Poll Analysis: Norstat 9th – 12th of April 2024

I know I was complaining about the relative dearth of polls (that sit within the BBS Standard Series) just last week, but I have to say there’s something oddly spiteful about basically the same people publishing two polls in the one week. For all that people in the business talk up the separation between daily (the Times, who commissioned the YouGov published in the middle of last week), and sunday (the Sunday Times, who commissioned this one) papers, in this case the Scottish arms of both do, as I understand it, functionally employ the same staff. Imagine my surprise then at this Norstat (link to tables) popping up so soon then, giving them their second Scottish outing since rebranding from Panelbase.

The previous Norstat covered the 22nd – 25th of January 2024. Changes are shown as (vs that poll / vs last election).

Regional Vote

A real mixed bag, this poll, with some stuff that looks about right and other bits that I find odd. In terms of things I think are reasonable, this is on the low end of recent SNP polling, but not unprecedentedly so, and it fits their general decline at the moment. Similarly, the Greens have stagnated in a lot of other polling, Alba just aren’t breaking through, and Reform UK have seen an uptick, so nothing untoward there.

On the other hand, that’s a surprisingly bad result for Labour, significantly lower than every other poll currently in the average (three 29%ers and a 31%), and a decline that’s easily in excess of margin of error. By contrast the Conservatives are a fair bit higher than with other pollsters even if they are the same as the last Norstat. Given they’ve been haemorrhaging support in GB-level polling lately, I’d have expected to see similar here.

Most oddly of all however, and we’ll see this throughout the poll, is a comparatively big increase for the Lib Dems. I often find myself saying this, and I mean no disrespect to the party at all, but it very much feels like the Invisible Party at the moment. I’m not sure I buy it pulling back into double digits in the current context, as it isn’t really on the political radar. If it did however, they’d be pretty chuffed, especially given in this case it gives them a rare lead back over the Greens.

Constituency Vote

The constituency side of things looks a little quieter, with Labour only down very slightly rather than by a big chunk, though it still retains the somewhat excessive bump for the Lib Dems. They didn’t break the figures out, but similar to the YouGov I’d assume a chunk of the “Others” vote is people currently claiming they’d vote Reform UK.

Seat Projection

Projecting that into seats might give us something like this:

Please see this page for how projections work and important caveats.

Relative to the last poll, almost all of the movement here is from the SNP and especially Labour towards the Lib Dems, though just like the YouGov there’s a solitary Reform UK seat projected for South. That’s despite them being on a slightly lower vote share here, and perhaps reflects the fact the figures I’m using to drive Reform UK projections are the sum and total of Reform UK plus UKIP plus All for Unity results in 2021, which peaked in the South region.

We’re back to big slides for Labour over on the Westminster vote, bringing them back onto a level pegging with the SNP after they’d taken a lead in the last poll. The counterbalancing Lib Dem increase doesn’t look as big here but still exists. If I were Labour I certainly wouldn’t be too worried by a single poll with these big decreases, as you do expect a bit of noise in polling. It’s only if this continues into a few other polls that it might start to get concerning for them.

Note a little increase for Reform UK too here and, after I complained about the lack in the last poll, specific prompting for the Greens too. They also went the whole hog and prompted for Alba which is relatively rare but, I think, quite useful to do given they do actually have those two defecting MPs they will be trying in vain to hold onto at the General Election.

The previous Independence poll had been pretty much a dead heat, but this time around the Union has opened up more of a lead. It’s still showing Independence in a marginally stronger place than it was in 2014, and my caution to the Pro-Union side not to fall into the trap of assuming that just because the SNP are struggling that the whole concept of Independence is “dead” remains.


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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