01 April 2007

Poll Vault

I don't usually make much fuss about opinion polls on here, but I'm making an exception for the TNS-SystemThree poll for STV. Over the past year, they have tended to produce far more favourable results for Labour than the other pollsters, so for them to have the SNP five points ahead of Labour on the Constituency vote (39%:34%), and a staggering eleven points ahead on the Regional Vote (36%:25%) is a major moment. Have their changed their methodology, or is a real shift in opinion taking place?

Certainly, if you listen to the Labour insiders quoted in the papers, there is a black cloud of doom hanging over the party, with one MSP seeking re-election informing people that he'd be back as the Shadow Minister for Housing. The internal squabbling about the succession also seems to be moving up a gear.

One note of caution: the SystemThree polls for years ago this week had the two parties neck and neck on the Constituency vote, and three points ahead on the Regional Vote, grossly overestimating the level of SNP support at that election. They also misread the Tory vote, predicting a meltdown that didn't happen.

Also worth noting is that the LibDems view the Greens as their largest threat. Could the 'Party of Real Momentum' (their words, not mine) have met their match?

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