ICM has given us a Boxing Day surprise with an online Scottish Westminster poll for the Guardian, the fieldwork for which was conducted just over a week ago. As this is the first such poll by ICM this parliament, we can’t infer much about changes (other than since the last election) – the toplines are SNP 43 LAB 26 CON 13 UKIP 7 LIB 6 GRN 4. The shows a smaller SNP lead than other pollsters have shown, but two points of that are due to ICM’s spiral of silence adjustment, which helps Labour due to many more of their 2010 voters now saying don’t know (18% vs 6% for the SNP).
The Guardian writeup also features analysis by John Curtice suggesting that the regional variation in the swing would leave Labour not with 10 seats as a uniform swing would imply, but actually 3 just. While I would caution in getting too excited about such small subsamples, there clearly is regional variation and it underlines what I said before about a 20% swing – Labour can only lose votes where they have them, so will underperform UNS in their stronger areas.
Survation’s poll showed a strong UKIP performance in Holyrood list voting – in this one, the party ties its record Scottish Westminster high of 7%.
As polling is mostly suspended for the holidays there are no updates on the models. And while I wouldn’t rule out another poll popping up in the next week, I’ll take this opportunity to wish everyone an early happy Hogmanay. See you in 2015!