Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Holyrood Gap Narrows

There's an interesting Ipsos/Mori poll today, commissioned for the Times, which has the SNP catching up, and on some measueres, passing Labour in Scotland.

Resurgent SNP take narrow poll lead as Holyrood election draws closer.

The headline suggests that the SNP is ahead, but the figures are a bit more complicated than that.
"With the Holyrood election now under three months away, the latest poll from Ipsos MORI reveals a significant reversal in fortunes for the two main parties, with the SNP now holding a slight advantage, having been 10 points behind Labour in November 2010. Among those certain to vote on May 5th, the SNP’s share of the vote now stands at 37%, up by 6 percentage points since November 2010. In the same period, Labour’s share of the vote has fallen by 5 percentage points and is currently at 36%, while the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Liberal Democrats are largely unchanged at 13% and 10% respectively. This is first time since February 2010 that an Ipsos MORI poll has shown a lead for the governing SNP."
The figures quoted are from those who say they are certain to vote. But if you take all respondents, Labour is on 38% and the SNP 36%.

Even so, to close a ten point gap in three months is a remarkable result. The question is: is this an outlier, a rogue poll, or does it really reflect the voting intentions of the Scottish electorate? Unfortunately there are not nearly as many exclusively Scottish polls as there used to be, so we'll just have to wait for the next one...

In the meantime, the SNP will take heart and Labour will take the lesson that complacency won't win the election. If this poll is an accurate reflection getting the vote out is going to be key....

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