The Daily Record‘s latest poll with Survation has Holyrood numbers which, shall we say, may add to the anxiety in Labour that they still haven’t hit bottom yet. Presumably a new leader will hope for a bounce (although so too might Nicola once she’s formally in the big chair), and Labour will pass this off as a long way away and irrelevant. But it’s only 18 months away now, and the end of the referendum campaign has hardly brought them any relief. Change in vote share shown here is pretty notional – the last one of these I had was in July, and a lot has happened since then. For the sake of having some comparison, I’m using it anyway, and seats (as usual, using Scotland Votes, with its UKIP shortcoming) show the notional change on the 2011 result.
|Vote share (+/-)||Seats (+/-)||Vote share (+/-)||Seats (+/-)||Seats (+/-)||%|
|SNP||50.0 (+5.9)||68 (+15)||40.6 (+3.7)||2 (-14)||70 (+1)||54.3|
|Labour||23.0 (-7.6)||0 (-15)||20.3 (-5.4)||27 (+5)||27 (-10)||20.9|
|Conservative||14.1 (+0.8)||3 (±0)||13.0 (0.1)||13 (±0)||16 (+1)||12.4|
|Liberal Democrats||6.7 (+1.6)||2 (±0)||6.4 (-0.9)||4 (+1)||6 (+1)||4.7|
|Scottish Greens||2.3 (+0.4)||0 (±0)||9.9 (+1.8)||10 (+8)||10 (+8)||7.8|
|UKIP||3.1 (-1.0)||0 (±0)||7.7 (-0.4)||0 (±0)||0 (±0)||0|
|Others||0.7 (+0.1)||0||2.1 (+1.2)||0 (-1)||0 (-1)||0|
Bear in mind the ‘kippers would probably secure seven here – all from the list, and therefore most likely to be predominantly at Labour’s expense, maybe two or three seats from the three smaller parties. The Scotland Votes map shows a complete constituency wipeout for Labour – with, in what would be an extraordinary humiliation, Jim Murphy’s neck of the woods turning back to Tory blue. The Tories would also pick up Dumfriesshire from Labour, but lose Galloway and West Dumfries, as well as Ayr, to the SNP. The Lib Dems would hold the two Northern Isles seats only, plus one more on the list. And the bulk of Labour’s net loss would go to the Greens, who’d be in double figures overall for the first time.
And the main event, of course, would be a slightly increased overall majority for the SNP under Nicola. Hitting 50% in the first vote trumps even the 45.8% the SNP score in the Westminster poll done by Survation at the same time. 2011 was billed as a landslide, but landslides (to break the metaphor) normally recede. At Holyrood, it looks like the land is still sliding in the same direction. It would be an extraordinary achievement to say the least. For comparison, here’s what the constituency map looked like in 1999.
Another thing to note about this is would see another substantial round of churn in terms of the experience of MSPs in the Chamber. Labour would lose all 15 constituency MSPs, including some of the most experienced of those who survived the 2011 landslide, and gain five more newcomers, unless they take a more relaxed attitude to MSPs standing for both. The SNP would, conversely, lose a slew of list MSPs (it’s unclear where, from the model, the two list Members they would retain would be, but the North East plus one would seem a safe bet) and gain yet more constituency MSPs. If I were Humza Yousaf or any other SNP list MSP I’d be seeking a constituency to stand in with some urgency. Similarly, the Tories would lose two of their most experienced MSPs in John Scott and former Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson, even while inching up somewhat overall. And the Greens would have a group that (unless any former MSPs are selected sufficiently prominently), which could be 80% newcomers. A lot of change for no difference in the unbalance of power, in short.