Latest Scottish Polls

Less than a week to go to Election Day and the polls in Scotland still have the SNP way out in front.   Labour languishes, Lib Dems are nowhere and the Tories show a slight improvement. What does this indicate for the result north of the border?

To begin with we need a large pinch of salt. History suggests that pollsters regularly overestimate the Labour vote. For example in the 2005 election the consensus was a Labour vote of around 40% but in reality was a mere 35%. They didn’t do much better with the Lib Dems, in 2010 they estimated 31% for them while the result was just 23%. As far as the Tories were concerned in 2010 the polls under estimated the numbers by as much as 4%. The so called minor party votes were also underestimated by the pollsters.

The broad percentages in the polls disguise the impact of a “personal vote” in some places and splits in the opposing teams votes. For example in 2010 Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale returned David Mundel as the only Tory from Scotland with 38% of the vote and the SNP nowhere.  However the Labour, the main opposition in the constituency, and the Lib Dems between them polled more than 50% of the vote. There are other constituencies with similar troubles, Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk for example. Here the main opposition to the sitting Lib Dem is the Tory party with Labour and the SNP also rans. This seat could easily fall to the Tories, similarly Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine.

The other big battle lies in Gordon also in NE Scotland. Here the sitting MP Malcolm Bruce who had a huge personal vote has retired.  The Lib Dem candidate, Christine Jardine faces Alex Salmond, former leader of the SNP who would need a 7% swing from LD to SNP to win the seat.  No-one I think is putting money on Ms Jardine.

So with salt cellar in hand herewith a few thoughts.

  • The idea that Labour will be wiped out in Scotland is a little farfetched. Many in Scotland will probably revert to Labour though with noses held.
  • The Lib Dems may do better than expected while the SNP/Lab vote remains split in certain seats.
  • The SNP will take the majority of Scottish seats but nothing like the 50+ predicted. However if you had offered them say 40 seats at the start of the campaign they would have bitten your hand off.
  • With the shy Tory supporters coming out on the day, SNP and Labour splitting the vote in some constituencies it is likely that the Tories could do much better than the polls suggest gaining 1 perhaps 2 seats.

Latest Scottish Polls courtesy of Grayling Scotland.

May 1st polls Scotland

My work background is in operational meteorology and in my career I have been involved in forecasting for everything from bananas to jumbo jets.I joined the Met Office 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport. After training as a forecaster, I worked as an Operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, I moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and STV broadcaster till 1988. He then took up a post as Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, then Senior Forecaster ITV where I qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became Head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of front-line management for Southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office Chief Advisor for Scotland & Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh. I retired in September 2014. My one claim to fame is once performed a comedy sketch on TV with Manuel (Andrew Sachs) from Fawlty Towers in support of Comic Relief.

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Posted in Coalition, Comment, Democracy, Election Debate, Labour Party, Lib Dems, News, Politics, Scotland, Sharing, SNP, Tory Party, UK Election, Westminster

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