Scot Nats still just ahead in Scotland…

Undoubtedly the more important of the other regional Assembly elections is the one in Scotland, not least for the difficulties a loss might mean for Labour, or indeed any of the London based unionist parties, should the SNP replicate its poll lead on polling day. Iain Dale has the latest poll of polls from Weber Shandwick. The Nats look solid enough, but the lead over Labour is very narrow.

, ,

  • SuperSoupy

    I don’t know how much value this is as polling aggregation only has any credibility in two scenarios:

    The methodology is exactly the same – not the case

    or

    It is an aggregate of the raw unadjusted data for almost identical questions.

    I doubt the Scottish Office would have obtained the raw unadjusted data and am assuming this ‘poll of polls’ is of no value.

  • It would be interesting to know whether the poll of polls includes the MRUK poll for the Glasgow Herald on 5 April, which showed a Labour lead. Mike Smithson of politicalbetting.com said of this poll: “MRUK, is not listed as a member of the British Polling Council and so does not have to follow the transparency rules. Ignore.”

    Given that the other polls are all showing a clear SNP lead, it looks like a rogue, and would skew the figures if it is included.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>other regional Assembly elections is the one in Scotland<

  • I’m an overseas observer, and I’m curious as to how Scots independence (not that I believe at a gut level that that’s going to happen, but it seems a lot more possible now than it has before) would affect political discourse in N. Ireland. I’m sure I’m not going to get one answer from folks here, but I’d love to hear what people thinks.

    jf

  • overhere

    JF I was thinking the same thing, would there be a move away from the English/UK alliance and a move towards more of an alliance between ROI NI and Scotland

  • Re Soupy’s question, here’s how they did it:

    “We took the answers to the voting intention questions for both regional and constituency elections from the most recent poll by each polling organisations. There has been 6 published. We did include the MRUK poll. People can argue whether the MRUK poll was flawed or not”.

    It seems to me the range is the most interesting aspect, since it gives a sense (and let’s face it these are polls we’re talking about, not science) of the degree of stability of each party’s standing.

    I’ve no sense of how this will actually turn out in terms of seats.

  • Cahal

    Is there a trend of underestimating SNP support in polls a la SF & DUP?

  • Phil

    “Undoubtedly the more important of the other regional Assembly elections”

    Where, Strathclyde? Dumfries and Galloway? I shall be rooting for the SNP on May 3rd along with all self respecting English people. If the Scots have any self respect they will vote for them too. If they fall for the tired old rhetoric of the British nationalist parties then it will simply delay the inevitable and the union will eventually be broken by the disgruntalled English.

  • SuperSoupy

    Mick,

    If they took adjusted figures from polls using different methodologies it is worthless. Polls can’t just be averaged unless the statistician is an amateur engaged in a school child exercise.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>I shall be rooting for the SNP on May 3rd along with all self respecting English people.< >I shall be rooting for the SNP on May 3rd along with all self respecting English people.< >Is there a trend of underestimating SNP support in polls a la SF & DUP?<

  • Phil

    Hi Prince, Where ya been?

    “Quite rightly so, they will have enough bills to pay without Scottish money to help”. You cheeky so-and-so, LOL!!!

    It’s not just NuLabour coming out with scare stories and nonsense regarding the union, Cameron’s been at it too…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/04/11/do1101.xml

    They really don’t get it do they? The Brit Nats can wave all the union jacks they want to celebrate the 300th anniversary of their “nation”, but on the 1st of May I’ll be on the streets of MY capital waving MY national flag at the Justice for England march…(http://www.justiceforengland.com/may_march.htm)

    I am very much looking forward to the begining of the end of the bogus British state when the SNP gives it a bloody nose on May 3rd.

  • “We did include the MRUK poll. People can argue whether the MRUK poll was flawed or not”.

    Thanks for clearing that one up, Mick. Given that MRUK is not necessarily held to the same standards as the main polling companies, and its poll is something of an outlier, I think its reasonable to question whether its distorting the overall picture.

    Many of the other polls suggest that there won’t be the numbers for a Labour-Lib Dem coalition in the new Holyrood Parliament

  • kokane

    Presumably it is Iraq that has done the main damage to labour.

    The fact that non iron as part of the uk was party to the invasion appears to have no such impact in non iron as presuambly unionist would by and large support the armed services and nationalists by and and large oppose them.

    Presuambly most non iron nationalists probably support scottish independence and most unionists oppose it. Interestingly the SNP draws most support from the Protestant community and Labour from the Catholic. Funny old jock straps.

  • Forecast

    ‘They really don’t get it do they? The Brit Nats can wave all the union jacks they want to celebrate the 300th anniversary of their “nation”, but on the 1st of May I’ll be on the streets of MY capital waving MY national flag at the Justice for England march..’

    Well you and your three mates can wave your flags all you like. (Unless the march coincides with the footy at Wembley or something)

    There will have been 100 times more people out for Paddys day on the 17th. – Does that tell you something?
    The English are too busy getting over the Corrie trial to give a flying fuck about Scotland, English independence, or your march.

    Bring me back some cake…………….

  • Mick Fealty

    kok,

    I think that Scotland is just further down the journey that devolution might have pushed us down,had it stablised earlier.

    I’d be surprised if Foreign Policy had much or anything to do with a drift away from Labour. I expect it is to do with having one party in power for all of the parliament and some understandable curiosity about fully utilising the power of devolution by breaking the lockstep between having Labour in power both above and below the border.

    That, and the continuing poor state of the economy.

    SS,

    Let’s just see what the result is before we throw out the baby with the dirty bath water?

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Hi Prince, Where ya been?< >If they fall for the tired old rhetoric of the British nationalist parties then it will simply delay the inevitable and the union will eventually be broken by the disgruntalled English.
    Posted by Phil on Apr 12, 2007 @ 05:45 PM

    How fucking humiliating would that be!?!? I mean it’s usually us that have to do everything for you lazy Sassenach dunderhieds;¬)

    >>Interestingly the SNP draws most support from the Protestant community and Labour from the Catholic.<

  • SuperSoupy

    Mick,

    Speculation is part of the fun and perfectly understandable.

    Polls are complex beasts and unreliable at the best of times. I’m just pointing out that any reputable polling agency shouldn’t just average polls carried out under different methodolgies with different adjustment factors.

    For a political pundit you really should know this. Anything that base comes with a big pinch of salt warning not applied by the pollsters here.

    The only way it is a credible aggregate is when the methodology is identical or the raw unadjusted data is used.

    An academic point from some one that places little value in any polling nevermind very poor amateurish ones.

    Pointing out poor practice while explaining best practice is fair comment.

  • SuperSoupy

    Just to add one more point.

    We saw how poor methodology gave a completely inaccurate result with the recent Belfast Telegraph Assembly poll.

    A polling agency polled, under client instruction, an unrepresentative geographic demographic.

    The method was flawed, the results completely wrong.

    These polls are using different methodologies, different questions, different sampling methods. Base averaging is compounding any margins of error.

    It’s a statistical comment.

  • kokane

    Eoghan,

    Good news that the Catholics have turned. SNP was Sctotish No Popery according to those I spoke to – but it was more than 2 years ago. Also many had more allegiance to Ireland than to Scotland which always puzzled me.

  • Prince Eoghan

    My Da claims to be Irish. His Ma and his Grannie both came from Scottish families. He couldn’t even trace his Irish roots if he tried. My Ma’s mob are second generation Irish though, and they seem very comfy with being Scots. Anyway we are so intermixed now that it doesn’t really matter.

    For a long time the SNP seemed a very unattractive party for Scottish Catholics, who may have seen England as a bulwark against the endemic anti-Catholic shite, prevalent most substantially in the west of Scotland.

    Times have changed, the bigots have been well and truly sidelined. Sadly some Catholics wish to still view Scotland as it was, not how it is now. I know plenty who still think the argument that “Scotland is a Protestant country” still means anything. Untrue in it’s premise, but used as a comfy reminder that Scotland might just turn out to be another sectarian state similar to the six counties. No chance!

  • Phil

    Forecast,

    Agreed, apathy and a confusion as to the differences between what is English and what is British (or more correctly UK-ish) are the biggest obstacle in the way of changes to the way that England is governed but the times they are a changing. Five years ago there was hardly any mention of a democratic deficit in England, now it is in the news almost daily, whether it is people asking why they have to pay for prescriptions but the Welsh don’t or students asking why they have to pay for their education when Scottish students do not. As these questions are now being asked by a growing number of people the apathy that you speak of is being replaced by anger by people who do not think it is fair that a UK exchequer is more generous towards other parts of what is supposed to be an equal union.
    The most poular political “party” in England is already “none of the above” because the big three are out of touch with the English people and the parties that do speak for England (English Democrats, English Independence Party) lack the funding and are up against the first past the post system that prevents smaller parties making an impact so change will have to happen from the grass roots upwards.

    Few people in England resent and some are even unaware of the fact that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have home rule or that their governments give their people free prescriptions etc. What many of us do think is unfair though is that there is no English government receiving generous funding from the UK exchequer and that it is deemed acceptable for the status quo to remain in England as though devolution had never happened. The only devolved assemblies that we have been offered are at a “regional” level with boundaries that were drawn by beurocratic vandals in a Whitehall office which have no real meaning to anyone and that cut through our traditional counties as though they had never existed. That is clearly unacceptable and the longer the politicians bury their heads in the sand the more the resentment will fester and the more likely that it will be the English who break the union (assuming the Scots don’t break it first) and it will be English independence rather than devolution that we shall be talking about. Although I favour a “velvet divorce” in such a scenario with good relations and co-operation between us in a British-Irish Nordic Council sort of way, the osterich like attitude of most politicians in positions of power will make this less likely to happen.

    I suggest that if you really believe that English people care more about Tracy Barlow than the way that their country is being mis-governed then you don’t know many English people.

  • Wilde Rover

    While an independent Scotland (even in an EU context) might suffer some initial economic hardship after seceding from the UK, control of the exclusive economic zone around the coast of Scotland has the potential to yield resources that would more than make up the difference.

  • Forecast

    Phil

    More people will have voted on the X Factor than turn up on your march.

    http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article2314200.ece

  • Phil

    “More people will have voted on the X Factor than turn up on your march”

    What’s your point, Forecast? Don’t more people vote on these things than in elections? Whether that is a reflection upon English society or our politicians is open to debate!

  • Scottish Conservative

    The general tendency is for opinion polls to overstate Labour and the SNP and understate the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. My feeling is that although the gap in the polls between the SNP and Labour is probably roughly accurate its hard to believe the traditional overstatement isnt there.

    Also however bad it is for Labour i am absolutely positive they will win the Roman Catholic vote which according to opinion polling was over 80% Labour in Scotland in 1997. OK its fallen off substantially and the SNP have laid off the Billy Wolfe home rule or rome rule stuff but rememeber the Catholic vote is concedntrated in Labours strongest areas in Glasgow and the surroundings. Yes the Nats will poll better with Catholics but Labour will still undoubtedly win amongst this grouping.

    Also concerning Orange voters. I dont doubt that the Conservatives get a good chunk of the remaining orange vote and that our support in west central scotland is at least partially dependant on this although i really wouldnt overstate this. Arguably the most vehemently protestant/rangers town in the country is Larkhall where the voting is roughly Labour 2000, SNP 1800, Cons 300. Admittedly there is potential for the tories in this demographic though but the party is too polite and middle class to target this.

    The SNP havre a few prominent business supporters but the recent Business 500 poll showing the tories had three times the vote of the SNP amongst business people should put to rest the notion that business is pro-Nat. They are not.

    I think its importnat to distinguish between rural protestatnts and central belt Porotestanys. In the central belt i think religion/cultural denomination is more importnat and so i think this group is more unionist/ornage. In the rural issues its just not the same source of identity as the catholic population in the rural areas (bar the far north) is miniscule so it isnt really a source of identity i dont think.

  • Phil

    Scottish Conservative,

    As a party that advocates self-reliance and small government, isn’t your party’s obsession with maintaining the union at all costs very un-conservative?

  • Prince Eoghan

    Scottish Conservative.

    Very sober points. The Larkhall one is interesting, solidly working class as it is. Lanarkshire always has been a strange auld place. Don’t they eat their weans there?

    >>Yes the Nats will poll better with Catholics but Labour will still undoubtedly win amongst this grouping.< >The SNP havre a few prominent business supporters but the recent Business 500 poll showing the tories had three times the vote of the SNP amongst business people should put to rest the notion that business is pro-Nat. They are not.<

  • Phil

    Maybe the Tory split will result in pro-independence right of centre parties in England and Scotland which I think would be good news for pro-independence people especially in Scotland, lefties or not, as it would be two pronged from both sides of the political spectrum. I just hope that we are not left with a Scottish party and a “British” party and that the Tories introduce an English dimension to mainstream politics in this country. One can only hope that they can come to realise that the empire is over and it’s time to leave the 1950’s and their obsession with the union behind. If that were to happen I might even be tempted to vote for them, only might though!

  • Prince Eoghan

    “I might even be tempted to vote for them, only might though!”

    *tut tut*

  • Phil

    I did only say that I might. It would require the sort of change not seen since Hayley in Coronation Street visited Amsterdam!