18 March 2011

Latest Holyrood poll(s!)

For a Nationalist, faced with a run of Labour leads, plasticity in Scottish polling is encouraging. Even so, the volatility of recent Holyrood polls is certainly keeping us on our toes. Unusually, we have two polls released essentially simultaneously today. Firstly, a YouGov beancount, conducted between the 15th and 18th of March, waylaying 1,300 adults. The full tables, such as they are, can be perused here at your leisure. The topline figures are as follows. In brief precis, the figures are crushingly awful for the Liberal Democrats, and astonishingly polarised between Scotland's two major parties...

Holyrood constituency voting intentions... 
  • Labour ~ 41%
  • SNP ~ 38%
  • Tories ~ 10%
  • Liberal Democrats ~ 6%
  • Other ~ 5%
  • Don't know ~ 18%
  • Wouldn't vote ~ 6%

Holyrood regional list voting intentions...
  • Labour ~ 39%
  • SNP ~ 32%
  • Tories ~ 11%
  • Liberal Democrats ~ 6%
  • Green ~ 5%
  • SSP ~ 4%
  • Solidarity ~ 0%
  • Other ~ 3%
  • Don't know ~ 16%
  • Wouldn't vote ~ 6%
Secondly, ICM also released the findings of their poll. Full details are not yet available, but the topline is as follows...

Holyrood constituency vote :
  • Labour ~ 39%
  • SNP ~ 35%
  • Conservatives ~ 12%
  • Liberal Democrats 10% 
  • Others ~ 4%

On the regional list... 
  • Labour ~ 37%
  • SNP ~ 34%
  • Tories ~ 13%
  • Liberal Democrats ~ 9%
  • Green ~ 4% 
  • Others ~ 7%


  1. The "don't know" percentages in the first poll are interesting - you would think that this would be the group of people who will go to the polls and think "the current bunch are doing alright actually, so why rock the boat?" and 18% and 16% is a lot of potential swing votes.

    That poll also suggests that the SSP has managed to consolidate the socialist vote, and that Solidarity is dead.

    It's clearly wide open between the SNP and Labour, though.

  2. The demographics of indecision! I wonder, Doug. On the socialist left, it is difficult to how things will shake out, based on a national poll. Go back to 2007 again. In Glasgow, Solidarity took 8,544 votes, well short of an MSP in a region in which the SSP held two seats after 2003. In 2003, the SSP attracted 15.2% of Glaswegian regional votes. In 2007, Solidarity won 4.1%, the SSP 1.2%. If we combined their vote, they would have knocked Patrick Harvie off the bottom of the list.

    In Glasgow at least, the SSP will have to do rather better than 4% to see a representative returned.

  3. I'd love to see the SNP, SSP and Greens make up over half the MSPs in Holyrood, making a majority for pro-independence parties. The fact that so many left-thinking voters refuse to shun the centre-right Labour party in favour of the SSP makes me wonder if the SSP would do better if it stopped backing independence (which, from what I've read from some of Kevin Williamson's writings, was one of the major bones of contention for some within the SSP), meaning that Labour voters are unionist first, socialist second? Or would it do even worse, meaning they've perhaps already harnessed the vote of what few pro-independence voters their are in the Labour party?

    Or maybe I'm just spouting nonsense.

  4. THERE, not their. I can't believe I just did that. I feel so ashamed.

  5. At this point in 2007 the SNP was 4-5 points ahead in all the polls, and it was a dead heat on the night.

    It is now 4-5 points behind, so it has to make up a lot of ground to give it any chance of being the largest party.

    And if it is not the largest party, it will have been rejected by the voters (same logic for Labour in 2007) so will not have public support to form a coalition.

  6. I'm not a big one for making predictions Braveheart. Not least given all the strange ways voting behaviour interacts with AMS proportionality. Without question, May's election is going to be a close run thing.

  7. LPW, not predicting just applying a good gloss to the polls from my POV.

    It will be close IMO.....

  8. I took you to be trying to tempt me into an indiscretion! Should be bracing - and exciting - in any case...

    *Dons the heraldic anorak of the political obsessive...*