Archive for the 'Scotland' Category

h1

Following the SNPs loss of its Holyrood majority last week ex-party boss Salmond says the voting system unfair

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

This from a party that got 56 of Scotland 59 Westminster seats last year on 50% of the vote



h1

Elections update as LAB looks set to move to third in Scotland but did better than expected elsewhere

Friday, May 6th, 2016

In London the Tory aftermath starts even before any results are in



h1

Election night 2016: The news continues to roll in

Friday, May 6th, 2016



h1

For the election night thread a special family picture

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

45201614123

I love this election picture from Nelson in Lancashire in the 1920s. The man on the left in the wagon is my grand-father, Charles Smithson, who went onto to become the town’s mayor.

Tonight we should be getting part of the English local results as well as many of the Scottish and Welsh parliament results.

The balance of the local elections will come tomorrow along with the PCC elections in England and, last of all, the London results on which most of the betting has been focused.

Have a good night.

Mike Smithson





h1

Three days to go and three big developments overnight

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

New Holyrood poll suggests that the Tories could still overhaul LAB to come 2nd

Ex CON general election candidate quits party over Zac’s campaign

And a plot to oust Corbyn



h1

Focus on Scotland in a PB/Polling Matters TV show special

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Thursday’s Holyrood elections, Labour struggles, Brexit and the possibility of Indyref2

Keiran Pedley is joined in the studio by Kate Devlin from the Herald and Craig McAngus of the University of Aberdeen. They discuss the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections and why the SNP is so popular, why Labour is struggling, the upcoming EU referendum and prospects for a second independence referendum.

The audio podcast version

Mike Smithson





h1

Now YouGov suggests that Labour’s Scottish nightmare is getting worse

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

ScottishLabourParty   YouTube

Third place behind the Tories in the Holyrood elections a distinct possibility



h1

Holyrood 2016: the SNP’s hegemony continues

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Scottish Labour Conference Halloween Special   YouTube

But how bad will it get for Scottish Labour?

You wouldn’t know if you only received your news from the London media but there are three general elections in the UK this year. Voters will go to the polls in May to elect new Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland and to the Scottish Parliament (as well as a London mayor, various lesser mayors, a bumper set of councillors and PCCs across England and Wales – it’s probably the biggest polling day before the next general election). But clearly that’s far less interesting than the EU referendum in June or the dramas of the US presidential primaries.

There are interesting questions surrounding the outcomes of both the Belfast and Cardiff assemblies but the most fascinating race lies north of England, where the political landscape has undergone a revolution unlike any in Britain in almost a century.

At the heart of that revolution is the SNP, who will be seeking to win a third term and a second overall majority. Going by current polls they seem as certain to do so as can ever be the case in politics. Not since August 2014 has the SNP trailed Labour and since the referendum changed everything, the SNP has never led by less than 10%; their smallest lead since last year’s general election in the crucial regional vote is some 22%. That the best odds on an SNP win are 1/50 tells you all you need to know.

Two questions follow such overwhelming dominance: just how well can the SNP do, and who will be best of the rest?

On the first question, Ladbrokes are offering 7/2 that Sturgeon’s army will take all 72 constituency seats and 1/6 that they won’t. That’s quite a big margin and I don’t really see any value there. Achieving a lock-out of all other parties is hard: you only have to make a mistake in one constituency or with one candidate and it’s lost. And some constituencies will be hard to win anyway with Shetland perhaps proving the toughest nut.

A lesser target is that of the overall majority which Ladbrokes have priced at 1/16 that the SNP will, and 7/1 for a hung parliament. There might just be a smidgen of value in the latter. Winning half the seats under AMS is difficult. The SNP won a majority of nine in 2011 on a 44% regional vote. That, however, was with parties outside the main four gaining 12% of the vote but just three MSPs (two Green and Margo MacDonald standing as an independent).

Current polling is far from consistent: TNS typically report the SNP as well into the 50s, a level that would produce an easy overall majority; by contrast, Survation and YouGov only put the SNP in the low- to mid-forties. Just as relevant are the scores at the bottom. If TNS is right, then the Greens, Lib Dems and UKIP will be unlikely (again) to reach double figures between them; if Survation is on the mark then they should be in the 15-20 range.

As for best of the rest, Labour is 2/5 (again Ladbrokes), against 7/4 for the Conservatives. It’s a measure of how far Labour has fallen that we are seriously talking about them finishing third, something they haven’t done at any election in Scotland since 1918*. All the same, they should do so and despite the unattractive odds, there is a little value there. The Conservatives have had great difficulty breaking through a barrier at 17% (other than presumed margin of error) and there has to be a limit to how far Labour can fall. All the same, punters would be well-advised to invest it in, for example, the US presidential race where more attractive options exist.

One question to ask is whether we should be placing too much faith in the polls at this stage after the experience of 2015, when they were badly wrong, and 2011 when they moved heavily late on. I’d say cautiously yes for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t expect a late swing this time because the numbers are in alignment: Sturgeon is a popular leader and her party is well ahead. There’s no tension there to be resolved. And secondly, last year’s general election gives us all the evidence we need as to the big picture assuming that little’s changed – and we’ve no real reason to think otherwise.

David Herdson



* This is definitional. I’m counting parties that fought an election under a pact as a single entity. I’m also using MPs elected as the decisive factor. If votes are used, then it would be the first time since December 1910 (Labour outpolled Asquith’s Liberals in 1918 but won two fewer seats, eight to six).

There seems to be a problem with Vanilla comments. Hopefully his will all be sorted asap. If you still wish to post, go here.