There was further encouragement for the SNP with the results of two council by-elections that polled this week. The by-elections were in Aberdeen City Council with both caused by sitting SNP councillors becoming MPs in May’s General Election.
With a council by-election taking place in Denny & Banknock at the moment the results comes as a boost for the local SNP candidate, Paul Garner. Kincorth, Nigg & Cove by-election result (30th July) :
SNP 61.0% (+26.9)
Labour 19.1% (-18.8)
Conservatives 9.8% (+4.4)
Liberal Democrats 6.5% (-1.6)
Greens 3.6% (n/a)
Hilton, Woodside & Stockethill by-election result (30th July) :
SNP 55.1% (+19.6)
Labour 25.1% (-19.9)
Conservatives 11.4% (+6.0)
Greens 4.2% (+1.6)
Liberal Democrats 4.1% (+0.2)
The swing from Labour to SNP in the two wards averages out at just over 21%, which is a touch lower than the 25% seen at the Thorniewood by-election a few weeks ago – but that’s hardly surprising, because 25% was almost off the scale. Remember that swings in local by-elections are measured from the 2012 result, in which the SNP were already 1% ahead of Labour nationally. So a 21% swing is roughly equivalent to a 32% or a 33% swing in the general election, when the SNP were starting from a much lower baseline. The actual swings in Aberdeen in May were considerably smaller than that, so it could be that the SNP are now performing even better – which would certainly be in line with what the opinion polls have been telling us recently. We also have Scottish subsample figures from a new GB-wide ComRes poll : SNP 54%, Conservatives 19%, Labour 14%, Liberal Democrats 5%, Greens 3%, UKIP 3%, BNP 2%.
At the moment it looks as if any Corbyn bounce for Scottish Labour isn’t likely to come along until and unless he is actually elected leader, and even then there are no guarantees