Brian Monteith is a former Tory student chairman and Conservative MSP. He is now editor of ThinkScotland.org
On Monday Lord Ashcroft’s polling of Scottish voters’ views and intentions caused a predictable stir. It even led to the rare occurrence of a Scottish political story making the pages of MailOnline!
The focus was, understandably, the opinions on the independence referendum (a resounding 65 to 26 No), that the SNP’s fixation with independence was not shared by the majority of the electorate and that there remains a good deal of confusion about what the Scottish Parliament is responsible for and what it has actually achieved (the most popular being making various benefits or services ‘free’).
I reviewed that aspect of the polling here.
There was, however, some other rather revealing information that readers of ConservativeHome will be especially interested and I’m afraid it was not good news. Here are the headline findings:
- In the poll of voting intentions for the Scottish Parliament that will not be held until May 2016 (sample of 1000 between 7 and 17 June) the Scottish Conservatives were third at 15 percent for the constituency vote;
- In the same poll but for the second (regional list) vote the Scottish Conservatives were pushed into fifth at 10 per cent, behind the Lib Dems on 13 percent and UKIP on 11 per cent;
- In a different poll with a mega sample of 10,007 the Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, had the worst popularity rating with a net −20, behind the Lib Dem Willie Rennie on −8, Alex Salmond on −4 and Johann Lamont on +3.
- In the same poll Ruth Davidson was not known or provoked no opinion by 27 per cent of her own supporters (better than the Labour or the Lib Dem leaders) but had the largest unpopular percentage, at 18 per cent, and the poorest net popularity at +37 with her own supporters.