The SNP now have a 39 point poll lead over Labour

Labour is putting space between themselves and the Tories, however

Jon Stone
Tuesday 01 March 2016 16:19
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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish National party has a 39 point poll lead over the Labour party in the race to form the next Scottish government, according to the latest opinion poll.

Pollsters TNS found the SNP’s constituency vote share at Holyrood was 60 per cent (up three), compared to Labour’s second-placed 21 per cent, which was static.

The Tories were in third on 13 per cent, down four, and the Liberals a distant fourth with 4 per cent.

The poll comes just two months before the 2016 Holyrood elections, with all predictions showing the SNP widening their already significant majority in the Scottish Parliament.

Under Scotland’s electoral system voters also vote for a regional candidate list which allocates candidates by proportional representation.

Here the SNP had 55 per cent, up three, Labour had 21 per cent, up two, and the Tories had 13 per cent, down four.

The Green Party is in fourth place with 6 per cent and the Liberal Democrats fifth with four per cent.

Another poll, released the same day by Survation, had broadly similar results but a slightly narrower though still huge lead for the SNP.

A previous poll had suggested that the Tories might beat Labour into third place in the party’s former heartland – but this trend appears to have reversed in the most recent survey.

An internal Labour Party report by pollster Deborah Mattinson found that Scottish Labour was seen as “indistinguishable from the Conservatives” north of the border.

Party strategists believe Labour has different problems in Scotland to the rest of the UK – largely stemming from their decision to campaign alongside the Tories during the 2014 independence referendum.

There, the party is seen as “an incompetent version of the Tories” by voters, who have switched from once-dominant Labour to the SNP en masse.

Under former leader Jim Murphy Scottish Labour lost all but one of its Westminster seats to the Scottish National Party.

The party has so far failed to recover despite a change in both Scottish and UK-wide leadership.

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