Is it a Survation? Is it a TNS? No! It’s an Ipsos MORI! The poll we’ve all – and by “all”, I really just mean “me” – been waiting for. We haven’t heard a peep from the good folks at Ipsos MORI since January, so long that with the release of the BMG poll the other week I’d stopped even including them when I was considering polling averages across the various agencies. With just over a week to go until polling day, it was about time we heard from them again. And what a poll – there’s actually a huge amount of information in there, but that’s beyond the scope of this blog. I’m in the business of seat predictions, so let’s get down to it.
For a change, let’s get the usual news out of the way first. Yep, the SNP are on track for an increased majority, yep, they would win a majority just on constituencies, and no, RISE don’t get any seats. It’s been clear for months, but worth saying explicitly – RISE are not going to win any seats next week. They’ve singularly failed to make their presence known beyond the usual suspects this election, failing even to get their logo on the ballot paper or a freepost out in good time.
More drama, too, in the ongoing scrap over who gets to call themselves the “official opposition” in a parliament which doesn’t designate an official opposition, with another Tory lead over Labour, with 22 seats to 20. I’m going to be a broken record again, but although a 2% lead is slightly wider than previous ones, it’s still within the margin of error.
However, I’m slowly creeping back from my assertion that Labour will come second on the day. I expect two further polls before the election, at which point I’ll re-assess, but I’m currently about 55% sure of Labour being second. That’s a big drop from even a week ago when I’d have said about 75% sure. Whether Labour come second or not though, it seems likely their list vote will indeed drop into the teens – delivering the worst result for the party in Scotland since before women could vote and men still had to own property to do so.
The Greens see another very positive result, with Ipsos MORI joining Survation in suggesting a break into double figures. That’s still the minority position amongst polling agencies, but it does back up the overall trend that shows the party is headed for a record result, comfortably returning an MSP in each region.
Another 7% for the Lib Dems will give the party some cheer, although I still only expect it to lead to 6 MSPs. This is very much the upper range of their polling in recent months though, rather than an upward trend, so it’s not looking entirely rosy. Finally, UKIP are on a low of 1%. The only other agency to have them so low is TNS, so I’d be inclined to suggest that their actual level of support is closer to what the other agencies are predicting, but either way they are still looking likely to miss out on an MSP.
Detailed National Prediction;