01 March 2010

A Tale of Two Polls

Aren't contradictory polls annoying? Yesterday, we saw Yougov announce that on the Constituency vote, Labour led with 33%, the SNP were second with 28%, and the Tories and LibDems were tied for 16%. Today, we find out (though the fieldwork was done earlier) that Ipsos MORI put the SNP at 36%, Labour at 29%, the LibDems at 15% and the Tories at 14%. Unfortunately, we don't (yet) appear to have figures for the Regional Vote on the Ipsos MORI poll. So as things stand, we can only really see which of the new constituencies are in play next year.

The YouGov poll makes uncomfortable reading for Michael Matheson, who would be at risk of losing Falkirk West. By contrast, Ipsos MORI give Karen Whitefield (Lab, Airdrie & Shotts) and Cathy Peattie ((Lab, Falkirk East) cause for concern.

YouGov have bad news for Nicola Sturgeon (or, more likely, bad news for whoever should end up fifth on the SNP's Glasgow List), as Glasgow Southside would move into the red column. Ipsos MORI have worse news for Pauline McNeill, who would lose her seat.

The YouGov poll would make it wise for Enterprise Minister Jim Mather to once again seek a place on the Highlands & Islands list, as his seat woud go to the LibDems on their results, while Na h-Eileanan an Iar would go to Labour (bad news for Alasdair Allan). By contrast, Ipsos MORI have the SNP holding those seats, and even have the party gaining Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch from the LibDems.

YouGov see Angela Constance failing to hold on in Almond Valley and Kenny MacAskill unable to retain Edinburgh Eastern. By contrast, Ipsos MORI see Mary Mulligan losing Linlithgow and Rhona Brankin losing Midlothian North & Musselburgh.

YouGov foresee trouble for Keith Brown in Clackmannanshire & Dunblane and Bruce Crawford in Stirling as both would be vulnerable to Labour. Ipsos MORI foresee Lewis MAcdonald losing Aberdeen Central to the SNP.

The YouGov poll puts Willie Coffey in difficulty in Kilmarnock & Irvine Valley, and would give LibDem Jeremy Purvis the chance to hang on in Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale despite the boundary changes. The Ipsos MORI results see that as an SNP win, and see Karen Gillon losing Clydesdale.

Finally, the YouGov figures highlight Kenneth Gibson's vulnerability in Cunninghame North, but Ipsos MORI have Jackie Baillie in trouble in Dumbarton.

So as things stand, there are twenty constituencies in play: ten SNP constituencies and one SNP notional according to YouGov, against eight Labour seats and one LibDem constituency as per Ipsos MORI.

The messages do seem contradictory, but perhaps the best thing would be to get this year's election out of the way, the better to see the shape that next year's contest will take.

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