Friday, 21 March 2008

Polls...

Now because I'm a geek, I was rather excited by a poll that was published last week (and this is the first opportunity I've had to look at it properly!). Qualifying that it was an MRUK poll - who before May's election last year had Labour winning handsomely - there is still probably something to be said about it. Again, as I'm a geek, I put the figures into graphs for ease of reading (and some colour).

The constituency vote would see the SNP up 6%, Lab down 1% Con down 2% and LD down 4% from May 2007.

Regional list vote has SNP up 9%, Lab up 1%, Con down 1%, LD n/c and Others down 10% from election.

And with the dodgy assumptions that Douglas Fraser alludes to here, this would translate into a seat gain of 10 for the SNP, and losses of 2 (Lab), 1 (Con) and 4 (LD) from 2007.

Of course, polls really don't mean that much at this point in time (with the next election to the Scottish Parliament still over 3 years away). Equally, they still don't make much sense. With Labour making such a mess of things and the SNP still enjoying an extended honeymoon period in government, the expected swing
in polls like this would be from Lab to the SNP.

That's not what we're seeing from this, with Lab breaking even over the 2 votes but the SNP up a net 15% over the 2 votes. Where is this coming from? Well, mostly a shift from LD to SNP on the first vote while the smaller parties are squeezed by 10% on the list vote. Which, as a follow on from the election result - with voters becoming more in tune with the electoral system and how to use their vote in what effectively became a SNP v Lab battle - does make a measure of sense. Labour are not losing out too much of their traditional voters to the SNP despite their troubles, but the SNP are gaining a substantial lead by appealing to traditional LD or "others" voters who are seeing them lead Scotland well.

Interesting stuff I guess, but as I said, what can you really read into it at the moment?

(EDIT - Apologies for the poor quality of the graphs - I'm still working on how to upload better quality pictures etc.)

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