Archive for the 'Scotland' Category


Survation finds dramatic LAB collapse in Scotland but not on the scale of Ipsos-MORI in October

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

What we need now are Scottish constituency polls

The second part of the Daily Record Survation poll of Scottish voters was published overnight and finds a big increase in SNP support since the IndyRef with an even bigger drop in the Labour share.

It doesn’t really need to be said that the prospect of losing a significant part of its current base of 41 seats North of the border is going to make Labour’s challenge at the General Election that much harder.

    On some computations these latest numbers would leave Scottish LAB with just five seats out of the 41 it currently has.

That might sound an awful lot but it is far better than the same calculations that were being made three weeks age when the Ipsos-MORI quarterly Scottish poll had the SNP on 52% with LAB on 23%. Then the talk was of just one Scottish LAB MP remaining.

So in one sense today’s Survation poll could have been worse for LAB. It wasn’t as bad as Ipsos-MORI.

The best way of working out the impact in terms of seats is through single constituency polling which Lord Ashcroft had said he had in the pipeline. He asks a two stage voting question with the second requesting those sampled to focus on the specifics of their own seats. And as we have seen this can make a big difference.

One thing of course to bear in mind is that the loss by Labour of Scottish seats to the SNP has no impact on the Tory ambition of winning an overall majority. That requires the blues to win seats not LAB to lose them to another party.

As I wrote yesterday full Scottish polls have been something of a rarity since the IndyRef. This is just the third so we have not got too much data to base things on. But all three surveys have pointed to catastrophic LAB losses the only differences between on the scale of what might happen.

And to reiterate Lord Ashcroft’s regular caveat – polls are a snapshot not a prediction.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


New Survation Scottish poll finds No would have a 6% lead if there was another IndyRef

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Survation’s NO lead could be good news for LAB

Polls focused solely on Scotland have been very rare since the country voted to remain in the UK on September 18t. So a new one is special particularly because of the apparent impact that the referendum has had on opinion north of the border.

Thankfully the Daily Record has commissioned the joint top most accurate IndyRef pollster, Survation, to carry out regular surveys the first one of which appears in the paper this morning.

The data appears to be being released in two parts the first of which relates to views now about the IndyRef and how people would vote if given another opportunity. The result is in the Tweet above – after excluding don’t knows the split was 53-47 to NO which was exactly the same as Survation’s final poll on September 17th. The view of independence appears not to have changed.

    This contrasts sharply with the Ipsos-MORI finding three weeks ago that YES has more support than NO. Has there been a real change or is it just different polling approaches?

We don’t know but it was that Ipsos-MORI poll that alerted us to a massive surge in SNP support.

Those sampled by Survation were asked when if ever there should be another IndyRef. This was the outcome.

So getting on for three in ten of Scots don’t want another vote ever which is twice as many who want another referendum immediately.

Hopefully we’ll see the latest Scottish GE2015 voting intention data later on this evening if indeed that question was asked. A huge issue is whether it will show the splits that Ipsos-MORI recorded three weeks ago suggesting that LAB could lose to the SNP almost all the 41 Scottish seats it currently holds.

The impact of that polling was to throw into doubt Labour’s ability to secure an overall majority on May 7th.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


It could be that front-runner, Jim Murphy, is too divisive a figure to be Scottish LAB leader

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Unfortunately YouGov didn’t test out other possible contenders apart from Gordon Brown.

The issue for Murphy is that he played such a high profile and sometimes controversial role in the NO IndyRef campaign. Maybe he’s a victim of the apparent mood-shift north of the border to the indpendence question.

My view is that many Scottish voters will generally support Scottish independence until the moment that they are asked to vote on it.

There’s little doubt that the referendum has polarised attitudes and you’ve got to admire the SNP’s chutzpah on the way it has gone forward from what was a clear defeat.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


More gloom for Scottish LAB from YouGov – but not quite as bad as Ipsos-MORI

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Whilst the SNP lead and share of the vote isn’t as impressive as the Ipsos-Mori figures, they will still be delighted with these figures and Labour should continue to be worried.

All of this confirms that predicting the 2015 General Election will be the most difficult for a generation.

What we really need to see is the Lord Ashcroft polling on Lab held seats in Scotland.

If they confirm what Ipsos-Mori and YouGov are showing then I’m not sure what Labour can do stop the tide, especially given Ed’s poor ratings in Scotland, but the fieldwork dates were unfavourable for Labour due to the aftermath of Johann Lamont’s resignation.

But as Lord Ashcroft keeps on reminding us, opinion polls are snapshots.



The news from the rest of the country isn’t good for Ed and Labour either this evening


Alex Salmond fighting a Westminster seat that voted overwhelmingly NO would be a huge gamble

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

You could see this as an attack line?
You voted NO – now tell him you mean it”?

Salmond in debate (1)

It’s been reported widely that the outgoing SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, is thinking about seeking a Westminster seat to fight at GE15. This would mean a return to the Commons.

The one he’s said to have his eye is Gordon in Aberdeenshire where the sitting Lib Dem MP, Malcolm Bruce, is standing down. Generally the Lib Dems are most vulnerable in such situations.

But would this be the shoo-in for Salmond that it appears. Surprisingly Ladbrokes only rate the SNP’s chances there at 8/13 with the LDs on 5/2.

    The relevant fact about the Gordon constituency is that in the IndyRef Gordon it voted by nearly two to one against independence – hardly good territory, you would think, for the NATs

Life is almost always hard for ex-leaders. They don’t have the pulling power that they enjoyed while in the top job and in his case Salmond is vulnerable because on his watch the referendum went the wrong way. He failed in the biggest project of his political career.

On the face of it Salmond would be better deployed fighting a current LAB seat where the vote was for YES on September 18th.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


LAB heavyweight Jim Murphy becomes the 2-5 favourite to be next Scottish LAB leader

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

There are 41 Scottish LAB seats at stake

The key fact to remember when discussing the impact of Scotland on UK politics is that there are 59 seats north of the border of which LAB hold 41. So anything that could weaken the party in the eyes of Scottish voters could have a big impact on GE15. Any LAB losses in Scotland would have to be made up from extra LAB gains in England and Wales if EdM’s hope of securing a majority is to be fulfilled.

Jim Murphy, who at one stage was both defence and Scottish secretaries in the last LAB government, played a key part in the IndyRef campaign with his 100 towns in 100 days tours putting the case for NO. He faced some nasty confrontations with YES campaigners and came out of the referendum with his reputation enhanced.

For some time he’s been one my long-shots bets, at 33/1, for EdM’s successor and would easily be a match for the SNP’s new flag carrier, Nicola Sturgeon. He’s articulate, tough, and like Sturgeon is from Glasgow.

    A lot has been written in recent weeks about the SNP threat to LAB. The big problem Sturgeon’s party has is there there are few seats where at GE10 her party was in striking distance.

The following chart shows every single Scots LAB seat ranked in majority order with those where the SNP is in second place highlighted. The numbers speak for themselves. Labour Scottish heartlands look like tough nuts to crack.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The first four results are in – It is looking for great for No

Friday, September 19th, 2014



The early turnout figures shows it will be a record breaking turnout.

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Though Dundee’s figure was a surprise


No results have been declared yet but earlier on this evening, Peter Kellner of YouGov said he was 99% certain of a No victory.