Edinburgh - 1 March - The latest TNS Poll shows that, despite attempts by opposition parties to challenge the SNP government’s record, the Scottish National Party continues to be unassailable in the polls.

The poll of 1036 adults in Scotland, conducted face-to-face in the respondent’s home, asked about the Scottish Government’s performance in four key areas over the last 12 months. Opinion on the SNP government’s handling of education in Scotland has become more polarised since we last asked these questions in July 2015, with the proportion thinking their performance has been good and those believing the opposite increasing by the same amount. 

Education: 34% good (+4), 35% neither (-5), 23% poor (+4), 9% don’t know (-2)

However, over the past six months opinion has hardly changed on the Scottish Government’s management of the National Health Service, the economy and crime and justice.

The NHS: 35% good (+1), 31% neither (-2), 30% poor (+1), 3% don’t know (-1)
Economy: 22% good (-3), 49% neither (+4), 24% poor (0), 5% don’t know (-1)
Crime & Justice: 23% good (0), 42% neither (+2), 28% poor (-1), 7% don’t know (-1)

Commenting, Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland said, “Six months after we last asked these questions - during which time the opposition have been challenging the SNP Government on their record - there has been next to no change in public opinion of their management of the economy, health service and crime and justice. With focus on the next few months likely to be on Europe, opposition parties in Scotland are likely to find it ever harder to make their arguments about the government’s performance heard.”

With polling day nine weeks away, TNS are also reporting voting intention for the upcoming Holyrood election, with the SNP lead remaining significant among those expressing a preference and who are certain to vote on the day:
 
Constituency vote share:  SNP 60% (+3), Lab 21% (0), Con 13% (-4), LD 4% (+1)
Regional vote share: SNP 55% (+3), Lab 21% (+2), Con 13% (-4), LD 4% (-2), Green 6% (0) 

The SNP has a similar large lead in both ballots among men and women, across all social classes and in all age groups, with the exception of among those aged 65 and over where their lead over Labour is only 2%.

There has been a further increase in the number of people saying they are certain to vote (67%), up from 58% in December and 65% last month, suggesting that as the election nears engagement is increasing. 

Commenting, Tom Costley said, “There is no evidence from this February data that the Conservatives in Scotland have made any progress in narrowing the gap with Labour, to claim to be the second party – indeed, if anything, they have fallen back a little. With nine weeks to go, time is running out for opposition parties to make real inroads into SNP polling dominance.”

Ends

Notes to editors:
The full data tables are available here

Media contact: Sarah Green  07920 408 227 sarah.green@tnsglobal.com

A sample of 1036 adults aged 16+ was interviewed across Scotland over the period 3rd – 24th February 2016.

As 16 and 17 year olds are eligible to vote in the 2016 Holyrood election, TNS has expanded our sample to ensure this age group is included.

To ensure the sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland, it was weighted to match population estimates for working status within gender, age, social grade and Scottish Parliament region, and to match turnout and share of vote from the 2011 Holyrood election (constituency vote) and the 2015 General Election.

All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling.

About TNS 
TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and customer strategies, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. 

About Kantar
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