Sarah Boyack

Projection: SNP majority of 13; Labour on 26

April 6 TNS Scottish ParliamentSNP: 71 (+2)
Labour: 26 (-11)
Conservative: 19 (+4)
Lib Dem: 5 (-)
Green: 7 (+5)
UKIP: 1 (+1)

TNS 6 April 2016

Last week’s TNS poll will bring some relief to Scottish Labour. Cutbot’s UNS based projector forecasts a respectable (relative to expectations) seat tally of 28 for Labour, my own projection based on regional breakdowns forecasts 26 seats for Labour.

On TNS’ figures, the SNP look set to win 67 out of 73 constituency seats, with Labour retaining only Dumfriesshire. While the Tories lose Galloway and West Dumfries, and Ayr, they make a surprising gain by unseating Roseanna Cunningham in Perthshire South and Kinross-shire. Perhaps even more surprisingly, however – despite losing Liam McArthur in Orkney, the Lib Dems re-take both North East Fife AND Dunfermline! If that actually happens, I’ll eat Paddy Ashdown’s hat.

The regional list picture is a little bit more muddled, with Labour polling abysmally in the Highlands and Islands, and North East, but actually outpolling the SNP, 43% to 41%, in Glasgow. If these numbers are reflect in votes cast next month, then the Highlands and Islands will become the first ever region to have no Labour MSPs whatsoever. In Glasgow, Labour picks up an impressive six regional list seats, with a further five in Central and West – all very much at the very top-end of expectations. Labour drops to two seats in Mid Scotland and Fife, North East, and Lothians –  making Sarah Boyack Labour’s highest profile casualty.
Having dominated the constituencies in most regions, and with less impressive vote shares in the two regions where their constituency hegemony is fettered, the SNP only picks up four regional list seats, bringing their total seat tally to 71.

While the Tories could expect no fewer than eleven new faces among their group, on these numbers, Adam Tomkins won’t be one of them. UKIP picks up a single seat in the North East, with their Scottish Leader David Coburn missing out on a seat in the Highlands and Islands.

The Greens are polling strongly in the Lothians, as you would expect, easily picking up two seats in the region. On TNS’ numbers the Greens could also expect two seats in the Highlands and Mid Scotland and Fife. Though instinctively unlikely in reality, strong numbers in Mid Scotland and Fife have featured very frequently in the polls in the run up to this election – I’m starting to think there might be something in it.

There are some close contests. On the basis of these numbers, Labour’s best chances of retaining seats (other than Dumfriesshire) are Glasgow Provan, Rutherglen, and East Lothian. The Tories only take Perthshire South by a whisker, while losing Ayr and Galloway by even smaller margins. The Lib Dems, only scrape through in each of the three seats they’re forecast to win.

Perhaps the most interesting figures are in the SNP’s vote shares, which I’ll go into in some more detail next time.

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.