Steve Sayers Chart #2 Square

Polling shows everything still to play for

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IT HAS, as always, especially for numbers nerds like me, been intriguing to watch how the various polls have played out in relation to #Scexit and the actual Holyrood election – only 6 days away now.

Yes, of course I know nationalists call ‘#Scexit’ – “independence” but it wouldn’t be Indy would it? We’d be captured, imprisoned even, by what now looks like a 24 per cent deficit, the worst in Europe (same as our Drug Deaths which Sturgeon ignored, eye off the ball indeed)! and, if they got their way, incarceration in an EU that’s failed it’s population with their disastrous vaccination handling, and which would then see us handing powers won, straight back to the EU (in about 10 years time of course as we don’t currently meet entry criteria).

Nationalists fail to see, as an ex-remain voter like me does, that the EU is NOT what it was when the UK was a member, nor indeed is it likely to improve going forward; not forgetting the cost of inherited UK debt share, high setup costs, the currency dilemma, the impact on public services and state pensions that leaving our UK would shackle Scotland with, if, for some reason, they allowed us to join quickly (not rejoin, even if we were daft enough to leave our UK in this post Brexit/Covid era).

The sheer effrontery of Sturgeon recently is starting to grate. Lying publicly three times last week that Scotland’s vaccine success would have been equally as good inside the EU or outside the UK, was for many, the last straw. It added to her admitting care homes deaths and drug deaths were badly mishandled, then saying in one breath there’d be no post #Scexit border problems – when of course it would be out-with her control! It’s hard to keep up with her lies now. She is also pretending that minor trade with the EU is worth more than our 60 per cent with our UK – anyhow, anti-nationalist rant over for now and back to the meat of this blog for ThinkScotland, polls.

The latest Holyrood Election poll is by Panelbase, it is the 17th BPC poll since March 21, Panelbase was the first poll in March and had the SNP at 47 per cent in the Constituency vote and 42 per cent in the Regional List vote, the latest poll has the ‘C’ vote at 45 per cent, down 2 per cent, and the ‘L’ vote at 36 per cent, down 6 per cent. The list drop may have something to do with Alba having 0 per cent in March and 6 per cent now. The chart below shows a yearly analysis, it’s interesting to see the gradual downward drift of the SNP average vote share over time from 2011 (2021 is from polling which is likely to translate into an even lower result for them, more on that shortly).

The analysis of polls isn’t an exact science, and neither are the individual polls themselves, with differences between polling companies procedures, weighting, selection, secondary selection based on likelihood to vote etc. Indeed Alba at 6 per cent in Panelbase on 26/04/21 was 0 per cent in Survation’s poll 22/04/21, their April average has been 3.6 per cent and Alliance For Unity’s has been 1 per cent.

During the 2016 campaign (see above) The SNP averaged 51 per cent ‘C’ and 44 per cent ‘L’, their actual result was 47 per cent ‘C’ and 44 per cent ‘L’ the other parties, particularly the Tories, picked up a very positive upward per cent shift. If that shift from polling to actual is applied to the latest polling, the result will not please Nationalists. In the chart above compare the last 5 polls 2021 average (2nd bar down) with the forecast after the April 2016 average shift is applied (bottom bar, outlined red).

Without the shift applied the Panelbase poll would, if the actual vote matched it, show a 10 seat loss of ProUK seats, from 60 seats down to 50. The SNP would lose 3 ‘L’ seats but the combined Nat total would be 79, Greens with 11 seats and Alba 8, hmmm….

With the shift applied, the picture becomes somewhat different. ProUK actually gains 5 seats with the SNP losing 7 (Labour gaining 1 and the Tories 4). Any forecasts are just that, a forecast, and the complications added by the Greens vacating 1 ‘C’ seat but now standing in 12 ‘C’ seats will have a bearing, as will whatever transpires with the Alba and A4U votes. None of which seems to favour the SNP much at all. We also have to consider other major factors, turnout, postal vote numbers (campaigning lost on them a while back, leaders debates having no impact) and of course Covid and Brexit influences (which would seem to diminish the Nationalist appeal).

What about the potential impact of both Alba and A4U votes on ProUK seats? Based on 2016, If Alba were able to secure a 10 per cent swing from Nationalist parties, and A4U a 10 per cent swing from ProUK parties (no one realistically expects either of them to pick up votes from the other side), the impact is ZERO – no change – the 10 per cent swing equates to a 5 per cent vote share each.

If however Alba alone got a 10 per cent swing, it would reduce Nationalist seats by 3, while at the same time, if A4U alone were to get a 10 per cent swing it would ‘rob’ 1 seat from the ProUK total. Current polling suggest neither will have any significant impact. (See my twitter feed for the additional tables).

So, what are the polls telling us? In my opinion tough times ahead (relatively) for the SNP, resilience if not a small improvement for Tory and Labour, Lib Dems might struggle a bit, Greens seem to be picking up SNP votes and Alba and A4U not really impacting as yet, probably unlikely to. It’s highly possible that the Nationalists could lose an overall majority, throwing the overall Parliament into a very volatile position after the vote, with the actual government in charge and any future FM under question as to who does what. Thankfully we don’t have long to wait!

With regard to #Scexit I was hoping to add the Panelbase results to my charts, but J. Kelly of ScotGoesPop, who commissioned the poll, is being his usual drip-feeding self, leaking bits of the polling as he sees fit (pointless when the damn thing is done, he can’t change anything). So we will have to make do with the latest versions with the April 21st Survation poll. You will see that the nationalists won’t be happy, they have no forward movement at all, all perceived gains lost and recent polls have seen their support for #Scexit drop to levels not seen since 2019. Again, two charts will show the impact of pre ref. polling and the actual results applied to the latest polling, nothing has changed since September 2014. We’ve had another 7 years of SNP failings, which must surely start and impact them in May and in any second #Scexit vote which is looking highly unlikely indeed.

In closing, I think it’s worth noting the ProUK parties could have come together far, far better than they ‘haven’t’. Their public bickering under the existential constitutional nightmare Scotland has to endure is appalling, a plague on them all, If you have yet to vote, vote tactically ignoring their leafletting and pronouncements, they are all at it, even A4U who should have bitten the bullet by now and withdrawn.

It’s worth pointing out that I have never seen Sturgeon look so harassed and rattled for a period of weeks before, perhaps the daily ‘Me Me’ show has failed after the Vaccine lies, Care Home deaths debacle, and current emphasis again on our appalling 5x worse than the rest of the UK’s Drug Deaths rate? No doubt private polling also has her very much on edge. Her recent public interviews with @C4Ciaran @PeterAdamSmith and @AndrewMarr9 have shown her to be short tempered, bitter and angry, the exact opposite of what you would expect from someone supposedly in charge.

Tactical Voting Post Script: Ross made an arse of his tri-party approach (on purpose?) and the responses from messers Sarwar and Rennie were worse than useless (or was that response pre a LibLab pact? Looks that way in debates) – both anti-Tory and unhelpful when they should have been encouraging formal Constituency tactical voting. Here’s the latest Tactical Voting guidance in case you’ve not made your mind up. Do keep your eyes out for any major changes in polling or party dynamics, thinks carefully, vote wisely, #SNPOut


See my twitter feed (media) for individual constituency tactical voting memes. @SteveSayersOne

PPS: Kelly still not released the Panelbase #Scexit polling…..

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