Need to Know | 23rd March 2015

New Scotland poll shows no shift – SNP headed for nearly 50 seats

This morning’s poll is in line with others published over the past five months.

Photo: Getty


A third Scotland poll in ten days has reiterated what Scottish polls have now shown for five months: nearly half of Scotland is set to vote SNP in 45 days, and fewer than a third will vote Labour.

The latest poll, conducted by ICM for the Guardian, showed 43 per cent of Scots plan to vote for the SNP, and only 27 per cent plan to vote Labour. That’s a near-reversal of 2010, when 42 per cent of Scots voted Labour and 20 per cent voted SNP.

Today’s poll is effectively unchanged since ICM’s December poll for the Guardian. And it is very much in-line with Scottish polls published since late October: an average of the past sixteen Scottish polls puts the SNP on 46 and Labour on 27. The past six polls have all put the SNP on between 43-48 per cent and Labour on 27-30 per cent.

If the SNP were to poll 46 per cent in May, and Labour 27 per cent, a national swing projection would give the SNP 47 of Scotland’s 59 seats. Labour would hold on to just 11 of the 41 seats they won in 2010, and the Lib Dems would lose ten of their 11, holding onto only Orkney & Shetland.

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Our model still currently predicts 55 seats for the SNP, as it is based on Lord Ashcroft’s constituency polls, but we will soon add national polls and our prediction will be closer to 50.

Either way, the SNP surge has crippled Labour’s hopes of being the largest party in May.