Just days before the new leader is announced, latest poll shows Scottish Labour 42 points behind

10th August, 2015 4:26 pm


Scottish Labour will elect a new leader on Saturday, and a new poll published today shows the size of the task they will face. A TNS poll in today’s Herald shows that support for the SNP ahead of next year’s H0lyrood elections has risen to an incredible 62%, while Labour are stagnant on just 20%.

On the regional list vote, which is a proportional vote system, the SNP fare slightly worse, but still manage 54% of all support. Again, Scottish Labour languish on 20% – a fall of 12% points from their overall total in 2011, which was considered a heavy defeat at the time.

Constituency vote:

SNP 62%, Labour 20%, Conservatives 12%, Lib Dems 3%

Regional list vote:

SNP 54%, Labour 20%, Conservatives 12%, Greens 8%, Lib Dems 3%

A projection of how many seats this would give each party sees SNP up to 79 from 69 in 2011, while Labour fall from 37 to 25.

The polling will provide a headache for MSPs Kezia Dugdale and Ken Macintosh, one of whom will be elected leader of Scottish Labour on Saturday. The research also reveals that on their record in Government on issues of the economy, education, the NHS and particularly crime and justice, the SNP do not have huge public approval ratings. This could imply that their support strongly comes from the pro-independence movement (the only votes they lose in the regional list appear to go to fellow pro-independence party the Greens), and that Labour are currently unable to make any progress even when the SNP fail to convince on many major topics.

Leadership candidate Ken Macintosh reacted to the poll, saying:

“This poll demonstrates more clearly than ever that we in the Scottish Labour Party need to get our act together. If Scots can see that their own government is letting them down but are still prepared to vote for them, we are not offering a strong enough alternative.

I think we could start by telling Scotland what kind of society Labour will help create, the houses we will build, the educational opportunities we will offer, rather than simply shout about what we are against. We need to be less partisan and oppositional and more constructively critical, offering a clearer more positive alternative.

Under my leadership, Scottish Labour will do just that, holding the Government to account but also championing a positive vision for Scotland’s future. That way we can rebuild the trust we’ve lost.”

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