The Ipsos MORI poll for STV on Wednesday has some interesting bits in it if you look at the data more closely. STV headlined it:
‘STV election poll: SNP to hold 50 seats amid Tory gains’
Look more closely though at the data and things are much less positive for Ruth and the Tories in Scotland and, I think, suggest more than 50 seats for the SNP.
First, from September, Ruth Davidson’s satisfaction rate has declined by 26 points as even Kezia Dugdale’s has increased by 8 points cutting the gap to only 6%. (39% and 45%). Kezia’s swing may have benefited by association with Jeremy Corbyn’s 13 point swing to 50% satisfaction in the same period.
The Scottish Tory strategy is heavily based on Ruth rather than the party. This is beginning to look like a mistake as she falls in the polls.
As for the parties, there too, are signs the surge has died. Asked which party they preferred, respondents said:
At first sight this looks disappointing for the SNP but when you look at some other figures, the SNP position looks stronger if only because Labour look like recovering some of the support they seemed to have lost to the Tories earlier in the year. As I expected the Unionist card swayed some Labour voters for a bit until they saw the two manifestos and the true horrors of UK Toryism.
60% of Scottish voters said they would never vote Tory while only 33% said they would never vote SNP. Also, crucially, when voters were asked which party they would vote for if it had a chance of winning in their constituency, 35 per cent said Labour, while only 16 per cent would vote Conservative.
This all suggests to me that much of the Labour vote will return to its home, killing the Tory surge and leaving the SNP to pick up nearly all the seats again even with a slightly reduced majority.
Finally, this was a landline telephone-based poll and these always suggests a smaller SNP vote due to the tendency for their many supporters among the young and less well-off not to have landlines.