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Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘psephology’

AMS for lazy people 297

Posted on August 23, 2015 by

The email we’ve had more than any other since the 8th of May is this one:

“Please can you explain how the Scottish election system works, and whether it’s a good idea for me as an SNP voter to give my list vote to someone else so as to ensure the maximum number of pro-Yes MSPs in Holyrood?”

We’d planned to leave that question until much nearer the relevant time, but to be honest we’re getting fed up of reading them, so let’s see if we can sort it out now.

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You’re gonna need someone on your side 179

Posted on February 03, 2015 by

From the latest YouGov polling. Ooft.


Remarkably, 26% of people planning to vote Labour in May, and an astounding 54% of likely Tory voters, say the SNP are the best guarantors of more powers, while 21% of Labour voters and 37% of Tories also answer “SNP” to the second question.

We wouldn’t want to be in Scottish Labour’s shoes if they were made of diamonds.

Choosing a side 195

Posted on January 27, 2015 by

Ed Balls today gave an interview to Sky News in which the would-be Chancellor appeared to explicitly rule out a Labour/SNP coalition for the first time, maintaining that the party is only interested in a majority. Yet the more strenuously Labour insist on a majority, the further from their grasp it slips.

Just over a year ago we ran an article suggesting that the opinion polls masked a much stronger position for the Conservatives than they seemed to show. We noted that when the election came round, it was likely that when UKIP supporters faced the reality of First Past The Post in seats where they had no sensible hope of winning, a significant proportion of them would reluctantly vote Tory instead to secure the EU referendum that is their defining goal.


Now we have some numbers on that.

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Dividing lines 107

Posted on January 16, 2015 by

So far in our twin social-attitudes polls of Scotland and the rUK we’ve found that while there can be very sizeable gaps between Scottish public opinion and that elsewhere, it mostly tends to be within the same side of the debate – for example, rUK citizens are much keener on retaining the monarchy and nuclear weapons than Scots are, but Scots do still favour both.


Our final round-up off the poll findings, though, focuses on the three questions we asked where the differences DID cross the divide.

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The same and different 130

Posted on January 16, 2015 by

For our next grab-bag of data from our twin social-attitudes polls of Scotland and the rUK, let’s take a look at some things where Scottish people converge and diverge from their English, Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts. It’ll be something to do.


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The forgotten creed 118

Posted on January 16, 2015 by

We apologise if the results of our twin social-attitudes polls of both Scotland and the rUK have been a little depressing so far, readers.


Depending on how you choose to look at things (and where you live), this next tranche of data is going to either cheer you up a little bit or make you feel even worse.

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Crimes and punishments 181

Posted on January 15, 2015 by

Having found to our dismay that both Scots and the rest of the UK want to see people prosecuted for offensive but non-threatening comments on Twitter and Facebook, it seems a good time to reveal the rest of our findings on matters of law and justice.


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We are not all Charlie 101

Posted on January 15, 2015 by

Freedom of speech has been a very hot topic across the world in the wake of the brutal murder of 12 editorial staff at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and other related killings. So in our latest poll we thought we’d find out how committed people were to the principle, even in much less deadly situations.


The results were sobering.

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A United Kingdom? 99

Posted on January 15, 2015 by

Keen students of politics can’t have failed to notice a fascinating situation coalescing in the last few months. On current polling, it looks very much like no two of the UK’s four constituent nations will vote for the same party at the forthcoming general election. The Tories are miles ahead in England, in Scotland the SNP lead by even more, Wales is still a Labour stronghold and Northern Ireland continues to do its own thing, split roughly half-and-half along, well, let’s call them “cultural” lines.

So when we decided to conduct another poll with our left-over fundraiser money (start saving now for 2015’s annual grand appeal next month, readers!), we thought it might be interesting to do something that we’re not sure has ever been done before.


We commissioned TWO full-sample polls, one of 1000 people in Scotland and one of 1000 people in the rest of the UK, and we asked them the same questions.

The results we got were fascinating – sometimes predictable, sometimes surprising, sometimes pleasing and sometimes dismaying. But we’re going to start off with one we really didn’t see coming at all.

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The resentful elephant 182

Posted on December 28, 2014 by

Several papers lead this morning with a Panelbase poll showing that a sizeable majority of Scots – regardless of their party allegiances – think that electing a large number of SNP MPs at next May’s UK general election will be the only practical way to safeguard Scotland’s interests in the wake of the referendum No vote.

This poll, currently live on the YouGov website, shows why:


The problem that will arise if most Scottish Labour MPs keep their seats in 2015 will be that there is only one Labour Party and it has only one leader.

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The tipping point 81

Posted on December 18, 2014 by

The argument that seat projections based on current opinion polling give the SNP (based on uniform swing) a wildly unrealistic number of seats seems at first glance to be compelling. More than two dozen current Labour seats have five-figure majorities, and several are higher than 20,000. Taken individually every single one represents a mammoth task, and capturing the bulk of them looks an absurd dream.


We’re deeply sceptical ourselves about the predictions giving the SNP 40 or more seats, partly for that reason and partly because the lesson of 2011 – when the Nats somehow pulled off a 30-point poll shift in around six weeks – shows how foolish it is to call a febrile-looking election that’s still the best part of five months away.

So we’re not going to be doing that. We’re not making any forecasts here. Rather, we were interested in taking a look at how it could happen, and how First Past The Post, for so long the SNP’s mortal enemy, could next year become a powerful ally.

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You only sing when you’re winning 212

Posted on December 15, 2014 by

An intriguing extract from the weekend’s YouGov poll for The Sun:


It’s not the biggest vote of confidence, is it?

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