Westminster voting intention: CON 20%(nc), LAB 37%(-1), LDEM 12%(+1), SNP 27%(-2).
Holyrood constituency: CON 13%(nc), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 12%(nc), SNP 38%(-1).
Holyrood regional: CON 15%(-1), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 11%(nc), SNP 34%(+2), GRN 6%(nc), SSP 4%(nc).
Three things apparent here: despite the turbulent last three months, the figures have remained remarkably steady; Labour is managing to slow down the shift towards the SNP and the massive anti-(Westminster) government swing evident in England and Wales is not being capitalized on by the Conservatives in Scotland.
How much of the SNP vote is an anti-Labour protest as opposed to any real desire for separation is an interesting question- the figures for a potential “independence” referendum have also been included:
29% would vote YES in such a referendum, 55% NO.
In October the respective figures were 31% to 53%.
According to those figures, between a fifth to a sixth of those who would presently vote for the SNP tomorrow would, nevertheless, not vote for the split up of the United Kingdom. What is also worth considering is who would be allowed to voted in such a referendum- only those Scots presently residing in Scotland or also those further afield?
If permitted, which way would these exiles be likely to vote?
This from The Economist’s Letter page gives us a clue:
SIR – It comes as no surprise to the millions of people of Scottish extraction living in England that more Burns night suppers take place here than in Scotland (“Selling Scotland by the verse”, January 24th). We must surely outnumber Scotland’s resident population. You also mentioned that Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has designated 2009 as a “Year of Homecoming”. We are touched by this, especially as he wants a referendum to undo the union and to make Scotland a foreign country to us. In effect, this would render us stateless. We now await word from Mr Salmond that his offer of homecoming is sincere, and that we will be allowed to vote in any referendum on the issue.
East Grinstead, Sussex
Further to last week’s post, a quick google reveals that 800,000 Scots (actually born in Scotland) now reside in England and Wales, a further 30,000 live either side of the Irish border- I wonder if the Salmondistas would be really that happy to let them have a say in the future if their homeland?