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SNP continues to dominate as Labour trails in Holyrood and Westminster poll

Scotland Public Opinion Monitor Wave 9

Published:2 September 2011
Fieldwork:25 - 29 August 2011
Source:Ipsos MORI Scotland
Keywords:Holyrood, Labour Party, Scotland, Scottish National Party, Voting intention
(Click on keywords to find related Research)
Following the SNP’s landmark overall majority in May’s Scottish Parliament elections, the honeymoon period continues as Scots back the party in Westminster and Holyrood poll.

Our latest poll shows that, among those certain to vote, the SNP’s share of the Holyrood constituency vote stands at 49%, up 4 percentage points on their election result. The strength of SNP support has come at the expense of the three other main parties, none of whom have shown signs of recovery since the election. Labour now stands at 28%, down four points from May and 21 points behind the SNP, while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats stand at 13% and 7%, each down a single point.

The SNP’s lead over Labour is particularly strong among men, where they have a 31 point lead, and those aged 55 and over, where they have a 25 point lead.

The SNP’s current popularity is also reflected in Westminster voting intention, where the party enjoys a nine point lead over Labour. Among those certain to vote, the SNP’s share of the vote stands at 42%, some 19 points up on the party’s performance at the 2010 General Election. Labour are currently on 33%, down 9 points, while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are on 16% and 6%, down 1% and 13% respectively.

Satisfaction with party leaders

Along with the continued popularity of his party, Alex Salmond continues to enjoy the backing of a majority of Scots. Three in five Scots (62%) say they are satisfied with his performance as First Minister compared to just over a quarter (28%) who say they are dissatisfied, giving him a net satisfaction rating of +34%, up a single point from our last poll in April.

With Labour and the Conservatives currently without leaders, the only other Scottish party leader included in the poll was Willie Rennie, recently appointed to lead the Liberal Democrats. His main short-term challenge would appear to be public recognition with half of Scots (51%) unable to rate his performance. Fewer than one in five (17%) say they are satisfied with his performance as leader, compared to 32% who are dissatisfied.

Mark Diffley, Research Director at Ipsos MORI said:

"As MSPs reconvene at an SNP-dominated Holyrood next week, this poll will be good news for the governing party and the First Minister. The party remains in a dominant position among the electorate which, combined with the overall majority in Parliament, will give the SNP the confidence to pursue their programme. Alex Salmond also remains popular with the electorate, highlighting the challenges facing the other parties in their pursuit of selecting credible leaders who can challenge him effectively."

Technical Note

  • Results are based on a survey of 1,002 respondents conducted by telephone between 25th August and 29th August 2011.
  • Data are weighted by age, sex and working status using census data, and tenure using SHS 2007-2008 data, and by public-private sector employment by Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Series data.
  • An asterisk (*) indicates a percentage of less than 0.5% but greater than 0.
  • Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to multiple responses or computer rounding.
  • Where the base size is less than 30 the number (N) rather than the percentage of respondents is given.
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Mark Diffley
Mark Diffley

Research Director

Email Tel:+44(0)131 240 3269