Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Redfield & Wilton poll: support for independence holds up well at 48%, but doubts mount over whether it would be wise for Yousaf to lead the SNP into the general election, as his personal ratings plummet

After the unalloyed good news for the independence movement from the Ipsos telephone poll earlier today, the monthly Redfield & Wilton poll contains much less encouraging numbers, although they're not unrecoverable.  The one bright spot is that, yet again, Yes support is holding up astoundingly well in the circumstances - although, curiously, Redfield & Wilton's write-up tries to paint that as part of the bad news story!

Should Scotland be an independent country? (Redfield & Wilton, 3rd-4th February 2024)

Yes 48% (-1)
No 52% (+1)

In the Westminster voting intentions, Labour have moved from being level with the SNP in the last Redfield & Wilton poll to being one point ahead now.  That's only of symbolic importance, because they were also slightly ahead in the last-but-one poll, so the changes over the last couple of months have been statistically insignificant, and the likelihood is that public opinion has been fairly stable, with the SNP and Labour more or less level (assuming Redfield & Wilton's methodology is on the money), or possibly with Labour holding a very small lead.  

Scottish voting intentions for next UK general election:

Labour 34% (-1)
SNP 33% (-2)
Conservatives 18% (+1)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-1)
Reform UK 4% (+2)
Greens 2% (-)
Alba 1% (n/a)

Seats projection (with changes from 2019 general election): Labour 28 (+27), SNP 17 (-31), Conservatives 7 (+1), Liberal Democrats 5 (+1)

The problem for the SNP is that the voting system works firmly in Labour's favour when the two parties are level-pegging.  The SNP would need to be perhaps three or so points ahead to remain the largest single party in terms of seats, and more than that to retain their overall majority.  So as things stand, Redfield & Wilton undoubtedly have the SNP on course to lose the election, but not by much in the sense of the small percentage of votes that is actually swinging the balance.

How could the SNP claw back the very modest number of votes that would be required to squeeze out a win?  The obvious answer is a change of leadership.  Last month's Redfield & Wilton poll briefly offered some hope that Humza Yousaf was entering the territory of respectability in his personal ratings, perhaps due to his principled stance on the Gaza conflict.  But this month he's plummetted back down from -6 to a dismal -17, which leaves him twenty points behind the awful Keir Starmer, who inexplicably has a positive rating (+3).  With the best will in the world, that gap must be having an effect on how the SNP are faring against Labour.  Although Kate Forbes wasn't asked about in this poll, we know from previous polling that she is considerably more popular with the public than Yousaf, so there is a genuine remedy available if the SNP are smart and brave enough to take it.  SNP parliamentarians need to urgently get out of the mindset of thinking about what is best for their own faction, and start thinking about the steps needed to save their party from an avoidable disaster at the ballot box.

Even though Yousaf has usually trailed Anas Sarwar on net personal ratings, he's consistently led Sarwar on an alternative head-to-head question regularly asked by Redfield & Wilton about who would make the better First Minister.  Yousaf's cheerleaders ought to be particularly disturbed that he's now lost his lead on that question for the very first time.

At this moment, which of the following individuals do you think would be the better First Minister of Scotland?

Humza Yousaf (SNP): 33% (-)
Anas Sarwar (Labour): 33% (+2)

Even in the head-to-head against the spectacularly unpopular Douglas Ross, there isn't exactly a commanding lead for Yousaf - 

Humza Yousaf (SNP): 39% (-)
Douglas Ross (Conservatives): 28% (+2)

Yousaf also seems to be leading the SNP into dodgy enough territory in Scottish Parliament voting intentions that Labour would be on the brink of power...

Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:

SNP 35% (-2)
Labour 33% (+1)
Conservatives 18% (-)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-)
Greens 3% (-)
Reform UK 3% (+2)
Alba 1% (+1)

Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:

Labour 29% (-1)
SNP 27% (+2)
Conservatives 16% (-1)
Greens 9% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 9% (-1)
Reform UK 5%
Alba 3% (+1)

Seats projection (with changes from 2021 election): Labour 42 (+20), SNP 41 (-23), Conservatives 21 (-10), Liberal Democrats 12 (+8), Greens 10 (+2), Reform UK 3 (+3)

If a result like that occurred, the SNP probably wouldn't publicly give up on retaining power straight away, but their path to staying in office would in practice be non-existent.  There would be a clear unionist majority, and Labour would have the moral authority of being the largest single party.  The Tories probably wouldn't even have to actively vote for Anas Sarwar for him to become First Minister, because Labour and the Lib Dems in combination (54 seats) would outcount the SNP and Greens (51 seats).  As long as Sarwar could count on Lib Dem votes, all the Tories would have to do is abstain, and Sarwar would win.

It's also something of a shock to the system to see Reform UK on course to win multiple list seats, although better news is that Alba are on 3% of the list vote, putting them in the sort of zone where they might get a seat somewhere if they're lucky.

*  *  *

Before we finish, a reminder that the Scot Goes Pop opinion poll fundraiser urgently needs a boost - let's not leave it in limbo for months.  It's important that not all Scottish opinion polling is commissioned by anti-independence clients - we need to make sure that occasionally questions are asked that Yes supporters want asked.  Donations can be made via the fundraiser page HERE.

However if you have a Paypal account the best way to donate is via direct Paypal payment, because that can totally eliminate fees depending on which option you select, and payment usually comes through instantly.  My Paypal email address is:

jkellysta@yahoo.co.uk

55 comments:

  1. Why is there such a variance between the two opinion polls released today?

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    1. Sampling error and house effects.

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    2. And different data collection methods: volunteer online polling panel for Redfield & Wilton, telephone for Ipsos.

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    3. Which one do you reckon is more accurate?

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  2. Encouraging for Alba regional list results.

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    1. Did they ask Humza vs. Salmond as well? I’m not a hater. I’d back Eck, who was clearly Scotland’s greatest first minister. But I doubt they bothered.

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    2. Alex Salmonds approval rating is not a source for concern for a smaller party.

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    3. I’m not asking from the usual "is Eck good or bad for Alba?" perspective. I mean purely the way the poll question puts it: "At this moment, which of the following individuals do you think would be the better First Minister of Scotland?"

      I don't see a route for him to become FM again. Which is a shame on politics, because no one else comes close to what he did for Scotland.

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  3. It’s remarkable that support for independence has remained so high considering the state of the SNP. If we take the two polls today giving an average of about 50% for Indy that’s great, however with Indyref2 off the table we need results in elections to further the Indy case.
    Assuming the GE isn’t going to be good, we desperately need a big turnaround before 2026.

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    1. One has to have realistic expectations for the GE that is for sure.

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    2. Translation: one must lower expectations in the hope this might hoodwink people into thinking Hunza Yousaf should survive a poor result.

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    3. He’s defo going to try it. Can’t relinquish the commanding heights of the party to another faction now, can we?

      I hope the big egos who get turfed off their green benches come for him in “grey kilts.” Swinney tried to stick it out after he led the party to disaster, but they heaved him out when they came.

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    4. If seats go down to Swinney era levels that would be a below-expectations result and Humza and would in those circumstances wish to step aside if that was in the interests of the SNP to allow it to make a fresh start.

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    5. Once the bus has leapt off the mountain road, tumbled down the cliff, hit the gorge, and sunk into the river, then yes perhaps it's time to begin to broach the question that we should request the driver maybe leave the vehicle. How assertive and dynamic of us, gosh!

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    6. Steve P says :- " with Indyref2 off the table" - who took it off the table - Sturgeon's gang that's who and people want us to vote for them. If you are happy with devolution vote SNP. If you are happy with charlatans vote SNP.

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    7. Exactly. The turnaround we need is a total change of the party’s direction with a new leader who is determined to achieve independence.

      Give us something to vote for.

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    8. We’re getting Starmer whether we like it or not. That’s our fair and equal union. If you want to do something about it: leave.

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    9. Ifs, my point is, with no chance of a referendum in the foreseeable future, we need really good showings from Indy supporting parties in the coming elections.
      We have to assume the GE isn’t going to be good, it’s probably a case of, is it going to be bad or very bad? Arguably for the prospects of independence, very bad would be the best outcome, and force the SNP into radical change. This would need to happen before the Holyrood election, as obviously the independence cause can only be advanced with a majority of seats and percentage of the vote. In my opinion we need a strong SNP to achieve this.

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    10. I share that opinion. And I will *not* be voting SNP this year, to help bring it about. They need a good slap and a change of leader and direction: AWAY from London!

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    11. Steve P - 56 SNP MPs out of 59 in 2015 - didn't make any difference under Sturgeon's gang so why would a good showing ( whatever that is) this time make any difference? The SNP have been taken over by Britnats.

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  4. A lot of keyboard warriors on here as usual. If you want change in the SNP then join the party, become active within your local Branch and work for the change you want.

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    1. That's just sooooo naive. Robin McAlpine has written whole articles explaining how the SNP's internal structures are rigged to ensure total leadership control and to make it impossible for members to change things by democratic means. How else did Fiona Robertson stay on the NEC after she was voted off? The only genuine power members have comes in leadership elections, but even then, as we saw last year, the NEC will bend or break the rules to maximise the chances of the favoured continuity candidate.

      There's something to be said for being what you sneeringly call a "keyboard warrior" is it's the only way of getting one's voice heard.

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    2. Sadly all quite true. The party is cliqued to hell.

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    3. Angus Robertson sneeked in the changes necessary to enable Sturgeon's gang to take control of the SNP. The branches can do nothing - thats part of the reason so many left the SNP. Anyway I would never join a party controlled by Britnats.

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  5. All SNP elections are OMOV and proportional representation that’s democracy. Stop spouting anti SNP crap. The only party that can achieve independence is the SNP. A vote for any other party at the next election will be against Independence.

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    1. "All SNP elections are OMOV and proportional representation that’s democracy."

      That doesn't really matter much when Fiona Robertson was defeated in an election but stayed on the NEC as an unelected member, and indeed even carried on with tasks that should have been the responsibility of her elected successor.

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    2. Oh and by the way, "all SNP elections are OMOV" is totally untrue anyway. Most SNP internal elections are restricted to delegates.

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    3. “A vote for any other party at the next election will be against Independence.”

      Pure bollocks. Where’s the SNP’s demand for independence? Under the sofa? Maybe down there somewhere with all the section 30 refusals?

      A vote for the SNP in its current state is a vote for submission. Pathetic!

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    4. Anon at 12.46pm - so how is your SNP going to achieve independence? Will some other Britnat come up with another phoney 11 point plan to keep you numpties happy for a more few years before it is binned.

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  6. The SNP could have used the Holyrood 2021 election as a de facto referendum on independence but no they went for Both Votes SNP. This just proves that they are not for independence but for troughing. They could have called a Holyrood de facto referendum in the second half of 2021 or during 2022 or during 2023 but no Sturgeon's gang spun a web of lies and deceit and numpties fell for it and still do. Yet numpties want us to vote for the very same lying SNP Britnats.

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    1. Ifs, I don’t disagree with you, but we can’t change what’s happened, we are where we are. What’s your opinion as to what should happen now? It’s all very well slagging off the SNP and Sturgeon’s gang, but where do we go from here? You go on about a de facto referendum, but that won’t work at present the way the polls are.

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    2. Steve P - poll at 53% not good enough for you. Less than 52% took us out of the EU.

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    3. Ifs, obviously 53% is good enough, but you know fine well what I’m talking about. How can you have a de facto referendum at the GE when the SNP are projected to lose half their seats or worse?
      We need radical change then hopefully the Holyrood election could be a de facto referendum if the polls improve substantially from where they are now.

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    4. Steve: you’re confusing two things: the SNP’s current support and the current support for independence. The polls are telling us they’re substantially different. If the SNP made this a de facto referendum, they’d soar in the polls and we would all win.

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    5. Anon at 5.21pm - thanks for explaining this to Steve P. It gets tiring explaining the most simple of things. It makes me wonder if these posters are genuine.

      Steve P - we could have a Holyrood de facto referendum now. But we won't, not now, or ever as long as the Britnats are in charge of the SNP.

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    6. So all the SNP need to do is call a Holyrood de facto referendum now? Are we talking about a majority of seats here or a majority of those voting in order to declare independence? Please enlighten me ifs.

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    7. Steve P - you are KC/ TartanTam/Anon and I claim James Kelly’s mystery prize for the first person to spot you.

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    8. Well done anon at 7:12👍You’re certainly a bit smarter than the hapless IFS 🤣🤣

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    9. Steve P - thank you for your compliment. Does the P stand for prick?

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    10. Now now anon don’t be rude to Steve P. The P clearly stands for Phoney.

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    11. Steve Pish or whatever you want to call yourself the hapless IFS smelled your Britnat shit a mile away. You were reeking of Britnat insecurity. Thanks for the compliment by the way the anon above was me that called you out or was it? Now why don't you take yourself off and play with your rattle while you are waiting for your nappy to be changed.

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    12. IFS, you’re talking BS, you never sussed Steve P out or KC. Though I have to give you a little credit for sussing TartanTam out after 4 days 🤣🤣

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    13. 😂😂😂😂😂 oh yes I did. There are WGD numpties and there are Britnat numpties. Guess what you are - get your carer to change your nappy you reek of Britnat shit.

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    14. Nice try but you don’t fool me ya numpty 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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    15. Look you prick I believe in freedom of speech but you are just an ignorant troll - so I'll make an exception for you - just clear off you have nothing worthwhile to say. You have made that crystal clear. I posted as an anon just to show you how easy it is - there is nothing smart about it. You are a disrupter. A phoney. And the longer you do it you come across as mentally disturbed.

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  7. Fergus Ewing SNP MSP today " extraordinary level of redaction was designed to cover up the gravest of misdeeds at the heart of the Sturgeon administration" . Aye too true - better late than never Fergus. John REDACTOR MAN Swinney worked his socks off during this time. Sturgeon's boring helper with the black felt pen.
    This is the government that Sturgeon claimed was the most transparenty honesty government anywhere - did she say world leading even ? What a joke. They even took the Information Commisioner to court to try and overrule his decision but still won't release the FOI request info.

    GRAVEST OF MISDEEDS AT THE HEART OF THE STURGEON ADMINISTRATION - numpties want you to vote for this. Clear out all the Britnats/crooks in the SNP and then vote SNP.

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    1. Judges at the Court of Session issued a scathing assessment of the government's case. They said ministers were trying to construct a technical barrier in a way that would defeat the objective of open and transparent government. They found against the Scottish government and yet Sturgeon pitches up at the Covid Inquiry going on about how open and transparent they are. Sturgeon - full of deceit and lies.

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    2. She is Scotland’s Trump. To hell with reality, the truth is whatever she says it is!

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  8. Dross says at FMQ's today that Yousaf was the only one who believed Mathieson. Well that is another Tory lie because all the WGD/SNP numpties claimed he had done nothing wrong. What is it about these WGD/SNP numpties they just keep getting it all wrong. I would hate to be a member of a political party and get in such a state of mind like Skier that it is all right to lie and condone criminal behaviour in the mistaken belief that you are protecting your party. WGD/SNP numpties are a disaster for Scottish independence. Like Trump supporters they will just protect any wrongdoing by anyone connected to the SNP.
    You didn't need to be a Sherlock Holmes to work out that there was something fishy about most of the 11k spend occurring on the 2nd Jan - on one day - what was happening in Scotland that day - the old firm match. Why Mathieson thought he could get away with it is down to the lack of scrutiny by the SNP of what its own people get up to and WGD numpties willing to accept any wrongdoing - like plotting to send an innocent man to jail. The current riposte by Yousaf at FMQs was the Tories are bigger crooks than us. Well I don't know about anyone else I don't want any crooks governing me - big or small.

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  9. Humza did not meant to indicate that SNP were crooks, he meant that the Conservatives were crooks and the SNP weren't.

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    1. You have got to be Steve the prick.

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  10. Michael Matheson deserves a lot of credit for being willing to step aside for the sake of avoiding a distraction which would be damaging to the SNP. I believe Michael's account and I have no doubt this was an honest error. I wish Michael all the best on this day and I hope he gets his career back onto an even keel in due course. I expect that Neil Gray will be a first-rate replacement.

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    1. "Settling into the role nicely", "we can all agree", etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

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    2. Anon@8.01pm you must be Steve the prick.

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    3. What are you going to come back as for your next act? Do you take suggestions from the crowd?

      (Do Kezia Dugdale. Go on…)

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