YouGov, 30th Aug-3rd Sept 2019

After a summer recess from polling, we’ve got a juicy new one just as MSP’s and MP’s get back to work – though the latter may not be there for long. Excitingly, it’s not Panelbase, it’s YouGov! As a new feature since the last projection post, there’s now a little page here that explains a bit about them. You’re all sensible people anyway who don’t need to be coddled with health warnings, but just in case!

Display format;

Holyrood Voting Intention and Projection (Tracker)

Regional;

  • SNP – 39% (+2 / -3)
  • Conservative – 20% (nc / -3)
  • Liberal Democrat – 13% (+6 / +8)
  • Labour – 11% (-4 / -8)
  • Green – 8% (-2 / +1)
  • Brexit – 5% (nc / +5)
  • SSP – 3% (nc / +3)
  • UKIP – 1% (-1 / -1)
  • TIGFC – 0% (-2 / nc)

Getting straight to the big drama of this poll – the Lib Dems in third. This poll overall is their best since entering coalition in 2010. Of course if the Lib Dems have bumped up to third, two other parties have to go down. The Greens lose vote share on the last poll but improve on 2016, whilst Labour have their worst ever Scottish Parliament figure. The Conservatives, Brexit and that uniquely YouGov SSP remain static on last poll, whilst UKIP continue to fade and TIGFC, formerly known as Change UK, have faded back into oblivion.

Constituency;

  • SNP – 45% (-1 / -2)
  • Conservative – 23% (+1 / +1)
  • Labour – 13% (-3 / -10)
  • Liberal Democrat – 12% (+5 / +4)
  • Brexit – 3% (-1 / +3)
  • Green – 2% (-1 / +1)
  • TIGFC – 0% (-1 / nc)

For the constituency vote, Labour narrowly hold onto their third place, though again it’s their worst ever figure for this vote. The corresponding Lib Dem resurgence is the only other notable finding here – everyone else is shuffling up or down by just 1%.

Projected into seats it might look like;

  • SNP – 64 (+1 / +1)
  • Conservative – 25 (nc / -6)
  • Lib Dem – 16 (+8 / +11)
  • Labour – 12 (-6 / -12)
  • Green – 10 (nc / +4)
  • Brexit – 2 (-3 / +2)

With the Lib Dems doing so well in that all-important list vote, they come in third in terms of seats, whilst Labour are only two ahead of the Greens. The SNP come up one seat short of a majority, though the pro-Independence majority is again projected to grow. Brexit do quite poorly in terms of seats despite a solid list vote, as the Lib Dem revival collides with the SNP’s overhang – the system just isn’t designed for this level of constituency dominance and so well split a list vote.

Speaking of systems which are a bit better designed, let’s also do my usual just for fun list vote translation to an imagined more proportional system a la Scandinavian countries (vs AMS projection);

  • SNP – 55 (-9)
  • Conservative – 26 (+1)
  • Liberal Democrat – 17 (+1)
  • Labour – 14 (+2)
  • Green – 10 (nc)
  • Brexit – 6 (+4)
  • SSP – 1 (+1)

With no constituency seats to overly distort the result, everyone except the Greens would gain at the SNP’s expense. Again there’s that anomalous SSP seat despite them not crossing the 4% threshold because a concentration of support in Glasgow squeaks them a directly elected seat.

Westminster Voting Intention (Tracker)

  • SNP – 43% (nc / +6)
  • Conservative – 20% (nc / -9)
  • Labour – 15% (-2 / -12)
  • Liberal Democrat – 12% (+3 / +5)
  • Brexit – 6% (+2 / +6)
  • Green – 4% (+1 / +4)
  • UKIP – 0% (-1/ nc)
  • TIGFC – 0% (-2 / nc)

A silver lining for Labour in this part of the poll – it’s not their worst ever figure, that was 13% just before the 2017 snap. They may well be hoping for another miraculous recovery, but there’s only so many times you can go up and down before the yo-yo string snarls. It’s a poor showing for the Conservatives as well as they are static since last poll but that still means down almost a third versus the election, and whilst Brexit are up on the last YouGov, they aren’t polling as strongly as with other pollsters.

On the other side, the SNP’s share is (still, as unchanged on last YouGov) the highest it’s been since the last snap, and as with Holyrood the Lib Dems are polling their best since entering coalition in 2010. The Greens too have polled their joint-best since the last election, but that’s highly unlikely to translate into any seats.

Constitutional (Independence Tracker)

The good ol’ Independence question was of course asked – note that YouGov don’t filter out the wouldn’t votes and refused and I’m sticking to the numbers as reported, so doesn’t sum up to 100%;

  • No – 44% (-1)
  • Yes – 43% (-1)
  • Don’t Know – 9% (+2)

Excluding Don’t Know;

  • No – 51% (nc / -4)
  • Yes – 49% (nc / +4)

Guess what? Not much movement, again – though we’re settling into an era where “not much” means “much closer than the last referendum”. Although it’s not much, there is a little shift away from both options to Don’t Know, which may be explained in part by how up in the air everything else is with Brexit at the moment. Doing simple universal swing on the last one would suggest 12 councils would vote Yes this time, and 20 No.

On whether or not there should be another referendum in the next five years;

  • Should – 45% (+3)
  • Should not – 44% (-4)
  • Don’t Know – 11% (+1)

So Scots narrowly want to have a referendum, in which they would just as narrowly vote for the Union.

The poll also asked what impact Johnson as Prime Minister or, hypothetically, Corbyn will have on the likelihood of Independence (Johnson/Corbyn);

  • More Likely (48% / 21%)
  • Less Likely (5% / 15%)
  • No Difference, probably become independent anyway (10% / 19%)
  • No difference, probably won’t become independent anyway (22% / 19%)
  • Don’t Know (15% / 27%)

No “straight re-run of the 2016 referendum question”, but there was one on a preferred Brexit outcome;

  • New referendum, remain in EU – 44%
  • No Deal – 18%
  • Deal including Single Market and Customs Union – 18%
  • Deal similar to May’s – 4%
  • Not Sure – 16%

Given the tendency of Scottish polls to show at least a 2:1 lead for Remain over Leave in second referendum polling, it might seem a bit odd that only 44% have that as their preferred outcome. When you consider the Ref and Remain and the Deal options here total 66%, it’s probably the case that a big chunk of the prospective Remain vote in a second referendum would prefer not to be asked again and get on with a Soft Brexit for now.

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