Latest Scottish poll shows Labour improving, but SNP still hold big lead

19th January, 2015 10:36 am

Alex Salmond Nicola Sturgeon SNP

While one Scottish poll this weekend saw Labour making headway and reducing the gap behind the SNP to just 10 points, a new poll released by Survation today suggests that there is still considerable work to be done.

Survation’s polling for the Daily Record shows Labour still trail the SNP by 20 points in Westminster voting intention: by 26% to 46%.

However, this is better than the 24 point gap the same pollster showed only a month ago. That Labour are up two and the SNP support has dropped two seems to point towards the party heading in the right direction – and given how poor the polls have been over the past few months, any improvements should be welcomed.

The top line results for Westminster elections in Scotland are:

SNP 46%, Labour 26%, Tories 14%, Lib Dems 7%, UKIP 4%

While there is considerable difference between a 10 and 20 point trail, and neither show Scottish Labour in a position they would want to be in so close to the election, the polls do seem to share in common that Labour are (however slowly) regaining some support.

Although a LabourList survey last week indicated that the majority of readers do not want Ed Miliband to rule out a post-election pact with the Scottish Nationalists, the direction of travel now indicates that the SNP may struggle to win enough seats to make that a viable option. The lack of straight Labour/SNP marginals seats means that it would take a huge swing for Nicola Sturgeon’s party to make significant gains from Labour. Today’s polling says that a terrible showing for Scottish Labour is still on the cards, but the direction of travel for the two parties should at least give hope that the losses can be minimised.

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  • gavin

    Scottish Labour has had several weeks of good media exposure. Their claims and assertions unchallenged, and Murphy repeatedly shown with a Halo in photographs( what’s that all about ? ).
    If this is all the bounce they have to show, then they are still in big trouble, as there will be questions to answer once the election gets going.

    • Arron Blue

      There was another poll yesterday saying only 13% of people in Scotland were definitely going to vote Labour.

      • Mukkinese

        Which poll was this?

        • Arron Blue

          Sunday Herald

    • barry

      But Gavin – look at the polls and you’ll see that your assertions simply aren’t correct. The Panelbase poll shows a 10 point lead for the SNP over Labour (41 against 31). Why then do you start talking about SNP outpolling Labour by 2/1 or 3/2? The figures simply don’t show that. In voting terms, if the SNP lead drops to 10 and SNP voting is concentrated in their normal heartlands, then it’s perfectly possible for Labour to come out as the party in Scotland with the most seats. FPTP voting at its most unfair possibly but there you have it. You say that there are “many questions to be asked” but those that are being asked seem to be going Labour’s way (Scotland’s oil “dividend”, ending Trident – not a vote winner amongst all Scots by any means and do you want to let the Tories into power). Present the facts not untested assertions please.

      • gavin

        The Panelbase poll is out of kilter with other recent, reliable polls.
        The latest poll give the SNP a 20% lead.
        The Tories cannot gain power no matter what Scots vote—that is a fact. They gain their MP’s from outside Scotland.
        Labour MPs will ask for nothing to support Miliband. The SNP would.
        Scotland gets no oil “dividend” right now.
        Trident is built and maintained outside Scotland—we only get what is spent as a Military base.
        Labour has the vast bulk of Scottish MP’s.
        Even if every SNP heartland had 100% SNP vote, they would still take many labour seats with these figures.

        • barry

          Look at what I’m saying Gavin. A 20 per cent lead isn’t the SNP outpolling Labour by 2/1 is it? Do the maths. At no point have I denied that the SNP will take many Labour seats – that would be crazy. What I am saying is that the polls (and it’s not just this one – Survation point to a drop to a 20 point lead) increasingly pointing to the fact that the SNP won’t be the electoral force in Westminster that they thought they would be a few weeks ago. If they fail to be a determining factor in the future of UK government, job done!

          • SilentHunter

            He IS looking at what you’re saying . . . you’re not looking “objectively” at his reply.

  • Mukkinese

    One poll. Let’s see what the others look like and then let’s not get too excited until we have several weeks worth to judge.

    Remember the poll showing a Yes win in the referendum…

    • treborc1

      The best poll which will definitely show a winner is in May.

  • SilentHunter

    Hardly surprising given the partisan, wall to wall coverage Murphy gets from the MSM who consistently fail to ask any “difficult” questions about his expenses, his association with the right wing Henry Jackson group of assorted loons and Republicans, his tenure as Head of the Student Union in Scotland where he voted for an end to the grants scheme, against the wishes of the students he was supposed to be representing, his support for the renewal of Trident etc, etc.

    Oh yeah!
    And his voting WITH THE TORIES for more austerity . . . after having previously voted to increase his pay and his pension pot, naturally!

    Perhaps if the folk knew this about him; they might well not be tempted back to the Red Tories.

    • treborc1

      I would never use the colour red for labour after 1997 , labour themselves are happy to be called Blue labour.

    • barry

      I think that the SNP have been severely damaged by the drop in oil prices. In the panelbase poll, 22 per cent of SNP supporters thought that this had weakened the case for independence – and that’s bound to be casting doubts about voting for the party amongst both SNP and former Labour voters. And of course Jim Murphy is having a beneficial effect. Long way to go yet but this is a good sign. Touting unrealistic hard left deficit-denying policies isn’t going to win us votes. If we can get the SNP vote down low enough for them not to win enough seats to influence UK politics after May, we’ll have done the job. Keep going Jim!

      • SilentHunter

        The SNP never relied on North Sea Oil as the cornerstone of their economic forecasts (as deliberately touted by the Bitter Together crowd – just another of their lies to the Scottish people!). Scotland is perfectly viable without having to rely on oil alone.
        The oil was a bonus . . . not a prerequisite for economic success.

        So Jim Murphy is having a “beneficial effect” is he?
        How exactly?
        The twitter hashtag ‘myfuturescotland’ is providing hilarity across Scotland as folk use it to point out each and every failing of Mr Murphy and his band of dour Red Tories . . . from expenses claims to voting WITH THE TORIES to inflict yet more austerity on the populace; but only after voting for a pay rise and a bigger pension for himself, naturally!

        Jim Murphy is very good at looking after . . . Jim Murphy!

        Yeah! “Keep going Jim” . . . “fill yer boots”!

        We shan’t forget to remind the Scottish people of all the stuff the MSM fail to ask you about . . . as Twitter can attest to right now. :o)

        • barry

          The election isn’t happening on Twitter. North Sea oil and its price was the absolute cornerstone of the SNP’s case for economic solvency after independence.

          • SilentHunter

            Actually; I think you will find that much of the coming election WILL be happening on various social media sites.

            I take it you’re above a “certain age”? ;o)

          • barry

            I think your mistaking my point. I’m extremely fond of Twitter, tweet regularly and have a couple of thousand followers on my account. The point I was making is that Twitter will have almost no effect on the coming GE. Studies (particularly concentrating on the Sottish referendum) show that Twitter had little effect, confirming as it did people’s already existing prejudices and that a tiny percentage had any contact with new media during the campaign. The only way it has any effect is to direct journalist to a particular story (Emily and the white van man being a classic example). In the same way I don’t believe that this blog has any effect on political life. It’s a place where, if you look at the comments, people merely confirm their existing views.

          • SilentHunter

            No; I think I have understood the point you are making, quite well, thank you. :o)

            Wow! You have have . . . “…a couple of thousand followers on my account…”

            That’s impressive . . .

            . . . although, somewhat pointless, if, as you say, it has “almost no effect on the coming GE”.

            I would beg to differ, regarding Twitter and other social media sites, I think they will play a huge role in the coming GE.

            Good news for all your followers! ;o)

          • Redshift1

            To be fair, twitter’s audience is generally more well-educated and more professional than other social media platforms like say facebook. It isn’t representative of the population as a whole.

          • SilentHunter

            You may well be right Redshift1, perhaps this explains the almost universal kicking that SLAB’s “myfuturescotland” is taking on twitter.

            Presumably because it’s harder to fool “educated & professional” people than young people?

            I know very many “educated” young people who behave in a very “professional” manner and have no intention of being fooled again by Labour and are joining the SNP.

            SNP – 95,000 members at the last count.

            How many members have Labour got? Perhaps if they published the figures, we wouldn’t have to ask the question.

        • Ian

          “The SNP never relied on North Sea Oil as the cornerstone of their economic forecasts”


          Mr Salmond: “Even with a cautious estimate of oil prices remaining at $113 a barrel, it’s clear that Scottish oil and gas could generate three times more than official estimates.”

          From the Guardian: “Sir Ian Wood, the most influential figure in the Scottish oil industry, has accused Alex Salmond’s government of exaggerating North Sea oil reserves by up to 60%.

          Wood, the billionaire founder of the oil services firm Wood Group, said the first minister’s administration had also overestimated North Sea oil income over the next five years by up to £2bn a year or £370 per person, raising serious questions about Salmond’s public spending plans.”

          • SilentHunter

            Please see reply below (when released by the moderators who possibly need to “clear”) the 2 links I have provided to the actual evidence to back up my argument.
            You should always cite your evidence rather than simply cutting and pasting it, otherwise it looks less than authentic and could lead to accusations of plagiarism.

          • Ian

            If you’re being picky the first quote is from the Daily Record 12/12/2014.

            The second is from the Guardian, as stated, on 20/8/2014.

          • SilentHunter

            Not picky . . . just accurate! :o)

            Unfortunately, the links to the Government website with the figures for the first point and the now, day before yesterday’s Guardian, with the figures for the 2nd point must have caused a problem with the way LL moderates its site.

            My apologies.

            BTW . . . do you consider the “Daily Record” to be an “objective and impartial” source of information? ;o)

          • Ian

            I’m sure that if the Record had made the quote up Salmond would have sued.

          • SilentHunter

            That’s not what I asked.

          • Ian

            You really are being picky now.

            I have no view on the Daily Record. I didn’t quote an editorial or journalistic interpretation, I quoted a directly attributed statement from Mr Salmond.

            However, if you prefer that I quote from the Scotsman, Brian Wilson’s piece on 17 October 2014 quotes Mr Salmond stating: “Even with a cautious estimate of oil prices remaining at $113 a barrel,
            it’s clear that Scottish oil and gas could generate three times more
            than official estimates”.

            I hope that clears it up for you.

          • SilentHunter

            Request for clarification is hardly “being picky”, now is it.

            But, as you “have no view” about the Daily Record, then that answers the question.

            Perhaps you could answer another question – forgive me for being “picky” ;o) – but do you think oil will continue to remain at it’s current price or lower, or is it likely to increase again.

            To make it easier for you . . . “Do you think oil will be at the same price, this time next year”?

          • Ian

            I’m not as stupid as Salmond to try to make predictions like that.

          • SilentHunter

            So that would presume that you do think the cost could be at the same price or lower this time next year.

            I’ll put a reminder in my diary to come back in a years time to see which one of us is right. ;o)

          • Ian

            Why would you presume anything? I’m not as stupid as Salmond to try to make predictions like that. Are you?

          • SilentHunter

            Well, that’s a leading question. lol

            But hey! I’ll stick my neck out and say that I don’t expect oil to be at its current price this time next year – I expect it to be higher – much higher!, once the Saudi’s feel that they’ve undermined (no pun intended) the Fracking industry, they will slow down production and watch it rise. I doubt Scotlands wee bit of oil would worry them overmuch, but America’s un-fracked oil reserves sure do.

          • Ian

            It’s permissible for you to guess – the economy of a country isn’t riding on it!

            The Saudi’s are economic terrorists, but unfracked reserves can just stay in the ground until they run out of oil.

          • SilentHunter

            “…It’s permissible for you to guess…”

            Gosh! Thanks mate! ;o)

            “…The Saudi’s are economic terrorists, but unfracked reserves can just stay in the ground until they run out of oil…”


            At last – something we can agree on! :o)

            Have a rest of a Happy Wednesday, my political sparring partner. :o)

    • Redshift1

      And the SNP want to slash corporation tax. Tartan Tories.

      • SilentHunter

        I see you have “conveniently” forgotten that Gordon Brown actually cut Corpration Tax.

        “We have cut corporation tax twice and I want to go further. We will reduce the tax again when we are able.” – Gordon Brown, 30 April 2008.

        The SNP haven’t actually done it – they’ve floated it as a possible way to help small businesses in Scotland.

        I see you have to revert to a decades old slogan against the SNP which fools less and less folk as they can all see for themselves the Labour MP’s obediently VOTING WITH THE TORIES! to rubber stamp yet more austerity for the working people.

        Your “moral high ground” seems to be somewhat . . . depressed. lol

        • Redshift1

          Actually they ‘floated it’ as a specific policy they would implement in the event of them winning the referendum last year, and they certainly weren’t talking about small businesses.

          This would have been far, far worse than a UK-wide corporation tax cut because it would have started a race to the bottom between an SNP-run Scotland and Tory-run ROUK. Sounds like a tax haven rather than a Nordic social democracy.

          • SilentHunter

            Assuming I take on board your point about it being for Corporations rather than small businesses; since the Corporations are “global concerns”, the cutting of Corporation Tax would also have to compete with other European economies, n’est-pas?

            I’m afraid you can’t have it both ways.

            Labour cutting of Corporation Tax = Good!

            SNP cutting of Corporation Tax = Bad!

          • Redshift1

            I didn’t say it was good that Brown cut corporation tax actually. I opposed that move but you’re ignoring my point.

            However, it is fairly obvious that even in the 21st century there is a bit of a difference between on the one hand having relatively low corporation tax rates in the UK (which is an island at the end of the day) and the continent and on the other hand provoking a race to the bottom on corporation tax over a newly created border in which companies can now a lot more easily relocate.

            You want a Nordic social democracy in Scotland? Don’t vote SNP. Simples.

          • SilentHunter

            Forgive me, I hadn’t anticipated that being surrounded by sea would make such a difference to a tax which is levied throughout Europe.

            Is it allergic to seawater? :o) Doesn’t it “travel well”?

            You seem to be arguing against your own point.
            On the one hand you state that UK having “relatively low corporation tax rates” would, because “we’re an island” somehow be less liable to Corporations moving their business away and then go on to say that “companies can now a lot more easily relocate”, which aside from the poor syntax, rather overlooks that they can also do this . . . to other countries abroad, other than Scotland.

            So what happens to “other countries in Europe” who decide to reduce their Corporation Tax?
            Do we shout . . . “That’s not fair” . . . to them? LOL

          • Redshift1

            I’m not really sure if you’re intentionally missing the point here, but I think it’s pretty obvious that relocating overseas is more costly for a business than relocating down the road. You obviously don’t (as bizarre as that is).

            As such, and tell me if you need me to slow down here, there is a risk of two governments competing on corporation tax far more directly than the UK government ever has with other countries (except in banking perhaps where clearly, there is less physical assets involved in the operation). The result is a race to the bottom on corporation tax and less public spending – which is a bad thing for any left-minded person.

            So going back to Brown, it’s not really relevant because it wasn’t the same kind of direct competition, although as I’ve said, as it happens I did oppose that move.


          • SilentHunter

            “…relocating overseas is more costly for a business than relocating down the road…”

            Yup! That’s assuming its (a) a manufacturing business and (b) that it isn’t also a global conglomerate; in which case it’s all too easy. You shut up shop in one country and expand the business in another.

            As for comparing oranges & apples; well, if you really can’t see that the businesses likely to move are those who also compete on a global scale and see things in a, shall we say, “less parochial” way, then it really doesn’t matter how slow I explain things to you . . . you still won’t “get it”.

            Never mind; Labour aren’t renowned for their grasp of economics . . . or are the polls all “lying” as well? LOL

  • paul barker

    The latest Poll shows a 20% SNP lead, in line withe average of all the Polls since The Referendum, evidence of a Labour recovery is weak so far.


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