19 April 2011

That latest YouGov Holyrood poll...

You will doubtlessly all now have seen the headline results from the Scotland on Sunday YouGov poll on Scottish voting intentions. For those of you who like sinking up to your oxters in the actual data, and attempting a spot of amateur psephology, YouGov have now published the full tables here. While the topline results certainly bear reiteration, I thought it might be interesting and instructive to hop back atop one of my hobby-horses, gender and the SNP, and see what the poll might suggest about the breakdown of support along gendered lines. Does the gender gap persist, or is it closing? What role, if any, do perceptions of the Maximum Eck have in sustaining such a gap? From a sample of 1,135 people taken between the 13th and 15th of April, on the Holyrood constituency ballot, the pollsters found...

Constituency voting intentions (total)

  • SNP ~ 40%
  • Labour ~ 37%
  • Tory ~ 11%
  • Liberal ~ 8%
  • Other ~ 4%
  • Don't know ~ 9%

Before the election campaign, I devoted several posts to the issue of the SNP's gender voting gap. Polls recording thumping Labour leads generally suggested that the Nationalists were not doing terribly well with the female electorate. All change? Did Scotland's female population go lassie go and change their minds? Here is the gendered preferences on the constituency ballots, according to the latest YouGov research:

Constituency voting intentions (men)

  • SNP ~ 41%
  • Labour ~ 39%
  • Tory ~ 10%
  • Liberal ~ 6%
  • Other ~ 4%
  • Don't know ~ 7%

And on the distaff side...

Constituency voting intentions (women)

  • SNP ~ 39%
  • Labour ~ 36%
  • Tory ~ 12%
  • Liberal ~ 9%
  • Other ~ 5%
  • Don't know ~ 10%

On the regional list, voting intentions, adjusted in the same fashion, were as follows:

Regional voting intentions (total)

  • SNP ~ 35%
  • Labour ~ 33%
  • Tory ~ 12%
  • Liberal ~ 7%
  • Green ~ 6%
  • SSP ~ 3%
  • Solidarity ~ 1%
  • Don't know ~ 9%

And again, divided along gendered lines:

Regional voting intentions (men)

  • SNP ~ 36%
  • Labour ~ 34%
  • Tory ~ 12%
  • Green~ 6%
  • Liberal ~ 6%
  • SSP ~ 3%
  • Solidarity ~ 1%
  • Don't know ~ 7%

And for the lady?

Regional voting intentions (women)

  • SNP ~ 33%
  • Labour ~ 33%
  • Tory ~ 13%
  • Liberal ~ 9%
  • Green ~ 6%
  • SSP ~ 2%
  • Solidarity ~ 0%
  • Don't know ~ 11%

There is plenty of other fascinating snippets in the elaborated tables, including how different age groups and wealth groups polled. The socially graded responses warrant a closer examination. The results are curious. YouGov use the NRS social grade scale, briefly explained here. On the numbers adjusted for likelihood to vote, in constituency preferences, Labour continues to lead the SNP amongst the "middle class" contingent of ABC1s, the nationalists polling 34% to Labour's 38%. Amongst working class (C2DE) people polled, YouGov record that the SNP are leading Labour by 7%, at 44% to Labour's 37%. This is even more striking in the regional preferences, which show only 29% of ABC1s reporting that they'll likely vote Nationalist, compared to 40% of C2DEs who say that Salmond and shoal will carry off their ballots. By contrast, Labour attract 32% of ABC1 voters on the regional ballot, compared to 34% of respondents, assessed by YouGov as falling into the C2DE social grade. There was also the question, which of the following do you think would make the better First Minister of Scotland? Given the foregoing, I thought it might be interesting to tease out how different groups responded, including women and men, and the two social gradings of ABC1 and C2DE. Here was how they answered...

"Best First Minister" (totals)

  • Alex Salmond ~ 52%
  • Iain Gray ~ 27%
  • Don't know ~ 21%

"Best First Minister" (Men)

  • Alex Salmond ~ 56%
  • Iain Gray ~ 30%
  • Don't know ~ 14%

"Best First Minister" (women)

  • Alex Salmond ~ 48%
  • Iain Gray ~ 27%
  • Don't know ~ 27%

"Best First Minister" (ABC1 social grades)

  • Alex Salmond ~ 50%
  • Iain Gray ~ 26%
  • Don't know ~ 24%

"Best First Minister" (C2DE social grades)

  • Alex Salmond ~ 53%
  • Iain Gray ~ 29%
  • Don't know ~ 18%

Oh, and for folk with a burning interest in it, the more detailed results of the Scotsman poll on the AV referendum, conducted in the same bout of Scottish fieldwork, can also now be read here...


  1. So, you're concluding that the labour vote is essentially propped up by an inert overlapping set of upper-level public sector bureaucrats and nervous ladies, who most likely identify themselves subjectively as working class, and whose voting habits are identical whether for Holyrood and Westminster?

  2. Staistics can be interpreted any way to suit.

    All I can say is, in our local canvass, many of those who say they will vote SNP don't support "independence".

    So even if the nat vote does "hold up", it means very little to those loyal SNP party members and supporters who think the SNP will deliver said "independence".

    In fact it's probably bad news for the SNP faithful.

  3. Yes, the SNP will be inconsolable if they manage to win the election.

  4. Colin
    probably not.

    But the Quebec neverendum looms... if they win.

    Not acceptable to anyone, but that's life: you spend all your time pursuing "independence" and your party leaders settle for ministerial limos.

    "Referendum next time, or maybe the time after that.. foot down James, off to a cocktail reception..".

    Waste of a life, I would think....

    I'm glad I only want what the people want, to build better public services and safer communities. At least when Labour is in power we get the chance to do that, to do some good.

    The SNP.. no schools, no hospitals, no anything very much. And definitely no "independence".

    I have to say if I had dedicated my life and time to getting "independence", I wouldn't be happy at it being put back and put back and put back...

  5. Quite a lot of Labour voters support Independence as many of my Labour supporting family do.

  6. So why doesn't Eck have his referendum then...?

  7. They aren't dumb.
    It will be held when they have the best chances of winning, not when a recession is still lingering..

    And no doubt it will be a 3 way question, so there is the consolation prize of 'More powers' if the electorate bottle it.

  8. if they aren't dumb, how come they want to break up a successful country and replace it with...??? Ireland!!!

  9. Anon

    Unless the SNP is in a majority, the others will ensure conditions, e.g. just one question, e.g. 60% rule, e.g. no more referendums for 30 years...

    And even if they ever get a mahority of MSPs(doubtful) that would not ensure a majority in a referendum.

    The SNP will never have referendum on "indeepnedence".

  10. ratzo,

    Obviously I'd be cautious about reading too much into the poll, particularly since ABC1 & C2DE are crude categories. However, anyone with a taste for irony should be able to enjoy the implications of this, where bourgeois Labour voters (whose lineaments I've sketched elsewhere) vote for the People's party, thereby frustrating the people's preferences.


    I think Nationalists are sanguine about the nature of our electoral support. Achieving the referendum's the thing. The debate which follows is another matter, for the Scottish people to decide.

  11. "Sanguine", what a lovely word.

    But I agree, the nats don't care where their votes come from.

    So they harvest anti-council tax votes with the promise of a LIT. But they don't actually have a workable LIT. So they freeze the council tax, but that means council cuts... but that's the councils fault. Anywy, who cares about daycare centres and throghcare centres and disability buses...

    And they promise to match the school building programme "brick for brick", but they oppose PPP and are also harvesting anti-PPP votes. But that's ok, they will replace PPP with SFT. But they don't actually have a workable SFT. So they don't commisssion any new schools, but they open all the schools built by Labour and claim to have "completed" 330 schools when they have no reponsibility for any of these schools and oppose the PPP that built them.

    It's a long list, I could go on, but you know all of it already.

    As you say "sanguine": i.e. any lie to get votes and who cares about the actual schools and hospitals and doctors and teachers...

    "independence", that's all that matters. People? blah.