SNP end the year on a high

Two new polls bring little Christmas cheer for Corbyn



The SNP end the year on a high, according to new polling published today.

The final poll of 2015 by TNS of public attitudes in Scotland has seen the SNP’s lead north of the border increase as a result of slippage in Labour’s support.

Less than six months away from elections to Holyrood, SNP support in the constituency section of the vote remains the same as last month on 58 per cent among all those expressing a preference as to how they would vote.

Scottish Labour are on 21 per cent (down three percentage points) whilst the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats remain steady on 12 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Other party are up two points to 4 per cent.

Results of the polling around the regional list section of the vote put the SNP up two points to 54 per cent, Scottish Labour down five points to 20 per cent and the Conservatives up one point to 12 per cent. The Lib Dems are down one point to 4 per cent and the Greens on 9 per cent (down four).

According to the Scotland Votes website, replicated uniformly next May, such results would see the SNP win 78 seats, nine more than they already hold in the Scottish Parliament. Labour would lose 12 seats, falling to just 25.

The Conservatives would remain steady on 15 seats whilst the Lib Dems would lose all but three of the five seats they hold at present. The Greens would pick up seven seats to get nine in total.

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

“The past month has seen the political agenda return to devolved issues such as healthcare and transport, with opposition politicians attacking the SNP government’s record on hospital provision and on maintenance of the Forth Bridge. The criticism appears to have had little or no effect on support for the SNP.”

He continued:

“One interesting feature of the poll is that the number of those who say they are certain to vote in 2016 has been declining, and now stands at 58 per cent, down from 64 per cent as recently as the TNS poll in September. The turnout in Scotland in the May 7 general election was 71 per cent.

“It may be that, faced with the SNP’s huge lead in the polls, a number of voters feel that their vote would not influence the result. However, it seems unlikely that turnout in May will be as low as the 50 per cent recorded in the 2011 Holyrood elections.”

The results come as the secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell today launched a scathing attack on the SNP’s failure to devolve powers away from Holyrood to local communities.

Citing the devolution agenda in England, Mundell used a speech to declare:

“On the crucial issue of breaking up the central government monolith, it’s now Westminster – and a Conservative government – which is setting the pace and leading the way.”

After the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), representing Scottish Councils, slammed the SNP’s budget last week as ‘totally unacceptable’, he continued:

“There is now a real risk that Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, and indeed the towns and counties of Scotland as a whole, will be left behind – stuck in a 1990s time-warp of centralised, Holyrood-dominance.”

The poll in Scotland comes amidst similarly gloomy findings in Wales. According to polling commissioned by WalesOnline, three-in-ten adults in Wales are less likely to vote for Labour since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader.

Jeremy Corbyn may be celebrating 100 days as Labour leader today, but based on the findings of both these polls he will have little cause for cheer.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

30 Responses to “SNP end the year on a high”

  1. Selohesra

    I doubt there is much Corbyn or any other Labour leader could do in Scotland now – just as Tories lost the Scots over Community Charge Labour & Lib Dems have now lost the trust as well. Best thing for all three parties would be to rebrand in Scotland as I’m pretty sure its not the SNP policies that drives everyone to them but voters can no longer bear to vote for the old parties


    But they are voting for conservative policies in Scotland. 1. Not taxing the rich. 2. Freezing council tax. 3. Leaving public transport privatised.

  3. Jim Fraser

    Yes, Tartan Tories. That’s it.

  4. John Symon

    1. Isn’t an available option. An increase in tax would have to be across the board. Holyrood hasn’t got that power. It could have had it if Labour MPs had supported SNP amendments.
    2. Making councils look at where they can save money on their budgets rather than have the council tax payer subsidise more over paid councillors and council officials.
    3. Again not a devolved power.

  5. Ken Bell

    Labour in Scotland was pleading with London to oppose the Bedroom Tax, but had to wait its sweat ‘cos London was really worried about how such opposition would play in shitholes like Nuneaton. I wouldn’t have minded, but you lost both Nuneaton and Scotland – you gotta be amazed at that level of utter stupidity.

    As a disabled claimant in Edinburgh I do not pay a penny in Council Tax, whereas in England I would have to pay about 20% of it. Next year when my youngest lad joins me he will get Education Maintenance Allowance of thirty quid a week which is still paid in Scotland, but which the Tories abolished in England. If he pulls his finger out and gets into a university, then it is not only free, but he will get a grant and not a loan. Compare that to how people are treated in England.

    When the new Scotland Bill becomes the Scotland Act 2016, then Holyrood will be able to increase income tax on the middle class and leave the bulk of the population alone, or even lower their rates. As things stand, Scotland can only adjust all the bands in unison, but where’s the joy in that?

    As things stand the only part of Britain where ordinary people can enjoy anything approaching a decent life is Scotland. That is because when Labour forgot the class that it was supposed to represent the SNP was more than happy to take over.

  6. Jacob Innes

    @Left Foot Forward: Why do you suggest these polls in Scotland are ‘gloomy’? Gloomy for who? For the Scottish Labour group maybe, is that who you’re writing for? These polls aren’t ‘gloomy’ for the majority of voting Scots, for those of us they’re good polls and give us much cheer. They should, we’ve all worked very hard at grassroots level for this over the best part of the last 10 years…

    …and our efforts have been re-doubled since immediately after the country’s first indyref because majority governments aren’t our goal, independence is.

    I get the impression the author of this piece is of the opinion Jeremy Corbyn was Labour’s equivalent of the second coming. I’m genuinely sad he isn’t, he could have been good for us in Scotland to work with.

    I know you’ve little or no credible alternative to Labour in England but we have a credible alternative to Labour in Scotland, a more competent alternative at that, and for those reasons i’d request you don’t extrapolate your “gloominess” re: the polls across ‘all’ three nations of Gt Britain. As said, we’re pretty happy up here with poll after poll where our party’s been concerned, and have been for the last couple of years now.

  7. Jacob Innes

    Red Tories more like. Labour have voted for more austerity than they were asked to by the Tory govt.

    That auld burnt oot tartan tory line doesn’t stick with an educated electorate as well as it used to when first coined by Willie Ross away back nearly 50 years ago in the ’70s before people had access to the internet and could get the “real” news from a number of different outlets…

    …as opposed to BBC Scotland’s version as told by employees who were (and still are) members of the Labour Party, or New Labour, whatever they are this week. (Blairites, Brownites, Burnhamites, Corbynites), The left fractures again. How sad, how predictable.

    It was a much simpler time for the UKs establishment parties back then where most folk in Scotland and in large swathes of England & Wales drank down their medicine as triaged by the BBC and the Daily Record or the Mirror (for those south of the border).

    And you’ll find that it’s many ex Labour members now turned SNP members that have taken to bitterly calling their old party “Red Tories” as a result of the years of backstabbing, lies and let downs. Can’t really blame them can you.

  8. Stuart Muir

    Here here!

  9. Sid

    They have peaked. The only way is down !!!

    And just look at the price of oil.


    They do have the powers.

  11. John Symon

    Evidence for this?

  12. Intolerant_Liberal

    ‘That is because when Labour forgot the class that it was supposed to represent the SNP was more than happy to take over.’
    It looks like you are bang on the money. The poor of England are being reduced to poverty again through mismanagement, ideology and class discrimination. But then what can you expect when you have a party full of rich posh boys, and when Milly Bland said ‘I would rather have the Tories in power than do a deal with the SNP’ What an utter berk!!!!

  13. Ken Bell

    Tell me about it…

    I may live in Scotland, and I did vote Yes in the IndyRef, but I am actually from Manchester and come complete with a Bernard Manning accent to prove it. When my health finally collapsed in about 2009 I was living just outside Burnley and the system sort of worked and sort of looked after me.

    Housing benefit paid the rent, and for some reason that was quite legal, I got to keep the difference between the fixed amount paid by the state for that level of housing and the actual rent which was a lower amount. Then the scummy Tories came in and put a stop to that within a month of taking office. Then my housing benefit got reduced and I had to pay a tenner or so out of my own pocket. Then I had to find 20% of the council tax – it just went from bad to worse. The icing on the cake was when the council closed down all its public toilets to save money. Trust me, if you walk as slowly and as badly as I do, then you quickly learn where every bog in town is just in case you get caught short.

    Scotland isn’t perfect and the SNP make mistakes, but their heart is in the right place and they want my vote. Labour didn’t want it, and as Rachel Reeves said just before the last election, Labour were not the party of the claimants.

    Come next year’s Scottish General Election I will vote SNP in my constituency. Malcolm Chisholm is the current MSP and he is retiring and Labour has put forward some woman who messed up the Edinburgh trams, so that takes care of that.

    I have promised a mate of mine who is in Labour that I will vote for his lot on the Lothian list, but to be honest he is as fed up with Labour as the rest of us. That said, if the only options are Labour, the Greenies or some Trotscum then I don’t have much choice.

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Labour is it?

  14. Intolerant_Liberal

    My commiserations for the Bernard Manning accent. I’m from the ‘other’ city, slightly westward from you Mancs!!! I have a number of Mancunian mates and have to put up with their ups and downs over the further adventures of Man U and Man C…
    Anyway, the Tories are committing class war on the broad mass of working class people again, and largely few of the affluent anywhere seem overly concerned about it, as long as their futures are assured. What happened to the ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign? Did it become ‘Make Poor People History’? I do wonder. When Labour abandoned the broad mass of those who are working class by accent, area they live or economically, and still expected us to blindly vote them in, and getting nothing in return, other than watered down Tory policies, most people saw through it. It seems to be a general trend in the world that a globalised economy is about utter selfishness and greed, with the heavily inferred idea that the poor are going to suffer and to get on we must crap on those below us, and suck up to those above us. A nation of soulless and empty sycophants, screwing each other over, just like the good ol’ USA. A nation that is so dysfunctional truth becomes lies, and lies become the truth. A nation where pro lifers kill people and think they’re right, with no sense of irony. If America was a family, it would be the most dysfunctional family of all.


    Check powers given to the Scottish Parliament.

  16. arthurfaeleith

    I checked the tax thing:
    “A Scottish rate resolution may specify only one rate.”
    Looks like they don’t have the power to tax the rich without also taxing the poor.


    I am classed as poor under 13k a year but can pay some extra tax. The Tory/ Libs gave me 40 quid tax relieve. I was getting along ok without it.

  18. arthurfaeleith

    Good for you. But that wasn’t the point that you were making. You said the SNP weren’t taxing the rich, and you claimed that they had the power to do this. You asked for this to be checked, and I checked. You were wrong.

    Now, I’ve shown where you were wrong, how about you show the bit where the Scottish Government has the power to privatise public transport? I’d be very interested to see that piece of legislation.

  19. John Symon

    You know and I know, Arthur, that, under EU legislation, this doesn’t exist.
    James McGibbon made three claims…all of which were untrue. Why do you think the voters won’t vote Labour?

  20. treborc

    Well yes said sir.

  21. treborc

    They changed it from working class to working people, the sick the disabled or the unemployed was a vote loser to New labour stated it stated New labour was formed for the workers not the shirkers.

    I suspect labour have lost two elections because the working class decided it was a waste of time voting Brown or Miliband .

    How many times did we hear labour state working peoples, not the working class.

    They even asked me to leave the party after I refused to, and this is no joke go onto unemployment benefits to find a job, they said you should prove your labour by giving up welfare benefits and seek employment, this was after I did a program on TV about the closing of Remploy factories with Peter Hain . I’m Paraplegic.

    I left the party.

  22. Jim Fraser

    I have to agree, Jacob

  23. treborc

    They are the left in Scotland, while labour try to renew the new labour model with Progress, they lost and Kezia is nowhere near good enough to take the left away from the SNP.

  24. Intolerant_Liberal

    All you have said doesn’t surprise me. The Tories are the vehicle for the wealthy and those without a conscience, and the Labour party is the vehicle for the affluent and those who pretend to have a conscience, but both parties are ‘business as usual’ sadly.
    And, I might add, the term ‘working people’ irks me intensely, too!!!! What’s wrong with working class??? Do we say middle people, or upper people????
    People like us are between a rock and a hard place. I won’t vote UKIP, I won’t vote Lib Dem, as what’s the point? I will never vote Tory, ever, and a vote for Labour is …. is what exactly???? When they become an effective opposition they will be voted in again. When they stand for the people the party was created for, they will get in again. Anyone listening in Labour party la la land…?

  25. Intolerant_Liberal

    The Labour party have largely abandoned the working class in the UK, and the Scots were just even more marginalised. If I was a Scot I would have voted SNP myself. Why vote for a watered down Tory party that is only concerned with London and the SE of England??
    And that utter berk Milly Bland said ‘I’d rather the Tories get in than do a deal with the SNP!!!’ That basically swung it for most Scots I suspect.
    Up here in Northern England we feel almost as betrayed as most Scots.

  26. Derick Tulloch

    Vote SNP on the list too.
    Labour are just too embarrassing.

  27. Derick Tulloch

    What does the price of oil have to do with anything?
    Independence = 100% of taxation on $however many dollars per barrel
    Dependence = 8.4% of taxation….

  28. Ken Bell

    No, and for three reasons:

    1. I have a thing about pluralism. Call me old fashioned if you like, but I just feel happier in a multi-party situation.

    2. As I do not regard independence as the be all and end all of everything, I am quite happy to have a strong Labour presence in Holyrood. Hopefully this will be one that has dropped all its New-Labour nonsense, and can then hold the SNP to account from the left.

    2. Even if I could overcome my aversion to one-party rule, voting SNP for the list is a waste of time because the D’Hondt system devalues list votes on every counting round by the number of seats won. For instance the Lothian region contains nine constituencies. If the SNP take all nine of them, then their total vote on the list would be divided by ten, so on that first count alone every 100 votes that have been cast for the SNP would only be worth ten. I just do not see enough Tories in Edinburgh suddenly deciding to vote SNP to overcome that deliberately built-in bias. They want Tory MSPs, and for my part I want as few of them as possible.

    In simple English, vote Labour for the list and try to keep the right out and hold the government to account.

  29. Thanks Tank

    How can you convince people in Scotland that they will be listened to fairly when New Labour and Old Labour, left and right Labour just ever saw them as a voting block.

    It doesn’t matter who is Labour Leader, it is labour that is the problem.

  30. Dougal Julian Hare

    I wonder how much longer it will be before the the centre-left asks some serious questions about the SNP’s authoritarian tendencies, of which the creation of a centralised police service answerable directly to the executive and making all children automatically a ward of the state are possibly the most worrying examples, and it’s distinctly centre-right economic policies, both of which are deftly hidden by some adroit populist measures on university fees and heading off the worst of the tories vindictive welfare ‘reforms’. In many respects, the old epithet of ‘tartan tories’ is apt if we make the comparison with the continental Christian Democratic parties rather than the right-wing liberals of the Conservative Party.

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