Labour poised for council election crash as support tumbles

Kezia Dugdale, Leader of Scottish Labour. Picture: John Devlin
Kezia Dugdale, Leader of Scottish Labour. Picture: John Devlin
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Labour faces the prospect of another election defeat to the Conservatives in this year’s Scottish council vote, new polling has suggested.

Kezia Dugdale’s party is in line to lose all five councils where it has majority control as voters prepare to go to the polls across Scotland in May.

The party is on just 15 per cent of the vote according to a Panelbase poll, down from 41 per cent five years ago when it kept power in Glasgow and a won clutch of other areas.

The SNP are poised to take control of a tranche of town halls with the party sitting on 47 per cent, up from 30 per cent five years ago.

And Ruth Davidson’s Tories are in line to make big gains, with support rising 27 per cent for the party which deposed Labour as the main opposition at Holyrood last year. It means the Tories could become the biggest party in South Ayrshire and East Renfrewshire.

A string of council by-election results since last May also indicate that Labour will struggle, with support falling by 10 per cent, while the Tories saw a rise of 11 per cent and the SNP 3 per cent.

The failure to win Glasgow from Labour at the last council elections in 2012 was a major blow for the SNP, although the Nationalists did make history by taking more council seats than Labour across Scotland for the first time.

Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University indicated at the weekend that Labour may cling onto North Lanarkshire if the SNP’s progress wanes and Labour’s slide in the polls can be minimised to about 10 per cent.