The Scottish Parliament has resumed for its final session before the 2016 election. Eight bills are to be proposed, these are;
- Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill
- Bankruptcy Consolidation Bill
- Budget Bill
- Burial and Cremation Bill
- Lobbying Bill
- Private Tenancies Bill
- Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill
- Scottish Elections (Dates) Bill
Apart from the Budget which has been delayed there is little controversy here and while the other parties may posture opposition and find things to moan about these should go through relatively unscathed. The Budget will be a different matter; much will be predicated upon Osborne’s autumn statement and we can expect parliamentary fireworks thereafter.
STV have also published the latest poll of voting intentions on the 2016 election. The Ipsos Mori poll implies that the SNP are on course to increase their majority at next year’s Scottish Elections. Support for the SNP was found to be 55% at a constituency level and 50% at a regional one, both up from the party’s historic 2011 performance. The result, if replicated in May, would see the SNP hold over 70 seats. Labour, on the other hand, are down to 20% on both the constituency and regional vote – a result that would see their MSP representation drop from its current level of 37 to just 26 MSPs. The Liberal Democrats would gain an MSP, up to six, while the Scottish Conservatives would remain on 15 – a result that would be a considerable disappointment to their leader Ruth Davidson. The Greens however, are set to increase their representation to 8 MSPs, up from their current 2.
The poll also found that more than half of Scots would vote for independence if a second referendum was held tomorrow. The poll indicated that 53% of Scots would vote Yes and 44% No with 3% undecided. This is the first such poll since the referendum last year and the usual caveats apply.
My thanks to the Grayling Garden Lobby for the summary and the graphics