SNP Winning Policy Battle but Labour have Poll Lead


The latest Scottish opinion poll shows people across Scotland giving overwhelming backing to key SNP policies set out by John Swinney in last week’s Scottish budget.

The poll, carried out by Ipsos Mori last week, indicated that the SNP’s proposals over freezing the council tax, supporting the NHS, abolishing prescription charges and freezing pay for those earning over £21,000 had the support of the Scottish public.

Although the poll showed the SNP maintaining the polling position it had before the 2007 election, it also indicated Labour are in front as far as Holyrood voting intentions are concerned.  In 2007 the SNP eventually overturned an early Labour lead so with six months to go before the Holyrood election it is all to play for.

The Ipsos Mori poll conducted immediately after the budget also saw SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmon gain positive approval ratings of +17 with 54% saying they were satisfied with his leadership. 

The positive approval rating for Mr Salmond, the only leader to reach over 50%, is over three times that for Iain Gray and more than double all the opposition leaders combined.  Lib Dem leader Tavish Scott received a negative rating of -4 as his party continues to suffer from its UK coalition with the Tories.

The poll shows Lib Dem support sitting at 11% in the constituency vote.  The same constituency vote shows the SNP on 31%, Labour on 41% and Tories on 13%.

In the regional vote Lib Dems have even fallen behind “others” with the SNP on 32%, Labour 36%, Tories 12%, others 10% and the Lib Dems on 9%.

Commenting on the poll Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister and SNP Depute Leader said:

“This poll shows there is all to play for next May – the election is a clear two-horse race.

“On the back of a tough budget caused by Tory/Lib Dem Westminster cuts, Alex Salmond’s leadership ratings are rising to near record levels, and our core policies of a Council Tax freeze as part of our social contract with the people to sustain measures such as pay restraint, support for front line services and economic recovery receive overwhelming backing.

“The SNP are delivering popular measures of substance, while Labour has no coherent stance on either the Council Tax freeze or pay freeze.”

The Deputy First Minister highlighted the similarity in the party’s standing compared to the same point last year and insisted that Labour would suffer as they come under scrutiny adding:

“Three-and-a-half years into office SNP support is at the same high levels as when we won in 2007 – which is a remarkable achievement for any administration. Support rises for governments in the run-up to an election, and as Labour come under increased scrutiny their inexperience and inconsistency will be exposed as they seek to push up taxes for every Scottish household and back Tory tax plans that will slash Scotland’s budget.”


The poll between 18 and 21st November of 1001 Scottish adults by IPSOS MORI:

Do you support or oppose the following announcements made by the Scottish Government in its budget on Wednesday

  • Keeping Council tax at current levels – Support 78% Oppose 18%
  • Keeping NHS spending as it is – Support 69% Oppose 25%
  • Freezing public sector pay at 21,000 – Support 60% Oppose 36%
  • Abolishing Prescription Charges – Support 59% Oppose 36%

Satisfaction with Party Leaders:

  • Alex Salmond: Satisfied 54%, Dissatisfied 37%, overall + 17
  • Annabel Goldie: Satisfied 37%, Dissatisfied 36%, overall + 1
  • Iain Gray: Satisfied 39%, Dissatisfied 34%, overall + 5
  • Tavish Scott: Satisfied 31%, Dissatisfied 35%, overall – 4


  • SNP 31%
  • Labour 41%
  • Con 13%
  • LD 11%
  • Other 5%


  • SNP 32%
  • Lab 36%
  • Con 12%
  • LD 9%
  • Other 10%

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