There has been a clutch of polling figures released from YouGov that, taken together, really do offer up a lot of valuable information.

The main headlines appear to be:

Labour vote looks firm with stronger consistency from constituency vote to regional vote
SNP voters are lending more support to the Socialists
Greens are pulling more votes from the Lib Dems at a regional level
Conservatives and Lib Dems down to their core vote

The detail of the poll is particularly interesting as it shows how Scots split their voting intentions between Westminster, Holyrood constituency and Holyrood region. I decided to, somewhat arbitrarily, compare this split with that of November 2006 (thanks to YouGov’s archives). I really just wanted to compare voting behaviour at the end of the SNP Government to that of the end of the Lab/Lib Government to pull out any significant changes.

The SNP, perhaps unsurprisingly, holds the most consistent support. 97% of its Westminster support carries into the Holyrood Constituency vote (Nov 2006: 96%). This then weakens to 86% of its Westminster support and 85% of its Holyrood Constituency vote carrying on into the Holyrood Regional vote (Nov 2006: 83% and 73%), with 10% support being passed to ‘Other’ and an eyebrow-raising 7% of that going to the Socialists (Nov 2006: 1%).

The Lib Dems, again unsurprisingly, have the flakiest support. Of the paltry 7% of the public who would vote for ‘Scotland’s second party’ at Westminster elections, only 77% is carried into the Holyrood Constituency vote and 68% into the Holyrood Regional vote. The biggest leaking of support from Westminster to Holyrood of any of the main parties. (However, Nov 2006 comparisons are an even lower 72% and 61% respectively)

Of the lost Holyrood Constituency support, 14% goes to the SNP, 4% to the Conservatives and 3% to Labour.
(Nov 2006 figures: 16% to the SNP, 4% to the Conservatives and 3% to Labour)

Of the lost Holyrood Regional support, a considerable 13% goes to the Greens, 12% to the SNP, 5% to the Conservatives and only 2% to Labour.
(Nov 2006 figures: 11% to the Greens, 15% to the SNP, 5% to the Conservatives and 4% to Labour)

I do find it interesting that, for both 2010 and 2006 polls, there are more Lib Dems who see the Conservatives as a second preference than they do Labour.

Speaking of Labour, in today’s poll they hold onto 89% of their Westminster support in the Holyrood Constituency vote, with 9% of that support going to the SNP (Nov 2006: 84% & 9%). That’s a firmer position now than four years ago that should give Salmond some cause for concern perhaps, particularly given how resounding the Labour victory was north of the border at the Westminster election.

One interesting difference is going from the Holyrood Constituency vote to the Holyrood Regional vote.

Labour holds onto 92% of its FPTP support in Oct 2010 with 3% to the SNP, 2% to the Lib Dems and 3% to the Greens.
Labour held onto 78% of that support in Nov 2006 with 5% to the SNP, 9% to the Lib Dems and 5% to the Greens.

The Conservative figures also contains an interesting change:

Conservatives hold onto 94% of its FPTP support in Oct 2010 with 4% to the Lib Dems.
Conservatives held onto 84% of that support in Nov 2006 with 2% to Labour, 6% to the SNP and 4% to the Lib Dems.

The above is to look at the tactical considerations and to purposefully gloss over the main voting intentions, which, for a flourish of a finish, are:

2010 Holyrood Constituency/Regional
Labour – 40% / 36%
SNP – 34% / 31%
Conservatives – 14% / 15%
Lib Dems – 8% / 8%
Greens – ? / 6%

Nov 2006 Holyrood Constituency/Regional
Labour – 32% / 29%
SNP – 32% / 28%
Conservatives – 15% / 17%
Lib Dems – 15% / 15%
Greens – ? / 8%

So the Greens are worryingly down on four years ago and at risk of not adding to their 2 MSPs, even if the Lib Dem vote continues to look soft. In terms of the biggest two parties, the SNP is up on its pre-2007 position but still trailing Labour who has managed to sweep up considerable Lib Dem support.

We have not yet entered the period when Iain Gray will be scrutinised as a potential First Minister as opposed to merely raking in the coalition/Scottish Government protest vote. The effect of this remains the biggest unknown factor in the Scottish political polling.

Overall, it is fascinating and striking that many facets of the 2006 and 2010 political polls are so similar. It’s almost like an intractable Scottish public made up its mind how it would behave in elections many, many years ago.