The SNP giant continues to grow

Latest poll shows more than half of Scots will vote for the nationalists next year

The SNP top two: Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon


New polling reveals that support for the SNP is continuing to grow in Scotland, a month after they secured an historic landslide at the election.

According to the data, compiled by TNS, of those certain to vote in next year’s elections to Holyrood, 60 per cent said they would vote for the SNP in the constituency section of the ballot.

This would represent a 10 percentage point increase on the share of the vote it secured in Scotland in the General Election and a 15 percentage point increase on the share of the vote it secured in the constituency section at the 2011 Scottish parliamentary elections.

Scottish Labour, currently in the midst of a leadership contest, has polled 19 per cent on the constituency vote, down by almost 13 percentage points on its performance in 2011. The Conservatives are on 15 per cent (up one point, while the Lib Dems have sunk to just 3 per cent of the vote, down by almost 5 percentage points compared with the last elections to Holyrood.

Under the additional member electoral systems used to elect MSP, in addition to voting for a constituency MSP, voters are also asked to cast a vote for a political party in their region. List MSPs are allocated accordingly in order to balance out under-representation of parties by the first-past-the-post constituency poll.

On the constituency poll the SNP are, according to TNS, on 50 per cent of the vote, up 6 percentage points compared to 2011. Labour are on 19 per cent (down by just over 7 points), the Conservatives are on 14 per cent (down just over 1.5 points) and the Lib Dems are on just 5 per cent of the vote, roughly the same as their 2011 performance.

Continuing the post referendum bounce meanwhile, 78 per cent of voters told TNS that they were either certain or very likely to vote in next year’s election, up from the 50 per cent turnout seen in the 2011 elections.

43 per cent of respondents indicated that they felt the UK General Election result made independence more likely, with 39 per cent saying it made no difference.

Asked how they would vote in a referendum on EU membership, 49 per cent of Scottish voters said they would vote to stay in, with just 19 per cent wanting to leave. 26 per cent said they had not decided how to vote on the issue.

Commenting on the results Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland said:

“Clearly there is a long way to go until the Scottish parliament elections, so it is too early to tell whether the rise in support for the SNP represents a continuing trend, or whether it reflects a “honeymoon” period with the party’s new Westminster MPs.

“The strong support for continuing EU membership may reflect both this factor and the strong advocacy by Nicola Sturgeon, who remains a popular figure: the case for the EU has yet to be tested in the full-blown political campaign that will precede the referendum.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

18 Responses to “The SNP giant continues to grow”

  1. swat

    Which means half of them won’t. So where does that leave us?
    Nicola went down like a storm on the American Letterman Show. She’s a natural performer. We need someone like that in Labour. Maybe Caroline Flint could be the one?.
    Still likely that some Labour and Lib Dems will be returning to Holyrood,
    so it wont be a complete wipe out. A lot of things can happen between now and 2016 to diminish the popularity of the SNP.

  2. Falwall

    The additional members part of the election ensures the smaller parties are represented. SNP will get hardly any list members if they do as well as this suggests in the constituency part

  3. Jim Bennett

    Indeed. However, if SNP voters are canny, they will place their second preference votes with the Greens/Socialists rather than the SNP which could net the pro-independence parties 75% of the seats and leave labour with less than 10 seats.


    The SNP have not contributed any progressive policies in Scotland and will not contribute anything but wind in Westminster. They are about independence only even if it impoverishes the Scottish people. The other parties in Scotland that want to keep the Union need to unify and fight the nationalists and expose the SNP rhetoric that they are anti Tory. The SNP are a right wing party that have silenced all dissent. Stalin would be proud of them.

  5. Jim Fraser

    Labour must join again with the Tories to fight the SNP? Blimey.

  6. Alasdair Macdonald

    Ah, the old straw man fallacy, Mr McGibbon! The problem for you and Labour is that you actually believe the fallacy. I guess you will have to do what Liz Kendall is, in effect saying, and just join the Tories. When I hear Labour politicians talking of the ‘work shy’ it is clear that there is nothing ‘Labour’ about them. RIP.

  7. swat

    The SNP are also a Party of Protest and attract many people with many views. Take a look at the 56 and you’ll see a very wide spectrum of views; I doubt whether there is much agreement amongst that lot on climate or the economy or welfare; the only thing that binds them is the independence idea..There are some really good activists and talent amongst that lot.

  8. Jim Bennett

    You couldn’t make up the self-parody of McGibbon’s dinosaur thinking:
    “The other parties in Scotland that want to keep the Union need to unify and fight the nationalists and expose the SNP rhetoric that they are anti Tory”.
    Under this tortuous logic, the Labour unites with the Tories to prove that the SNP aren’t really anti-Tory….
    Geez…no wonder Labour is dying with this level of intellectual deficit.

  9. Tony

    If Labour wants to help make itself extinct in Scotland, then it needs to vote with the Tories to replace Trident next year. That ought to do the trick.

  10. Mark Fletcher

    That is exactly what I intend to do. Let’s get these Unionist parties cleared away.

  11. Mark Fletcher

    If Stalin lived in Scotland, who might he vote for?
    Certainly not the Labour party.

  12. Harold

    I watched Question Time this week, on the panel was a SNP newly elected MP, forgive me I do not recall the ladys name, but it highlighted one point which I think one day will rise to the top. The MP was clearly not a socialist or an internationalist, but there again would I expect that from a Nationalist? I have heard and read some speeches from new SNP MP’s who are clearly socialist or at least left wing, my point is that at some point have people with right wing and left wing views in the same organisation will lead to the inevitable infighting. I would suggest not yet but when the first set back or big policy disagreement arrives will be the test. Look at the Conservative and Labour Parties with their “wings” and I dare suggest they are closer together as a whole. I understand from press comments the new intake of SNP MP’s includes, ex-Marxists and Conservatives along with people who could be unaligned, I am fascinated to see how this will progress and I would predict one or more will cross the floor at some point. Equally the ex Labour and Liberal voters in Scotland maybe happy voting SNP but will that remain true if they discover the person elected does not share their political views?

  13. Harold

    Which Party in Scotland had the backing of the Murdoch press? I will not even buy a Murdoch paper, let alone vote for a party he approves of, shame.

  14. Jim Bennett

    Until very recently, the Labour Party, who’s affection for Murdoch can be seen in these links:

    Harold, I have never bought a Murdoch title in my life. I have also not been a cheerleader for the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children as Labour Party members are.
    Focus your attention on the real enemy – The Blue Tories and their Red counterparts infiltrating Labour.

  15. Harold

    Glad to see you do not buy Murdoch, though it was not the question I posed no one buys the S** in Liverpool either. I am not a cheerleader for the murder of innocents unlike the Murdoch press, but as much as you might protest if you sup with the devil get a long spoon.

  16. Mauro Andrade

    Yeah, but it’s only now that the SNP has hammered Labour in its key ex-industrial heartland, taking all Labour seats North of the border bar one, many of which were supposedly rock solid safe seats (i.e., Glasgow, Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath etc).

    This gives the SNP a much stronger case to call for another independence referendum, especially if they win convincingly in the Scottish assembly elections next year. In these, frankly, revolutionary circumstances the question of the internal political stability of the SNP comes to the fore. In an SNP Scotland, moving ever closer to independence, are left and right nats comfortable bedfellows for the long term? Harold is right; there are many centre-left new SNP MPs, but equally, there are a good few who are, to put it mildly, not centre-left at all, they simply want independence. The woman Harold mentions as having being on the QT panel last week actually used to be a Tory until she defected to the SNP in 2000.

    This will start to become an issue, one which, should Labour play its cards well, it ought to be able to exploit in its efforts to win back some of those 40-50 Scottish seats.

  17. Harold

    I agree, it may not become an issue for a while, years even, but Conservatives and Socialist normally join together in their separate parties because of their political views. Nationalists (not just the SNP) have one over-riding cause, which is also Labours mistake of joining the Tories in the Union campaign of last year. Northern Ireland is an example where Republican and Unionist are more important than left or right. What happens when you discuss political policy? If a SNP Leader proposed privatising the NHS would they all support or if a different leader proposed nationalising the railways, water and electricity in Scotland would that be equally supported, let alone discussions about tax and education.

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