The Settled Will
How do you understand the latest polling from IPSOS which puts the SNP ahead of Labour by seven points and predicts they would pick up 40 seats in the next General Election?
At the last general election IPSOS predicted the SNP would win 48 seats (and were the most accurate pollster to predict the result). The SNP would indeed later win 48 seats. If the ‘extinction event’ that is predicted for the Conservatives this would mean the SNP taking 70% of available seats in Scotland. If Labour annihilate the Tories in England as looks very likely, there’s a possibility of the SNP becoming the official opposition.
The wider party prediction seat prediction is:
Lib Dems 2
Emily Gray from IPSOS Scotland said: “The SNP lead by 7 points on General Election voting intention, but Labour are narrowing the gap. There’s a Rise in public trust in Scottish Labour, including on the NHS and the economy – though SNP still the most trusted party.”
What’s going on?
All of the public discussion had suggested an imminent SNP wipe-out. The stage is set for the coronation of Keir Starmer and the ascension of the Labour party to power. All they have to do is not **** it up, stay safe, neutralise everything. But there is a problem. For some people the constant hollowing out of Labour policy and proposals is a turn-off not a turn-on. They are giving few special reasons to vote for them.
Second, the ‘get the Tories out’ vote has other options in Scotland, and Labour’s failure to take a clear moral stance on the actions of Israel in Gaza is in stark contrast to Humza Yousaf’s position. This matters.
Third, people may have noticed that the Labour party has quietly dropped the much lauded much fanfared constitutional changes being hatched by Gordon Brown. The constitutional crisis doesn’t just go away and the promise of change (any change) remains undelivered.
Fourth, people remember Scottish Labour’s role in Better Together and the need for them to be rehabilitated under estimated, largely by Labour’s friends behind the desks of papers, magazines up and down the land. So there is a gap between the feel-good factor in the media and the feel-good factor on the street.
Fifth, it may that the Branchform Inquiry into the SNP finances have dragged on so long that it has lost its impact to put people off voting for the party.
But given the state of the SNP, the shambolic lack of strategy and the surround-sound of negativity from every corner of Scotland, how is it possible that independence is polling at 53% given that there is no clear direction for arriving at that destination?
Already this year we’ve had five #Indyref2 polls with Yes % ranging from: 48% (Survation) 49% (Redfield & Wilton) 50% (Norstat) 52% (Find Out Now) and 53% (Ipsos).
But now we are at 53%. It may be the relentless awfulness of Tory Britain – but that in itself is not enough. It surely isn’t the performance of the SNP which seems bogged down in policy crisis, lack of direction and uninspiring leadership at the end of a long time in office.
No. If these results are to come to fruition – still a big IF – it is because people are scunnered and despite the incoherence of a credible road map to independence it is becoming the ‘settled will’ of the Scottish people in much the same way as devolution became.