Saturday, 19 March 2011

New Scottish ICM poll

A new poll has been published for the Scottish Parliament and lends credence to the suggestions that Labour and the SNP in Scotland are in a battle royal come May.

Constituency (and change on 2007):
Lab 39% (+7%) SNP 35% (+2%) Con 12% (-5%) Lib Dem 10% (-6%) Others 4% (+2)
Forecast Constituency Wins (and change on 2007)
Lab 48 seats (+13) SNP 15 seats (-6) Lib Dem 7 seats (-4) Con 3 seats (-2)
Regional List (and change on 2007):
Lab 37% (+8%) SNP 34% (+3%) Con 13% (-1%) Lib Dem 9% (-2%) Green 4% (n/c) Others 3% (-8%)
Regional List Wins (and change on 2007)
SNP 30 (+5) Con 12 (-1) Lab 9 (-1) Lib Dem 3 (-3) Greens 2 (+1)
Composition of the Parliament
Lab 57 (+13) SNP 45 (-2) Con 15 (-4) Lib Dem 10 (-7) Greens 2 (+1)
Labour short of an overall majority by 8

Which poses the question: Does Iain Gray go into coalition with the Liberal Democrats (67 votes), does he lead a minority government (seeking support for budget votes) or could Alex Salmond cobble together a rainbow coaltion of SNP, Lib Dem and Greens (57) and get the support of the Conservatives not to defeat the government by vowing not to hold an Independence referendum during the next Parliament?

This poll was first reported on Political


  1. Greens are currently on 2 MSPs so this predicts n/c.

  2. Due to the Boundary changes the Greens notionally hold only one seat. They 'lose' their Glasgow seat to the SNP, according to Prof. David Denver's figures.

  3. I think this is the most interesting election since devolution, because of what is going on in Westminster adding to the usual tension of coalition/government forming.

    Of course, polls are different and as the political clique goes, the only poll that matters is the on the day.

    However, what is certain is that the SNP and Labour will be close so it'll be which one of those gains the most confidence of the parliament (either in a coalition or a minority) which gets into government.

    Which leads us to the LD's and Tories. Would either Labour or the SNP take the risk of going into coalition with them at this time? I'm not sure. I think it's most likely to be the SNP who do should they finish as the 2nd biggest, as they'd definitely want to try to hold onto power, but it's not certain.

    I think the SNP are most likely to survive as a minority government though. Labour are the most tribal of the parties so it'll be interesting to see how they approach it, and they're also the most different from the Tories/LD's.

    Being a fan of democracy, if Labour get the most seats then hopefully they end up in Government. The same goes for the SNP.

  4. Sorry, just noticed my poor grammar above.

    Third paragraph should read "who get into government" rather than "which gets into government.

    I guess that's what happens when you change what you're going to post so much.

  5. Personally I don't like the use of the notional figures. Wouldn't it be better to show the potential change in actual numbers of MSPs?

  6. @ Jamie

    Agree with all of that. A LAB/LD coalition north of the border would make politics very interesting for the next few years!

    @ Daniel

    Well, it's general form to compare to the notional figures. To take the Greens as an example, the key point about the notional figures are that they probably need to do better (relative to the other parties) than they did in 2007 just to stand still.

    Such is the way with AMS, the reason the Greens may lose their seat in Glasgow is because Labour look good value to unseat Nicola Sturgeon in, what is now called, 'Glasgow Southside' (although Sturgeon herself is not any danger as she is top of the SNP's Glasgow list!). The knock on effect is an extra regional seat for the SNP on the 2007 vote shares.

  7. @ Tom Harris

    Indeed, and in the last few days since my post I've started to believe and Lab/LD coalition is very possible. I think the reaction to that would be interesting - would people instantly see the LD's as "yellow Tories", or would they be willing to give them a chance and let the Scottish party try to prove they're different?

    Also, what about Labour? If they complained about UK Government cuts, how awkward would that be for this coaltion?

    It does throw up loads of questions, and is arguably the most interesting scenario.

  8. It would certainly be a good way for the Lib Dems to get rid of that moniker. The key stumbling block will be Labour knowing they'll be helping the Lib Dems out.

    I think if Labour are only 5/6 seats short they won't bother. They should just about survive as a minority, which would be better than giving the Lib Dems a huge boost. However, if Labour are 10 short they'll probably need to...

  9. I think a Labour minority is the strongest possibility if they beat the SNP whatever seat result they get. The SNP have proved that under the Scottish system minority government can provide strong, stable government. Working with the Lib Dems will also be difficult for Labour as Labour's deficit reduction plan is mostly focused on centralisation of services and getting rid of things like rural post offices which all runs rather contrary to the 'party of localism'.

    That said, Tavish Scott will be desperate to be brought into government to prove that they're not just a bunch of Tories and if it's a close result, either the Scottish Greens or Scottish Lib Dems may attempt to barter votes in the First Minister nomination for power. We shall see.