Poll: Scottish Tories take polling hit ahead of party conference as gap between SNP and Labour widens ahead of general election

The SNP maintains a lead over Scottish Labour, the latest polling suggests

The Scottish Conservatives have slipped to their lowest vote share in the polls since Liz Truss was Prime Minister as they gather for their party conference starting today.

New polling by Survation, for communications agency Quantum Communications, has the Tories on just 15 per cent, compared to the SNP on 38 per cent and Scottish Labour on 33 per cent.

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This has seen a two-point bounce for the SNP, with Labour dropping a point. The poll also put the Scottish Lib Dems on 8 per cent of support.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross's party is currently polling third in Scotland.Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross's party is currently polling third in Scotland.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross's party is currently polling third in Scotland.

The survey found significant regional variations across Scotland, with the SNP commanding a 22-point lead in the north-east – where a debate about a windfall tax on fossil fuel energy giants is raging. Labour was ahead in west Scotland, as well as in central Scotland and the Highlands and islands, according to the poll sub-samples.

Survation polled 1,043 adults aged 16 and over in Scotland between February 14 and 20, covering the period of Scottish Labour’s conference in Glasgow. This weekend it is the Tories’ turn to hold their conference, which is taking place in Aberdeen.

But the party’s national share of the vote is now at the level last recorded by the same pollster in September 2022. In the north-east, the regional sub-sample puts the SNP on 47 per cent, Labour on 25 per cent, and the Conservatives on 16 per cent.

In contrast, in west Scotland, Labour is ahead on 37 per cent, with the Nationalists on 31 per cent.

Quantum Communications co-chief executive Alan Roden, who is a former communications director with Scottish Labour, said: “This year’s general election is not a foregone conclusion, but it appears to be a two-horse race when it comes to winning most seats.

“The SNP will be buoyed by the findings, with the party focused on appealing to voters in the north-east and defending [SNP Westminster leader] Stephen Flynn’s Aberdeen seat. But Labour’s lead in parts of the Central Belt is significant, suggesting there won’t be a uniform swing across Scotland – and many SNP seats in densely populated urban areas are vulnerable.

“Labour’s campaign for a windfall tax on the profits of energy giants is likely to play particularly well in these former heartlands”.

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Adam Morris, former head of media for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “While there’s no doubt the Scottish Conservatives are being dragged down by the party’s chaos in England, they could still have a strong showing north of the border.

“They have a good presence in some areas, especially the north-east, and a number of strong candidates will be in with a good shout of retaining or winning their seat.”

Damian Lyons Lowe, chief executive of Survation, said: “Labour’s opinion polling success since the 2019 general election means the SNP faces off against Labour in scores of now-marginal seats as their key challenger. While this poll shows a modest lead for the SNP over Labour, this is the largest SNP lead over Labour we have recorded since May 2023.

“Were these results to be replicated at a general election, the SNP would remain the largest party in Scotland in terms of seats, though Labour would see a number of gains in their former areas of strength."



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