Weber Shandwick have issued a new poll of polls which purports to show that Labour may do better than expected in the Scottish Parliament elections.
“There is a real possibility that although the SNP may have a larger
share of the popular vote, and maybe even more MSPs, that Labour and
the Lib Dems could just scrape enough MSPs to continue in coalition. If
the SNP and Liberals can’t agree on a referendum on independence then
this outcome is a very real possibility.” (Scotland Votes blog)
I have some reservations about this exercise, which were strengthened by Weber Shandwick’s correspondence with Mick Fealty today:
“We took the answers to the voting intention questions for both
regional and constituency elections from the most recent poll by each
polling organisations. There has been 6 published. We did include the
MRUK poll. People can argue whether the MRUK poll was flawed or not”. (Slugger O’Toole)
The survey by MRUK, published in the Glasgow Herald on 5 April, is the only recent poll to show a Labour lead. Polling expert Mike Smithson had this to say about it:
"The pollster in the Glasgow Herald story, MRUK, is not listed as a
member of the British Polling Council and so does not have to follow
the transparency rules. Ignore." (politicalbetting.com)
Having said that Weber Shandwick’s overall figures are not that far from the SNP’s own poll of polls, available on the excellent Scottish Politics site from Alba Publishing, so the possibility that Labour and the Lib-Dems are still within toucing distance of the SNP cannot be excluded. However, the Labour revival portrayed by MRUK looks distinctly unlikely.