Hot on the heels of two other polls, and in fact starting the day they concluded, we got a release from another ongoing partnership in the form of STV News (link to original writeup) and Ipsos (link to tables). I was a little surprised to get another poll out of that so soon as the previous three had been at six month intervals, but it may be we’re going to get them a bit more frequently this year due to the general election?
The previous Ipsos covered the 20th – 26th of November 2023. Changes are shown as (vs that poll / vs last election).
Although the SNP are holding steady here compared to the previous poll, given that Ipsos tend to be the most favourable pollster for them they should be a bit shaken by how much Labour have narrowed the gap here, to a level comparable to other pollsters. That’s a huge surge for Labour, giving them their best polled share on this vote either this term or since the referendum. That should leave them feeling very happy, even if they haven’t quite taken a lead in any aspect of this poll.
The counterbalance to that is that this is a joint-worst figure of the term for the Conservatives, equalled only by a YouGov in December 2022, not long after the calamitous Liz Truss days. With a very small, margin of error level bump for the Greens, the Conservatives are within touching distance of being pushed into fourth place here. The Lib Dems also lose a little bit of their support but they’re still running ahead of their 2021 result, whilst Alba continue to flounder and can’t even match their paltry share from that election.
Ipsos differ a bit more starkly from other pollsters over on the constituency side of things. Whilst everyone is showing a larger lead for the SNP over Labour on this vote, this is a good bit wider. Note however that trend for the gap closing – the SNP haven’t lost any support, but Labour have gained a bit. It’s all margin of error from here down but that appears to have come at the expense of the Lib Dems and Conservatives, each of which are down a point. The Greens are also up to a share very much on the higher end of their constituency vote polling.
Projecting that into seats might give us something like this:
Ipsos are the only pollster still consistently projecting to a re-elected SNP-Green government, and that continues in this poll… barely. At bang on the 65 seats needed for a majority, this would be an extremely uncomfortable position for the SNP, especially given the rebellious streak amongst some backbenchers who’ve positioned themselves very much against the Greens being in government. This lead is also built entirely on the SNP’s chunky lead on the constituency vote giving them a few seats of overhang in Lothian (1), Mid and Fife (1) and the North East (2). Losing even a single additional constituency in any of those regions would be enough to tip the balance to the Pro-Union bloc.
Unlike the Holyrood questions the SNP do lose a bit of support at Westminster, albeit a single point. Combined with a gain of two for Labour, this does nonetheless continue that pretty much universal trend of the gap between the two parties narrowing, even if Ipsos have it wider in the SNP’s favour than anyone else. Especially poor results for the Conservatives and Lib Dems here, in contrast to modest growth for the Green and Reform UK shares.
Where Ipsos have most dramatically departed from pollster consensus lately has been on the issue of Independence, consistently finding leads that nobody else is. That lead has narrowed very slightly here, but it’s still half of people likely to vote Yes even before excluding Don’t Knows. Like with the parliamentary voting intention though, I’d say what we want to look at most closely here is trend rather than hard figures.
Just like the last poll, what this shows is relatively stable support for Independence, running a few points ahead of the total support for Pro-Independence parties on the list vote. It continues to be the case that taken as a whole, polling is telling us that the SNP have lost a lot of support, but Independence hasn’t – that’s because, as those same polls show, a lot of Independence supporters are nonetheless considering backing Labour come election time.
As ever, the last little bit of analysis concerns those hypothetical and more proportional voting systems that BBS likes to play about with. The use of pure FPTP at Westminster is an affront to democracy, and though Holyrood fares far better, AMS is still deeply imperfect. The examples here simply transpose the poll findings onto more proportional voting systems – the reality is that different systems would of course result in different voter behaviour.
Scandinavian Style Westminster
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