General Election 2015: Labour's similarities to the Tories explains why Scots are voting SNP, says Lord Ashcroft

'There is no discernible difference between [Labour and the Tories] - the SNP are the only ones pursuing a social agenda,' said one voter

Chris Green@cghgreen
Monday 27 April 2015 17:22
comments
Ed Miliband has repeatedly rejected Nicola Sturgeon's requests to make a deal that would keep the Conservatives out of government
Ed Miliband has repeatedly rejected Nicola Sturgeon's requests to make a deal that would keep the Conservatives out of government

Labour supporters are switching to the SNP in Scotland because they believe the party is increasingly out of touch and too close to the Conservatives on the big issues, according to new research published by the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft.

Partly due to its efforts to preserve the Union during last year’s independence referendum, Labour is now perceived by Scottish voters as being too similar to the Tories – allowing the SNP to become the country’s main left wing party.

“I’ve been Labour like a stick of rock all my life but I’ve hit a wall with them,” one voter said. “There is no discernible difference between [Labour and the Tories], the last 15 years of government have been seamless. The SNP are the only ones pursuing a social agenda.”

The findings, gathered from a series of focus groups held over the weekend in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paisley, go some way to explaining why Labour are facing a wipeout in Scotland at the hands of the SNP.


Are you undecided about who to vote for on 7 May? Are you confused about what the parties stand for and what they are offering? Take this interactive quiz to help you decide who to vote for...

Click here to launch


The former Labour voters who took part in the research complained that during the referendum campaign in September, the party had made no effort to distinguish itself from the other pro-Union parties. “It seemed like they were pushing a homogenous establishment view rather than a Labour view,” said one.

Nicola Sturgeon was also admired more than her Scottish Labour counterpart Jim Murphy. The voters said the SNP leader “speaks from the heart” and was relatable, whereas Mr Murphy seemed “angry” and “very negative”. One voter said: “He never looks as if he’s really that happy. It’s as if it’s torture for him, as though it’s a real chore.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments