Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Andrew Learmonth
08 April 2021
Two new polls suggest wildly different outcomes for Holyrood election

General Election

Two new polls suggest wildly different outcomes for Holyrood election

Two new polls have suggested wildly different outcomes for the SNP at May's election. 

A Savanta ComRes survey for The Scotsman suggested Nicola Sturgeon's party could win just 64 seats at May’s election, falling one short of a majority in Holyrood.

However, a second poll by Opinium for Sky News forecast the SNP to win 71 seats, giving them a majority of 13.

According to the Scotsman poll, Alex Salmond’s Alba could take three per cent of the vote, while the Sky survey suggests they will win two per cent. This wouldn't be enough to win  a seat.

In the first poll, the SNP would return a constituency vote of 49 per cent, and a list vote of 40 per cent, giving them their 64 MSPs, one more than they won in 2016.

The Tories would be on 23 per cent in the constituency and down two points to 21 per cent on the list, giving them 25 MSPs, down six on the last election. 

Labour would take 18 per cent on both constituency and list, while the Liberal Democrats would be on seven and six per cent.

That would give Labour 23 MSPs (down one), and the Lib Dems seven (up two).

The Greens, polling at nine per cent, would win ten MSPs.

According to Opinium, the SNP will take 53 per cent on the constituency, and 44 per cent on the list. The Tories will be on 21 per cent and 22 per cent, Labour 18 per cent and 17 per cent, the Lib Dems on six per cent and five per cent. The Greens would take seven per cent on the regional ballot. 

This would give the SNP 71 seats, the Tories 27 seats, Labour on 21, the Greens on six and Lib Dems on four.

Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,007 Scottish adults aged 16 or above between 2-7April ,  while Opinium interviewed 1,023 Scottish adults online between 1-6 April.

The Sky Poll found that voters were not keen on a coalition between the SNP and Alba, with 15% thinking it would be good for Scotland but 63% bad.

Asked about a coalition between the SNP and the Greens, 41% said they thought it would be good while 41% belived it would be bad.

Chris Curtis, senior research manager at Opinium, said: “If Scottish unionists had been hoping that the fallout between Salmond and Sturgeon would hurt the SNP, then our latest polling is going to be a disappointment. 

"It looks like being on the campaign trail has further boosted the First Minister’s ratings, while the unpopularity of Alex Salmond has meant he is struggling to make a dent.

"Perhaps the most disappointing results in the poll are for the Labour party. 

"Their new leader’s surging popularity is currently failing to translate into any more votes, as Labour ends up in the unenviable position of being everyone’s second choice."

Nicola Sturgeon maintains her popularity with a net approval rating of +23, while Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has also seen a significant boost to his personal ratings, from a score of -3 to +10. 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has a net of -31.

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - Alba calls in police after candidate's age of consent claim provokes angry response

Stay in the know with our fortnightly magazine

Stay in the know with our fortnightly magazine


Popular reads
Back to top