So will it be First Minister Salmond?

So will it be First Minister Salmond?


    How good are the pollsters with their Scottish surveys?

The Channel 4 poll by YouGov was given a lot of prominence yesterday because of its fairly strong indication that this May might see a change of power in Edinburgh.

This shows that the outcome of the election in terms of seats could be SNP 45 seats: Labour 42: Conservative 18: Liberal Democrats 14: Green Party 7: Others 3.

As the election gets nearer there are going to be a lot of polls and it is worth looking at the record as we judge each new survey. For the the performance of the pollsters in the four party politics of Scotland has been variable. This is a comparison of the final surveys last time that appears on the YouGov web-site.
yougov scotland.JPG
The main element here is that the conventional interview based pollster over-stated Labour and understated, by quite a degree, the Tories. YouGov’s performance was considerably better on that score although it overstated, the SNP.

The UK Polling report site is keeping a good record of polls ahead of this year’s election and clearly the outcome in May is going to be very tight.

Can Labour hold onto power in Edinburgh and if they can’t what are the implications of the SNP being part of a ruling coalition. This issue is going to dominate more than the politics of Scotland. From what evidence we have at the moment it looks too close to call.

What we need now is a betting market.

Mike Smithson

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