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How much of Populus was down to Scotland?

November 11th, 2008

Does the data support the “heartlands” theory?

My apologies for the third post in succession about the Populus poll but it has been the most sensational survey that we’ve seen in months and it does merit close examination. The detail has now been made available and one element sticks out – how well Labour polled in Scotland in the immediate three days after the Glenrothes by election.

Just look at the numbers above which I should explain don’t represent individual people but voter units after the turnout weightings have been applied. Look at the massive 54% of Scottish “units”.

There have been warnings galore here about looking at regional subsets from polls and drawing conclusions about voter break-downs in the different areas. I’m not doing that here but merely pointing to the impact on the overall national numbers from what Populus found north of the border – particularly when compared with last month.

All this might support the theory put forward at the start of October by the Guardian’s polling expert, Julian Glover, that much of Labour’s recovery has been in its heartlands. That could matter enormously in SNP-LAB battlegrounds but is there a national implication?

I’ve long been of the view that there should be separate England and Wales polls excluding Scotland. The politics north of the border is so different that including the country might be giving a distorted picture.

The latest commons seat spreads from PB’s co-sponsor, Sporting Index are: CON 336-342: LAB 240-246: LD 43-46 seats. I remain a Labour buyer.

Mike Smithson






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