2007 - 2021

Yes Would Win a Poll Held Tomorrow

The Savanta Com Res Poll shows a remarkable continued support for the SNP and for Yes, but also increased cross-party support for Nicola Sturgeon. Significant proportions of 2019 Labour and Conservative voters say they’ve become more likely to vote for the SNP in May having seen how they’ve responded to the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll by Savanta ComRes and The Scotsman. This should be an Endgame for Leonard, Ross and Rennie – but in this country the opposition are operating at such a low bar of expectation – and have such a small gene pool of talent – that virtually nothing will remove these political leaders – distinguished only by their mediocrity – from their positions.

More than a third of 2019 Labour voters say that they’re now more likely to vote for the SNP in May than they were, thanks to the SNP’s response to the pandemic, while 13% of 2019 Conservative voters say the same.


Almost half (46%) of 2019 Labour voters say that their impression of Nicola Sturgeon has gotten better since the pandemic began due to her management of it, while a third (36%) of 2019 Conservative voters say the same. This is odd given that the Scottish Government’s handling of the pandemic has been – arguably – very similar to that of the UK government’s. The difference though is one of perceived integrity. The First Minister is perceived as being hard-working, diligent and authentic. In contrast the UK government is perceived as being riddled with cronyism and contempt for ordinary people.

The poll also finds that ‘Yes’ would comfortably win an independence referendum were it held tomorrow, with 57% of likely voters choosing ‘Yes’ compared to 43% choosing ‘No’.

But if the polling is terrible news for Scottish Labour and the Conservatives, and their beleaguered leaders, it’s also terrible news for the Pitchfork Bloggers who are now dedicated almost exclusively to attacking the First Minister. We’re in such a weird place now that these polling figures will enrage not only the Tories but some factions within the independence movement.

As the Brexit fiasco continues to destroy the Scottish fishing industry, the Scottish Conservatives will continue to free-fall as the public watches in real time the economic ‘hit’ of the democratic deficit that pulled us out of the EU against our wishes.

The Unionists response will doubtless be more of the same: double-down on the Constitution, repeat failing policies and outlook, and pursue relentless opportunism. They will unite to suppress any chance of democratic expression with their only two effective policies left: deny a referendum and hope and pray that the pandemic stops the election going ahead.

That’s their vision. That’s it.

The projected seats show a big pro-indy majority with the Scottish Greens projected to pick up 11 seats on the list, pushing the Liberal democrats into fifth, and Labour overtaking the Conservatives in second. The loss of Andy Wightman does not seem to have had any impact on the Green vote.

  • Holyrood constituency voting intention: SNP 53 (-2); Con 19 (-1); Lab 18 (+2); LD 6 (-); Other 4 (+1)
  • Holyrood list voting intention: SNP 44 (+2); Lab 18 (+1); Con 16 (-4); Green 11 (-1); LD 8 (+1); Other 3 (-)

As the Brexit debacle unfolds and anger at the UK Government’s handling of the pandemic continues then the likelihood is that the Tories will continue to hemorrhage votes – and Labour has little to say about any of the important issues of the day. It’s entertaining to watch the Liberal Democrats, recently a party of office, managed decline under the leadership of Willie Rennie. The best that the Unionist parties can hope for is that the election doesn’t happen at all.


Comments (13)

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  1. Tom Ultuous says:

    “This is odd given that the Scottish Government’s handling of the pandemic has been – arguably – very similar to that of the UK government’s. ”

    I’m a wee bit disappointed in this comment Mike. While the Scottish govt could have been handled it much more competently they were regularly a couple of weeks in front of Westminster when it came to locking down and a couple of weeks behind them when it came to opening up again. I’m one of the ones who thought it was lunacy to open up after the first lockdown (the “UK” was a couple of weeks behind Europe where cases had already started to climb again) but did Scotland have any option? Given Westminster were ending the furlough scheme Scotland was always going to have to follow suit soon after. It might have been different had we had our own borrowing powers.

  2. Iain macphail says:

    Agree with this analysis.
    One aspect that fascinates me is that there is a difference between Unionism & unthinking Loyalism.

    While I’m not a unionist, I recognise there is in theory an intellectual coherence for people who think “I support a union (any union) because the following things (XYZ) make being in this union better than the alternative (in this case, indy).
    There was a bit of wheeze left in this corpse in 2013/14 but that was mainly about Europe (oops) and the economy (ditto).

    What I see (and its consistent with your article I think) is unionist politicians lapsing into an anti-intellectual unthinking support for a flag & its institutions. Loyalism.
    This offers nothing and tacitly accepts it cannot offer a better alternative to indy (customs union? No. Single market? No. Coherent government? No).

    And I totally agree – it has left the corpse without even the slender amount of vision it had in 2014

    I listen to Mundell, to Jack, and this morning to Duguid, and I’d call it “thinly veiled loyalism”….but that would require a veil to actually be present….

  3. gavin says:

    Quality, or………the nodding donkey show.

    When Mundell was “found out”, the Tories had to face up to the poverty of choice they had among the dregs at Holyrood. So Dross parachuted in as leader: a young Lochinvar he is not.

    Ditto Leonard. He has ensured himself of a safe seat in May, but his successor will be one of the “snivelling cowards” who did the dirty on him.
    No “clean skins” left in Labour, ideologically and constitutionally split. Sarwar or Baillie. Waffle or bluster.

    Then we have the Liberal Democrats. Once the thinking voters alternative. Earnest, honest, progressive, principled–this bunch are none of these things. Under Rennie they have regressed to Tory-lite troglodytes. How can he still be there?

    1. gavin says:

      Carlot not Mundell. Sorry, but sometimes the sheep all look the same to me.

      1. Derek says:

        I hear that Jackie Baillie has been a good interrogator in the ongoing inquiry. Haven’t seen any of it; been out working all day.

  4. Alan Bissett says:

    And with that…Richard Leonard is gone.

    1. Yeah, he’s ruined my article Alan.

    1. MacNaughton says:

      The title of Robin’s long winded piece is preposterous, conflating as he does ‘Scotland as a nation’s with the SNP govt.

      On the other hand, I’m afraid that my suspicions basically tally with Robin’s certainties about the skullduggery behind the scenes of the top brass of the SNP. How depressing!

      In any case, nothing is going to happen till the end of Covid….

      1. Marga says:

        On the McAlpine article, no comments enabled, on alleged ad hominem politics: am writing from Spain where there’s also the next stage, ad hominem and ad hoc justice .

        Cat indies have their “Salmond” in jail (or Salmonds, there’s 9 of them, total 100 years clink) admittedly due not to internecine war but to state lawfare against the whole Indy movement. But let that pass, folks “Catalonia is different”.

        Must be hard to know how to deal with SNP shadows, maybe trust the party with recent signs of regeneration and reform. With the SNP/Sturgeon seemingly linked inextricably to storming Indy support, priority on escaping UK may postpone other judgements. Go for it before they go for you, UK gov may be more ruthless than you ever thought if you don’t keep up the momentum.

        Prioritising a clean stable and disarming before dirty tricks may I fear throw yr cause under a bus. Good luck anyway, hope you find a way.

        1. MacNaughton says:

          Thanks Marga, I’m sure we will find a way. Scottish independence is bigger than the SNP, and much bigger than any personalities involved…

  5. Stewart McMutrie says:

    Why do commentators such as yourself repeat ad nausiem the patently untrue MSM mantra “This is odd given that the Scottish Government’s handling of the pandemic has been – arguably – very similar to that of the UK government’s.” Even with one hand tied behind its back (because it legally cannot overspend nor borrow like independent countries have done) the Scottish Government has delivered a very different outcome for its citizens, for example with infection rates approximately 60% that of the UK average based on comparable amounts of testing (29,148 infections per m pop compared to 49,643 for the whole UK). Fewer infections fewer deaths and therefore only 2 national lockdowns.
    Were you not aware that based on the ‘within 28 days of having a positive test criteria’ during the late summer Scotland went over a month without any Covid related deaths ? Probably not, as it wasn’t reported in the UK MSM
    I suggest anybody interested in comparing relative performance across a range of measures looks at the following site

  6. Michael says:

    Rather than making snide remarks (like the one from this article included below), eluding to some personal irrational conspiracy theory of yours, it would be helpful if you would name your assumed conspiritors and explain what thier objections to Sturgeon actually are?: “it’s also terrible news for the Pitchfork Bloggers who are now dedicated almost exclusively to attacking the First Minister.”

    Note, Nixon was at the height of presidential popularity just before Watergate. It would do the Scottish independence cause a terrible diservice if on the cusp of winning a referendum, or having won independence and trying to bring the country together, a scandal broke casting doubt on the credibility of the SNP government and the whole independence movement.

    Surely the closer we get to independence the more we should critically scrutinise the Scottish leadership?

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