Ken MacIntosh

Projection: SNP majority of 21, some relief for Labour, Tories stall

BMG 18 April-01

BMG 18 April 2016

This week we see a new entrant to Scottish Parliament polling, BMG Research. With two weeks still to go, BMG show the SNP on 51% of constituency voting intention, to Labour’s 21% and the Tories’ 16%. On the regional lists, the SNP slip to 45%, Labour to 20%, and the Tories stick on 16%.

On BMG’s’ figures, the SNP look set to win 70 out of 73 constituency seats. While the Tories lose Galloway and West Dumfries, and Ayr, hang onto Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, and gain Eastwood from Labour. The Lib Dems lose Liam McArthur in Orkney, but retain Tavish Scott in Shetland.

The regional list throws up a few results that look somewhat anomalous: it seems inconceivable that Labour wins three seats in the Highlands and only two in Central Scotland. Labour likely wouldn’t regard a tally of 23 seats as being too bad, though certainly on the lower end of that party’s hopes. The Tories’ hopes of becoming the Scottish Parliament’s main opposition would be dashed according to BMG, modestly padding their seat total by three. On BMG’s numbers, the 6th of May will be a disappointing one for Labour’s Ken Macintosh, Elaine Smith, and Cara Hilton.
The Greens pick up two in Glasgow, as well as one each in a further five regions, bringing their total to seven. The Lib Dems lose their seat in the North East and gain one in Lothians, bringing their total to four. In common with most other pollsters, BMG shows UKIP picking up a seat in the Highlands and Islands, as well as a seat in Central Scotland. It’s difficult to gauge RISE support on the back of BMG’s polling, as they’re not included in the prompt – however support for “others” appears to be negligible.

On these numbers, Labour only loses Dumfriesshire by a whisker (0.14%) – with their next most promising hopes being Cowdenbeath, East Lothian, and Dunfermline.

Projection: SNP majority of 9, Tories second on seats

March 17 Survation Scottish ParliamentSNP: 69 (-)
Conservative: 24 (+9)
Labour: 19 (-18)
Lib Dem: 6 (+1)
Green: 7 (+5)
UKIP: 4 (+4)

Survation 17 March 2016

Apologies for the delay in crunching the numbers on this – I was busy being awarded my PhD.

Last week’s Survation poll makes for depressing reading for Scottish Labour. Despite leading the Tories in both constituency and regional headline numbers, Labour is forecast to finish behind the Conservatives in seats.

On Survation’s figures, the SNP look set to win 65 out of 73 constituency seats. Labour is completely wiped out in the constituencies, while the Tories gain Dumfriesshire and Eastwood from Labour, and Edinburgh Pentlands from the SNP. While the Lib Dems lose Liam MacArthur in Orkney – perhaps surprisingly, they gain Midlothian South, Tweeddale, and Lauderdale from the SNP.

The Highlands and Islands produces the most astonishing result, with the Conservatives going from two to four seats, with UKIP picking up two regional seats. The Conservatives also poll strongly in the South of Scotland and West of Scotland, and gain an extra seat in North East Scotland and Central Scotland.

The Greens gain a seat in Lothians, West of Scotland, and North East Scotland; and two in Mis Scotland and Fife. UKIP are the other big gainers, winning four seats.

High profile casualties include Labour’s Ken Macintosh and Sarah Boyack, and the SNP’s Christine Grahame and Paul Wheelhouse.

The most marginal constituencies are primarily located in Edinburgh, with Central, Southern, Pentlands, and Edinburgh North and Leith all looking competitive. Midlothian South, Tweedale and Lauderdale, Eastwood, and Orkney are all close contests too.

While the regional subsets in the polling are too small to be individually significant, some consistent patterns are beginning to emerge. Polls consistently show UKIP gaining seats, with the Highlands and Islands looking particularly promising. Glasgow also looks like a potential source of a UKIP seat. While polls also consistently show increase in support for the Greens, pinning that support down to particular regions is proving a little more tricky.

Tory strength is heavily concentrated in the South of Scotland in most polls, with modest growth in the Lothians and West of Scotland; while generally showing more slight gains across the board. Labour’s collapse is no surprise, though they appear to be competitive in Edinburgh, with frequent flashes of support in South of Scotland. Nonetheless, the regions most likely to produce more than three Labour MSPs remain Glasgow, Central, and West.

Furthermore, as discussed here previously, the SNP appears unlikely to make significant gains on their 2011 majority. Nonetheless, given that SNP representatives aren’t exactly known for their dissentiousness, when it comes to majorities size really doesn’t matter.

In the fullness of time I hope to collate a “poll of polls” in the hope of putting together more reasonable sample sizes in the individual regions.

Projection: SNP majority of 13, big gains for Greens and UKIP

MAR 1 survation

SNP: 71 (+2)
Labour: 22 (-15)
Conservative: 16 (+1)
Lib Dem: 5 (-)
Green: 9 (+7)
UKIP: 6 (+4)

Survation 1 March 2016

Apologies for the delay in crunching the numbers on this – I was on holiday!

Last week’s Survation poll stands in some contrast to the TNS poll published on the same day, reporting a modest seat-gain for the SNP, although another disaster for Scottish Labour.

On Survation’s figures, the SNP look set to win 67 out of 73 constituency seats, leaving Labour with all but one of their constituencies – Dumfriesshire. The SNP also poach Liam McArthur’s seat in Orkney. By contrast, the Tories retain their current crop of constituencies, and snatch Eastwood from Labour’s Ken MacIntosh too.

Central Scotland sees the seven regional list seats divided up between Labour and the SNP, with the SNP taking the final two seats in the region, although Conservatives, UKIP, and the Liberal Democrats are all competitive for the final seat here.

The Conservatives poll strongly in the South of Scotland, though their strong performance in constituencies here leaves them with no regional seats. The Tories lose a regional seat each in Central Scotland, and Mid Scotland and Fife, while gaining a seat in both Highlands and Islands and North East Scotland.

The Greens chalk up impressive gains, gaining an extra seat in Glasgow, as well as wining two in both Mid Scotland and Fife and South of Scotland. Similarly, the Lib Dems win not one but two seats in the Lothians, a reflection, perhaps, of the party’s former strength in Edinburgh. UKIP are the other big gainers, winning six seats, and in the case of South of Scotland and Highlands and Islands winning them comfortably.

The SNP’s failure to make significant gains in South of Scotland would see Justice Minister Paul Wheelhouse, Environment Minister Aileen McLeod, and high-profile MSP Joan McAlpine out of a job. North East MSP Christian Allard would also fail to be returned in the North East, while former MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville is once again left-out of the Scottish Parliament.*

While a near-clean sweep of constituencies appears to be on the cards, the data appear to show some competitive three-way races in Edinburgh Central, Southern, and Western, as well as Eastwood. Tactical voting may well produce surprise results in these seats. Labour also remains competitive in East Lothian.

 *Correction: it has subsequently been drawn to my attention that SAS is standing in Dunfermline, which would mean that she would, in fact, return to Holyrood.