Predictor puts SNP ahead in running for Northern Isles seat

A new scientific election predictor suggests that the SNP are ahead in the race for the Orkney and Shetland seat in next month’s UK General Election.

According to statistics from Electoral Calculus the SNP have a 56 per cent chance of winning the Northern Isles constituency, compared to the Liberal Democrats’ 41 per cent.

The figures for Orkney and Shetland put the SNP on 37.8 per cent of the vote, with the Lib Dems on 35.5 per cent.

SNP candidate Danus Skene.
SNP candidate Danus Skene.

Electoral Calculus predicts British General Election results using scientific analysis of opinion polls and electoral geography, and apparently was the most accurate pre-poll predictor at the last General Election in May 2010.

However, SNP candidate Danus Skene has given a cautious welcome to indications that the SNP campaign in the Northern Isles is having a positive impact.

He said: “This is only one set of figures, and predictions of a 56 per cent likelihood of an SNP win, against 41 per cent for the Lib Dems need to be treated as just one view from one organisation.

“However, with little over four weeks to go until polling day it appears that the momentum is with the SNP and my teams in Orkney and Shetland will be doing all they can to get the positive message across to voters that having an MP who is part of a strong team of SNP representatives at Westminster can only be good for the islands.”


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  • Robin Stevensonr

    • April 7th, 2015 9:58

    While the SNP aren’t taking anything for granted, this is great news for a new and awakened electorate in Shetland and Orkney, all credit to the hard efforts of their campaigners, but especially to the islanders who now realise that their vote [for once] Could “actually” make a difference, for too long the Lib/Dems have just taken the S&O vote for granted, and after the despicable events of the “leaked memo”, I fear it’ll come back to haunt them throughout the entire UK.

    • Michael Jonston

      • May 3rd, 2015 23:11

      Hopefully SNP will fail to win this seat. SNP are only interested in achieving independence which we voted strongly against.

      • Anne Finlayson

        • May 7th, 2015 16:16

        I agree Michael. The thought of a total SNP rout in Scotland is scary stuff. I am astonished at what has happened to the Scottish electorate during and post the Independence Referendum, which, as you say, they lost, but it seems as though voters are simply being swept along on the surge of this SNP wave, and are letting their hearts rule their heads, which is worrying. SNP supporters have bombarded social media sites like Facebook. I have lost count of the number of SNP Facebook postings I have received, and I have well and truly had enough !!

      • Robin Stevenson

        • May 7th, 2015 17:58

        Michael, this isn’t a referendum on independence, this is a general election, with the SNP trying to bring as many new levers of power back to Scotland as possible, if there will ever be another Indyref then we, the voters, will decide when that will be, not any political party, and let’s not forget that there were a number of SNP supporters that voted no to independence, but felt the SNP was the best choice of Scottish government and put Scotland and its people first, so it’s not ALL about independence which isn’t even in their manifesto.

        Anne, what exactly is so scary about a left of centre party who’d rather distribute the wealth of its nation rather than looking after the well off?

        Perhaps if we weren’t bombarded with 97% of our completely bias MSM, then the SNP supporters wouldn’t have to rely on social media nearly as much? But frankly, that is practically the only way we get to something close to the facts, rather than being spoon-fed propaganda from our TV and papers.

        Like you, I too am fed up,….Fed up of reading watching and listening to mistruths and spin by our [so called] public service broadcasters.

  • Robert Duncan

    • April 7th, 2015 11:51

    As discussed on these pages previously, using these things to make predictions for individual seats is facile. Electoral Calculus was very accurate on the final result in 2010, that does not make it an accurate predictor on a seat-by-seat basis.

    They use an adapted version of uniform swing that will never tell the whole picture – for example they predict there will be a Green vote in Orkney and Shetland of 5.5%. Something tells me there may be a slight stumbling block there…

    • Robin Stevenson

      • April 7th, 2015 12:34

      Aye Robert “Shoot the messenger”..IF the news doesn’t suit you?

      • Robert Duncan

        • April 7th, 2015 14:15

        I’m not sure what point you are even trying to make here.

      • Ali Inkster

        • May 7th, 2015 19:25

        I don’t think Wrobin even knows what he is on about ever.

  • Ian tinkle

    • April 7th, 2015 12:03

    I can find no reference for this whatsoever, Late april fools perhaps.? please someone show me the statistics.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • April 7th, 2015 12:42

    YouGov have the SNP at 24% and the Lib Dems at 45% in Orkney and Shetland some difference from the above poll which appeared some time ago giving the SNP 51% and that was based on a poll with a post code in Sumburgh.

    • Robert Duncan

      • April 7th, 2015 14:15

      As was discussed extensively on these pages at the time, it was not based on a post code in Sumburgh.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • April 7th, 2015 15:17

        Sorry Robert, I was not the only one to see that, the proof was there and was not irrefutably proven wrong.

      • Robert Duncan

        • April 7th, 2015 15:45

        It very much was, by anybody who took the time to think about how the website works. The postcodes are a simple search function and in the case of Orkney and Shetland, completely irrelevant to the results.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • April 7th, 2015 17:11

        “Think about how the web site works” not Know how the web site works, a big big difference Robert. You cannot disregard the evidence, the post code was there and the way I see it a sample poll was taken from that post code and wallah we have a deceptive prediction. It was so far out a proper poll could never have been taken so I think we will just have to agree to disagree on this.

      • Robert Duncan

        • April 7th, 2015 23:36

        No, Gordon. If you take the time to think about how it works, all will be clear. I can comfortably say I know how it works. The post code was there as a simple element of a search function. Search any other Shetland postcode, the numbers are exactly the same. This is very, very simple.

        And as was discussed, no “proper poll” was taken specifically to Shetland and Orkney. We agree on that. It was uniform national swing (with small adaptations).

    • Bill Adams

      • April 13th, 2015 11:54

      Gordon, this YouGov finding which you quote, is not an opinion poll survey.
      Unfortunately Lord Ashcroft did not pick Orkney & Shetland as one of the constituencies where he commissioned a constituency survey in the form of a sample of 1,000 plus voters.
      Had he done so we would have a much better idea of the current state of public opinion here.
      As it is we are all in the dark as to current party support in this particular constituency.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • April 13th, 2015 15:59

        Bill this is what it is:

        “This is not a ‘constituency poll’ or a ‘forecast’. It is a nowcast, modelled on detailed demographics and voting intention from over 150,000 interviews nationwide. It will be regularly updated before election day”.

        When I posted it it had been updated on the 4th of April and I have just looked at it and it has put the Lib Dems in Shetland up one more point since it was last updated on the 9th. Pray tell me what Lord Ashcroft has to do with a YouGov poll?

    • Bill Adams

      • April 13th, 2015 17:19

      Gordon, your YouGov “nowcast” is a countrywide survey of 150,000 people. It is not a proper sample survey of voters in this particular constituency. Any extrapolation they make regarding Orkney & Shetland has little or no local input. How few voters here are they actually questioning about voting intentions ?
      Lord Ashcroft’s polls were proper sample surveys in individual constituencies.

  • john irvine

    • April 7th, 2015 19:04

    I wonder how many would vote for the SNP if the name was different? even if they had the same politicians.

    I bet you`d be surprised, or not!

  • Gordon McShean

    • April 8th, 2015 7:34

    It is nearly 70 years since my last visit to the family croft at Clouster, Stromness, but I’ve never forgotten the wonderful summers of my childhood, traveling every year from Leith on the Saint Ninian, the Saint Rognnvald or the Saint Magnus. I wrote about these in my recently published memoir RETIRED TERRORIST (published by Trafford Press in the US, describing my lifetime support for Scottish Home Rule). Please let me express my hopes to Danus Skene, offering every good wish in his campaign to represent these wonderful islands – from my exile in these other wonderful islands in the South Pacific.
    Gordon McShean, 242A Tremaine Ave., Palmerston North 4412, New Zealand

  • Dorna Comp

    • April 8th, 2015 13:41

    You could not ask for a more intelligent and honest candidate than Danus Skene.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • April 12th, 2015 17:48

      At last, a positive contribution, thank you Dorna, it’s nice to hear from someone that isn’t have a “sly dig” for a change. 🙂

      • Ali Inkster

        • May 7th, 2015 19:29

        I bet you go quiet till the 2016 Hollyrood elections I can’t see the SSnp paying you a wage between now and then. The joys of a zero hours contract. 🙂

  • Henry Condy

    • April 12th, 2015 15:24

    If the SNP win Shetland and Orkney, lay the blame on the three referendum parties, who used every dirty trick in the book,now that’s over they are back to bad mouthing each other, these three parties are devoid of any solid plans , and the people see them as they really are, if Ed Millibands needs the SNP to form a working government, for him to say its not on will be the biggest lie of the campaign, otherwise there will be another election, so my friends you may not like it but the SNP is strong because of the inadequacies of their opponents.will all the SNP haters now reside in England mmmmmmmmmmm

    • Robin Stevenson

      • April 12th, 2015 17:33

      Well Hendry, I’d like to think that the SNPs strength goes beyond the fact that their opponents are “inadequate”, I’d prefer to put it down to a few other things like people are no longer “sleepwalking” into politics anymore, and have become aware of the lies and deceit not just of the main two, but also the Lib/Dems, that have shown themselves up to be equally capable of “smearing” for their own ends, I’d also like to put it down to, fairness and allowing people to feel that their vote actually makes a difference, on top of that the SNPs alternative to “austerity” is far more progressive than merely making further cuts, particularly to the poor? We’re now seeing how the [so called] opposition parties are quite happy to jump into bed with each other for the sake of retaining power in London, thus saving their own job and feathering their own nest.
      The choice is simple, positive, progressive, hope, against the “same old same”?

      • John Tulloch

        • April 12th, 2015 18:42

        That tripe won’t cut any ice with Shetland voters, all they need to do is examine the SNP’s track record in Shetland versus Alistair Carmichael’s for a few minutes, if that, and it will be clear that Carmichael is the (vastly) better option.

        Schools are the ‘sacred cow’ in Shetland and they’ve been hit hard by SNP Scottish Government under-funding.

        It’s no good ‘hiding behind the skirts’ of COSLA, the Scottish government is responsible for what happens on its watch.

        Voters understand that.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • April 12th, 2015 19:44

        Robin, how about the SNPs weaknesses go well beyond their opponents, I didn’t have to look far to find a whole list of them, a list which is far from exhaustive.
        The SNP – A dishonourable and disreputable organisation, one that is a disgrace to Scotland.
        1) Salmond’s proposal for separation was one of the worst documents and unprofessional ever produced by a government, full of unfounded assertions and wishful thinking, it failed completely to identify the costs and risks involved. His bare faced lies on the currency and the NHS were exposed during the campaign. Salmond remains in denial that he was the root cause of the rejection of his proposals by the Scottish people in the referendum.
        A) Sturgeon fully supported Salmond during the referendum campaign but was exposed by Ruth Davidson in attempting to deny the existence of the letter from the EU stating that a separated Scotland would have to apply as a new member. Subsequently, as Salmond’s replacement, she has proved herself unreliable and fickle, flip-flopping on major issues such as Trident ( attempting to obtain a post election pact with Labour ) and on fracking ( to appease her separatist supporters ). Despite being one of the signatories she has failed to honour the Edinburgh Agreement by rejecting the possibility of a second referendum.
        B) Swinney also fully supported Salmond’s assertions on currency but his claim to have been in negotiation on currency union with the Bank of England was categorically denied by the governor Mark Carney. Swinny’s former reputation as “Honest John” has been well and truly forfeited.
        C) The cybernat trolls – aided and abetted by the SNP establishment, are notorious for their online abuse and intimidation of anyone who dares to criticize any member or policy of the party, but according to their rules any member of the SNP is forbidden to criticize any policy of the party!
        No decent, right-minded Scot, cognizant of the above record, capable of rational thought, would support such a reprehensible organisation.
        1. Salmond’s proposals for separation was one of the most misleading, not to say mendacious, documents ever published by a government:-…/The-dishonest-Mr-Salmonds-prop…
        2. SNP did not tell the truth on proposals for separation:-…/47-feel-snp-did-not-tell-truth-on…
        3. What Salmond said in the separatist campaign had to be obeyed – it was a one man, one vote operation:-…/the-scottish-nationalists-a…/
        4. Salmond’s claims on currency were demonstrably false:-…/what-shall-we…/
        5. Sturgeon’s U-turn: Support for a Labour government would not depend on scrapping Trident:-…/nicola-sturgeon-trident-snp-ge…
        6. Sturgeon sweet-talked Ineos while her SNP government called a halt to fracking to appease her separatist supporters:-…/sturgeon-held-talks-with-in…
        7. Sturgeon fails to rule out a second referendum:-…/brian-wilson-welcome-to-scotland-…
        8. Swinney admitted there were no BoE talks on currency union:-…/John-Swinney-admits-no-Bank-of…
        9. Salmond’s spin doctor issued apology for vicious online abuse:-…/alex-salmonds-chief-spin-doc…
        10. BBC Scotland’s James Cook subjected to vicious cybernat abuse:-…/the-hounding-of-the-bbc-sco…/
        11. The intimidation and harassment tactics of the SNP:-…/The-bullying-behind-the-SNPs-s
        Etc, etc, etc.

      • Robin Stevensonr

        • April 12th, 2015 20:37

        I no longer believe that you speak for “Shetland voters” John, so whether YOU think that “it won’t cut any ice” is your opinion, and ONLY your opinion. You have been challenged on a number of issues and have been found wanting.

        The schools budget given to SIC decided by COSLA are the same cuts that ALL councils throughout Scotland are having to endure thanks to the cut in the SNP Scottish governments “Block Grant”, the same grant decided upon by our “Better together” friends in London. So, IF you want more money and a bigger “block grant” could I suggest you give up on the only lonely ineffectual Lib/Dem left in Scotland, waken up and “Smell the coffee” and join a team of SNP MPs that will actually DO something about Scotland underfunding?

        Voters [certainly] understand that.

      • John Tulloch

        • April 12th, 2015 21:33

        Getting a bit tetchy, Robin?

        Whether you believe I understand Shetland voters concerns is irrelevant.

        I was born, brought up, lived and raised my own family there over 45 years so I expect I know something about it.

        How long have you lived in Shetland?

      • Robin Stevensonr

        • April 12th, 2015 22:00

        Gordon, you can go on linking that nonsense all day, it makes not a blind bit of difference.

        Why, Gordon, [and please try to see this from an impartial sense] do you think that there has been a Massive swing to the SNP?..Seriously, are the people of Scotland that stupid? Why are the Scottish electorate choosing to vote against ALL these pro-union parties?…the “Doomsters and the Gloomsters”?

        You’ve supplied loads of our MSM dailies and you’ve quoted our TV stations, but, people aren’t listening to them anymore Gordon, it’s as simple as that. WHY not?

        One Labour pundit described the surge in the SNP as a “Tsunami”, an unstoppable force,…He’s right, and the press and the media and the politicians cannot explain it either?

        Last week, the verdict, after one of the televised battles, had Jim Murphy coming out tops, the next day, what happened? …Labour LOST more ground to the SNP and their popularity increased by another 3%?
        WHY?….How could that possibly happen?
        I’m not going to even attempt to answer for you gordon, suffice to say, regardless of what you throw at the SNP Scottish government, regardless of how negative a picture you and your chums want to paint, whatever else you come up with, it simply isn’t working. Our UK politicians have been rumbled and they don’t have a clue what to do about it? this is people power at it’s best, you either choose to fight it to the bitter end, or ride the wave? 😉

      • Ali Inkster

        • April 13th, 2015 1:13

        I’ll give you 10/10 for persistence Wrobin but 1/10 for your ability to tell or even recognise the truth. you have not managed to disprove one thing but have continued to fill these pages with absolute horse sh*t in your crusade to convert the unfaithful. Where did you receive the revelations you share on these pages, the road to Dalmarnock?

      • John Tulloch

        • April 13th, 2015 8:54


        The objective is, simply, to change the debate into a ‘food fight’ so that everything gets splashed and readers lose track of the actual arguments and serious debating points.

        Not very inspiring stuff from the “party of government”.

    • John Tulloch

      • April 12th, 2015 17:44

      Given the SNP’s record in government of centralisation, freezing council tax for five years, seizing SIC’s housing support grant from Westminster and arranging RET for ferry travel such that the northern isles don’t benefit, it is inconceivable that Danus Skene will poll more votes than Alistair Carmichael.

      Mr Carmichael has negotiated a £10 million gift from Westminster to SIC and arranged Westminster’s official recognition that the cost of living and providing services in the ‘Our Islands, Our Future’ island groups is much higher than it is elsewhere e.g. the Central Belt of Scotland.

      These achievements are the 180 degree opposite of what the SNP has done.

      • John Tulloch

        • April 12th, 2015 17:49

        i see I’ve omitted under-funding of Shetland’s education from my list of damaging actions in Shetland by the SNP – there’s just so many, it’s impossible to remember them all!

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