NOTE: This page ceased updating during the last few days of the Holyrood campaign given the volume of polls. This is an archive page showing opinion on the constitutional question over the course of the 2016-2021 Scottish Parliament term. For ease of reading and to keep a relatively consistent baseline on the website, the main page now shows only polling since the Scottish Parliament election on the 6th of May 2021.
This page tracks polling for Scottish Parliament elections, as well as seat projections for each poll. Note that the SSP and RISE are considered interchangeable, with RISE having ceased to be prompted for and replaced by the SSP at some point following 2016. Also note that the seat graphs on the Regional and Constituency Polling tables relate only to the projected seats for that vote, not the total number of seats!
The 5-poll average is an arbitrary measure that is provided to give some sense of how support is shifting over time. In countries with more regular polling, something like a 30-day average might be used, but given Scotland is lucky to see one poll a month outside of election campaign periods, we have to make do.
Note that we are now in such an election campaign period, and thus polling is coming in thick and fast! This page is therefore mostly useful for checking individual poll figures and trends over the whole term. For a clearer picture of current polling averages, and much more besides, check out the Holyrood Hub.
Regional (List) Polling
The Regional, or List, Vote is the part of the Scottish Parliament’s voting system which is intended to deliver a degree of proportionality. Within each of the eight Scottish Parliament regions, the combined total of the Constituency Seats (between 8 and 10) plus the 7 Regional List Seats should be roughly proportional to the Regional Vote there. Proportionality is therefore delivered across all seats in the region (between 15 and 17), not just the 7 Regional List Seats.
In that sense, the Regional Vote is the most important, as it determines the overall shape of the Scottish Parliament, and ensures most voters are represented. This is also the vote where individual voters have the most choice between candidates.
The Constituency Vote is the part of the Scottish Parliament’s voting system which is not proportional. This uses the traditional, in a UK context, First Past the Post system, whereby the single candidate with the most votes is elected to represent the constituency. There are 73 Constituencies in total. FPTP’s lack of proportionality and tendency to leave large numbers, often a majority, of voters without any representation means it is an inadequate system for a genuine democracy. That is partly why the Scottish Parliament was specifically designed not to use it alone.
As this vote is non-proportional, it is uncommon for parties that don’t hold seats in the UK Parliament to contest constituencies at all, meaning voter choice is more limited on this ballot.
Projecting Parliamentary seats from National polling isn’t an exact science. However, due to the partly proportional nature of the Scottish Parliament, it’s slightly less shaky to make projections than it would be with pure FPTP, at least in terms of the overall seat numbers. Please see this page for further information about projection methodology.
A majority in the Scottish Parliament is 65 seats.