Hot on the heels of last night's remarkable seventh Scot Goes Pop opinion poll (and I haven't even finished giving you the results of that one yet), I have an eighth for you. Don't expect this sequence of events to make any logical sense, because it doesn't make sense, but it's happening anyway. I commissioned Panelbase to conduct this new poll, and the question I'm releasing today relates to the general public's preferences for First Minister - and by this stage they appear to collectively have an extremely strong preference.
Regardless of which party or parties you intend to vote for in future elections, which of the three candidates do you think would be the best First Minister of Scotland? (Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase, 7th-10th March 2023)
Kate Forbes: 33% (+10)
Humza Yousaf: 18% (+3)
Ash Regan: 10% (+3)
Don't Know: 36% (-13)
(The sample size is 1013, and the percentage changes listed above are from the previous Panelbase poll conducted between 21st and 24th February - but please note that poll used a different question and contained an 'other' option.)
So what's happening here is fairly straightforward - all of the candidates have picked up support since late February, due to the elimination of the 'other' option and a reduction in the number of Don't Knows as the public become more and more exposed to the candidates and their pitches. But Kate Forbes has taken by far the lion's share of these new converts, allowing her to dramatically increase what was already a significant lead. If the remaining Don't Knows are stripped out, this is how the state of play looks -
Kate Forbes: 53% (+5)
Humza Yousaf: 30% (-)
Ash Regan: 17% (+3)
Tantalisingly, you'll notice that Panelbase's fieldwork started on Tuesday, and it was on Tuesday night that the landmark STV debate took place. One of the million dollar questions of this campaign is whether Kate Forbes' bold strategy in that debate will have paid off or backfired - and having checked with Panelbase, I can tell you that almost all of the responses to this poll came in AFTER the debate took place. Even by Wednesday morning, only 28 of the 1000+ respondents had been interviewed. So at least as far as the general public is concerned, it appears Forbes' robust approach in debating Humza Yousaf has paid very handsome dividends.
Also of great interest are the views of SNP voters, who of course make up almost half the sample. Kate Forbes' lead among that group is smaller - but she is in the lead.
Respondents who voted SNP in the 2019 UK general election:
Kate Forbes: 41%
Humza Yousaf: 40%
Ash Regan: 18%
Respondents who voted SNP in 2021 Holyrood constituency ballot:
Kate Forbes: 42%
Humza Yousaf: 38%
Ash Regan: 20%
Forbes is also ahead among people who voted Yes in 2014...
Respondents who voted Yes in 2014 independence referendum:
Kate Forbes: 42%
Humza Yousaf: 37%
Ash Regan: 21%
Incidentally, she also has a mammoth 69% to 19% lead over Yousaf among No voters from 2014, which is arguably even more important, because those are the people we need to win over.
Forbes has a substantial lead over Yousaf among Remain voters from 2016 (47% to 36%), and interestingly a gargantuan lead among Leave voters (77% to 11%).
And there's no surprise at all in the different age brackets - Yousaf has a small advantage among under-35s, but Forbes is ahead among the two older age groups, and is way ahead among over-55s (63% to 19%). It should never be forgotten that, in general, the older you are, the more likely you are to turn out and vote.
Having browsed through the previous polls conducted during the leadership contest from various firms, it does look like this one has produced Forbes' biggest lead to date among the public. It seems the more people see of her, the more they like her.
* * *
This is the second Scot Goes Pop poll in as many days - an opportunity to commission a second poll suddenly arose, so I made a snap decision to go ahead. However, as you'll appreciate, polls are very expensive, so if anyone feels able to make a contribution, here are the options...
The simplest donation method is a direct Paypal payment. My Paypal email address is:
If you wish, you can add a note saying "for the fundraiser", although even if you don't do that, it'll be fairly obvious what the payment is for.
If you don't have a Paypal account, last year's fundraiser is still very much open for donations HERE.
Can the SNP really go against the public by electing Yousaf? They'd be mad to.ReplyDelete
Absolutely look what happened to Labour when they chose the least popular Milliband brother. The Tories have reigned supreme ever since.Delete
I’m really delighted to see a candidate like Forbes win such widespread approval among all sections of Scottish society. It really shows that we are a more ‘normal’ country, and a more middle of the country, if not a little conservative, candidate has a lot of popular cache.ReplyDelete
I still don’t really believe she will win, but by God I hope so. It could be a real watershed for this country.
Hear hear! She’s a cut above the other two, and the Scottish public knows it, too.Delete
Wonder what cut-through she might make to our opponents’ voters? As a fresh face, they may just give her the chance Nicola got in her early days, culminating in the 2015 tsunami.
In a “guaranteed incoming Labour government” UK political environment, we’ll need all the star power we can get. A ho-hum leader would see us drowned.
It seems to me that Ash votes assuming she is last on 1st preferences her 2nd preferences will more than likely transfer to Kate .So if Humza doesn't get 50% or very close to it on the first round of counting.Kate will be elected.ReplyDelete
Humza will be a disaster for the SNP and Independence.Listening to people out with the political bubble it seems obvious to me that he is very unpopoular.
My fear is that if we elect Humza we may experience a backlash from the public who will further punish the party for not choosing the candidate they wanted for FM
Regan’s 2nd prefs are likely to lean towards Forbes. But I’d wager there are a big chunk who won’t offer a 2nd pref at all (the Wings constituency) and there will always be a minority who will go for Yousaf over Forbes. So Yousaf is likely still in it so long as he has a decent cushion over Forbes on 1st prefs.Delete
Wings is playing a dangerous game. If there's a tight result and not enough Regan voters use their second preference, Wings could literally be responsible for Yousaf becoming First Minister. And if that happens, we'd better not hear any more complaints from Stuart on his favourite subject - it'll all be his own handiwork.Delete
Come on, he'd *love* it!Delete
Honestly, turning a page from GRA / Murrell / the whole Sturgeon legacy, that's what's inspiring me to get interested again in politics. We've been stuck in Groundhog Day since Teresa May shot down Nicola's s.30, and the whole thing's gotten ever more ugly on every iteration of the same daily road to nowhere.
I want to see everything snap back to action again. Not so sure if Stu does, but that's his to choose.
Anonymous at 4.28pm - " wager a big chunk" - would that be 50p like Dr Jim? Only a right arse would state Wings would be responsible for Yousaf being elected. It's SNP members who vote.Delete
Anonymous at 4.33 pm - same person as at 4.28pm? " Wings is playing a dangerous game. " so just where and when have Wings told SNP members not to use their second preference.
No evidence of your assertions means you are making stuff up and that makes you a liar. Where and when!
In the current Wings article Campbell clearly states vote Regan 1 Forbes 2 or Forbes 1 Regan 2. So where is your evidence anonymites or are you just liars. My bet is that you are liars and will do the usual anonymous disappearing act only to resurface again elsewhere spouting your lies. A Sturgeonite propaganda liar just like Skier or is that Skier.Delete
I doubt many of Wings fans are still members of the SNP .ReplyDelete
I'm not even sure Humza will win on First Preferences
Wings fans are probably following their guru and supporting the Tories.Delete
As an SNP member I like to think that in the main our membership genuinely does reflect a cross section of Scottish public opinion. If I am correct in that then Kate Forbes does have a real chance of winning this.ReplyDelete
As a non SNP member I'd like to think that too.Delete
Sure, there are likely to be a good few blind faith Sturgeonistas in the ranks but I'm guessing there's enough common sense and small c conservatism to realise the party is currently on a precipice and Yousaf as leader would very probably lead to electoral oblivion.
If the members give the job to Forbes despite the party's very big play for her opponent there will be a brief period of upheaval while the extreme left throw their toys out of the pram but hopefully they'll defect to the Greens and the SNP can replace them with people who actually want Scotland to be independent.
I probably will vote for Kate, she is the best of the three on offer by some margin.Delete
Oldpete. - how and when will she deliver independence or is that not a priority of the SNP these days. 52% in the polls not good enough.Delete
I won't vote for Humza. Ash is either making it up as she goes along or can't keep on her script, she is not leadership material.Delete
Kate comes across as honest and capable and has the ability to push the party forward to finally gain us Independence.
Oldpete - so that's a Forbes has no plan admission. I would like to think there are a lot of honest and capable people in Scotland but the leader of the SNP should have a plan for independence. Regan has had a consistent plan from the beginning so please explain why you make these comments above. Try reading Regan's article.Delete
You have to laugh at the brass neck of Yousaf supporters banging on about Forbes husband being a Britnat. Where have they been with their outrage when Yousaf and Sturgeon were working in government with a women who is Ex Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale's partner all these years. Yes that's right a leader of a Britnat party. Unbelievable hypocrites. Was Jenny telling Kezia all the SNP and Scottish government secrets? These hypocrites make me sick.ReplyDelete
Numbers like that Yousaf will need to withdraw from the race tomorrow - if only to save face of his high profile backers who will never be forgiven if he wins!ReplyDelete
Backers who might then need to switch to Ash's camp for similar reasons (not least the gaslighting element) and render indy a distinct possibility after all
Forbes is politically got to be 1st choice and she is the most adept politician but I can never trust anyone religious. Having your actions and opinions shaped by a belief in imaginary beings in the sky shouldn’t be a thing in this day and age.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure Forbes' beliefs are all that fantastical compared to the unscientific beliefs of the trans lobby, which Yousaf accepts without question.Delete
The Universe was created 8,000 years ago ? Sure.Delete
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I cannot recall Kate Forbes ever expressing the view that the universe is 8000 years old. Criticising her for things she's said is one thing, but mocking her for "the sort of thing she might say but hasn't actually said" is infantile.Delete
Will that be a different 'sky fairy' from the one Humza believes in? You know, the one who seems to say that men can turn into women?Delete
So what has the big dug Kavanagh got to say on the leadership election to his doggers. Nothing. Clearly he is waiting to find out who will win. Not upsetting the Sturgeon gang or his doggers is more important to Kavanagh than Scottish independence. He doesn't want to lose his income stream.ReplyDelete
The doggers are coming out for Forbes as she is a nice honest competent lassie they say. The only exception is liar Skier who says he is even between the two but continually posts points that favour Yousaf or criticise Forbes. Are the WGD numpties too dense to see his game? Are the WGD numpties too dense to see Sturgeon's game?
Meanwhile Sturgeon's gang who not that long ago were convincing the numpties that an election in October would take place or a de facto referendum are now saying forget all that we must build support for independence to a high consistent level in the polls. These people have NEVER been serious about independence they just say what is needed at the time. Cue Yousaf making more positive noises in The Sunday National about independence. Phoneys the lot of them and that includes The National.
Ppl were speculating about a "shy Forbes" effect in the polls but if WGD is anything to go by it's the Yousaf supporters who are shy.Delete
The Sunday Show this morning has a lovely clear connection line with Yousaf from Dundee. No freezing and no disconnection of the line as happened with Regan. So gues what happens when Regan is on Sophy Ridge Sky being interviewed today - another bad line.ReplyDelete
Is Regan just unlucky?
Thanks for that Oldpete. So did you read Regan's article? Is there a young Pete and what does he think?Delete
You can read Regan's latest press release on the Grousebeater blog. It is about Scottish independence not GRR.ReplyDelete
Ben Macpherson has come out strongly for Humza, and therefore, I would suggest, against Independence in our lifetimes.ReplyDelete
Excellent "bunker video" on youtubeReplyDelete
Paste: Behind The Scenes At Humza4FM
It has to beReplyDelete
The SNP Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson has said Scotland is not ready for independence and has called for the campaign to "go down a gear".ReplyDelete
What is the SNP coming to. The Yousaf wing clearly don't even want independence. They say power corrupts.
Just read the Grauniad's interview with Forbes where, massively disappointingly, she is saying the same thing.Delete
Scotland not ready, no point setting dates, need to prove financial competence.....sigh!
Read it as well and equally disappointed. Sadly Kate is the best of the bunch which is also disappointing.Delete
So Yousaf now says he might consider a UK general election de facto referendum. Yet last week in a hustings (as I noted on SGP) he clearly said to a question from an EU citizen that he would NOT do this as it would disenfranchise EU citizens. The guy is a lying chancer just like his bosses Sturgeon and his best pal in politics not so honest John REDACTOR MAN Swinney. He is only NOW saying this to try and pick up some votes. He has no intention of doing anything about independence.ReplyDelete
The only candidate who has been consistent from the beginning on independence is Regan. The other two amend their position to get votes.
We have had eight years of broken promises from Sturgeon's SNP now we get politicians like Ben McPherson SNP MSP and government minister blatantly coming out and saying Scotland isn't ready for independence. The SNP has way too many Britnat cuckoos in the nest who have been forcing out of the SNP true independence supporters.
WGD NUMPTY 'Jumpin' Jack Collatin must have taken too many illegal substances in his youth because he states that McPherson is a Labour/Salmond plant. These numpties blame Salmond for everything. McPherson is part of Sturgeon's gang but still numpties cannae accept reality. That reality being she has made fools of the numpties for all to see.ReplyDelete
Or alternatively their brains are scrambled after Sturgeon threw in the towel last month. Another example is yesindyref2 is hanging on desperately to the notion that a de facto Holyrood referendum will happen in Oct this year. So is the Bathtub Admiral a delusional numpty or a wise prophet?
The insufferable SNP MP Pension Pete Wishart actually suggestsReplyDelete
" independence within the UK" . I wonder why I never thought of that idea. Oh that's right because unlike Wishart I am not a Britnat.
What Pete said is an oxymoron but Pete is just a plain moron.
Wasn't that something that was suggested by some other git back a few months ago in the National? Independence within the UK is not independence so now we are starting to see the true face of these devolutionists. I can understand something like this as part of Labour policy but bottom line if thi is what these SNP folk are telling us now then they have been lying their guts out for the last eight years. They can't have it both ways..Delete
Takes one to know one.Delete
I saw that, so after eight years the SNP hasn't managed to get us ready for independence? Great. I've had enough of these people, they don't believe in independence. If the Yousaf gets in I'm finished with them, If Forbes gets in I'll bide my time and watch, If Regan gets in I will still vote for the SNP but this is my last time. I'm starting to thirst of another night of political death, like we saw with the Labour party in 2015ReplyDelete
Happy to report that a candidate ( Regan ) has finally stated that she would ditch the annual GERS report if elected FM. Let the Britnats produce their own propaganda and lies, don't do it for them.ReplyDelete