Now a fourth sub-poll puts SNP well ahead but Tories still apparently feasting on rancid Labour carcass


Young Tories feast on carcass of Labour dinosaur

Starting in early February 2019, we’ve seen Ipsos MORI, YouGov and Opinium sub-polls with around 400 Scots sampled altogether, putting SNP support at 44, 41 and 40 percent, Conservatives at 14, 22 and 24 and Labour at 29, 21 and 18 percent.

The latest, from YouGov again, has the SNP stable at 41 but the Conservatives continuing to climb at 29 and Labour fading dangerously to only 14%. 160 Scots responded on 18 and 19 February.

As before, this is a sub-poll so there are limitations but when it seems to be telling a similar story to all of the others in the same approximate time period, we can probably give it some credibility.

So, we can say again that media stories of civil war and allegedly damaging sex scandals are having no effect on the SNP or on the Tories. We can, also, say with some confidence that Scottish Labour is collapsing, and that Unionism is sadly trumping social values in those deserting to the appallingly stupid Scottish Tories.

There is, however, a strange smell about both the Tory swell and the SNP stagnation below 50%. I have, only, a gut feeling about both but I know it’s a shared one. While I accept the notion of ‘shy Tories’, I do not believe we are approaching 30% support for them and I live in a town where they hold both the MP and MSP positions, marginally. I also do not believe that, after five years of population change and, even more so, after these last two years of farcical, disgusting behaviour by Tory leaders, that the SNP has not swallowed enough former Labour supporters to push up to around 50%

As you know, I’m a statistically crude information handler without the skills to seriously attack these polls but, readers help me, are they understating support for the SNP and overstating it for the Tories because of their sampling? Are their samples, perhaps because they’re constructed at the UK level, too adjusted in favour of:

  1. Older, say 55 plus, voters?
  2. More affluent, ABC1, voters?
  3. EU leave supporters?

Subtle masters of the arts of psephology and of significance, and the like, do not snigger. I was a mere prof of media representation and psychological effects, requiring only a few scatter and bar graphs for my evil purposes.

Whadya think?




9 thoughts on “Now a fourth sub-poll puts SNP well ahead but Tories still apparently feasting on rancid Labour carcass

  1. Bugger (the Panda) February 21, 2019 / 7:05 pm

    Polls are there not to reflect reality but to redirect it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Contrary February 21, 2019 / 7:42 pm

    No one knows John, opinion polls are arcane knowledge run and interpreted by clandestine, secretive groups of devil worshippers in damp, dark caves. I think they use algorithms too.

    Rumours have it that tiny sub-samples like these can’t be trusted though, you’ll have to wait for RevStu’s poll to come out, if he’s still doing it, I’m sure he’ll ask for a big sample in Scotland.

    Now that I am Nuance Correspondent, let’s look at this from a different direction – if there is no actual GE or referendum actually called, how hard do you think about who you’d vote for? I mean, the majority of people are not very politically engaged in day to day life, so even though there is some variation in voting intention, until they are forced to seriously think about it and have a manifesto or question to chew over – are they not going to just choose who they normally vote for? It’s just an opinion on who you like or don’t like at any moment in time, rather than choosing which party based on a situation or specific question, eh? An actual vote will depend on the actual person too. I would have said it was impossible to have a reliable poll without an actual election being called – Panda is likely right, it’s just to influence opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alasdair Macdonald February 21, 2019 / 8:44 pm

    YouGov and Populus tend to poll people who have volunteered to be polled, so there is an element of self-selection and, given the fact that many are people with time on their hands – viz old codgers like I – then there probably is a ‘reactionary’ bias. Polling companies have introduced some forms of stratification so that they can reduce bias and distortion, but, I suspect that the self selecting factor distorts results. In addition much polling is commissioned by particular interest groups who will present questions which obtain answers skewed in the direction they want.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Terence callachan February 21, 2019 / 10:48 pm

    When SNP are polling behind people say
    “and that’s without a campaign just think how good it will be once an independence campaign gets started”
    When SNP are polling ahead peopl say
    “ ah yes but it’s probably a small number of people that have been polled”
    I say “just accept it for what it is, a poll showing SNP ahead”
    It doesn’t mean we’ve won but it does mean we are likely heading in the right direction which means the opposition are losing support

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Contrary February 22, 2019 / 8:15 am

    (I’m sure you are on this already John but) Regional breakdown of GDP growth, a tired measure though it is, shows that Scotland’s growth last year was only behind the outlier of London in growth:

    Economic growth:

    I don’t know what this means though when they ‘explain’ their methods:

    “Similarly, albeit in a different way to take account of issues around the UK Continental Shelf (or ex-regio depending on your preferred nomenclature), we also constrain our estimates at a regional level so that they aggregate to match overall UK growth.”

    The UK as a whole should be discussing why it is that London has such a different GDP growth, and why it is sucking the country dry!


  6. gavin February 22, 2019 / 8:43 am

    I am 69 years of age, and have only been polled once ( by phone, perhaps in 2016?). I was asked if I would be willing to participate in future and answered yes.
    I look at polling with scepticism. Polls tend to result in outcomes those who pay for them expect and want (though *bad* outcomes could be sat on). Do the pollsters slew questions and demographics to get the results those who pay the piper want?


  7. tcrosbie20 February 22, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    Opinion polls are there to be manipulated for the person paying for the poll, the pollsters a for profit organisations, If they produce opinion polls hat the buyer isn’t happy with they wont come back. And there a very profitable businesses, what can I say. Good old capitalism, you gotta love it. Of course its skewed and manipulated to suit the customer thats how they do business, to suggest otherwise is extremely foolish.


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