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Fun fortnight

Brian Taylor | 12:42 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

Intriguing poll in The Times and The Sun today suggesting a healthy lead for Alex Salmond's SNP in the Holyrood election contest.

Both papers treat the Ipsos MORI finding of an apparent ten point lead with duly apocalyptic language, tailored for their readers: "unassailable" in the Thunderer, "whopping" in the currant bun.

Self-evidently, this will occasion constrained delight in the SNP camp and measured gloom on the Labour side.

But, as ever, there are caveats to be lodged beyond the customary one that polls can be wrong.

Firstly, the pollsters themselves note that roughly one third of their respondents indicate they have yet to fix their final position, that they may change their minds before May 5.

Secondly, even an accurate poll may not translate uniformly across Scotland. The "ground war" can mean that individual constituencies and even regions buck an apparent trend, with potential impact.

These days, that ground war is exceptionally sophisticated.

Voters are asked about their circumstances, their predilections, their place in society. Individual respondents will then receive targeted messages, precision leaflets.

Individual victories

From that, a mosaic picture of a constituency develops, far more subtle than the old-style canvassing which tended to settle around: Yes, No, Maybe, Don't Dare Darken that Door.

Liberal Democrats, in particular, have proven adept in the past at securing individual victories in the face of apparent difficulties.

It is a skill they may require in these elections

However, more generally, it is arguable that the momentum may lie with the incumbent SNP.

While expressing considerable caution, their own strategists attribute this to their increasing stress upon the Scotland-wide pitch of "Alex Salmond for First Minister."

To be frank, they believe that their guy is a better sell when voters are settling down, seriously, to consider their options.

Much of the election "air war" can, frankly, appear as noise to voters who are, understandably, preoccupied with other matters.

But persistent elements emerge.

The SNP believe their guy is a constant factor within that clanjamfrie, a political lodestone.

Perceived persona

Naturally, that is disputed by Labour. They argue that Iain Gray is steadily gaining a good reputation with the voters as he gets around key constituencies, as he appears on the telly.

They reckon folk warm to him.

Ditto, of course, the Tories and Liberal Democrats.

Indeed, the Tories in particular are leaning more and more upon the perceived persona of their leader as the campaign progresses.

A fun fortnight to come.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Brian,

    Well done to publish.....at last!!

    The Beeb should have a flashing signal on its website to indicate that it has finally responded to bloggers' requests and covered this item!!

    Where's the weegreycowardcarcrash happening today??

  • Comment number 2.

    A very encouraging poll for the SNP and one that must have Labour seriously worried , having said this it does show a continuing very solid proportion of voters will still choose them. Ipsos Mori have a track record and have run very similar polls, so a trend can be identified. However if a week is along time in politics a fortnight is an eternity, so it is still all to play for.
    There will be another major poll probably on Sunday, from yougov, it follows the usual format from them and asks the Westminster question first then the Holyrood one, it also asks a serious of other topics Knife crime, Megrahi, council tax LIT, referendum, choice of FM, who would be best FM.
    Now if that Poll is in anyway similar to this one, then Labour really are in serious trouble.

  • Comment number 3.

    'it is arguable that the momentum may lie with the incumbent SNP.'
    Don't stress yourself Brian. It has been obvious for some time that the momentum most definately lies with the SNP. Nothing arguable about it.

  • Comment number 4.

    slow off the mark reporting this. And very begrudgingly too. It still isn't on the main site either.

  • Comment number 5.

    the TL;DR version of Brian's post is:
    C'mon, the SNP cannae win, dinnae let them please, I don't like 'em.

  • Comment number 6.

    Haw, come on Brian; It is arguable that the momentum may lie with the incumbent SNP?

    The momentum has been FIRMLY with the SNP since the dissolution of parliament, which is when the election campaigning truely started.

    Ps. If Labour think folk warm to Elmer, they are seriously mistaking this for pity. Their [Labours] downfall will come when folk are in the wee booth with a knocked off bookies pencil and the Salmon & violet A4 sheets of paper. Sympathy at that point will not be a factor, the electorate are more often than not ruthless!

  • Comment number 7.

    Brian, You did mention that this poll was conducted BEFORE several daily newspapers declared support for the SNP - didn't you? Could the SNP lead be even greater? Would you (BBC) publish it if it was?

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.


    Brian.

    You've managed to fill the page with words without saying to much really. Is sitting on the fence really an option ?

    Go on spoil yourself - Get it off your chest - Vent your spleen - Give us all a clue what your real view is.

    It is clear that the labour vote is still strong in its heartland and is only crumbling round the edges so the SNP should not be putting the champagne in the fridge just yet with two weeks to go.

    Hoewever, who knows what banana skins lurk in wait until the day of judgement. I for one expect Mr Salmond to be a safe pair of hands and to tread carefully while the other team, famed for their calculating abilitys on policy issues, will again step in the 'doo doo' due to panic.

    It will unfold in due course and I remain optomistic but cautious.





  • Comment number 10.

    They reckon folk warm to him.
    -------------------------------------

    Building a bonfire perhaps ?.

  • Comment number 11.

    SUPERB! keep up the good work.

    When i read about this poll this morning on the Unmentionable Website it cheered me up so much i got up and did washing before my work!

    Best start to my 11 days off.

    Keep up the momentum and the referendum is in sight but more importantly we have 5 years of a excellent, tried and tested government.

  • Comment number 12.

    Incredible! Reporting Scotland managed to get through their daily election roundup without a single mention of this poll!!! Surely this is the biggest news story by a country mile, or is it just me?

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Things look increasingly bad for Labour, what with poor ratings in the opinion polls and the news that Gordon Brown is taking to the hustings to help Gray lose even more votes. Maybe Brown fancies being the next Iain Gray since it looks unlikely anyone is going to consider him seriously for the IMF job , and Iain Gray will be expected to fall on his sword (or go back to the killing fields ) after his electoral disaster.

  • Comment number 15.

    #9 has a good point re Labour's strength in their heartland.
    I was in Kirkcaldy on Saturday past and was amazed at the number of their supporters who were out supporting the cause.
    One of them handed me a priceless leaflet from USDAW stating that several members of that TU would not support the SNP because they didn't try to make it official that shops couldn't open on New Years Day!
    I mean after all, what have the SNP done for them and everyone else in Scotland?
    (Cue TV advert as the list of positives is too long).
    Got back to Dundee to find a leaflet from the Dundee East Labour candidate trotting out the same old tired rubbish about the SNP's broken promises and how the SNP-led Dundee City Council supported a £14 million cut in front line services. Could that perhaps be due to the amount of grant so 'generously' given to Scotland by Westminster?And could the decimation of that grant perhaps be due to Labour's complete and total mismanagement of the UK economy?
    Surely no-one with an ounce of sense will swallow the tosh emanating from that self-serving opportunistic bunch of chancers?
    Yes the polls look good but to trot out a saw "one swallow doesn't make a summer"
    The only thing that will convince me of their accuracy will be to see the SNP back in power come May the 6th; and this time let's hope it's with a working majority.

  • Comment number 16.

    #s 4 & 5.

    Agree entirely. The BBC in Scotland have been woeful in their coverage of this poll to the extent where one can question the editorial judgement ( I stop short of saying integrity, I am no conspiracy theorist ) of BBC staff in Scotland.

    The Today programme had no such qualms, giving it a full five minutes this morning. You provided a link to the BBC complaints form in a post to Mr. Taylor's previous blog. I, for one, have made use of it.

  • Comment number 17.

    So what are the odds on an SNP majority? :)

  • Comment number 18.

    "They reckon folk warm to him."

    That's probably from all the hot air he spouts about knife crime.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Alex will get a good turnout in Buristoun.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm still stunned at the number of people still prepared to vote Labour. Has decades of failure to promote Scotland's interests and to improve the lives of thousands meant nothing to these people?
    How can a party that has delivered so little and taken its Scottish vote for granted for so long, carry any voter appeal at all?
    Whether you like the notion of independence or not (let's face it, you'd get your say before it would be able to happen anyway), you have to admire a party that unashamedly fights for all things pro-Scotland in comparison to those for whom we're just a region that might provide some Westminster seats if they keep us sweet in what they undoubtedly still regard as the play-parliament in Edinburgh.

  • Comment number 23.

    Up here in the glorious NE of Scotland the folks have seen first Labour hit the oil and gas sector with more tax and now the ConDems are at it. That of course is an issue that's made considerably worse because other than cutting Labour's deficit we can't see what benefit paying all this tax brings. The 1p off a litre of fuel has long since been swallowed up by the increase in the oil price.

    So more and more people are now beginning to understand that only the SNP would actually use the oil and gas revenues wisely and this is having an impact especially given the concerns over jobs and smaller companies.

  • Comment number 24.

    There will be many in the Labour camp asking, and rightly so, where did we go wrong?


    Once upon a time in a marquee in Prestonpans…………………………....................

  • Comment number 25.

    Perhaps the cybernats could now apologise to Brian about their slurs, now he has mentioned the poll? After all, its only taken a few hours for him to find the time to write this blog about, after all, he does have a job to do - which doesnt include writing blog posts!

  • Comment number 26.

    @15
    You'll also see from the USDAW leaflet that when a bill came to parliament providing extra protection for workers who are assaulted while doing their jobs, the SNP voted against.

    That sort of support is well remembered.

  • Comment number 27.

    @26 "That sort of support is well remembered."

    Obviously not by 45% of Scots voters. Or are they just fed up of whinging unions and public sector employees, when they have already suffered the consequences of Labour's economic mismanagement (again).

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    26 John Ruddy.

    Here's the reason why John, seems fairly logical?

    “No one disagrees that workers who serve the public deserve protection. What the stage one scrutiny has revealed, however, is that there is disagreement on how best that can be achieved. It is important to be clear about the effect that the bill would have if it were passed. It would take a bit of the existing common law of assault and replicate it as a new statutory offence. It would not extend the criminal law in any way and it would not, therefore, extend new protections at all.”

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm with Brian on this one.

    You look at the detail and the SNP are doing very poorly with females. You look at the undecideds et al and the majority of them are women. If the undecided women decide in the same proportion as the decided women it gets a whole lot tighter as the undecideds et al are as Brian indicated a larger number than the Labour or the SNP supporters.

    Yes it shows momentum to the SNP but there's still two weeks to go. What have the SNP got to counter the wedding? If it is the way Alex is perceived by them that is the big turn off for women, is their push for 'Alex for FM' going to help to bring them over to the SNP?

    Given a look at these poll figures in detail, its don't give up the day job yet for all those SNP candidates and activists. There' many a slip between cup and lip.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hi all anyone drilled down into the poll statistics yet.

    Is it showing any nuances that are worthy of a cautionary or encouraging trend for further polling.

    I see it was done before the Sun decided to come out and shine on the SNP parade.

    Are there any black clouds hovering or is it a fair weather oiutlook.



  • Comment number 33.

    I wrote the following on 16th February on the "Trendspotting" Entry of this blog

    "The observant amongst you will have noticed that

    a) An opinion poll putting the Northern British Parish Branch of UK Labour ahead is immediately hailed by the BBC as incontrivertible evidence that the Gray Man will be waving to the population of a grateful North Britain from the steps of Bute House on May 6th and the headline "SNP FAILURE" is splashed everywhere.

    b) An opinion poll putting the SNP Ahead (actually, showing a massive increase in SNP Support since the last poll as well by the way) is hailed by the BBC as being, "here, hey, wait a minute, that can't be right can it ? Must be dodgy. Lets tell you why this poll is nonsense."

    When does News becone Spin ? When does Northern British Parish Branch of UK Labour Spin become News ? Is there any recognition of the difference between the two at Pacific Quay ?"

    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose ?

  • Comment number 34.

    The trend has been moving towards the SNP on that the data is clear, unarguably. Brian has walked the fine line of acknowledging the SNP progress without being overly enthusiastic, he can row back from this position easily. The Scottish Sun reading the trend leaped to support SNP because a) the Sun always likes to back the winner eg Blair 97, Cameron 2010 and b) because the other parties are non-runners.
    The Herald in reporting today’s poll were generous to SNP. That leaves the Record and the Scotsman, will they continue to support the loser ( ie Gray) and losers (ie Labour) we shall see. If we really have a sea change going on, a change that started in 2007, and Labour is being replaced by the SNP as the natural party of government in Scotland then the press when they decide this is so will be there in support. The press by and large have no great principle that guides their political affiliations and they won’t want to be at odds with the Scottish people. So we await the next poll and if the trend remains upwards for SNP then the press re-action will be fascinating, but the BBC with control from London may not notice .

    What of the other parties? Labour are stuck where they are, but LibDems could find a new found enthusiasm for full fiscal autonomy and even ‘if the circumstances were right’ independence. The Tories, unloved and irrelevant to their parent party and unloved and unwanted by the Scottish people, will have to a) seek independence from Cameron (this would delight Cameron) and b) re-brand a new set of policies attractive to the Scottish People. How would they define attractiveness? Who is most popular, the SNP, so the Tories will adopt the popular policies. I can even dream of the Tories campaigning for independence, the highest principle of politics is self interest after all. This would bring a gleam of joy into Cameron's eyes who would see 50 Labour WEstminster seats disappear.

    When the tide shifts no-one will want to be left out, the press or the losing parties.

    Has the tide shifted are we in a new era??

    Of course it could go pear shaped and Gray could stage a remarkable recovery having seduced Salmond into a false sense of security by a skilful campaign designed , in the first instance , to look inept to frighten the voters and then ride in with good sense to rescue them! Aye and pigs really do fly.

  • Comment number 35.

    The SNP is doing okay with this female, but I'm probably a bad example. Last time round I voted for Jack McConnell because he looked rather dishy. This time around I'm actually paying attention to politics (because none of them have the "dishy" factor).

  • Comment number 36.

    I see Gordon Brown has been out and about. Was he apologising for what Labour did to the economy?

  • Comment number 37.

    Mr Taylor, good for you writing a blog on a poll which is in favour of the SNP, but it would of benefited us if you had given us the figures.

    Perhaps someone would be kind enough to translate the figures into seats?

    Btw, I'm a female in support of Alex Salmond, my gentle message to female friends & co-workers is getting through, I'm a very big fan.
    Having Nicola as deputy & health minister is certainly an asset. They make a great team.

  • Comment number 38.

  • Comment number 39.

    37. At 16:21pm 21st Apr 2011, Stamp

    'Perhaps someone would be kind enough to translate the figures into seats?'

    With pinch of salt.

    SNP 64 Lab 42 Con 11 Lib 7 Green 4 Ind 1

  • Comment number 40.

    "A fun fortnight to come." said Brian.


    Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha - It may be a fun fortnight (although I would take this poll with a pinch of salt) but it will be a terrible fortnight for the BBC.



    And after the election it will just get worse for peddlars of lies.



    Anyone have any ideas how to rescue the sinking labour ship?

  • Comment number 41.

    Post 35, R wrote:
    "Last time round I voted for Jack McConnell because he looked rather dishy"...hahaha, fantastic! There's hope for me yet!

  • Comment number 42.

    Two cheers, Brian, for mentioning the poll at all. You would have deserved three had you sneaked in a mention of it on GMS this morning.

    No cheers, though, for Pacific Quay, who still cannot bring themselves to feature it on the Scotland [sic] politics page or give you the ability to link to the "full" story.

    Car we expect that our fearless political editor will be out and about on the streets, as the Sun have been, testing Labour's theory that "Iain Gray is steadily gaining a good reputation with the voters as he gets around key constituencies"?

  • Comment number 43.

    Whilst I'd be delighted if the poll was absolutely correct..Ah hae ma doots! Even if it is, it does miss out nuances such as Gorgeous George, Margo, possibly the Greens and areas where candidates might have an exceptional personal vote.
    It used to be the case that the Tories were under represented in polls because their voters were embarrassed to admit voting Tory. Is that now the case with Labour?
    For what it's worth, I had lunch yesterday with a former Labour MSP who isn't going to vote Labour, the comment from them was "Well, would you? Populist nonsense failing to recognise the reality of the cuts in their manifesto."

  • Comment number 44.

    38 djmac,

    Many thanks for the link, strange Mr T didn't include all the facts in his blog!

    29 cheesed_off

    Fantastic! I'm no counting my chickens, but I'm buzzing wi' joy!

    Cheers guys!

  • Comment number 45.

    Could you be a little more specific, Brian, regarding your: "Indeed, the Tories in particular are leaning more and more upon the perceived persona of their leader as the campaign progresses"?

    I understood that Mr Cameron was only doing one "gig" in Inverness followed by another in Glasgow. Neither the word Cameron nor the word David appear in the "Scottish" tory manifesto [available in PDF via this website's Issues guide]. And Aunty Bella told us on Newsnicht that she's only leader of the tory MSPs, of whom there are precisely none just now.

    I'm intrigued to know just whose persona it is upon which they are leaning.

  • Comment number 46.

    #25 John Ruddy
    "Perhaps the cybernats could now apologise to Brian about their slurs, now he has mentioned the poll? After all, its only taken a few hours for him to find the time to write this blog about, after all, he does have a job to do - which doesnt include writing blog posts!"

    Did I not know of your devotion to the Labour Party in Angus North, that post could be considered ironic.

    As it is, every single thread of this blog tells us at the top that "I'm Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland's political editor, and I'll be blogging here regularly on Scottish politics", so BwB is clearly a part of Brian's job description. And it's not as though this one came out of the blue. Acknowledging that Brian may not have followed the lead-up to it on Twitter, he must have been aware of it no later than 22:30 BST last night, when it was announced in the introduction to Newsnight and Newsnight Scotland.

    If James Naughtie knew enough about it to run a 5m segment on it at 07:20 BST today, then surely Brian would have heard enough about it to have slipped a brief reference in to his snippet on the 0800 BST news on GMS.

    Perhaps you cyberbrits could check your facts before making risible comments.

  • Comment number 47.

    Just heard your snippet on the Radio 4 PM programme, Brian, and note that although you repeated some of the themes of this thread, you avoided mention of the poll which prompted it. Pity that only early-rising Radio 4 listeners will know of it.

  • Comment number 48.

    Anyone giving odds on Gray & co keeping or losing their constituency seats??? :-D

  • Comment number 49.

    #32 callmedave
    "Hi all anyone drilled down into the poll statistics yet."

    Give us time! The details are only now available on Ipsos MORI's Salmond remains most popular party leader with record rating. Drill away yourself and maybe we can compare notes later.

  • Comment number 50.

    Ladbrokes now have SNP hot odds-on to win the most seats at 2/5. (£1.44 return on a £1 bet) Labour are at 7/4 (£2.75 return)
    I have never seen such a change in betting.
    Just two weeks ago SNP was 7/2.
    Methinks Ladbrokes has taken a massive hit on this contest.

  • Comment number 51.

    PS to my #49

    On examining the details of the Ipsos MORI tables, I note that the tables have been split over two web pages. The parliamentary section is available from their SNP open up substantial poll lead as election looms.

    The full survey "Results are based on a survey of 1,002 respondents conducted by telephone between 14th April and 17th April 2011".

    This is before the Sun endorsed the SNP, although perhaps not before they made their decision.

    In the meantime, some interesting snippets from the first set of tables:

     Leader satifaction

    Alex Salmond +33%
    Annabel Goldie +10%
    Iain Gray +1%
    Tavish Scott -4%

    More capable First Minister of Scotland

    Alex Salmond 53%
    Iain Gray 23%
    Neither 8%
    Don't know 16%
  • Comment number 52.

    #35

    I am new to the political forum. I have been waiting on moderation since 14.09. hrs. Comment 16. I have no idea why, I simply agreed with you're early comments and was pleased that you posted the BBC compaints site in an previous blog. I used this link immediately.

    I was also intrigued by the female comment. My wife of thirty years is nomally a sober quine. She is an SNP supporter but admits that Salmond is not her fantasy. She also laughs like a drain every time Iain Gray opens his mouth. Happily Colin Firth is not standing,

  • Comment number 53.

    49.Barbazenzero :

    Thanks for the link to the data just looking at it now.

  • Comment number 54.

    Brian

    Your points about the need to have caveats about any poll are apposite. Indeed I have read them many, many, many times elsewhere during the long hours since the poll was published.

    Why did you include no such warnings about the BBC poll on election issues? They would have been even more germane there.

    You really must avoid these accidental differences in reporting that make some cynics suspect your impartiality.

  • Comment number 55.

    A good poll for the SNP, but we could all see it coming after the last couple of weeks.

    Just an observation, but everyone who talks about Labour's recession sound like they are following the Cameron narrative. It was a global recession, pulling in western economies of all political hews and population sizes. It is easy point scoring, but is terribly simplistic.

  • Comment number 56.

    "Naturally, that is disputed by Labour. They argue that Iain Gray is steadily gaining a good reputation with the voters as he gets around key constituencies, as he appears on the telly."
    ho ho ho ho ho ho he he he he he he he ha ha ha ha ha ha .........Oh no stop it Brian. please stop my ribs are sore I cant take any more. please stop he he he oh please stop Brian its not funny anymore

  • Comment number 57.

    Moderator,

    It is approaching six hours since # 16 was sent for further moderation. Get in with please.

  • Comment number 58.

    MORI generally is considered to over-poll the SNP in Scotland and I think comparing this one with the most recent YouGov poll is interesting:

    MORI: Holyrood constituency: CON 10%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, SNP 45%
    YouGov: Constituency vote: CON 11%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, SNP 40%
    So these polls match within 1 point on Con, 3 points on Lab, 1 point on LD and 5 points on SNP. These are remarkably similar findings and both polls put the SNP at or over 40% so that's really not so remarkable.

    MORI: Holyrood region: CON 10%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, SNP 42%, Green 6%
    YouGov: Regional vote: CON 12%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, SNP 35%, Green 6%
    Again remarkably similar with Green no change, Con 2 pt, LD 1 pt. The increase in SNP is the one large change and one always had to question SNP being that low on the list which is historically not likely. I suspect it was merely an outlier.

    Really, this poll isn't that big a surprise and much less change than people seem to think. And I suspect that MORI is at least slightly over-polling the SNP. The actual standing is more likely to be close to the YouGov results or perhaps an average of the two. It would be interesting to see (although I don't want to bother with doing it) an average of the last three Scotland polls.

    The SNP is doing well and Salmond is always a remarkable politician but it's not going to be a run-away election for the SNP, it looks to me like. I have a little money down that they will "win" in getting the most seats. That' looks highly likely. But 60? I seriously doubt it.

  • Comment number 59.

    The answer to the question "Does the Sun's Support of the SNP matter" is pretty obvious I think.
    Of course it does!
    If that were not true then governments around the world would not be so intent on trying to control/gag the media.

  • Comment number 60.

    I expect the SNP to do very well in this election. Caution tells me that if the SNP look certain to win, the hard core unionist vote may loyally come out to support their deadbeat candidates. Thus the gap in pionts may narrow. Common sense tells me that folk would be daft not to support the SNP as they have done a great job in government.

  • Comment number 61.

    #57 BaldyHibby
    "It is approaching six hours since # 16 was sent for further moderation. Get in with please."

    Don't hold your breath. It's called "mod purgatory" and sometimes can be pretty long lasting.

  • Comment number 62.

    #61 Barbazenzero

    Wow! That's impressive - The Beeb still considering something from July 2008!

    Such Deep Thought deserves respect.

    No doubt in generations to come, it will answer - "42",

  • Comment number 63.

    My post at 14.19, has been removed by the moderators. All it said was that I have canceled my TV license due finally no longer being able to stand the persistent pro-labour bias on BBC Scotland, particularly the news sections. Of which the apparent attempt to bury the IPSOs MORI poll is a prime example, is clearly relevant to this thread and was the final straw for me. Fascinating.

  • Comment number 64.

    #62 reincarnation
    "No doubt in generations to come, it will answer - "42""

    Vice versa, I think. 42 may be the answer to: How many æons can mod purgatory last?

  • Comment number 65.

    Why is there no mention of this poll on the BBC or have i missed it? The only "report" regarding this is in this blog.

  • Comment number 66.

    #65 james_414
    "Why is there no mention of this poll on the BBC or have i missed it? The only "report" regarding this is in this blog."

    Afraid you missed it. This website's Campaign catch-up mentions it not, but it does provide a link to


    @BBCScotElection on twitter, where Cameron Buttle, a "Senior Broadcast Journalist at BBC" provides insights including:

        Iain Gray says election race is much tighter than one recent poll
    suggests. #sp11

    Gordon Brown in Dunfermline - completely blanks question on whether
    he's interested on the IMF job, talks of boosting jobs in Scotland
    #sp11

    Scottish Labour insider says poll showing big SNP lead "don't ring
    true, still very tight". #sp11

    Plus, of course, Prof. Curtice is on Newsnicht right now talking the poll down.
  • Comment number 67.

    I had to check for the polls immediately previous to the 2007 election. I've seen people say there was a large SNP lead which I didn't recall. Here are the two polls that were (as far as I can tell) the nearest to the election:

    ICM/Scotsman 30/04/07 Con-13 Lab-32 LD-16 SNP_34
    Populus/Times 30/04/07 Con-13 Lab-29 LD-15 SNP-33

    MORI wasn't doing Scottish polling at the time and ICM hasn't done one recently so it's not a perfect comparison by any means but the SNP lead doesn't look like it was considered all that large, going by facts rather than selective memories. ICM was very close to being on the money.

    Too bad ICM isn't doing any Scotland polls. Actually, I do think that people who are saying the race is closer than that poll indicates are probably right. This would be a very bad time to decide that the SNP has it all wrapped up and that is nothing that the SNP leadership is saying.

  • Comment number 68.

    Too bad BBC Scotland isn`t doing any polls (NOT!)

  • Comment number 69.

    The surge for the SNP does not surprise me at all. I think that there is a general feeling that Labour just dont do anything to improve Scotland as a country. One parliament of the SNP has opened a lot of peoples eyes to what could possibly be done for Scotland. People that i know still come out with the " Labour are for the working man" mantra. When i point out that Labour have been overseeing the poverty, deprevation and social misery in Scotland for 50 - 70 years you can actualy see the penny drop before your eyes, sometimes the transformation is instant as if a big lie has been exposed. If you are a party set up to protect the working class from poverty and and all that goes with it, then it suits you to keep a core base of a country in that very state to ensure their vote. Problem is the SNP have got into power ( minority ) in a relatively new parliament of which they were never meant to hold power ( always a coalition needed was the voting set up i believe) and the lie is being exposed. The media can also sense that the tide is changing as well. Another five years of non Labour rule and the politics of this country will change beyond recognition.

  • Comment number 70.

    Would I be considered to be suspicious if I questioned the NON appearance of the latest poll result details on the BBC [either t.v. or here on the web site]. (square brackets for the delectation of Iain Grey)

    It seems to me that any poll that reported a LABOUR lead would find great mention across ALL BBC media, however any poll that mentions a SNP lead is amazingly overlooked. Why is this?

    We could not be dealing with a little bit of political bias here now could we?

    48. At 17:57pm 21st Apr 2011, Rebel Without Portfolio wrote:
    Anyone giving odds on Gray & co keeping or losing their constituency seats??? :-D

    rwp: over on another site, one where 100% FREE comment is permitted (its true name being prohibited on this site), there are reports that IF these latest poll results stay or IMPROVE for the SNP then we will be saying goodbye to the likes of Iain (Elmer Fudd) Grey, Jackie (untried and untested) Baillie and Andy (PFI) Kerr, to name but three.

  • Comment number 71.

    Well well ! No newsworthy poll then if the BCC Scotland Web site is to be believed

    'Nation shall speak unto Nation'

    Just the chrrp chrrp of the crickets chrrp chrrp in the jungle. . . . chrrp chrrp. . bit of a silence then in the last 24hours .

    Never mind, the Genie came out of the bottle in 2007 and can never be put back in again. The Scottish people in general have become accustomed to it and are going to give it another go it seems.

    Gordon and Gray together in Dunfermline ! - glad I was working, missed it.
    Can't see too many sparks flying there to inspire or tantalise or get the blood up amongst the public to go over to the dark side!

    Another day nearer .. !!

  • Comment number 72.

    #69 - "When i point out that Labour have been overseeing the poverty, deprevation and social misery in Scotland for 50 - 70 years you can actualy see the penny drop before your eyes,"

    I think many Scots have been willing to overlook Labour's failing because, for all its flaws, Labour did have a particular Scottish feel to it. Phony B.liar liked to tell us Scots he was Scottish (while vehemently denying it down south). Brown was still the Scottish son of the manse for all his protestations about being british. With Milliband the younger, that feeling is dying out, taking much of labour's support with it.

    Long may it continue.

  • Comment number 73.

    Murphy has been conspicuous by his absence. Whether you like him or not, he is a skilled politician and his instincts seem to tell him to keep well clear of this SLAB campaign.

    Had he sensed victory, he would have been dominant in the campaign. As it is .....

  • Comment number 74.

    #73 - "he is a skilled politician and his instincts seem to tell him to keep well clear of this SLAB campaign"

    He's certainly a skilled manipulator (is that the same thing?) but his instincts have let him down quite a few times in recent years. Everything from Diageo to backing the wrong horse in labour's last leadership race. He has enjoyed the protection of the MSM in Scotland which means the man in the street doesn't know the extent of his cock ups but the MSM doesn't protect him from his (shadow) cabinet colleagues. Now that the 'Scottish Mafia' no longer rules the labour roost, old Skeletor might find his prospects aren't as good as they once were.

    However, labour strategists are begining to realise that the likes of Ed Balls comming in north and telling us we should forget about Scotland and use our vote to protest against the Con Dems isn't working. Enough analysts have pointed to the dilution of labour's Scottishness as well. We've had Darling and Brown receiving fairly warm welcomes on the campaign trail. I fully expect we'll see Murphy too.

  • Comment number 75.

    Was Murph not involved in the decision to award that contract to the Communist Chinese to build the massive crane they're using to build the aircraft carriers?

  • Comment number 76.

    Murphy would have more of an impact in Scotlad if he decided to resign as an MWP and seek election in Scotland. Does anyone think he'll leave the trough?

    As it is, Labour are a busted flush. The irony is that they have run the campaign as they usually do, no dubstance and depending on the sheep voting for them. This time however, quite a few of the sheep have discovered they can think! Not all of them, there are still the eejits who religiously follow the Labour dogma, but they are receding into the background.

    Let's hope we can achieve a Scottish majority in the Scottish elections. We can then see what this country (and it's citizens!) are made of!

  • Comment number 77.

    76. At 09:10am 22nd Apr 2011, Mickey wrote:

    "Let's hope we can achieve a Scottish majority in the Scottish elections. We can then see what this country (and it's citizens!) are made of!"

    Hear! Hear! Mickey. I have great faith in the people of Scotland. I don't think we are too wee, too poor or too stupid to run our own affairs. I think Scotland could become a shining light in both Europe and the World once we are free of the westminster shackles. Bring it on!

  • Comment number 78.

    The message is getting through - stand up on our own hind legs and take responsibility for our own affairs. It's why we're not all still living with mummy surely?
    Labour delivered decades of hopelessness, third rate services and a dependency culture to our cities - the amazing thing is that Scots still vote blindly for them, albeit in ever reducing numbers.
    What does Glasgow man have in common with Milliband, Mandelson and co? How do their bank accounts compare?
    Scots are rediscoveringing their backbone. Time to stand up and be counted on Election Day.

  • Comment number 79.

    78. At 09:38am 22nd Apr 2011, True Scot wrote:
    "The message is getting through - stand up on our own hind legs and take responsibility for our own affairs. It's why we're not all still living with mummy surely?
    Scots are rediscoveringing their backbone. Time to stand up and be counted on Election Day."

    If I was any way undecided, the insulting arrogance of people like yourself would make me revert to voting Labour. You and people like you are the worst advert the SNP can get and probably one of the main reasons the Media does not support the SNP.

  • Comment number 80.

    #79, If I was any way undecided, the insulting arrogance of people like yourself would make me revert to voting Labour. You and people like you are the worst advert the SNP can get and probably one of the main reasons the Media does not support the SNP.

    Come, come! What makes you so anti Scottish? Why can't you understand that Scots want to take charge of their own affairs?

  • Comment number 81.

    It's not really arrogance, more desperation.
    We had the same kinda thing back in the 1970s just before the referendum.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_devolution_referendum,_1979

    Scotland has always been a divided nation, from religion through to its allegiance to the crown.
    1979 gave us
    for 1,230,937
    against 1,153,500

    Not exactly a clear mandate in either direction.

    It's been going on since before Culloden which was mainly a battle of Scots butchering Scots. Wallace was betrayed to the English by Scots.
    Malcolm Rifkind, Maggies governor general in Scotland was rewarded for his services with the safe seat of Kensington and Chelsea.

    The worst enemy of Scots over the last 500 years is their fellow Scots.

    If you pick up a book on Scottish history it's actually a bit of an embarrassment, I had to stop reading the one I started, it's a catalogue of betrayal and subterfuge.

    The only guy who sorted out all comers was The Bruce, so now he's a major hero.
    He successfully cowed his Scots enemies as well as the auld enemy.

    Things are pretty tribal up here.
    1707 was opposed by a whole bunch of people but it got pushed through anyway.
    History likes to record the Darien disaster
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dari%C3%A9n_scheme
    as the main reason for 1707 but I reckon the real reason for 1707 was the Protestants in the North and South of Britain consolidating their position during a period of huge religious instability, and rallying the population around a single Protestant monarch was far easier if Scotland and England were a single entity.

    The post 1707 period had various attempts by the Catholic Monarchists trying to re-establish control.

    The tribal fallout from the period continues to this day.

  • Comment number 82.

    79. At 09:48am 22nd Apr 2011, Sheneval wrote:

    "If I was any way undecided, the insulting arrogance of people like yourself would make me revert to voting Labour. You and people like you are the worst advert the SNP can get and probably one of the main reasons the Media does not support the SNP."
    Sheneval, please explain what you find insulting or arrogant about True Scot's post. I don't see anything that is either arrogant or insulting about any Scot wishing to see Scotland free to make it's own decisions for it's own good.
    Is it perhaps that you don't have a backbone? Or that you don't wish to stand up and be counted? That would be the only reason that I can see that would justify your critisism.

  • Comment number 83.

    If 1707 had not happened, then the 1745 Jacobite rebellion would have re-established a Catholic Monarch onto the Throne of an Independent Scotland.

    So 1707 saved the Scots protestants, which was it's intention, and it saved a Scots/Catholic monarch headache for English Protestantism because a lot of the English population still consisted of Catholics.

    The post '45 rebellion' period was mainly concerned with destroying highland communities to prevent further problems."The Clearances"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Clearances

  • Comment number 84.

    A couple of interesting articles on this topic in the Herald today, by Robbie Dinwoodie.

    In his ‘No crisis’ despite new votes prediction we have John Park, Labour's campaign co-ordinator, unsurprisingly insisting: "This is a rogue poll because the results suggested are incredibly unlikely and are wildly different from what our canvass returns and other polls show."

    Whilst his Polls take the blame when the truth hurts begins with a Q & A:

    Q: What is the definition of a rogue poll?
    A: A poll whose findings you don’t like.
    Strictly speaking, this poll may be an outlier, to use the technical term for a poll which is at the far limits of probability compared to other polls. It does, however, seem to confirm the trend picked up by all the Scottish polls of late.

    Caution is needed, primarily because they are so few in number. Rumours abound that another Scottish poll is coming very soon - possibly by ICM. If anything, the numbers in this MORI one are likely to discourage the overwhelmingly unionist media from risking giving the SNP more succour.

    That said, it is clearly extremely encouraging for the SNP and discouraging for Labour, but supporter of both would be ill advised to bet the house on it.
  • Comment number 85.

    #83 Ady

    Of course, instead of just browsing wiki, you could actually start learning some history (if you can fit that into your timetable along wth economis and politics).

    Historians have long argued whether the 1707 Union was a net gain or loss to Scotland. Frankly, that particular debate is best left to historians.

    The question for the 21st century is whether
    the current UK Union, or
    fiscal autonomy within a reconstructed confederal uk union, or
    full independent membership of a much larger group of nations in the European Union, or
    association with the EU like Norway, or
    creating a self-sufficient Green or Socialist economy away from the nasty capitalists

    is the best situation for Scotland.

    You are at one extreme of that range, Socialist Labour at the other.

    Sensible people will debate the options in the middle.

  • Comment number 86.

    At 10:52am 22nd Apr 2011, ady wrote:

    "Scotland has always been a divided nation, from religion through to its allegiance to the crown.
    ************
    Things are pretty tribal up here."

    Ah ah naughty boy Ady - That'll be you at the divide and rule there. Remember who wrote the history books you refer to, and the agenda the writers held.

    For we ha'e faith in Scotland's hidden poo'ers,
    The present's theirs, but a' the past and future's oors.

    'Gairmscoile' - Hugh MacDiarmid

  • Comment number 87.

    80. At 10:09am 22nd Apr 2011, Mickey wrote: "
    Come, come! What makes you so anti Scottish? Why can't you understand that Scots want to take charge of their own affairs?"

    This has nothing to do with being anti-Scottish - my ancestors fought alongside Bruce and were suitably rewarded for their efforts.

    This has to do with the stupid assertions that anyone who doesn't support the SNP and Independence is in some way lacking in backbone. This view is complete and utter nonsense.


  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    The current King-in-waiting for an Independent Scottish Nation is this guy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobite_succession
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz,_Duke_of_Bavaria

    Direct descendant of James VI of Scotland, the last monarch to reside over an Independent Scottish Nation.
    It will be a nice homecoming, the Stuart Dynasty was founded by Robert II, a son of the daughter of Robert the Bruce.
    He might be a Bruce, but he's probbly a Catholic so unionists won't be too keen on swearing allegiance, hence the reasons for 1707, and a we bitty of a unionist problem for Mr Salmonds Independence vote.

    As I was saying, it's a tad tribal up here....

  • Comment number 91.

    90. ady

    I sincerely hope that you're not trying to take advantage of the current idiocy involving Celtic and Rangers. I realise that, for you, desperate times may call for desperate measures but that is beyond the pale.

    If I'm wrong and your semi-literate, ill-informed posts are just an attention-seeking ploy spurred on by ignorance, rather than any deliberate malevolence, then please accept my deepest apologies.

  • Comment number 92.

    89. Sheneval

    I'll argue the case for Scottish independence face to face with anyone.

    I repost my question. What was insulting or arrogant about True Scots post?

  • Comment number 93.

    Good grief, it has become THAT desperate that we play the divide and rule card along with the religious one.
    Sad sad stuff, its the future that is important. Yes there are always lesson to be learnt from history, the most important being to try not to make the same mistakes. Which is why I dont belive the divide and rule tactic will have any real traction.

  • Comment number 94.

    #90 ady
    "The current King-in-waiting for an Independent Scottish Nation is this guy."

    Agreeing entirely with reincarnation's #85, I confess to being intrigued to know on what evidence you believe this to be so.

    Following a dissolution of the union, please explain why Para 18 of the Claim of Right Act 1689

    That by the law of this Kingdome no papist can be King or Queen of this realme nor bear any office whatsomever therin nor can any protestant successor exercise the regall power untill he or she swear the Coronation Oath
    would not remain in force at least pending a further referendum on the monarchy?
  • Comment number 95.

    Rumour has it that the 'invisible man' is to appear and preach to the converted. Are we going to have an apology from Gordon Brown this side of the Atlantic? Thought not. Whether his appearance will diminish the SNP lead is moot.
    Sorry about increasing the number of posts on this blog beyond the magic number '94'.

  • Comment number 96.

    92. At 12:58pm 22nd Apr 2011, X_Sticks wrote:
    89. Sheneval

    "I'll argue the case for Scottish independence face to face with anyone."

    Ah, but you won't suggest that they have no backbone - face to face - it's all right on the Internet though.

    "I repost my question. What was insulting or arrogant about True Scots post?"

    I have already given my views on this in my response to True Scott, another of the SNP posters who crouches in hiding behind his keyboard whilst insulting better men and women than hemselves, just because they do not happen to share his views on what party is better for their country.

    The SNP are on a roll and it could all be spoiled by people like yourselves who make stupid and intolerant postings, attacking those who do not agree with your views.

    My father fought the Brownshirts during the 30s face to face - they were the Political Bullies of that time. People do not like Bullies, and you guys are just that.

    All it would take is for the anti SNP media to decide to carry out a concentrated publication of the SNP Internet version of the Nazi Brownshirt's stupid, intolerant and arrogant postings and, with two weeks to go, a winning position could become a losing position.

  • Comment number 97.

    Alas I find myself in agreement with Sheneval on this one. Thinking persons of the unionist persuasion are indeed in possession of spine. Totally misguided and wrong, but entitled to their opinions. Which is why those of us of a more progressive view should try to convert em without insults.

    Is it just me... or is the present football madness rather queer timing?

  • Comment number 98.

    Dunno about timing but its just another manifestation of exactly the same tribalism and tribal loyalty which still props up Subway Gray and rest of Labour's sorry crew

  • Comment number 99.

    Iain Macwhirter's It’s looking black for Gray as Salmond leaps ahead is both bang on topic and a good read.

    He reminds us that this "may be only one poll, but it follows the YouGov survey at the weekend which showed the SNP pulling ahead on the crucial constituency vote. More importantly, it chimes with an unmistakable mood in the constituencies."

    And closes with: "Of course there are still two weeks to go, and anything could happen. Iain Gray might locate his mojo. Perhaps the royal wedding will provoke an outbreak of sentimental unionism, or Mr Salmond will condemn the UN bombing in Libya. But the lights are fading in the Labour camp. They tried to fight a 1980s campaign in 2011, and they are nearly out of time."

    All fair comment, and from a unionist perspective.

  • Comment number 100.

    96. Sheneval

    So your ancestors fought with Bruce and your father against the Brownshirts (in Nazi Germany presumably?); what a rich heritage. However I would have thought someone throwing around accusations of people hiding anonymously behind their keyboards would have been extra scrupulous about claiming validity for themselves with such anonymous vainglory.

 

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