General election: SNP ‘to sweep away Labour seats’

Douglas Alexander would lose his Paisley & Renfrewshire South seat with a swing to the SNP of 25 per cent, says Lord Ashcroft. Picture: TSPL

Douglas Alexander would lose his Paisley & Renfrewshire South seat with a swing to the SNP of 25 per cent, says Lord Ashcroft. Picture: TSPL

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POLLS by former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft have revealed that the SNP are set to sweep away Labour seats and annihilate the Lib Dems.

In a study of 16 Labour seats and two Lib Dem seats in Scotland Ashcroft found a 25 per cent swing to the SNP who would take all but one seat overcoming colossal. majorities.

Danny Alexander's seat is under threat. Picture: TSPL

Danny Alexander's seat is under threat. Picture: TSPL

According to the study of 18 constituencies the SNP would claim the scalps of Labour election guru and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander in Paisley and Renfrewshire South and Lib Dem Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander in Inverness where he is in danger of being pushed into fourth place.

The study included all the Glasgow seats, plus Airdrie & Shotts; Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill; Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East, Dundee West; Motherwell & Wishaw; Paisley & Renfrewshire South; and West Dunbartonshire.

It also looked at Gordon where Alex Salmond hopes to take the seat from the Lib Dems and Danny Alexander’s Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey seat.

According to polls of more than a thousand voters in each constituency only Labour Glasgow North East MP Willie Bain would survive the SNP surge.

Swings ranged from 21 per cent in Airdrie and Shotts to 27 per cent in Dundee West and Motherwell and Wishaw.

The polls also revealed 68 per cent of Labour-SNP switchers said they definitely ruled out voting Labour in 2015. In Labour-held seats, 60 per cent of 2010 Labour voters said they would vote for the party again in May; 35 per cent said they would switch to the SNP. Just 12 per cent of 2010 Lib Dem voters said they would vote Lib Dem again; 47 per cent said they would switch to the SNP.

Meanwhile 41 per cent of Labour-SNP switchers were optimistic about prospects for the economy over the next year, compared to 50 per cent of voters in the Labour-held seats overall and 59 per cent of Labour voters.

A Labour-SNP coalition was the most popular election outcome, favoured by 39 per cent of voters in the Labour-held seats, including 69 per cent of SNP supporters and 79 per cent of Labour-SNP switchers. it noted that 15 per cent of SNP voters said they would like to see a coalition between the SNP and the Conservatives.

Scottish Labour Leader Jim Murphy said: “These polls show that Scottish Labour is well behind and has a big gap to close.

“But in the end the only people who will benefit from these polls are David Cameron and the Tories.”It is a simple fact that the single biggest party gets to form the next government.

“The more seats the SNP get from Labour, the more likely it is the Tories will be the biggest party and David Cameron will get into government through the back door.

“That would be a terrible outcome for Scotland but it’s what might happen if Scotland votes SNP.”

SNP General Election Campaign Director Angus Robertson MP said: “These polls include some of Labour’s safest seats in the whole of the UK as well as Scotland, and they are clearly excellent for the SNP - but we are taking absolutely nothing for granted, and will work hard for every vote and seat in May.

A Scottish Lib Dem spokesman said: “a Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: “These polls show that Lib Dems are best placed to stop the SNP in Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

“The SNP have centralised services away from the Highlands and North East to the central belt.

“Every week that passes we see more problems with hospitals, colleges and schools that have come about because the SNP took their eye off the ball on day-to-day services to focus on the referendum.”

• 16,007 adults were interviewed by telephone between 5 and 30 January 2015

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