Will retaining Scotland be Blair’s final victory?

Will retaining Scotland be Blair’s final victory?

    Could Tony’s leadership close with a dramatic triumph?

scotsman ICM poll.jpg Two polls by mainstream pollsters suggest that Labour is closing in on the SNP in the final phase of tomorrow’s Scottish election and hold out the prospect of Blair’s premiership ending on an electoral high.

As has often been said here – “nobody ever got rich betting against Tony”

ICM in the Scotsman found that the SNP is still ahead – by 2 per cent on the constituency vote and 1 per cent on the regional vote which would give Salmond a margin of one seat in the new Parliament. It’s projected SNP shares is 34% on the constituency vote and 30% on the regional list vote. Labour recorded 32% in the former 29% for the latter.

Populus for the Times reports a breakdown of SNP 33%: LAB 29%: LD 15%: CON 13% in the constituency vote.

Frustratingly the online editions of both papers do not have the results in tabulated form. The Scotsman states that the poll is pointing to the SNP have a one seat lead while the Times suggests that its poll is indicating a 2 seat SNP margin.

    What a relief it would be for Gordon Brown if at the last just before he prepares to move into Number 10 that Labour was able to hold on in Scotland

The critical and deciding thing tomorrow is whether Labour and the SNP can get their vote out. Last time the overall proportion was a respectable 49.4%. Both Populus and ICM weight their final numbers in line with answers to the likelihood to vote question – so that is factored into these latest findings.

Another element is that there has been a tendency in Scottish polls, as we looked at here last week, for both Labour and the SNP to be over-stated. In 2003 all the polls overstated both parties in the constituency vote while all but YouGov over-stated Labour in the regional list.

    If Labour do make it it will once again show what a formidable force the party is in the final days of an election campaign. Blair and Brown have thrown everything at it and it might just come off. David Cameron should take note.

Hopefully there will be a final YouGov survey for the internet pollster was least wrong in 2003.

In the betting the SNP has eased and Labour has tightened.

Can Tony Blair pull off a last ditch victory for Labour in Scotland?

Mike Smithson – author of “The Political Punter”

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