Poll position: Poll of polls put SNP on course to take Cumbernauld seat

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 16:57 on 6 May 2015.

Politics    SNP    Labour    General Election

Stuart McDonald (left) looks set to win Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East, according to the poll of polls. Picture: supplied.

VOTERS across the UK will be able to go to the polls tomorrow for a General Election which has been pre-emptively labelled as the “most exciting” election in recent British history. 

In Scotland, history looks set to made – if the polls are correct – with a large number of voters in former Labour heartland seats likely to abandon the ‘peoples’ party’ and support the Scottish National Party (SNP). 

Polls both in Scotland and locally suggest that Labour look set to lose control, with former Labour MP Gregg McClymont set to lose – if polls are correct. 

Predictions suggest a swing of around 25 per cent from the former Labour MP to the local SNP challenger, Stuart McDonald; and, when we combine all of the comparable data which looks at a possible result for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East we find the SNP to be potentially victorious. 

Taking the percentage results from Lord Ashcroft’s January 2015 constituency poll for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch; the predicted share of the vote locally from Electoral Calculus; the estimated party-by-party share of the vote for this constituency from Election Forecast; and, a locally focussed predicted result for each candidate by UKelects an average can be worked out for each party.

Lord Ashcroft’s constituency poll for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch puts the SNP on 52%, Labour on 34%, the Liberal Democrats on 2 per cent, others on 7%, and the Conservatives on 6 per cent.

Electoral Calculus predicts that Labour will take 39.3 per cent of votes tomorrow, the SNP 49.4%, Liberal Democrats 0.4%, the Conservatives 7.8%, others 0.4%, UKIP 2.1%, and the Greens 0.6 per cent. 

Predictions from Election Forecast estimates that the Conservatives will take 8% of tomorrow’s votes in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, with Labour on 35 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 3%, and the SNP on 54%.

Finally, a locally focussed predicted result for each candidate by UKelects predicts the SNP will take 56.58% of votes, Labour 35.66%, and the Conservatives 7.76%. 

Taken together, the average for each party from each of those polls is: SNP, 52.995%; Liberal Democrats, 1.8%; Others, 3.7%; Conservatives, 7.39%; Labour, 35.99%; UKIP, 2.1%; and, Greens 0.6%.

Difficulties with averaging.

Obviously there are major difficulties with this data. First of all, some of the dataset used comes from vote predictions, based on previous elections, polling data and census information, while other datasets used comes from surveys. 

Secondly, where prediction data has been used there’s the question over the respective methodologies used by the numerous research companies cited above. 

Thirdly, where survey data is used there’s the issue over different questions, and again different methodology; therefore, to counter this we’ve used survey data which is not only weighted but that asks respondents which party they will support in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East. 

Finally, there’s the question over the UKIP, Greens and ‘Other’ vote – in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East this year’s General Election will be a straight contest between the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP). 

Regardless of the issues with comparing data, one thing clear remains clear: Labour look set to lose Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East as well as across Scotland, with polls showing an ever-increasing lead for the Scottish National Party ahead of the election.

‘Fantastic’ poll. 

An Ipsos MORI poll for STV News on April 29th put the SNP at 54 per cent; Labour on 20%; the Conservatives on 17%; the Liberal Democrats on 5%; and the Green Party on 2%. 

Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s Deputy Leader cautiously welcomed the poll’s results, commenting that the SNP’s message was “to everyone in Scotland - people who voted No last year, as well as those who voted Yes, and people who are considering voting SNP for the first time - is that together we can unite to make Scotland stronger and the UK more progressive.”

He added: "By voting SNP, we can make Scotland's voice heard like never before.

"This record poll shows that our positive campaign to make Scotland stronger at Westminster by electing a team of SNP MPs is gaining momentum, but we are working hard for every vote because we take absolutely nothing for granted. 

"More anti-Tory MPs than Tory MPs in the House of Commons means that we can lock David Cameron out of Downing Street - so voting SNP delivers a strong voice for Scotland and progressive policies for the whole UK, including an end to cuts."

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was more cautious in her reaction to the poll. The First Minister said: "Well these polls are great and they make wonderful reading for the SNP but they are only polls, it’s votes and ballot boxes that count and I will continue and the SNP will continue to take nothing for granted and campaign hard for every vote.

"Our message is simple – if Scotland wants its voice to be heard in Westminster more loudly than ever before and then for that voice to be used for more progressive politics like an end to austerity then the more seats the SNP wins the louder that voice will be."

Reacting to the poll, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy recognised the scale of the challenge facing Labour, but said the poll was “fantastic” for David Cameron.

Mr Murphy said: "This is another bad poll for the Scottish Labour party, it’s another good poll of course for the SNP, and it’s another fantastic poll for David Cameron.

"David Cameron can’t beat the Labour party here in Scotland, so someone else has to do it for him.

"That way David Cameron gets to cling on to power because he’s the leader of the biggest party, the likelihood is David Cameron will remain Prime Minister, not because Scotland went out and voted for the Tory party but because Scotland voted against Labour for the SNP and reduced the chances of Labour forming the government.

"There’s much still to play for in this election a week’s a long time in politics and we’ll keep going with a huge amount of energy and a determination to turn much of this round."

Jackson Carlaw, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives welcomed the increase in support for the Tories in the poll.

He said: “With a week to go before we vote, this poll shows that the Scottish Conservatives are the pro-UK party which has won the arguments in the campaign and is now gaining support.

“People in Scotland have had a good look at Labour and the Lib Dems over the last five weeks. They appear to have been left unimpressed and have now decided against them.

“If people want a strong Unionist party that can take on the SNP, they have to vote for it. They have to vote Scottish Conservative.”

Candidates standing.

The full list of candidates standing for election tomorrow, for the constituency of Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East is as following-:

John Duncan, Liberal Democrats
Malcolm MacKay, Conservative Party
Gregg McClymont, Labour Party
Stuart McDonald, Scottish National Party (SNP)

Polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm tomorrow, with the result for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East expected by 2:30am in the morning of Friday 8th May.