Labour ‘on course to lose half its Scottish seats’

The poll suggests the SNP could win 35 seats with Labour on course to lose half its Scottish seats. Picture: Wiki Commons

The poll suggests the SNP could win 35 seats with Labour on course to lose half its Scottish seats. Picture: Wiki Commons

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A NEW poll suggests Labour is on course to lose half its 40 Scottish seats at Westminster in May.

The SNP could increase its seats from six to 35, according to an analysis of poll figures by The Sunday Times.

The Panelbase poll of 1,007 Scottish adults asked which way they would be likely to vote if there was a UK parliamentary election tomorrow.

The results, excluding don’t knows, put the SNP on 41 per cent and Labour on 31 per cent, with the Conservatives on 14 per cent, Ukip on 7 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 3 per cent.

It represents a recovery for Labour north of the border, having slashed the SNP’s lead from 17 points in the previous Panelbase poll in November to 10, and follows Jim Murphy’s election to Scottish Labour leader in December.

The figures also suggest the Lib Dems could lose all but two of their 11 seats and the Conservatives could gain a second Scottish MP, according to the newspaper.

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Ivor Knox of Panelbase said: “Today’s SNP lead is somewhat lower than our last poll but is still in double digits, and the key seems to be Yes voters lining up behind the party.”

The poll was conducted from January 9 to 14.

Meanwhile, a YouGov survey for the Scottish Sun on Sunday found 14 per cent of English voters thought it would be a good thing for the SNP to hold the balance of power at Westminster in the event of a hung parliament after the election, compared to 46 per cent of Scottish voters.

The poll also found 60 per cent of voters in Scotland want to see First Minister Nicola Sturgeon included in pre-election television debates between the party leaders.

A third poll, conducted for think-tank British Future and reported in the Sunday Herald, found that 66 per cent of Scots believe the country will be independent in 10 or 50 years, compared to 17 per cent who think independence will never happen.

Stewart Hosie MP, deputy leader of the SNP, said: “Today’s polls show support for the SNP continues to remain strong as the Westminster election approaches, with a 10 per cent lead over Labour, and that there is clearly overwhelming support for the inclusion of the SNP in any televised debates in Scotland.

“These are remarkable findings in levels of support and trust for a party that has been in government for eight years but we are taking nothing for granted and will work hard for every vote.

“It is the latest sign that people across Scotland are putting their trust in the SNP to stand up for their interests, and oppose Westminster austerity.”

Mr Hosie said the findings of the British Future poll on independence “highlights the continuing support for Scotland being able to make its own decisions”.

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