Back from the Brink? Prospects for Scottish Labour

When Scottish Labour gathered for its spring conference in Perth twelve months ago, the party seemed to be heading for disaster. Its standing in polls of vote intentions for Scottish Parliament elections averaged just 16%, while its reading on vote intentions for a Westminster election were, at 14%, even slightly worse. The party was seemingly […]

The Three Characteristics of the Scottish Conservative Revival

The revival of the Conservative party in Scotland during the last two years has been regarded by many as remarkable. This, perhaps, is hardly surprising. After all, in the nine UK and Scottish Parliamentary elections held between 1997 and 2015, the party had consistently flatlined at around 16-17%  – and indeed in 2011 and 2015 […]

Raising An Anniversary Glass?

How should a poll be reported when it finds that around half agree with something while half do not? Does it mean the glass is half full or half empty? Does the answer, perhaps, simply depend on your political perspective? Last week marked the twentieth anniversary of the 1997 devolution referendum in which voters in […]

YouGov Mark St Andrew’s Day with Poll on Independence (and more)

Today is, of course, St Andrew’s Day and the deadline for responses to the SNP’s ‘National Survey’ on how Scotland should be governed. To mark the occasion, The Times commissioned a poll from YouGov on attitudes towards Brexit and indyef2 together with Holyrood vote intentions. Nicola Sturgeon must be wishing that it had not bothered. […]

The SNP: Not so much a party, more of a movement?

Once upon a time the early autumn of the average London-based political journalist consisted of three weeks spent at three UK party conferences and then a return to their regular beat at Westminster. The SNP’s gathering during the ‘October break’ could be left to their colleagues in Edinburgh and Glasgow to cover. After all, little […]

The Final Poll (apart from the one that really matters!)

Today’s Times carries the final opinion poll of the Scottish Parliament election campaign, conducted by YouGov between Monday and yesterday. This is the only poll of the campaign that would usually be regarded as a ‘final poll’, that is one that has been conducted sufficiently closely to polling day that its accuracy can reasonably be […]