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20 November 2006

Comments

Will

To be fair, TNS SystemThree have consistently produced higher topline Labour figures than the other pollsters, so for me, the key statistic is that Labour are up relative to their own polls rather than any other figures.

They also have a tendency to underestimate the Conservative vote (YouGov seemed to call their support levels fairly accurately in 2003, if I recall), so again, the alarm bell for Goldie isn't that support is so low, but that it's lower than in the last TNS SystemThree poll.

Having said that, none of the polls show evidence of a 'Cameron effect', and I put this down to two possible causes. Firstly, Goldie is viewed as little more than a caretaker leader and a safe pair of hands to guide the Party to 2007. Secondly, she appears largely to be following on from McLetchie so there appears to be very little change in the Party's approach, at least nothing comparable to the changes that Cameron is bringing about. The problem is that there is no David Cameron figure in the Tory Holyrood group. The closest to that is Murdo Fraser, who is, in ideological terms, almost the polar opposite to Cameron.

Boy Blue

Will, your analysis of the System 3 poll is fair comment. As for the future, yes the Scottish Tories need a Cameron figure but not to ape the Cameron agenda. Cam's blend of social liberalism may play well in London and the South-East but Scotland is a socially conservative country.

The real issue for the Scottish Tories to grapple with is the identity question - they are still seen as an English party. 'Modernisation' of Scottish Toryism means therefore not an echo of Cameron-ism but a new Scottish identity, embracing fiscal autonomy and ditching the 'Unionist' baggage. Now who's going to do that for us?

TattieHeid

"We won't be able to tell if the recent Mori poll (in which the SNP stormed ahead) was a one-off wonder until a few more are published in the coming months."

But there have been - ICM, YouGov and Progressive Partnerships. Those three show the SNP ahead or just behind Labour.

http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/scottish-voting-intention/

The last Mori one was June.

Maybe the question is why the TNS/System Three ones are so different from three other polling companies.

UK Poling Report explains it as TNS/System Three not weighting or taking account of intention to vote.

http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/904

Scottish Political News

re TattieHeid, sorry I meant to refer to the Scotsman ICM Poll not the Mori one.

There is a huge issue about System 3 methods and this does explain a lot, however I'm not convinced that the SNP are as far ahead as the Scotsman ICM poll suggested, a few more from ICM will begin to tell us the real picture.

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