SNP pulling ahead again and Tories falling back to third place in Westminster voting intentions


The YouGov poll of 1135 Scottish adults on 2nd to 5th October 2017, shows the SNP up 3 at 40%, Labour up 3 at 30% and the Tories down 6 at 23%. This is the third poll in a row to suggest a strong SNP recovery from the General Election and what seems to be the bursting of the Scottish Tories’ bubble as they sink back into third place well behind two left-of-centre parties. These data are only to be found on page 5 with Holyrood voting intentions leading off on page 1. The latter are SNP 42%, Labour and Tories both 25% suggesting perhaps a loss of a pro-independence party majority in Holyrood. This has had the mainstream media attention but it is the Westminster data which are the more interesting to us.

Returning to my regular theme of how different Scotland is, this poll shows 70% support for left-of centre policies in Scotland and only rising to 42% in England even with the Corbyn surge. That’s a big difference.

The figures show 90% of SNP voters holding firm with only 8% having returned to preferring Labour. I have to assume this 8% is fragile as their leadership race highlights its lack of cohesion. If only 5% of this returns to voting SNP and as some of the Tory support from Labour and LibDem ‘strategic voters’ goes home disgusted by what they have done, then we are back in the position of anticipating more than 50 SNP seats.

Also of interest in the figures is that only 44% of the SNP support said they had voted to remain in the EU. This would seem to support my view yesterday that uncritical loyalty to the EU and not the threat of Indyref2 was responsible for the SNP losses in the General Election. See:

Uncritical EU loyalty not the suggestion of IndyRef2 was to blame for SNP losses. As the EU abandons the Catalans, it’s time for us to abandon it

Finally, the over-65s remain the problem with 70% saying they would vote for one of the three Unionist parties. I’ve seen them in my local newsagent buying the Telegraph and, I guess, going home to watch Andrew Neill. Do we just have to wait?


23 thoughts on “SNP pulling ahead again and Tories falling back to third place in Westminster voting intentions

  1. Bugger (the Panda) October 10, 2017 / 9:16 am

    “Finally, the over-65s remain the problem with 70% saying they would vote for one of the three Unionist parties. I’ve seen them in my local newsagent buying the Telegraph and, I guess, going home to watch Andrew Neill. Do we just have to wait?”

    Has anyone done any polling on whether this over 65 cohort is in fact, essentially self balancing.

    As one pops their clogs another move into the smug and self satisfied space created?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alasdair Macdonald October 10, 2017 / 10:58 am

      Bugger, You might be right about the over 65 crustiness being a self balancing phenomenon.

      There are 30% of codgers who are pro-independence, but, I suspect that most of us in that category are from Glasgow, the rest of the west of Scotland and Dundee, which, of course have persistently low life expectations. I actually get an increased payment from one of my pensions BECAUSE I was born and raised in Glasgow and the actuarial bookies have calculated that I will take out less than I put in. It is in the historic Tory voting areas around Glasgow and Dundee (to avoid paying their fair share of council tax) that they live into their 80s and 90s. And, of course, the majority of them are women.

      Liked by 3 people

      • johnrobertson834 October 10, 2017 / 11:40 am

        OK on Indyref2 day, lock up your gran? And your wife?


      • Alasdair Macdonald October 10, 2017 / 3:49 pm

        If my grannies were still alive, they would both be around 150! My wife is for independence. She makes up her own mind about these things …. about everything, in fact! I have learned how to coexist.


    • johnrobertson834 October 10, 2017 / 11:32 am

      Self-generating? Yes that’s my worry. It’s called the Kingsly Amis effect by some – from Marxist at Uni to Right-wing Catholic in old age. Happens to a lot I gather. Something to do with fear of the violence of the young.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bugger (the Panda) October 10, 2017 / 11:39 am

        I call it the Old Age Selfish Smug Factor.

        House prices are the perfect example of where that leads in UK.

        Also helps explain why UK manufacturing, such as we have, has the lowest productivity per worker in the mature Western World. Ring the maximum profit for the minimum investment then sell the shares before the business goes belly up. Minimal investment; Capital is King and unfettered.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bugger (the Panda) October 10, 2017 / 11:46 am

        Or Left wing ultra Marxist to Labour Peer.?

        Liked by 1 person

      • gavin October 10, 2017 / 1:17 pm

        Surely that should read–the Alistair Darling effect—from the International Marxist Group to a Peerage. From Trotsky to trotting around plush boardrooms.
        Fear of the violence of the young? More like love of money!
        Best pals with Fred the Shred–says it all, really!

        Liked by 1 person

    • John October 10, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      I was scanning the audience at conference to see how many obviously pensionable aged people were there and was really surprised to see a lot ; older voters can be changed , they just need more convincing than younger voters as they have witnessed more changes , it’s up to us to convince them . Remember , they are the grandparents of the younger generation , they have clout !

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bugger (the Panda) October 10, 2017 / 12:09 pm

        This is a working Tuesday for most people.

        Wonder what the demographics were on Sunday, Mondaty Tuesday etc?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. macgilleleabhar October 10, 2017 / 9:42 am

    I was born in 1948. I do not watch much television. I get the Aberdeen Beano as my wife does the crosswords and I scan the obituaries then read the letters page as the correspondents are mostly apoplectic rabid yoons and it is splendid entertainment. I use the internet a lot. I vote SNP.
    Do I need counselling ?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Toni November 16, 2017 / 1:06 pm

      I’m ditto to you, except that I can’t read the right wing press as it affects my healthily low blood pressure! Born in 1953, live in Edinburgh. I’m also a very mixed demographic (I hope that’s the correct usage of the word!) I was born in England, choose to live in Scotland, a member of English Scots for Yes on facebook, a member of Over 60s for indy on facebook, Pensioners for Yes on facebook. My 89 year old mother is now also a firm supporter of indy after I introduced her to the National. (She won’t use a computer).
      All those over 60’s groups may have some crossover, but there are several thousand of them and they are very keen!


  3. Bugger (the Panda) October 10, 2017 / 10:22 am

    Now we can see you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. David Howdle October 10, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Hang on a minute! I’m over 65 and I will never vote Tory, nor, as things stand, will I vote Labour. Until we achieve independence I will always vote SNP. Don’t tar everyone over 65 with the same brush please!

    Liked by 3 people

    • johnrobertson834 October 10, 2017 / 11:34 am

      I deny tarbrushing! I made it clear I meant the 70% of them not all, didn’t I. I’m one too and getting more lefty with age.


      • William Henderson October 10, 2017 / 12:46 pm

        Glad you added that, John.

        My credentials are that I was born before the second world war, I’ve seen a damned sight more of austerity and general UK misrule than most of the ‘anti-old’ commenters here and I am grateful to be able to live in a little bit of comfort in my old age. Let me be clear – it hasn’t been that easy! A genuine fear of the combination of old age and poverty led to a bit of effort to avoid that trap.

        I also have a much longer 100% commitment to Scottish independence than most and that is not diminishing with time.

        In addition, I find that not many acqaintances of my own age share my views on the independence issue, but I must give them the right to see things as their life has allowed. Whether we like it or not, we cannot escape being the victims of our own experience. This does not stop me making the effort to change their views in a spirit of respect and friendship – a spirit that could well be adopted by the above mentioned commenters.

        I’ll cool down a wee bit now……

        Liked by 3 people

      • Brian October 10, 2017 / 12:49 pm

        me too, in the minority again.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bugger (the Panda) October 10, 2017 / 12:51 pm

        @ William Henderson

        Looks like I have the perfect Avatar as my White beardy bits are just white bits

        Liked by 3 people

  5. William Henderson October 10, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    Don’t worry. It’ll happen quicker than you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ludo Thierry October 10, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Hi John and the Allstars – Flip – some lively debate on this thread!

    Hopefully not off topic too much. Following the weekend speculation re. the Alex Salmond bid for The Scotsman the Johnston Press (JP) supremo (Ashley Highfield – that’s his name – not the London suburb where he lives!) has rushed out a statement denying this (see below):

    Johnston Press boss Ashley Highfield has rubbished “completely unfounded” reports that Alex Salmond is involved in a bid to buy one of its flagship dailies.

    That news must have shattered the last remaining hopes of the poor, beleaguered Hootsmon employees.

    The Hootsmon seems to currently have an editor by the name of Frank O’Donnell. Frank seems to be completely delusional from the guff he was spouting last week in an interview in the Press Gazette (see some relevant extracts below):

    The Scotsman backed a “no” vote in the the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. But under O’Donnell it has adopted a neutral stance – both on independence and party politics.

    “All the research we’ve done shows that our readership doesn’t want to be told what to think. We are not going to support any particular political party in any referendum or election. I think a quality readership wants to read a variety of views.

    “I don’t want people to think that the stance we’ve taken is because of the colour of a rosette. We are resolutely pro Scottish but not pro any political party.”

    He says The Scotsman needs to be “positive and constructive” in its outlook as well as “campaigning on issues, challenging views and being independent politically”.

    Well well well – if those are his ambitions here’s hoping he succeeeds. Let’s just say he has one hell of a way to go.

    The piece included a mention of Hootsmon old boy Andrew Marr which observed: Former Scotsman reporter Andrew Marr recalled drinking five or six pints, plus wine and possibly tequila most lunchtimes in his early days at the paper during a rather more louche era.

    Can’t help but wonder whether all concerned had been reliving Andrew Marr’s good old days when that bilge about ‘neutral stances’ and being’ Scottish but not pro any political party’. Prodigious quantities of alcohol consumed is the only excuse I can suggest!

    Just to warm the cockles of your hearts can I take the opportunity to remind the Allstars that JP managed to pay £160M for the Hootsmon as recently as 2006. The only fly in the ointment was that the enormous overpayment went to another particularly unlovable pair – the Barclay bros.

    Cheers, ludo


  7. Prof. Nigel Mace October 13, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    I’d be more than a bit dubious about your anti-EU reading, John.

    It is almost arithmetically impossible to square those figures with the results of both the EU referendum in Scotland and the latest EU referendum question polling figures, in which the proEU vote has now risen to 66% support from 62%. The tying of Scotland’s independence to full EU membership (maintained/regained) is the key to a certain YES majority – especially as the disaster of ‘Brexit’ becomes increasingly obvious. That now looks as if it will start to show up with alarming stats of businesses – especially banking and financial sector/services – relocating from early in the New Year on and all the attendant job losses. There is a very rich – indeed, transformative (to use Nicola’s preffered term) – harvest of YES votes out there, who’ve not/even never voted SNP before but who will back indepenence in the insane world of Tory ‘Brexitania’.

    Your own splendid breakdown of balance of trade figures goes right to the heart of the current obsession with ‘trade’ – and is really quite unanswerable. An English negative annual average of minus £118 billion – against a positive Scottish average of plus £4.5 billion… and that is with the advantages of EU membership. It’s a no-brainer on a spectacular scale.


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