|Leader||Net Rating Jan 12||Net Rating Feb 13||Change|
|Alex Salmond||Plus 22||Plus 7||Minus 15|
|Ruth Davidson||Minus 12||Minus 4||Plus 8|
|Johann Lamont||Minus 6||Plus 8||Plus 14|
|Willie Rennie||Minus 12||Minus 7||Plus 5|
|David Cameron||Minus 28||Minus 40||Minus 12|
The above table shows the net leadership ratings from Ipsos-Mori Scotland polling series in the last year, and the change therein.
As we can see there has been a cross-over between Alex Salmond and Johann Lamont, if you subscribe to the belief that in this stage of the electoral stage that Leadership ratings are a better indicator of future voting intention than VI, then Scottish Labour will be delighted, especially for those of who can recall the chasm in the leadership ratings between Alex Salmond and Iain Â Gray in the run up the Scottish Parliament elections in 2011.
However, when you look at the current voting intention for Holyrood, Labour must be very disappointed.
SNP 43% (+3)
Labour 35% (-)
Conservatives 13% (-)
Liberal Democrats 7% (-1)
Others 2% (-2).
To put Alex Salmond’s leadership ratings into context, the below table is the GB wide leadership ratings of the three major party leaders, not one of whom has a positive score (figures from the Ipsos-Mori Political Monitor)
|Net Rating Jan 12||Net Rat Jan 13||Change|
|Cameron GB Wide||Minus 1||Minus 25||Minus 24|
|Milliband GB Wide||Minus 26||Minus 12||Plus 14|
|Clegg GB Wide||Minus 23||Minus 33||Minus 10|
Back in December 2011, Salmond’s net rating was plus 35%.
Now some people may interpret the change from then to today, as evidence that the First Minister’s talents are on the wane.
2012 was a difficult year for the SNP and the Independence movement.
There was an de-facto three month pro-Union campaign via the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics, and the problems over the legal advice about an Independent Scotland’s membership of the EU.
I prefer to be more charitable on the talents of the First Minister, and say it is a testament to his political skills and nous that he manages to maintain a positive rating, considering he has been First Minister for nearly six years, and it is nearly twenty-three years since he first became Leader of the SNP.
2014 will be a great year to be a Scot, as Scotland hosts the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, events where the First Minister will play a central role, in the same way Boris Johnson did during the Olympics, and there will also be the SevenÂ HundredthÂ Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.
Perhaps these events will serve the Independence movement in a positive way.
Anyone thinking the Scottish Independence result is a foregone conclusion, would be wise to remember, that with ICM in May 2010, 56% planned to vote for AV in the upcoming referendum, and we know how that turned out.