Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Scottish Media Establishment Hiding Bad Labour Poll?

Could Labour be doing even worse in Scotland than we think? Someone on the Glasgow Herald website certainly thinks so, and is accusing the Herald (Scotland's biggest Labour supporting paper) of hiding a poll it had specially commissioned, but which showed such a big SNP lead that it was 'incendiary'.

SNP - 42
Labour - 27
LibDems - 13
Cons - 13
Others -5
SNP - 38
Labour - 22
Libdems -16
Cons - 15
Greens -6
Others -3
Excluded 21% dont knows, refused to answer or will not vote. Weighted sample of 1000. Poll conducted by MRUK.

Now it may well be that the Herald didn't publish this poll for a very good reason - but if so, perhaps they would like to tell us what the reason is.


Cernig said...

Hint- look at how the Herlad's political editor got his big break, editing Holyrood's politics magazine.
Last summer I had a long transatlantic telephone conversation with said editor, "on background", who had been talking to other old alumni too, about the New Labour dynasty McConnell founded at Stirling Uni in the early '80s. It was supposedly for an article on how Ritchie, Connarty et al ended up so powerful. It was never published.

Regards, C

Anonymous said...

MRUK are not the most reliable polling company around and it may be that the Herald was unhappy with the data that was presented to them.

DJM said...

By my count, that gives Labour and the Conservatives the opportunity to band together in coalition. It would also provide Scotland with the unionist administration the majority of the electorate obviously desires. It just takes a bit of hand-holding and clenched teeth on both sides to come to an agreement for the benefit of the Scottish people. Who is willing to facilitate this?

I fear there is no-one on either side who has the strength of will, or the inclination, to consider such a prospect. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

The tories should be embarrassed as being the fourth party, never mind trying to get at lab Iain.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 3.57 am.

The Herald gave plenty of prominence to the previous mruk poll that showed Labour well ahead of the SNP (at odds with all other polls).

Why be so coy this time ?

Anonymous said...

and this is before Yates presents his file to the CPS...

commenter said...

"[ConLab coalition] would also provide Scotland with the unionist administration the majority of the electorate obviously desires."

I doubt many voters will be in favour of such a beast - Scotland isn't NIreland, to the extent that voters ignore all issues but the constitutional one.

Anonymous said...

nonsense this poll is from the press and journal so will be a regional north east poll which is a bit like the tories doing poll in the south east of england.

wrinkled weasel said...

I get the impression that the Scottish press hold to a general editorial bias against the SNP which is largely one of lack of proper coverage in comparison to Labour and the Lib Dems.

As a by the way, last night's Scottish Labour PPB was just a bash the SNP deal from the first seconds of the broadcast. They claimed throughout that the SNP would cost every adult an extra £5000 p.a. in taxes. (Nice round figure, isn't it?)

Labour is running scared in Scotland and clearly, right out of ideas.

Anonymous said...

Annabel Goldie is having a great campaign up in Scotland, that has been the biggest surprise for some. Alex Salmond as expected as a show man politician doing well, but oh dear Jack McConnell and Nicol Stephen are hopeless.
Am enjoying the way the leftie press up here have been forced to give her grudging respect for this!

Anonymous said...

Well this must be a first - the media establishment sitting on a bad story for the benefits of their friends. Never ever in all my years heard of something like this!

Preston Man said...

21% don't knows. Their last poll said 50% still to decide.

If, as this poll suggests, they are breaking to the SNP then Labour would want this well and truly buried.

It's incredible that the 4th estate has come to this. Why did they become journalists in the first place? To sweep away Labour's garbage?

Gallowgait said...

The Herald is on very thin melting ice by their blatant support of Labour. They lifted a scurrilous touch, feel and tell non-story about an SNP MP and yet according to the "Ecosse" section of The Sunday Times" 15 April, 2007, journalist Lorna Martin is on the verge of revealing all about her affair with a high profile married journalist, who may very well be employed by The Herald. What's that saying about people in glass houses - they shouldn't take baths?

Tartan Hero said...

Even if Lab, Tories and Lib Dems were to form a Unionist coalition (and remember Annabel Goldie has ruled out a coalition already), then it would only have a majority of 2 on this opinion poll... with SNP and Greens as the only opposition. It would be the death knell for Unionists everywhere.. and probably only last 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

I am a leftie SNPite but let me be ungrudging.

Goldie has a sense of humour, lacks any notion of self importance, and plugs away. With her you get what you see.

Pity about her politics.

Anonymous said...

The Herald a Labour paper? hahahahahaha

Just shows how little you numpties know.

Tartan Hero said...

Here's a wee update... The Herald editor Charles McGhee dumped its traditional pollster, TNS System 3 on cost grounds, and hired a largely unknown and inexperienced market research company, mruk.

The first poll from them a couple of weeks ago, bucked the opinion poll trends by suggesting Labour was ahead of the SNP by 6%. This gave McGhee tons of ammunition to use against the SNP (in accordance with Gordon Brown's wishes who apparently telephones The Herald daily to agree (or issue) lines to take.

Only the second poll which has come out did not continue the Labour lead - quite the opposite in fact. So embarrassed at this result, the poll has been shelved.

Now, considering McGhee has been a bit of hatchet man, staffers are not happy with the editorial team and, therefore, surprise surprise, the poll results have been leaked!

Meanwhile, American owners, Newsquest/Gannett, have been made aware by a letter-writing campaign by a dedicated group of Nats incensed at the increasingly partisan reporting of events.

Whatever happended to newspapers reflecting the views of its readers? Ok that's a joke. There is only freedoom of newspaper ownership in this country, not freedom of speech.

Anonymous said...

They have been asked to do another poll and this time to get the answers right

Richard Havers said...

Hero, I suspect the discrepancy in the poll and the fact they're working with a new polling company explains the shelving. That's not to justify why they ran the first poll, more to explain why they don't want any more egg on their faces than they've got.

Anyway, who believes 'em anyway?

David Lindsay said...

I have this on excellent authority: Lab 40, SNP 38, Lib Dem 21, Con 20, Green 7, Solidarity 2, and Margo McDonald re-elected. Apparently, the polls don't take account of local variations, notably where a swing from Labour to the SNP would let in a Liberal or a Tory. Nor do they take account of the fact that the regional top-up lists are precisely that: regional, not national.

Chris Paul said...

21% unknown or won't vote? So is the turn out going to be 79% - hah, hah. As Cernig suggests with their avatar - pigs might fly. Luke Akehurst is linking to some polls that show Labour top and are possibly conducted by non-lightweights.

Anonymous said...

The word on the street is that Laboour is going to lose BIG in Scotland. There is panic in the ranks in central Scotland and what were thought to be safe labour seats look as if they are tumbling to the SNP.

David Lindsay said...

In how many of these seats are the SNP in second place, though? And in how many would even a large swing to the SNP from Labour actually let in a Tory or a Liberal?

Incidentally, Iain and others might like to learn that the introduction of STV for local elections in Scotland has led to the paying off of (mostly Labour) Councillors of 30 or 40 years standing, to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds, as if they had been made reduntant or taken early retirement from normal (rather well-paid) jobs, while plans are now afoot to put Councillors in Scotland on salaries of twenty grand or more.

Anonymous said...

The SNP are second to labour in most seats. I think they are second in about 40 seats accross scotland. polling day being anything like this would result in an SNP landslide.

Jess The Dog said...

Labour are absolutely shafted in Scotland thanks to a combination of near-universal hatred of Bliar (and his Iraq war in particular), a widespread feeling that the Scottish Parliament is not quite delivering, an outstanding SNP campaign led by Salmond, and the most incompetent Labour campaign in memory. Add to this a warm fuzzy feeling that the independence thing may not be so bad after all, as there will be a referendum (plenty of time for cold feet) and, as there is a Scottish Parliament and a European Union in any case, what will the difference be?

There is a west coast Labour media clique with fingers in all sorts of pies - just witness what happened with McConnell and Wark holidaying together. Far more sinister was the Sunday Mail's unearthing of the romp story regarding Angus MacNeil, portrayed as taking place on Shetland when it apparently occured on Orkney at a bash with other political figures present (inclding McConnell). I reckon the MacNeil story was common gossip in Holyrood, and the dire predicament of Labour vs SNP (and some schadenfreude over smearing the man who called in Yates of the Yard) outweighed the risk of tit-for-tat revelations of other snippets of gossip best kept from the unwashed electorate.

I am enjoying every minute and my "vote SNP" poster is in the window. This should take the shine off Bliar's leaving tour somewhat!

Bob said...

I'm usually a pretty pessimistic/realistic SNP supporter. I have been proven right at election after election. However, I've been out canvassing today, and I'm beginning to feel a twitch of a smile at the corner of my downturned mouth - the canvassing returns are astonishingly good. The SNP might just do it. I would guess just over 40 seats, a couple of seats ahead of Labour.

Anonymous said...

I would like to correct some inaccuracies within this article. As Research Manager for Herald & Times Group, I can assure you all that we have only results from one poll and those results were first published on Friday 6th April. We do have a second poll in field with results expected around the 25th April.


Brian Howat

Anonymous said...

This will be the one you asked to be redone Brian no doubt.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to see the Herald reduced to the same level as the Daily Record.
The press in Scotland is biased to the core and the worrying thing for them is that despite their denials most of us are quite prepared to believe that they would bury a poll that did not suit their Labour masters.
I am not as optimistic as some that all will be well ,if the Herald is prepared to stoop as low as this what are we going to get from the tabloids.

Anonymous said...

As the real Brian Howat from Newsquest Herald Times I would like to point out that the earlier post was not from me.


Brian Howat

Alex Porter said...

Could it be that this idea of a high number of "don't knows" is the cover story for getting it so "wrong?"

Jimbo said...

I hear The Herald is to publish a phony poll just before the elections to sway people away from the SNP.