Archive for the 'Scotland' Category


Ipsos-MORI phone poll has SNP with 28% lead in Scotland

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Are we seeing “shy unionists” like shy IndyRef NO voters?


Another Scottish poll gives a little bit of cheer to LAB but not that much

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Survation for the Daily Record
SNP 46%-2
LAB 26%+2
CON 14%-2
LD 7%+2
UKIP 4%=

On what is set to be a very big polling day the first news we have is of a Survation poll in Scotland for the Daily Record. The numbers are above and show that the SNP still has a very big lead over Labour which would cause Miliband’s party to lose a massive number of seats.

Scotland is so important to this election because of the scale of the seats that could change hands if things follow current polling movements. Whatever the Labour party will feel happy at least that this poll is in the same direction as the Panelbase Sunday Times one yesterday.

The former has a 20 point margin while the latter a 10 point one. That of course makes quite a difference in terms of how many of the 41 seats that Labour will be defending it can hold.

Hopefully it will not be too long before we see the Lord Ashcroft single constituency polling from Scotland. A hope for Labour and the LDs, which have 11 Scottish MPs, is that in the seats that they hold then there will be a pro unionist tactical vote for the incumbent. Ashcroft might indicate whether that’s happening.

Later today we should see several big national polls which will indicate how the overall national picture for the election is looking.

Later this morning there should be Populus followed in the afternoon by the Lord Ashcroft weekly national poll which last week was showing Cameron’s party with a 6 point lead. In the evening I’m hoping for one of the main phone calls as well as the usual YouGov.

The betting markets moved sharply to the Tories last week and this has largely been sustained.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


First Scottish GE2015 poll of the year finds LAB closing the gap behind the SNP to just 10%

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

The worst poll for the SNP for more than 3 months

This morning we have what is undoubtedly the most important poll so far of this general election year – a new survey by Panelbase of Scottish voting intentions which has the Scottish LAB party in its best position since just after September’s IndyRef.

As can be seen in the Wiki list of Scotland only polls LAB is on 31% and the SNP on 41%. The last time Panelbase reported the gap was 17%. SNP hopes of holding the balance of power at Westminster could be a bit less likely.

    What makes Scotland so important is that at the last general election LAB took 41 of the 59 Westminster seats north of the border and some polls last year pointed to them losing 30+ of them even down to just 3 or 4

On some projections the Panelbase numbers point to LAB retaining half. Clearly any Scottish losses by LAB would have to be offset by more gains in England and Wales

What we have not had but are likely to see very soon are some Scottish single constituency polls. Lord Ashcroft Tweeted a few days ago that these were “in the field” and hopefully it won’t be too long before the findings become available.

National polls like this from Panelbase are one thing but single seat surveys can show what could be hugely important – incumbency and tactical voting element in individual seats.

If Panelbase is supported by other surveys then it is big news for LAB. This has almost no impact on the main CON-LAB battleground although projections from today’s numbers could point to the Tories doubling their total of Scottish MPs from one to two.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The SNP continues to be the big mover in the commons seats’ spread markets – up ten seats in five weeks

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The continuation of strong polling for the SNP before Christmas has reinforced the move upwards in the latest spread prices from Sporting Index. It is now exactly ten seats higher than it was in the last week in November.

Clearly this is driven by the polls and the absence of bad news for Sturgeon and her party. The fact that the election of Labour’s new Scottish leader, Jim Murphy, has failed to dent the SNP’s polling position is clearly helping.

There is, however, something of a mismatch between the spread markets and the odds being offered on individual seats. I plan to do a count but I’ve not seen much evidence of SNP moving to favourite in specific constituencies.

Mike Smithson

Since 2004 – The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The SNP’s been issuing lots of data from its latest Panelbase poll but no GE15 voting intentions. Why?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Could it be that the lead over LAB is fading?

Above is a table with all the Scottish GE15 voting intention polls that have been published since June and I was hoping this morning that a final survey could be added to the list.

Over the last three nights the SNP has been emailing me detailed findings from its latest Panelbase poll on things like Devomax – which have all reinforced its position. The latest email was headed “POLL – LAST FINDING, DEVO MAX” doesn’t include any voting figures which seems very odd.

    It is hard to believe that a poll that was commissioned by the party did not seek to find out how Scottish voters were currently thinking about the May 7th general election just four and a bit months away.

Doing well in that election has become a key objective following the party’s double digit defeat in the IndyRef. Yet there is no information about GE15.

If the numbers had shown that the party was maintaining its lead then I’ve little doubt that this would have been published.

The Panelbase survey is a private poll and the SNP is free to issue whatever it likes.

Draw your own conclusions.


Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Curtice analysis of latest Scottish polling suggests that LAB could be down to 3 seats – the same as the LDs

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

There’s a great analysis by John Curtice this morning on the latest Scottish polls particularly the one out today from ICM for the Guardian.

The whole article is well worth reading but the following is a key part when it comes to making Scottish Westminster seat projections:-

“..What, however, this poll brings anew to the evidence is an estimate of how well the parties are doing in different types of seats in Scotland. Inevitably, these estimates are based on relatively small sample sizes and thus have to be treated with caution. But what they do suggest is that there is no reason to believe that the swing to the SNP does not extend to what are supposedly the safest Labour seats in Scotland. If anything, the swing appears to be even greater in such seats. In seats where Labour is defending a majority of more than 25 points the swing in the poll from Labour to the SNP since 2010 is 24 points, rather higher than the 19.5 point swing for Scotland as a whole.

That means that, if anything, estimates of how many seats the SNP might win that are derived by assuming that the Scotland-wide movement uncovered by a poll would be replicated in each and every constituency in Scotland could actually underestimate the scale of SNP gains. In the case of this poll, projecting the Scotland-wide movement across the country as a whole produces an estimated seats outcome of SNP 45, Labour 26, Liberal Democrats (on 6% of the vote), 3 and the Conservatives (on 13%), 1. But if we take into account the difference in the movement in different types of seats then the estimate becomes SNP 53, Labour 3, and Liberal Democrat 3 (while the Conservatives emerge empty handed). In short, pretty much every Labour seat in Scotland has to be regarded as currently at risk of being lost to the SNP.

A bleak picture for new Scottish LAB leader, Jim Murphy and Ed Miliband. Securing 3 Scottish seats rather than the 41 currently held completely changes everything for the party at the coming election.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


It could be that GE2015 is determined by Scottish IndyRef NO voters who are currently undecided about GE15

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

The above stats are tucked on one of the spreadsheets for the latest Scottish poll from Survation for the Daily Record.

What is striking is the very different don’t know levels on Westminster voting intention between those who voted YES in the referendum and those who VOTED NO.

My reading is that a significant proportion of these DKs are possibly considering tactical voting. Do they support the party in their constituency which is most likely to stop the SNP or do they follow their normal party allegiance?

It has been a pointer in the past that high level of tactical voting are seen amongst segments of the electorate who say don’t know to the voting question. It’s likely will be in the heat of the election in the final few days, I guess, when they come to their decisions.

The proportion of 1 in 5 of the NO voters from last September is a very significant part of the Scottish electorate. Do they stick with their normal allegiance or do they try to stop a party they do not want to get elected?

That is the classic tactical dilemma for a lot of voters and my guess is that we will see more such voting at next May than ever before.

In many ways a lot depends on how the SNP and the moves on greater devolution are perceived in the coming months.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Will Jim Murphy arrest Labour’s slide in the Scottish polls or will it get worse? Enter the competition

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

What’s the December Record/Survation poll going to show?

There’s little doubt that the biggest uncertainty about next May’s general election is what’s going to happen in the 41 seats that Labour currently holds in Scotland. If recent polling turns out to be right they could be left with barely half a dozen of them – an outcome that could have a catastrophic impact on the party’s hope to return to power.

It is in this context that the new leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, takes on his new role watched by an ever attentive Scottish media. How will the new man impact on the polls?

My understanding is that fieldwork for the December Daily Record Scotland poll by Survation will start this week and its findings will be eagerly awaited.

    What is your guess of what the poll will show? Last month it was SNP 46, LAB 24, CON 17, LD 6. What will be the change in in terms of number of percentage points to the SNP lead to two decimal points?

The precise figure will be calculated from the pollster’s detailed data. If you think that Labour will be in the lead then enter a minus number for the SNP margin.

The three closest entrants will receive the new excellent new e-books by PBer Andy Cooke, the Fourth Lectern and the Fifth Lectern. These are a fascinating counter-factual about what could have happened if UKIP had had a lectern in the 2010 TV debates.

Thanks to Nojam for once again producing a competition widget. My rulings on all matters associated with the competition are final

The competition closes at 2200 tomorrow.