SNP voters shifting towards Labour ahead of general election, poll suggests

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and First Minister Humza Yousaf. Image: Press Association.Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and First Minister Humza Yousaf. Image: Press Association.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and First Minister Humza Yousaf. Image: Press Association.
SNP supporters have signalled a shift towards voting Labour at the general election, a new poll suggests.

The Scottish opinion monitor conducted by the Scottish Election Study surveyed 1,244 voters north of the border in late October.

It found that with undecided voters removed, Labour’s lead north of the border extended to 38% in Westminster voting intentions, over 32% for the SNP.

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The publication suggests the connection between support for Scottish independence and the SNP is weakening, with 53% of those who indicated they would back a second referendum also supporting the SNP – a significant decline from previous elections when the figures regularly exceeded 80%, according to pollsters.

The poll found nearly 20% of those who voted for Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum intend to back Labour in the general election expected next year.

In addition, just 55% of respondents who voted SNP at the 2019 general election said they would back the party in the next vote.

Among those who voted Conservative in 2019, 48% said they would do so again, while 18% are likely to vote Labour – with Sir Keir Starmer’s party also likely to attract 21% of SNP voters and 38% from the Liberal Democrats.

Meanwhile, the poll suggests 66% of Scots expect Labour to win the next general election, while 12% think the Tories will triumph, and 22% are unsure.

But the SNP holds a slight edge over Labour in voting intentions for Holyrood’s constituency ballot in 2026, with 35% compared to 32% when undecided voters are removed.

The poll also shows that Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar remains marginally most popular among Scots with a mean rating of 4.3, over 4.0 for SNP leader and First Minister Humza Yousaf, while Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross scored 2.7.

UK Labour leader Sir Keir received an average 4.2, over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s 2.6 score.

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The SNP Scottish Government received a minus 20 net rating when respondents assessed their performance since the last election, while the Tory-led UK Government scored minus 68.

Fraser McMillan, Scottish Election Study researcher, said: “The data reinforces the impress we’ve been getting for most of this year that Scottish voters are ready to punish the SNP and the Conservatives, with both parties having spent a long time in power at Holyrood and Westminster respectively.”