Polls, the SNP and the Tories

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Two interesting polls today. Times/Populus suggests that the SNP is well ahead in Scotland, but that support for independence has plummeted.

I don’t doubt either trend, but combined they do suggest that the Scots still aren’t actively engaging with the election to the extent that this accurately predicts how they are likely to vote. I suspect that increasing anxiety and confusion about independence can only drag the SNP share down. The incredibly low ‘other’ score also suggests that the small parties will get a boost once the RPA forces the media to start reminding people they actually exist. I suspect this too will drag down the SNP vote as people start to realise they can vote against Labour AND not support the SNP.

The Independent/CommunicateResearch poll meanwhile shows a significant dip in Tory support following the budget. Once again, you can’t take this as any great prediction. What it does suggest however is that the vote is incredibly soft, and volatile, at the moment. These massive boosts the Tories have been enjoying in recent polls say a lot more about the power vacuum at the top of the Labour party than anything that Cameron is doing.

Both polls are bad news for the Tories. The former suggests they are likely to end up in fourth place in Holyrood, while the latter suggests that once Labour sorts itself out, and the Tory policy reports start being published, the Tory vote can only fall. Not only can Labour not afford a snap General Election, but the longer they can put it off, the longer the wheels will start to come off the Tory bandwagon.

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