Financial markets crisis: Scottish Tories 'concerned' poll numbers show scale of voter challenge

Scottish Conservatives are concerned polling numbers showing Labour with a massive lead demonstrate the sheer scale of the challenge facing the party across the UK, The Scotsman has been told.

A YouGov poll published on Thursday indicated Labour held a 33-point lead over the Conservative party amongst voters in a result that would result in Tories being wiped out in Scotland and decimated across the United Kingdom if a general election were held tomorrow.

And a separate survey carried out by Ipsos and published yesterday showed half of the public now believe it is likely Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will become prime minister.

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The poll of 1,000 adults found 51 per cent think Sir Keir will enter Number 10, up from 38 per cent surveyed in May.

Prime Minister Liz Truss during a visit to the British Gas training academy, near Dartford, in north west Kent. Picture: Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA Wire
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Half of those polled on September 28-29 said they think Prime Minister Liz Truss is doing a bad job, with fewer than one in five (18 per cent) saying she is doing a good job.

Some polling suggests the SNP could even become the official opposition in the House of Commons, but such a result would require a once-in-history landslide in England for Labour.

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One Tory MSP told The Scotsman: "I think that it [the polling] overstates the position.”

However, the MSP added: "Things will calm down, but it's still hard to see us turning things round any time soon.”

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The findings come amid widespread criticism of the UK Government’s economic strategy, with the value of the pound falling to a record low against the US dollar on Monday following Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.

It comes as one of Ms Truss’s key ministers said “anyone paying attention” to the Tory leadership election would know she had planned to cut taxes.

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The reform, which would see the top rate of tax scrapped and the basic rate cut to 19p in the pound, spooked the financial markets.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the announcement of tax cuts should not have come as a shock.

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Throughout the Tory leadership race, Ms Truss was adamant that a government she leads would cut taxes – though she did not go into detail about the level of cuts.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland yesterday, Mr Jack said: “When you say ‘huge shock’, over the summer [Ms Truss] was very clear that her strategy was to reduce taxes.

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“She and [leadership rival] Rishi Sunak argued that out over the summer. He said one thing, she said the other, but it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone when she said she believed the strategy was to be more of an Asian tiger economy, where you keep your higher spending, but you grow your economy, and she said to do that she would be cutting taxes.

“To anyone paying any attention to that leadership contest, it was plain as day what was going to happen.”



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