We try to deploy the money that generous readers send us during our fundraisers very carefully, so we were annoyed last week when we commissioned a new opinion poll from Panelbase with a few thousand quid left over from the Wee Blue Book campaign, only to have every other pollster and his dog release the results of their own surveys the very next day.
So sadly (for us) the following figures won’t have quite the dramatic impact that they might have commanded otherwise, but they’re still pretty interesting, particularly in the context of how they relate to the findings from Ipsos MORI, YouGov and others.
(Our poll also covered some ground that nobody else has done, but to add excitement and build a little suspense we’ll save that for a wee bit later on today.)
Let’s get to it, then.
WESTMINSTER VOTING INTENTIONS (excluding Don’t Knows)
(Sample size 1000, fieldwork 30 Oct-5 Nov 2014. As ever, totals may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding.)
It’s a sign of the extraordinary nature of the times that these almost qualify as good numbers for Scottish Labour. 28% is higher than they scored with either Ipsos or YouGov, and the 17% gap between them and the SNP, while worse than YouGov’s 16-point deficit, is a lot better than the 29 they trailed by according to Ipsos.
The ScotlandVotes predictor suggests those shares would result in Labour hanging onto just 10 of its current 40 Scottish seats in the House of Commons, with the SNP rocketing from six to 47. Electoral Calculus puts it slightly closer, giving Labour 13 to the SNP’s 46. (EC has Labour keeping hold of Glasgow East, Airdrie & Shotts, and Inverclyde, the latter two by margins of less than half a percent.)
The Nats also collect seats from the Lib Dems, whose astounding 3% must surely be an all-time low for any of the “main” parties anywhere. On the ScotlandVotes projection they keep just one of their 11 seats, and on Electoral Calculus it’s a total wipeout, with even Alistair Carmichael in Orkney and Shetland, and Michael Moore down at the opposite end of the country, falling to huge SNP swings.
(Again, taken individually these results seem implausible – as does the SNP ousting David Mundell – but even if you concentrate the remaining Lib Dem support in their strongest heartlands there’s only so far you can make 3% of the vote stretch.)
With undecided voters included, the figures are:
Lib Dem: 2%
Don’t know: 14%
We then asked how people would vote in a re-run of the independence referendum. When YouGov asked that question last week they got a 52-48 win for Yes, BUT their sample was slightly skewed – it comprised 48% people who actually did vote Yes in September and 52% who voted No, which is a significant deviation from the actual result of 45-55, and therefore unbalances their findings in favour of Yes.
Our sample, when weighted, comprised 45% Yes voters and 55% No (in fact, precisely 44.7% to 55.3% excluding those who didn’t vote in the referendum at all), so it should be a more accurate reflection of any shift in opinion. The answer we got was:
Knowing what you know now, if the independence referendum was tomorrow how would you vote?
(excluding Don’t Knows. Full result Yes 46, No 45, DK 6, would not vote 2.)
Excluding don’t knows, 41% of people who voted Labour in the 2010 general election, and 32% of those who voted for Labour at Holyrood in 2011, now say they’d vote for independence tomorrow. So there’s a thing.
Respondents had changed their minds in both directions. 9% of people who voted Yes eight weeks ago would now vote No, with another 2% unsure. But 14% of No voters now want to vote Yes, and 9% have moved to undecided.
Remarkably, that means that 11% of Yes voters and 23% of No voters – not far short of one in five voters in total – have had second thoughts about their choice, within just two months of casting their ballot.
We’ll have more data for you, including our sample’s views on the EU, the Scottish Labour leadership contest and the relationship between the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments, in the coming hours.