Poll Analysis: Survation 30th of April – 4th of May 2021

Keep tabs on all the latest polling, articles and information ahead of the 2021 Scottish Parliament election in the Ballot Box Scotland Holyrood Hub!

For the last of our three polls today, and the very last standalone poll analysis piece of the campaign, we’re looking at Survation. I correctly surmised that given yesterday’s release was a week old they may have had another in the wings, and that proved to be the case, with DC Thomson (of the Courier, amongst others) having commissioned one last poll from them.

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Regional Vote

SNP ~ 36% (-1 / -6)
Conservative ~ 21% (-1 / -2)
Labour ~ 19% (+1 / nc)
Green ~ 10% (-1 / +3)
Liberal Democrat ~ 7% (nc / +2)
Alba ~ 3% (+1 / +3)

Though Survation haven’t returned to their “Labour in second” form in this one, the gap between Labour and the Conservatives does narrow again here. That goes alongside small decreases for the SNP and Greens, whilst Alba gain a point, and the Lib Dems continue to be on the upper end of their recent polling. Given some of the other drama of recent polls, this one is actually relatively staid.

Constituency Vote

SNP ~ 49% (+2 / +2)
Conservative ~ 21% (nc / -1)
Labour ~ 21% (nc / -2)
Liberal Democrat ~ 8% (nc / nc)
Green ~ 1% (+1 / nc)

As we’ve seen in a couple of polls, the SNP have moved up on the constituency vote here despite losing list support. The lack of corresponding decreases for any other party, with Conservatives and Labour still tied, is likely to be down mostly to rounding.

Seat Projection

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

Projecting that into seats might give us something like this:

SNP ~ 66 (+4 / +3)
Conservative ~ 24 (-3 / -7)
Labour ~ 23 (+1 / -1)
Green ~ 10 (-1 / +4)
Liberal Democrat ~ 6 (-1 / +1)

Whereas the last Survation had been a minority, this makes six out of seven final polls pointing towards an SNP majority. It’s on a pretty fine margin, however, and in this scenario it would only take Edinburgh Western and Southern staying with their current parties, as I still think is most likely, for the SNP to stay in minority. That much narrower gap between the next two largest parties suggests there’d be just a single seat between them, so though it’s not Labour back in second, it’s still the closest they come with any of the final polls.

As I’ve noted a few times, 3% is the point at which I reckon it’s about 50/50 as to whether Alba get Salmond into the North East, and my model thinking “no” could well be falling on the wrong side of that.

SNP ~ 48% (+2 / +3)
Conservative ~ 22% (nc / -3)
Labour ~ 20% (-2 / +1)
Liberal Democrat ~ 7% (-1 / -3)
Green ~ 1% (+1 / nc)

As you’d expect, the SNP continue to ride high in the Westminster intention, up a couple of points, whilst Labour are down by the same amount. That’d almost certainly tip a number of seats the SNP’s way if replicated at the next UK GE.

Standard Question

No ~ 47% (nc)
Yes ~ 43% (+1)
Don't Know ~ 10% (-1)

As in their previous poll, Survation are now on the clearly Union-leading side of the current polling landscape, though the gap is slightly smaller this time around. Overall we are still in margin of error territory, but there’s a clear trend in No’s favour.

Excluding Don't Knows

No ~ 52% (-1 / -3)
Yes ~ 48% (+1 / +3)

Taking out the Don’t Knows shows a similar slight narrowing to give everyone’s favourite and definitely not at all cursed numbers! 

Council Area Projection

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

On a simple Uniform Swing versus 2014, No would seem to be the likely leader in 23 council areas, down from 28 last time. Yes would potentially tip 9 councils their way, gaining on the 4 at the referendum.

Hypotheticals

As ever, the last little bit of analysis concerns those hypothetical and more proportional voting systems that I have a bee in my bonnet about here at BBS. The fact Westminster uses pure FPTP 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.

As the election approaches and polls are coming out more frequently, I’m jettisoning the actual map for this one for now. I still think it’s a fun and useful exercise, but it’s also time consuming to manually change 129 bubbles! (The AMS projection is only 56 bubbles, because the 73 constituencies are driven from a spreadsheet).

Changes here are vs AMS / vs same projection for the last poll.

SNP ~ 48 (-18 / -2)
Conservative ~ 28 (+4 / -2)
Labour ~ 25 (+2 / +1)
Green ~ 14 (+4 / -1)
Liberal Democrat ~ 10 (+4 / nc)
Alba ~ 4 (+4 / +4)

Usual story of this more proportional hypothetical, with a big pile of SNP seats flowing to other parties. Though there’s a net loss of 3 seats versus this model in the last poll for the SNP and Greens which would prevent them from forming a majority, the 4 Alba seats would give a narrow pro-Independence majority about the same size as the SNP’s projected AMS majority.

Scandinavian Style Westminster

Changes here are only versus the same projection on the last poll, given my aversion to doing projections on pure FPTP.

SNP - 29 (+1)
Conservative - 14 (+1)
Labour - 12 (-1)
Liberal Democrat - 4 (-1)

We all know roughly what happens with this one, I’m sure – what would be an almost clean-sweep for the SNP under FPTP could instead be a much more balanced and accurate reflection of voter opinion. Versus the last poll the SNP and Conservatives would be up a seat each, with Labour and the Lib Dems therefore losing one apiece.

If you find this or other Ballot Box Scotland output useful and/or interesting, and you can afford to do so, please consider donating to support my work. I love doing this, but it’s a one-man project and takes a lot of time and effort. All donations, no matter how small, are greatly appreciated and extremely helpful.
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