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Wings Over Scotland

One from the archives

Posted on December 21, 2013 by

A tweet from SNP MSP Marco Biagi caught our eye yesterday:


It’s a fun little morale-booster, especially when you note that the 2011 poll came just TWO months before the election, whereas there are still NINE months left to turn round the No camp’s steadily-shrinking lead on the referendum. But we found something even more fun when we were checking back on the stats.

It’s a piece from the New Statesman by George Eaton, a decent journalist flawed only by a tendency to act as a Labour cheerleader. He recently penned a piece entitled “Why Labour’s poll lead is small but very stubborn”, insisting that Ed Miliband will be the next Prime Minister of the UK. (We have a £50 wager with him to the contrary.)

He also wrote an analysis of that March 2011 Holyrood poll. It’s only short, so just for some cruel but light-hearted chuckles, we reproduce the entire piece below.


Labour on track for victory in Scotland

Latest poll puts Labour 15 points ahead of the SNP in the constituency section.

I recently noted an extraordinary opinion poll which showed that the Scottish National Party had overturned a Labour lead of 10 points and was on track to retain power at Holyrood. Since then, however, several other surveys appear to have confirmed that this was what psephologists call an “outlier” or a “rogue” poll.

The latest TNS-BMRB/Herald poll shows that Labour retains a comfortable lead over Alex Salmond’s party and that, while support for the red team has fallen, the SNP has not been the beneficiary. In the constituency section, the poll puts Labour on 44 per cent (-5 since January) and the SNP on 29 per cent (-4), with the Tories up 3 points to 12 per cent and the Lib Dems up 4 points to 11 per cent.

In the regional list, it’s a similar story. Labour is down 8 points to 39 per cent, with the SNP down 4 to 29 per cent, the Tories up 2 to 11 per cent and the Lib Dems up 3 to 10 per cent. The Greens are up 3 to 6 per cent and appear to be on track to win as many as six seats.

In terms of the parliamentary arithmetic, these figures would leave Iain Gray with the options of forming a coalition with the Greens or leading a minority administration. A win for Labour in Scotland, followed by victory in the London mayoral election, would be seen as a vital stepping stone on the road back to Downing Street. It looks like this is one early test that Ed Miliband won’t flunk.


To be honest, we’ve spent most of the money already.

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54 to “One from the archives”

  1. Cèitean says:

    looking forward to 19 Sep 14.
    so many Labour place men & women will wither away into obscurity…I will enjoy witnessing the meltdown, firsthand. Then we can get on with rebuilding a nation. Sans cringe.

  2. Les Wilson says:

    Sounds a good bet to me I’m off to check the odds !

  3. Richard says:

    Last I heard from the Paisley cooncillor it was 5-1 with No shortening 2-7 or 2-5. I didn’t take THAT much notice

  4. Doug Daniel says:

    I love the idea that the Scottish election was an early test for Ed Miliband. As if that drip did anything during that campaign! But if it WAS a test for Ed – along with the Mayoral election in London – then he failed miserably. Yet the likes of George Eaton persist with this wild notion that Miliband will be the next PM…

  5. HandandShrimp says:

    Saw some Australian comdeian last night on TV and he said something like “Ed Milliband as PM? Go on, I dare you”.
    Mind you Cameron and Osborne are hardly a notch up are they?

  6. It’s interesting that odds checker doesn’t have any quotes for Cameron being the next PM.

    Either he’s too much of a dead cert they don’t want to put off the Labour mugs or Tories are too busy gambling with their banks.

  7. Ivan McKee says:

    Poll of Polls shows No lead reducing from 20.2% to 15.8% over the past 3 months.
    There is no doubt there is a gradual, yet definite move to Yes.
    If that trend continues then we would go into the last 2 months only needing about a 3% swing.
    But we could expect the trend to accelerate before then as more people become enagaed in the debate and as we reach certain tipping points where Yes becomes increasingly normalised
    Keep on doing what you are doing people, its working.

  8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It’s interesting that odds checker doesn’t have any quotes for Cameron being the next PM.

    I noted that once before, and someone pointed out the answer – he can’t be the next PM no matter what. If he wins in 2015, he’ll simply CONTINUE being PM. The next Prime Minister, by definition, has to be someone who isn’t him.

  9. pmcrek says:

    I remember watching the election results on BBC, when the SNP were on their way to a landslide and we reached the point where SNP + Margo + Greens added together had enough seats to pass the indy referendum, they were still discussing the possibility of a Labour minority administration.
    It was only about an hour before the SNP had officially won a majority. The defence mechanism of the Ostrich springs to mind.

  10. I understand the logic Rev but MPs lose their title before the election and only get it back when they are elected. I’d have thought the same ought to be true for the PM unless he gets to keep the PM title despite losing his MP title.

    Just checked, yes he does as do the other ministers

  11. pmcrek says:

    Heh any odds on Cameron being the last Prime Minister of the UK?

  12. Barontorc says:

    Actually the No camp should be put on suicide watch as we await the inevitable next almighty clanger to hit the deck sometime before September 2014.
    It at times seems to be quite an un-real scenario as the coalitionists, with the total backing of every single UK and Scottish newspaper plus the absolutely disgraceful BBC, north and south variety, continue to step on banana skin after banana skin, which they themselves have tossed to the ground.
    It’s a kind of Rome burning set-up, but hey, – what’re we worrying about – let them carry on?

  13. TJenny says:

    O/T – Hurrah – the Rev’s just tweeted that he WILL be voting in the indy ref! One more small step  for YES, leading to one giant step for Scotland. 🙂

  14. TheGreatBaldo says:

    Ah, unionist hubris…..I suspect there will be a lot of it about on September 19th
    Interesting week, as even Labour friendly papers like The Guardian are now running articles acknowledging that Milliband is going to need some sort of miracle to win in 2015…..

    As we enter the ‘Year of Yes’….there are small but noticeable signs that the plates are begin to shift our way.
    Just for fun my 2014 predictions…..
    I predict The Sunday Herald will finally drop the pretence on come out as YES early in the year…..The Sun will follow at the official start of the campaign provided YES are within 5 points, The Record and SM will become noticeably more balanced before finally coming out as YES in the final week.
    ‘The Scotsman’ finally confirmed as a post modern ironic in-joke
    Continuing on current trends until the spring when a UKIP victory in the Euro’s coupled with a poor Labour showing leads to a huge YES upsurge.  Momentum is maintained during a successful Commonwealth games…..The First YES Lead : Panelbase in March…YouGov still has a 10 point NO lead on polling day.
    Eck debates Darling….crushes him as Darling becomes angry, VERY ANGRY and loses the plot…..debates Cameron…wipes the floor with him….spun by MSM as ‘Cameron outwits Salmond’……Sturgeon arrested for making the Secretary of State for Portsmouth look like a Tory-enabling numpty in public.
    Can’t see any from YES to NO….given his former colleagues now refer to him as a ‘fifth columnist’….Henry obviously, one or two SLAB MSP’s align themselves with Labour for Indy in the final weeks, and as a complete wild card…….Charles Kennedy switches after the Euro Elections.
    Major shake up as polls narrow….Blair McDougall loses his job…..Darling replaced by Douglas ‘Solidarity’ Alexander
    Any one else want to make a complete arse of themselves? 

  15. Douglas Guy says:

    I think some of you are badly underestimating the shitstorm we are going to be hit with after the euro  elections once we have their full and undivided attention.  

  16. Marcia says:

    Rev, I saw your retweet earlier today and spent a little look at the UK Polling site for April/May 2011. It was very intriguing to see the very sharp turnaround of the fortunes for the parties contesting the Scottish Parliament elections and also the AV Referendum.

    At this stage of the referendum campaign I would rather be where the Yes campaign are than where the No campaign are.

    Had a look at some of the articles for this year on Wings. My, we have come a long way when you look back. April and the legal letters were a hoot. The Yes side are far stronger than they were at the beginning of the year.

    More and more community groups sprang up and are spreading their reach into the communities. The No side are now anxious as they don’t have the community reach. Yesterday’s launch of the Centre Right group Wealthy Nation is a sure sign that the No campaign’s strongest demographic can be breached and weakened.

  17. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    The English electorate are going to be faced with several parties who are all saying much of the same thing about policies.So the next Westminster election may well come down to who the English voters decide would be the best Prime Minister.

  18. TJenny says:

    EEK – he’s just said he’s an undecided – hope it was said tongue – in – cheek. (confusedweefacedthingy)

  19. pmcrek says:

    Aye whats going on with Charles Kennedy, afair he was supposed to be prominent in the No campaign at the start, did he even appear at the BT launch…?

  20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “EEK – he’s just said he’s an undecided – hope it was said tongue – in – cheek.”

    What do YOU think? 😀

  21. TJenny says:

    Aye Rev, I do think it was tongue – in – cheek – but it caused a qualm at first sight.
    So, can we look forward to you coming home sometime soon?

  22. Annibale says:

    Just a thought, but in it’s final few months, shouldn’t “The Scotsman” be renamed “The PROUD Scotsman”?

  23. Albert Herring says:

    “EEK – he’s just said he’s an undecided – hope it was said tongue – in – cheek.”
    Dinnae fash, the Rev’s a shy YES.

  24. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The PROUD Scotsmman, but.

  25. creigs1707repeal says:

    In my work I deal with many people from abroad. In the last few months a couple of (ex-Scots) Australians and one New Zealander told me that they have returned (or are in the process of returning) to Scotland in order to participate in next year’s referendum. That’s how important this decision is to them. And they weren’t shy in telling me they were YES voters–ALL of them. We’re gonna win this thing.

  26. bjsalba says:

    I live in Charles Kennedy’s Constituency.  Haven’t seen a word about him in the MSM and there is zilch about him in the local press too.

    I do know he did not vote at either of the debates on the gagging bill (but that is another story). 

  27. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I well remember, like everyone else no doubt, the furore that was caused by the “impossible to achieve” result of the 2011 election, after all Labour had already won the election months before right? 😆
    Like Marcia I am far happier being in the position we and the YES camp are currently in rather than where the Bitter Together crowd are after all as we all know any movement of voters is from NO to UNDECIDED to YES. There is no movement reported at all of voters moving in the opposite direction. :P:
    From what Ivan McKee says the last three months has seen an almost 25% drop in the lead of NO over YES. If this can happen in the last three months what can we expect in the next nine months?

    I feel that from Spring next year we are going to start to see a seismic shift in voters from NO to YES and the final result in September WILL produce the desired result. It is my impression that all the negativity we have had flowing out of BTHQ since day one is having the desired effect………..for the YES camp. People are reaching the point where they are sick to the back teeth of all the lies, deceit and disinformation constantly coming out of BTHQ. This is made worse for BT by the constant shooting down in flames by YES of every lie put out by BT.

  28. Robert Kerr says:

    I attended a local dog show and met an English couple with a Gordon Setter puppy.
    They had recently moved to Scotland (S Lanarkshire).  In response I said one word.

  29. Gav85 says:

    Interesting stuff.

    As we all know opinion polls can be fickle things and I think there’s plenty of reasons for Yes voters to be optimistic heading into the new year. The fact is a significant portion of the electorate are undecided, and I reckon there’s a lot of ‘soft’ unionists who have become ‘don’t knows’ due to the aggressively negative campaigning style of Better Together. 

    It seems to me that BT are just preaching to the converted at the moment. Of course there is a section of the Scottish population that are solid unionists and unlikely to change their minds, but these people are in the minority. I honestly think that as the referendum  draws closer more and more people will start seeing through the scaremongering and mistruths and start moving towards Yes.

  30. Arbroath 1320 says:

    @Robert Kerr
    I think it should have been more than one word Rob.
    I think it should have been along the line of:
    “Welcome, now remember you are required as a newbie ‘Scot’ to vote YES in September next year.” 😆

  31. Les Wilson says:

    About where we are in the polls, I am not worried at all. One of some mistakes made by the Quebec party for Independence was “peaking to early “, we surely want to see hope rising, but a dash in the last few weeks. SG know this, and that is what they are working towards. I trust in them, to time it correctly as they have researched other Independence voting movements in many other polls.

  32. pmcrek says:

    Les Wilson,
    Dont worry the polls are all weighted for Westminster or Holyrood demographics, other than as a means of measuring trends they are unreliable as predictors of the indyref outcome. We’ve never had a referendum on independence before so we have no idea who is actually going to turn out and vote.

  33. a supporter says:

    Douglas Guy:

    I think you are badly over estimating the BritNats responses after the EU elections. If the election results suggest UK OUT and UKIP gain seats Cambo et al will be so committed trying to turn that around Scotland will be forgotten. And I don’t think there is an alternative scenario.

    Also the BritNats have used up their ammo. They are now reduced to re-hashing old comments, the BBC will be forced to become LESS biased, and very importantly, as YES voting becomes normalised, and if/when the polls start to go Indy way, many of the harlots of the media will turn their coats.

  34. Ken500 says:

    Many disillusioned voters will come out to Vote in the Referendum. So disillusioned they normally do not vote. How will they vote? Yes.

    The Polls are wrong.

  35. Bob W says:

    @Les Wilson
    we have no idea who is actually going to turn out and vote.
    Had a conversation with my window cleaner –
    him: ‘good to see you’re a YES’ (I was wearing The Badge)
    He said he hadn’t ever voted in an election, one of the disaffected, he and his family will all be voting Yes in the referendum.
    Hopefully it’s the case that a large proportion of disaffected voters, see Sept 18th as a chance to change things for the better.

  36. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Partner has just seen this on her Facebook page, think it is interesting wee poster.

    I believe that this poster in 1979 had the full backing of none other than the current leader of Labour in Scotland, one Johann Lamont! 😆

  37. Thepnr says:

    O/T Why Labour Supporters should vote Yes. You Labour supporters can win this election and create genuine opportunity and equality with a new written constitution that serves ALL of our people. Keir Hardie would have voted Yes:
    1906 Labour Party General Election Manifesto.

    This election is to decide whether or not Labour is to be fairly represented in Parliament.
    The House of Commons is supposed to be the people’s House, and yet the people are not there.
    Landlords, employers, lawyers, brewers, and financiers are there in force. Why not Labour?
    The Trade Unions ask the same liberty as capital enjoys. They are refused.
    The aged poor are neglected.
    The slums remain; overcrowding continues, whilst the land goes to waste.
    Shopkeepers and traders are overburdened with rates and taxation, whilst the increasing land values, which should relieve the ratepayers, go to people who have not earned them.
    Wars are fought to make the rich richer, and underfed schoolchildren are still neglected.
    Chinese Labour is defended because it enriches the mine owners.
    The unemployed ask for work, the Government gave them a worthless Act, and now, when you are beginning to understand the causes of your poverty, the red herring of Protection is drawn across your path.
    Protection, as experience shows, is no remedy for poverty and unemployment. It serves to keep you from dealing with the land, housing, old age, and other social problems!
    You have it in your power to see that Parliament carries out your wishes. The Labour Representation-Executive appeals to you in the name of a million Trade Unionists to forget all the political differences which have kept you apart in the past, and vote for [YES].

  38. dadsarmy says:

    Nov 12th 2013, after an Edinburgh man put £50,000 on NO, Ladbroke odds for NO went from 1/7 to 1/8, and YES from 9/2 to 5/1.
    Now the odds are 1/5 NO, YES 4/1, one has it at 7/2, and one even at 100/30.
    I didn’t even bet at 6/1, because I didn’t want to put the baulk on it. If it’s a YES I’m sure I’ll find money from somewhere for the week-long celebration! MY prediction still steady at 75% YES, 25% NO.

  39. Andy-B says:

    O/T  I do apologise
    It seems the Saltire is now a health hazard what next?
    If you wish to let chief executive David Martin know how you feel about his decision
    You can here:

  40. Juteman says:

    I too feel confident of winning the polling station votes. It’s the postal votes I worry about.
    Hopefully the winning margin is big enough to make any fiddling a non issue.

  41. AnneDon says:

    Hmmm, I seem to remember Ed’s contribution to SP11 was to visit with Eddie Izzard and tell us that only Labour could defeat the Tories. He obviously hadn’t noticed the Tories were irrelevant in Scotland, and no-one in “Scottish” Labour had the authority to point it out to him. 

  42. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I don’t know if it was a case of no one having the authority to tell Ed Milliband that the Tories were irrelevant in Scotland but more a case of they were all too busy tugging their forelocks in his presence! 😆

  43. joe kane says:

    I remember Elmer Fudd making an ungracious loser’s speech (so typical of Scottish Labour) a short while after his turning the Subway cafe in Union St, Glasgow, into his own personal Alamo. He droned on in that voice of his about cybernats in bedsits. It turns out it’s him and his Ian Taylor subsidised Better Together mob who are the ones whose only detectable grassroots presence in the whole of Scotland is confined to the internet.

    Reference –
    Outgoing Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray in blast at SNP web fanatics

  44. Richard says:

    Oh I did
    along with Margaret curran that stalwart admirer of self determination see previous wings

  45. ronnie anderson says:

    The Great Baldo, I,ll take up your invitation to make a arse of masel ,efter aw twa arses ur better than wan. Am takeing up PIG BREEDING in the NEW  YEAR, FLYING WANS, but I wont be selling them to SCOTS, ( noo dont be shoutin RACIST at me ) I will only SUPPLY to people around SW1, they come with a guaranttee, to SHIT from a GREAT HIGHT,SENACOT SUPPLYED

  46. Mealer says:

    Every person in Scotland will have friends neighbours relatives and work mates trying to persuade them to vote YES.People they know and trust.The NO campaign will have to rely on paying “activists” to spread their depressing message.Mainly students.A lot of whom will defect to our side  once they become immersed in the debate.Backbench Labour MSPs will continue to keep their heads down.Many will soften their stance and hedge their bets in case their is a YES vote.As poll opinion polls tighten,so their stance will soften.We may even see a few defections to YES.The same holds true for the newspapers.

  47. Robert Kerr says:

    Plenty time, we shall meet again at local shows. They live about 10 miles away. 
    I think I made the first contact and did it well. 

  48. Gray says:

    We are talking about driving the final nail into the coffin lid of the British Empire.
    Westminster is in war mode and I fully expect the current barrage of lies and misdirections to continue until March 2016.
    Their approach may never win the hearts of the Scottish populace but they hope it will keep enough feart to get their way.

  49. Ann says:

    I just take these polls with a pinch of salt now-a-days.
    I firmly believe that the yes vote is well above the 30%.
    I always find it hard to believe that people responding to these polls are honest about their polling intentions.  I think there are a  few white lies out there.
    How do the people running these Polls know that people are telling the truth or not?

  50. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    We will know that they know they are losing when they start being nice to Scotland. That’s quite likely to be the next step

  51. msean says:

    Aye,that will be when they offer to let you be in charge of hamster licencing or some such useless thing.

  52. November13 says:

    No have been losing on average 1% every 2 months recently.There are 9 months to go.At that rate they could be down to 36% come the referendum.It’s a soft no vote indeed.We would only need 10% of the 18 % don’t knows to win this.That’s assuming the other 8% of the don’t knows might abstain.

  53. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    We win at the point at which a NO vote is seen by most people as the stupid vote (ie when stupid people notice that clever people are voting YES) .
    We’re steadily getting there

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