Thursday, March 9, 2023

"We Want Kate!": New Ipsos poll contributes considerably to the cacophony of the public's pro-Kate clamour

Ahead of this evening's Channel 4 debate, the broadcaster has published the results of a new Ipsos poll it has commissioned for the occasion.  Just like every other previous poll across all firms, it shows the public have a clear preference for Kate Forbes as the next First Minister.

Public preferences for next First Minister (Ipsos UK / Channel 4 News, 6th-7th March 2023):

Kate Forbes: 32%
Humza Yousaf: 24%
Ash Regan: 8%

Net approval ratings:

Kate Forbes: +8
Humza Yousaf: -7
Ash Regan: -12

Amazingly, that's the first time in any poll I've seen that Yousaf hasn't been in third place on net approval ratings, but that's not much consolation for him because he's still a long way adrift of Forbes.  The Labour leader Anas Sarwar has an approval rating of +5 in this poll, so the SNP really are at a crossroads - they can choose a leader who is slightly more popular than the man who is in effect the main opposition leader, or they can choose someone who is significantly less popular than Sarwar and thus put themselves at severe risk of losing the 2026 Holyrood election.

The main health warning to put on these numbers is that the poll's fieldwork took place before the STV debate, which was dramatic enough that it may have shifted the dial in one direction or the other.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm slightly dreading the debate tonight, because on past form Krishnan Guru-Murthy will regard himself as the most important participant, so we'll just have to see what agenda he's decided to push this time.


  1. He'll need to keep the swear count down (by himself)!

    1. “FFS, will any of you c… candidates discuss the route to Scottish independence?”

  2. Well, it seems The National doesn't want Alba.

  3. essentially Kate and Humza have decided a supermajority followed by asking nicely is the strategy. Ash's strategy has the merit of actually doing something but she gives the impression of not having though the whole thing through

    1. Have the Britnats said what " supermajority " is sufficient for them to grant a sec 30. Indeed have they ever said any majority in a poll or polls will result in a sec 30 being granted. This is effectively giving the Britnats a veto over Scotland's right to self determination. A surrender policy. Calling that a plan for independence is a joke. If the SNP take that approach it will slowly wither on the vine and British parties will take over at Holyrood. Perhaps that has been Sturgeon's secret plan all along.
      The SNP may as well raise a white flag.

  4. The poll also indicates that the cost of living and the NHS are the top priorities for both the electorate as a whole and SNP voters. Next up is the economy and education among all voters, versus indy, the economy and reducing inequality amongst SNP voters. I can see these being more natural territory for Kate.

    Way down the list is GRR - only 16% of SNP voters are interested in hearing about it. Maybe Humza will regret emphasizing it so much.

    Another interesting finding is that Labour and Tory voters rate Kate as a prospective FM higher than Humza. She even has a +11 rating amongst Tory voters! I'm not sure if that will help or hinder her chances in the election, but if she does win it raises some interesting possibilities. Might FM Kate be the leader that can convert some soft Noes to Yesses? Would FM Kate's government, with a bigger focus on supporting business and growing the economy, be a quicker path to independence?

    I wonder if this isn't also a missing piece of the indy jigsaw. We talk a lot about showing we can govern competently, and how this can persuade doubters to move to Yes. But thinking back to 2014 there was so much fear around banks and businesses leaving if Yes won. Surely we also need to show that Scotland can develop and sustain thriving businesses, businesses that are rooted here but have a global outlook. Businesses that would find it unthinkable to up sticks and leave if we were independent.

    A great example to follow would be the German Mittelstand. For most of these mid-size family-run companies the raison d'être is not solely to make money, although that is of course necessary. They also exist to provide decent long-term employment. They serve a social function, rather than being a get-rich-quick scheme for the boss. What that really means is that the management don't pay themselves exorbitant bonuses in good times. Rather they take a reasonable reward, share some of the profits with their staff and re-invest the rest back into the business. They are smart enough to know that the good times won't always last, but that the best way to keep them coming is to keep putting money back into the business. They are also firmly rooted in their communities, and selling up to global capital is not looked upon kindly, although sadly it is happening more frequently than it used to.

    So here's to FM Kate leading a government that nurtures an expanding Scottish Mittelstand. With more and more "local hero" companies we might just persuade enough nawbags that we can make it in this world.

  5. Lord Offord says SNP cannae talk to foreigners about independence. It is a reserved matter and they could be breaking the law. Looks like Tory Offord wants to stop Sturgeon going on her Ambassadorial trips on public funds. Unelected Lord lays down the law in true Tory authoritarian style.

  6. At last night's hustings Humza Yousaf invoked the spirit of Kenyon Wright and made the point that when 74% of Scots were in favour of Devolution the political hurdles just fell away. Therefore his strategy is to 'build the numbers' until the political hurdles again fall away and an Independence referendum is delivered. The big difference between then and now is of course that Labour championed the Constitutional Convention in Scotland and then delivered it from Westminster in an effort (among other things) to kill independence stone dead. Not sure this counts as a winning strategy unless there is pro-indy majority in the House of Commons

    1. Good points.Yoisaf is saying our independence must be predicated on the findings of British nationalist polling companies.

  7. There will never be 74% in favour of Indy because if you add those people in Scotland who are English to those people in Scotland who are tories it will always exceed 35% of the voting population.Anywhere that quotes the number of English people living in Scotland always quotes the census of 2011 which in itself does not treat those people living in Scotland who were born in England to English parents as being English if they said in the census they consider themselves British and a lot of English people do change from saying they are English to saying they are British when they move to Scotland