SNP hit by fresh YouGov poll blow under John Swinney amid Labour surge

The YouGov poll findings will come as a blow to John Swinney, the new SNP leader

Labour has opened up a ten-point lead over the SNP in a further sign John Swinney faces an uphill battle to reverse his party’s declining fortunes.

A poll by YouGov found the Nationalists are on course to win just 11 seats in the Westminster election, down from 43.

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Meanwhile, Labour would secure 35 MPs, a huge increase on their existing total of just two, according to analysis by Sir John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University.

The research by YouGov found Labour’s share of the vote now stands at 39 per cent, up five points from a previous poll in late April. The SNP is on 29 per cent, a drop of four points and the party’s lowest vote share since the 2014 referendum.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives are on 12 per cent (-2), the Lib Dems on 8 per cent (no change), the Greens on 7 per cent (+3) and Reform UK on 4 per cent (-1). This would see the Tories retain six seats north of the border, while the Lib Dems would win five.

When it comes to Holyrood elections, Labour and the SNP are neck and neck on the constituency vote, on 35 per cent and 34 per cent respectively, while the regional vote sees Labour on 32 per cent to the SNP’s 28 per cent.

Analysis by Prof Curtice found this would lead to Labour winning 47 MSPs, the SNP 42 and the Tories 16, with the Lib Dems and the Greens both securing 12 seats.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said the “bombshell poll” showed Scotland’s political landscape had changed. She said: “At both Westminster and Holyrood, Scottish Labour is gaining support, but we are taking nothing for granted and will continue to work hard to gain the trust and support of Scots.

“While the SNP try to drag Scotland back into the past with yesterday’s man John Swinney, Scottish Labour is relentlessly focused on the future. In place of SNP failure, Scottish Labour has a plan to bring down bills, tackle NHS waiting lists, boost workers’ rights and deliver jobs.

“Change is coming and Scottish Labour will continue to work tirelessly to deliver the change we need.”

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YouGov found Scots are divided on Mr Swinney, who took over as SNP leader and First Minister earlier this month following Humza Yousaf’s resignation.

One in three Scots (35 per cent) have a favourable view of him, up ten points, while 38 per cent have a negative opinion (-2), giving him a net favourability rating of -3. However, this still makes him the most popular politician in Scotland.

The survey’s other findings will add to the SNP’s concerns. Most Scots (58-62 per cent) said they had little to no confidence in the party to make the right decisions on the economy, health service, schools, police and climate change.

Prof Curtice said: “Today’s poll reveals that simply replacing Yousaf with Swinney has on its own not been enough to reverse the damage to the party’s reputation occasioned by the circumstances surrounding Yousaf’s downfall.”

YouGov surveyed 1,114 people aged 16 and above in Scotland between May 13 and 17.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “With the highest net approval of any political party leader in the UK, First Minister John Swinney will ensure the SNP continues to deliver for people across Scotland and the priorities that matter to them.

“Unlike the Tories and Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, only the SNP is taking actions to create a better Scotland for everyone - whether it’s eradicating child poverty, growing the economy or protecting our public services.

"At the general election, voters have the chance to reject the cosy status quo of a broken Westminster system that is failing them by voting SNP to elect SNP MPs who offer a positive vision for the future where decisions about Scotland are made in Scotland.”



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