SNP poll surge not being seen in post IndyRef Scottish local by-elections. Chart from Rob Hayward – election analyst pic.twitter.com/H6u35Btkfi
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 19, 2015
Just compare that with the UKIP experience in England
Yesterday I attended the annual media briefing by the respected elections analyst and former Conservative MP Robert Hayward. It was a packed and thought provoking session which will be reflected in the media in the coming weeks.
There are a number of slides that he produced that I’ll be publishing here the first of which appears above – what has happened in local elections in Scotland since the SNP post referendum polling surge started.
We all know that the big move to UKIP in the polls in England has been reflected in the Thursday local council by-elections that we feature every week. Farage’s party is performing extraordinarily well and the results add credence to the very high shares it is getting in the national opinion polls.
So given the dramatic changes in Scotland that have appeared in the polls since September 18th you might have expected a similar pattern in local elections. Rob Hayward’s chart above suggests that it hasn’t so far.
At the session I raised a point that Antifrank has been making on his blog and in his comments on PB – that the SNP is only the favourite in the betting to take five or six Scottish seats off LAB in the general election on May 7th. If activists on the ground thought that they were in with a shout to take seats then they’d be betting on it.
Maybe there’s a natural reluctance to gamble before we see the promised single constituency polling from Lord Ashcroft. I understand that but if the Scottish polls are correct then there’s money to be made a good odds in a number of seats.