By Russell Bruce
The Savanta Scotsman poll comes up with some shocking figures. The better news is support for independence is holding up although No retains the lead at 52% to 48% for Yes. We know from the run of evidence that support for Labour in Scotland is growing. Too many SNP supporters on social media have convinced themselves that Labour with only 1 MP in Scotland is in a static position that will not change. Polls move and the broad range of evidence shows Labour are improving their vote in Scotland.
Unfortunately there is still an over focus on Westminster and how it affects our lives in Scotland. People are struggling with soaring costs of fuel and food and polls indicate independence is not the immediate priority it should be. The SNP are still ahead of Labour in this poll but the impact on predicted results is dire with Labour set to win 18 seats come a general election and the Tories predicted to hold their existing 6 seats. For Westminster this poll gives SNP 39% (-3), Labour 33% (+1), Con 19% (+2), LD 7% (=) Others 4% (+1).
The results for Holyrood are no better. On the constituency vote the SNP are on 39% (-4), LAB 32% (+2), CON 19% (+1), LD 7% (-1), Others 3% (+1). On the list vote the SNP hold steady but the Greens drop – SNP 33% (+1), LAB 30% (+3), CON 18 (+2), Green 10% (-4), LD 7% (-2), Others 2% (=).
This is the first poll post Humza’s election as First Minister
That is important. Many on social media are pointing to other polls carried out before Humza was elected. Like it or not this poll is indicating something has changed. It may be an outlier and further polling on Humza’s government will indicate if it is a particularly harsh judgement that might ameliorate as he sets out his priorities in the days and weeks ahead. What can’t be ignored is this is the culmination, for now, of a long term trend in Savanta polls showing Labour gaining ground in Scotland. On a run of 5 polls for Westminster, the Savanta/Scotland polls since June 2022 have all indicated a narrowing of the gap between the SNP and Labour.
Nicola Sturgeon is a hard act for anyone to follow
Humza’s net favourability with all voters rises 6 points to -12 whilst Nicola Sturgeon is +10 with Sarwar -1 and Kate Forbes -2. With SNP voters Humza is doing much better rising 19 points to +20, Kate Forbes drops 15 points to +5 but the runaway lead remains with Nicola Sturgeon at +71.
The Savanta/Scotsman poll of 1009 Scottish adults was carried out from 28th to 31st March and is the only Scottish poll following Humza Yousaf’s election as First Minister. Comparison is with their previous poll of 15- 17 February. I am still waiting on the full tables from Savanta which are still covered by an embargo.