for the 2022 figure, which was provisional.  Since I made the calculation, there have been two more polls, both showing an outright Yes majority, which means the 2022 average for Yes has nudged up slightly.  Here is the updated list of averages...

Average yearly support for independence in conventional opinion polling:

2016:  47.7%

2017:  45.3%

2018:  45.5%
2019:  47.6%

2020:  53.0%

2021:  49.6%

2022:  49.3%

So it really just depends on whether we see any more independence polls over the remaining three-and-a-bit weeks of the year, and also whether the Yes majority we've seen in the last three polls holds up.  Two or three more polls with a Yes lead could see the 2022 average overtaking 2021, and a proper flurry of polls all showing the same thing could mean 2022 joining 2020 as one of two calendar years in which the polling average has shown an outright pro-indy majority.

Usually Christmas is a quiet time for polls, but I distinctly remember blogging about a new poll late at night on Christmas Day last year (it was in one of the Boxing Day papers).  So who knows.  The bombshell Ipsos poll might yet motivate one or two newspapers to see if another firm would replicate the result over the next few weeks.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

"Our Precious Union" lies in TATTERS as historic Ipsos TELEPHONE poll shows support for independence has soared to 56% after the Supreme Court ruling - with the SNP on course for an absolute majority of the popular vote at a plebiscite election

Never underestimate the importance of the battle of the narratives after a landmark event like the Supreme Court ruling.  The dearth of independence polls in the immediate aftermath gave the unionist parties the opportunity to fill up the space with - frankly - lies about what they were finding on the doorsteps, with voters supposedly reacting like obedient slaves to the discovery that their country does not have the legal ability to decide its own future, and saying that their government should just accept that Scotland is in a prison and get on with serving the sentence.  Even the appearance of the Redfield & Wilton poll showing outright majority support for independence didn't thwart the unionist propaganda plan too much, because Labour in particular just studiously ignored the independence numbers and concentrated instead on the finding that the SNP's lead in Westminster voting intentions had dropped sharply - which they were to some extent able to get away with because, after all, it's a Westminster election that the SNP are now planning to use as a de facto independence referendum.

Today's new Ipsos UK poll, however, puts unionists in danger of losing the battle of the narratives - and it's up to all of us to make sure the numbers become as widely known as possible.  (The fact that STV were Ipsos UK's client should help considerably, although there's still the challenge of making sure the London-based media don't ignore the poll.)  

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Ipsos UK / STV, 28th November - 5th December 2022)

Yes 56% (+6)
No 44% (-6)

Scottish voting intentions for the next UK general election:

SNP 51% (+7) 
Labour 25% (+2) 
Conservatives 13% (-6) 
Liberal Democrats 6% (-4) 
Greens 3% (-) 

Seats projection: SNP 58 (+10), Labour 1 (-), Conservatives 0 (-6), Liberal Democrats 0 (-4)

This poll differs from the Redfield & Wilton poll in quite a number of respects.  Although both show a pro-independence majority, Ipsos UK shows the Yes vote increasing by a larger amount (six points rather than four), and also shows a Yes lead that isn't within the standard margin of error.  In other words, the Ipsos UK poll unequivocally shows a pro-independence majority, whereas Redfield & Wilton could technically be said to have shown a 'statistical tie', to use the American term.

But of course by far the biggest differences are to be found in the Westminster numbers, with the trends reported by the two polls not being even remotely reconcilable with each other.  Redfield & Wilton showed the SNP down four points and Labour up twelve, working out at a very substantial sixteen point drop in the SNP's lead over Labour.  Although Ipsos UK also show a boost for Labour, it's a statistically insignificant two points, while the SNP are up seven points and have thus considerably extended their lead.  This also moves the SNP above 50%, which is no longer just a psychological barrier - it's their self-defined target for victory in a plebiscite election.  Indeed, in combination with the Greens, the Westminster vote for pro-indy parties stands at 54% - just a touch below the Yes vote on the standard indyref question.  That's another big difference with Redfield & Wilton, who suggested that the combined vote for pro-indy parties was a full nine percentage points lower than the Yes vote.

It obviously matters tremendously which pollster is getting it right and which is getting it wrong, because if Redfield & Wilton are right, a Westminster election used as a plebiscite may not be winnable for the pro-indy camp due to the Labour surge, whereas if Ipsos UK are right, the SNP are shrugging off the Labour surge down south and tightening their grip on Scottish politics.  If we (or rather the SNP leadership) read this situation incorrectly due to faith in an incorrect poll, it could have catastrophic consequences if the wrong strategic call is made as a result - ie. sticking with the Westminster plebiscite plan rather than using an early Holyrood election in 2023 instead.

My suspicion is that a gulf is opening up between Ipsos telephone polling and online polling from the other firms.  There won't necessarily be such a big gulf on indyref voting intentions, but on Westminster numbers my guess is that the other online pollsters will be closer to Redfield & Wilton - I say that in part due to the straws in the wind we're seeing from subsamples.  So if the SNP put their faith in the Ipsos numbers, that may mean putting all their eggs in one basket, because it could mean assuming that the other pollsters are all wrong.  That would be a big call.  Remember that Ipsos have in recent years tended to be on the Yes-friendly end of the spectrum - a complete reversal from the 2014 campaign, where they were just about the most No-friendly firm.

In a nutshell, I would still strongly argue that the most promising strategy for a de facto referendum is to engineer an early Scottish Parliament election next year, possibly in the autumn at around the same time the referendum had originally been planned for.

UPDATE: The poll also contains Scottish Parliament voting intention numbers...

Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:

SNP 50% (-2)
Labour 24% (+7)
Conservatives 14% (-5)
Liberal Democrats 7% (+2)
Greens 3% (-)

Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:

SNP 43% (-)
Labour 21% (+6)
Conservatives 14% (-6)
Greens 13% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-)
Alba 1% (-)

Seats projection: SNP 67 (+3), Labour 26 (+4), Greens 16 (+8), Conservatives 15 (-16), Liberal Democrats 5 (+1)


Note: The reason the percentage changes look more flattering for Labour than on the Westminster numbers is simply that there's a different baseline.  Ipsos' most recent Westminster poll was earlier this year, whereas they don't appear to have polled for Holyrood voting intentions since 2021.

I know some people will triumphantly point at these numbers and say "look, the SNP are 1% higher on Westminster voting intentions than Holyrood constituency voting intentions!", but that doesn't remotely impress me, because a) 1% is not a significant difference, and b) the SNP's vote is much more likely to hold up during a 'home fixture' Holyrood campaign.  It's very difficult for the party to get a fair crack of the whip from the broadcasters during a Westminster campaign - as we saw in 2017, for example, when the SNP were powerless to do much about the Corbyn bandwagon effect.  I'd also just note that the combined vote for pro-independence parties on the Holyrood list is a remarkable 57%, and that pro-indy parties are on course to take 62% of the total seats in the Scottish Parliament, with the Greens overtaking the Tories to move into third place in terms of seats.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Who wants to take on the "Scottish" Daily Express?

As I've pointed out before, it's sensible for bloggers to limit the number of complaints they personally lodge with the press regulator.  However, the "Scottish" Daily Express website has just published another wildly misleading article about Scottish political polling - this time about the seats projection that some random dude on Twitter stupidly applied to a tiny, incorrectly-weighted Scottish subsample from a GB-wide Redfield & Wilton poll.

Now, we know from past experience that the press regulator (a non-independent body essentially run by the press themselves) sets an extremely high threshold to even consider complaints about misleading claims relating to polls.  If there's any convoluted excuse to be made about something being a matter of interpretation, that's deemed to give the publication a free pass to mislead to its heart's content.  So to have a realistic chance of getting a complaint to stick, you need to find a flat-out untruth.  

In spite of the attempts of the Express to cover themselves with caveats about polling methodology, it seems to me there is one particular sentence in the article that may be directly inaccurate.  It's essentially a sub-headline, and states:

"The Scottish section of the poll – although it is based on a weighted sample of 180 people – provides yet more evidence that the Nats are falling behind a resurgent Labour party"

The subsample actually shows the SNP on 34%, three points ahead of Labour, who are on 31%.  I'm struggling to see how that shows evidence that "the Nats are falling behind" Labour.  Presumably the Express would fall back on the incredibly thin excuse of an idiotic seats projection made by a third party, but then they would have to explain the phrase "yet more evidence".  Where is this other considerable evidence that Labour are actually ahead of the SNP?  There's in fact vast evidence from all recent full-scale Scottish polls that the SNP remain well ahead of Labour, both in terms of vote share and projected seats.

Additionally (although I'd put less stress on this point), the "weighted sample of 180 people" did not involve 180 "people" as such.  Only 143 actual people were interviewed for the Scottish subsample, with the results adjusted to count them as if there were 180.  By the time you get to the section of the sample that was used to produce the results reported in the article (ie. once Don't Knows and Won't Votes were stripped out), there were just 121 real people, upweighted to count as 137.

I'm reluctant to lodge a complaint myself, but I do very much feel a complaint is warranted.  So if you'd like to complain to the press regulator about the inaccuracies in the IPSO article, you can find the necessary form HERE.

If the expression "thin gruel" didn't exist, we'd have to invent it to describe Gordon Brown's constitutional reform plan

So does Labour's much-vaunted "powers giveaway" plan actually offer any new powers to the Scottish Parliament?  The answer is 'yes', but by God they're limited - and as always with Gordon Brown, there's a sting in the tail.  The brief section on Scotland contains just six proposals, and only TWO of them are primarily about strengthening the Scottish Parliament's powers.  Those two are:

* Allowing Scotland to join international bodies and enter into agreements with them on devolved matters only.  I find it hard to imagine this ever coming to pass, but if it did it would be a small step in the right direction.  It was the sort of thing that was requested (and rejected out of hand) during the Smith Commission process, because it would have brought Scotland more into line with the regions of Belgium, which have limited powers in the realm of foreign affairs.

* Constitutionally entrenching the Sewel Convention, so that the UK Parliament cannot legislate on devolved matters without the Scottish Parliament's consent.  (Additionally, the notorious word 'normally' would be removed from the Sewel Convention, to strip away the stock excuse of "of course we wouldn't normally legislate on devolved matters without consent, but these are the abnormal circumstances envisaged by the convention - let's face it, consent has been withheld, so that's abnormal for starters".)  Amusingly, this means Brown is admitting that one of the promises made by unionists at the time of the 2014 independence referendum has been broken, because the Sewel Convention was supposed to have already been put on a statutory basis by the Smith Commission and subsequent legislation.  In practice, all that happened was that a sentence starting with the words "it is recognised" was put into law, which as the Supreme Court noted was intended to have no legal effect and does have no legal effect.  It was the equivalent of a pretty illustration in the sidebar.

So will Brown's plan be yet another con-trick?  Quite honestly it sounds like it, because the "constitutional entrenchment" of the Sewel Convention seems to depend entirely on the credibility of two supposed "safeguards": a) any breach or repeal of Sewel would have to be passed by both chambers of the UK Parliament (you know, just like any other piece of legislation), and b) devolution itself could not be abolished without the consent of the replacement for the House of Lords.  The latter point is particularly fatuous, because although the new upper chamber will have Scottish representation, it will be - like any other UK institution - a body with an overwhelming English majority.

There's also the point that the breaches of the Sewel Convention that have already taken place have stripped vast powers from the Scottish Parliament that were part of the original devolution settlement (most notably via the Internal Market Act), so unless the status quo ante is restored prior to this "constitutional entrenchment" being enacted, it'll be a classic case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

In the very first podcast I was a guest on, almost a decade ago, I took issue with the suggestion that it was impossible for devolution to be meaningfully entrenched in a country without a written constitution.  I pointed out that the UK Parliament cannot reverse the independence of Australia, for example.  Andrew Tickell, who was one of the other guests, dismissed that point out of hand, and said that theoretically the UK Parliament could indeed abolish Australian independence, because the UK Parliament has unlimited powers.  But I thought about it afterwards and came to the conclusion that my point was essentially correct, because any laws the UK Parliament pass for Australia would have no legal effect in Australia itself.  Why not?  Because the Australian courts would not recognise them as valid due to them coming from a foreign parliament with no remaining authority to legislate for Australia, and the Australian government, army, police, etc, would obey the rulings of Australian rather than British courts.  

So that allows you to see how constitutional entrenchment in Scotland could be made to work in practice, but it would require much more drastic steps than the ones proposed by Brown.  What you would need is some kind of special Scottish constitutional court, or constitutional enforcement body, with members whose oath of office binds them to uphold only the 'law of entrenchment' itself and to disregard any attempt by the UK Parliament to repeal that law or the institution that they are part of.

Curiously, Brown's report calls for decentralisation from Holyrood to local government and for the creation of English-style metro-mayors (yawn).  If that was enacted by a UK Labour Government, it would in itself breach the Sewel Convention, because local government is a devolved competence.  The report acknowledges this and says it is simply something Labour are calling on the Scottish Government to do.  So what the hell is it doing in a set of proposals for a UK Labour Government to reform the UK constitution, then?

(For completeness, I should add that close examination of the "Shared Government" section reveals that there's also a proposal to devolve the administration of job centres to Scotland - that seems to have been chucked in as a sort of "road signs" sweetie.)

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Monday, December 5, 2022

No, there is no poll showing a big drop in the SNP's Westminster vote - ignore the tweet suggesting there is

I was almost taken in by this, because there's no disclaimer in the tweet that the numbers are from a subsample, nor is the name of the polling firm mentioned - but the addition of a seats projection makes it all look very credible and portentous.  Apart, that is, from the totally implausible Reform UK figure of 11%, which is what gave the game away.

What's particularly absurd about this stunt is that the subsample turns out to be from Redfield & Wilton, who have only just conducted a full-scale Scottish poll showing the SNP on 41% and Labour on 31%.  So it's not as if we have to rely on straws in the wind from subsamples to guess what a current Redfield & Wilton seats projection would look like.  If you pump the numbers from the full-scale poll into the Electoral Calculus projection model, this is what you end up with for seats:  

SNP 39 (-9), Labour 12 (+11), Liberal Democrats 5 (+1), Conservatives 3 (-3)

Incidentally, although 11% is implausible for Reform UK in a Scottish context, there has recently been a GB-wide poll from YouGov that had them as high as 9%.  I remain slightly baffled as to why they're polling as strongly as they are, because I wouldn't have thought their profile has been high enough since they changed their name from the Brexit Party. But then, I don't read the Daily Mail and I hardly ever watch GB News, so God knows what's going on under the radar.

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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Labour's GB-wide poll lead slips to lowest level since Sunak became Prime Minister

If you ever doubt that the tides of history can make a total nonsense of seemingly watertight logic and strategic thinking, just consider this.  Until very recently, we reckoned Boris Johnson to be the greatest asset for the independence cause, and thought it would be a catastrophe if we ever lost him, because anyone who replaced him as Tory leader was bound to be less loathed in Scotland.  And then, when it became clear that we were indeed going to lose Boris, we were sure that at the very least we didn't want Rishi Sunak to be his successor - because whatever Sunak's many flaws, he's a non-idiot who comes across as relatively competent.  Well, here we are only a few months later, Sunak is PM, and as expected his personal ratings in Scotland are much superior to Johnson's, but the Tories are somehow even less popular in Scotland than they were under Johnson and seem far more certain to lose all or most of their Scottish seats to the SNP.  

Irony no. 1: This seemingly impossible contradiction has happened because of Liz Truss, not Rishi Sunak, and yet in spite of the fact that Truss has completely vacated the stage, Sunak thus far seems powerless to reverse the damage.

Irony no. 2: What would have seemed the dream scenario of the Tories being more hated in Scotland than they were under Johnson is not actually doing the independence cause any good whatsoever, because the harm done by Truss to the Tory brand has been so extensive that Labour have opened up a massive lead down south, and Scottish Labour have been able to ride on the coat-tails of that and make inroads into the SNP's dominance of Scottish polls.

On an earlier thread, Keaton posed the question of whether this unexpected problem might - paradoxically - get even worse if Sunak eventually manages to make inroads into Labour's mammoth GB-wide lead, because then you could end up with a very closely-fought general election, which would allow Labour to scare Scottish voters with the lie that a vote for the SNP could let the Tories back in.  I'm not totally sure about that - you could argue the case either way.  I suspect that a 1997-style Labour landslide would mean that Scotland inevitably gets swept along with the GB-wide trend, but a finely-balanced election would have less predictable effects.  Remember that the SNP first won a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster in 2015, when it was far from clear whether a Labour-led or Tory-led government would be elected, although admittedly the thought of a Labour government seemed less of a novelty back then after only five years of Tory rule, which had in any case been moderated by coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

It's fair to say, though, that we'll only be sure that Labour will enjoy no in-built advantages against the SNP if there is an outright Tory lead in Britain-wide polls going into the election, and at the moment that looks like a 1% chance at best.  Nevertheless, it's worth noting that an Opinium poll was published last night showing the lowest Labour lead in any poll from any firm since Sunak took office.

GB-wide voting intentions for the next UK general election (Opinium, 30th November-2nd December 2022):

Labour 43% (-2)
Conservatives 29% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-1)
Reform UK 6% (-)
Greens 6% (+2)

As per usual, the SNP have been edited out of the early summary of the results, but we'll almost certainly find they're somewhere between 3% and 5%.  

A few more polls like this one, and a Starmer government might start to look like less of a foregone conclusion.  What arguably makes the current situation different from the mid-1990s is that the Labour leader is not vastly more popular than the Tory PM, and the Tories have also changed leader and completely changed direction since the event that dug them into the hole.

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