SNP and Greens given TV debates support poll boost

Lord Ashcroft's poll showed that support for the SNP is so strong that they achieved five per cent of a UK wide survey. Picture: Getty
Lord Ashcroft's poll showed that support for the SNP is so strong that they achieved five per cent of a UK wide survey. Picture: Getty
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PRESSURE is growing on the broadcasters to allow the SNP and Greens into the televised debates after a new set of UK-wide polls revealed increasing support for the two parties.

A poll commissioned by former Tory donor lord Ashcroft showed that support for the SNP is so strong in Scotland that they achieved five per cent of a UK wide survey even though only eight per cent of the electorate can vote for them.

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It also put the Greens on 11 per cent two points ahead of the Lib Dems.

Currently the broadcasters propose TV election debates involving Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour leader Ed Miliband, Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Ukip leader Nigel Farage but excluding the SNP and Greens.

Meanwhile a different Yougov poll suggests that the only workable majority in May would be one involve Labour doing a deal with the SNP and the Lib Dems.

The Lord Ashcroft poll of 1,004 adults put the Tories ahead on 29 per cent, Labour 28 per cent, ukip 15 per cent, Greens 11 per cent, Lib Dems nine per cent and SNP on five per cent.

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The Yougov poll of 1,647 adults across the UK had Labour ahead on 32 per cent, Tories 31 per cent, Ukip 18 per cent, Lib Dems and Greens both on seven per cent and SNP on three per cent.

Based on the Yougov results the pollster Peter Kellner predicted that the Tories would be the biggest party with 293 seats, Labour would win 277, Lib Dems 30, Ukip five, SNP 23, Greens one and others 21.

This would mean that a workable majority would require Labour, the Lib Dems and SNP to do a deal with a total of 330 seats of the 650 seats.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said: “For the SNP to be at five per cent in UK-wide polling - when Scotland makes up only just over eight per cent of the UK population - is remarkable, and reflects the other excellent poll findings over the weekend.”

He added: “This new UK-wide polling also reaffirms the need for the SNP to be represented in the TV debates.

“As the UK’s third largest political party, with a larger membership than the Lib Dems and UKIP combined, and more elected MPs than UKIP, the case for including the SNP is unanswerable.”

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett earlier pledged to shake up the “old boys’ club” currently represented in Westminster and renewed her call for the Greens to be included in the debates.

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