Poll shows SNP set for Scottish Parliament surge

THE SNP is set to dominate the Scottish Parliament with 73 out of the 129 seats after next year’s Holyrood elections, according to a new poll.
Jubilant SNP supporters celebrate on election night last monthJubilant SNP supporters celebrate on election night last month
Jubilant SNP supporters celebrate on election night last month

The TNS survey showed the Nationalists with 60 per cent support in the constituency vote and 50 per cent on the regional list vote.

Labour was on just 19 per cent in both constituency and list votes.

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That would see the SNP winning all but three of the 73 constituency seats with Labour losing one-third of its current seats, being defeated in all 12 constituencies it holds and forced to rely on the top-up list for all its 25 seats.

The Greens would do well, winning ten per cent of the list votes and getting ten MSPs elected.

The Tories would get 15 per cent in the constituency vote and 14 per cent on the list, giving them 17 seats, while the Liberal Democrats would get three per cent and five per cent, ending up with four seats.

Malcolm Chisholm in Edinburgh Northern & Leith and Iain Gray in East Lothian were the only Labour constituency MSPs in the Lothians area to survive the SNP landslide in 2011. But both these seats would be lost according to the poll.

Mr Chisholm is standing down anyway, with former council leader and ex-lord provost Lesley Hinds selected to stand instead.

The SNP said with a 41 per cent lead over Labour in the constituency vote and a 31 per cent lead in the regional list the poll ratings were unprecedented after more than eight years in government, indicating strong approval of the policy delivery.

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell said: “If re-elected in 2016, the SNP will build on our strong record and deliver further improvements.”

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said it was just a few weeks since one of the most painful defeats in the Labour Party’s history.

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“Rebuilding our movement will take time. We will spend the next few months trying to reconnect with the people of Scotland, so that we are a party fit to fight the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.

“Scotland needs a strong Scottish Labour Party to represent the interests of working families by holding the SNP and Tory governments to account.”

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and lead 
candidate for the region in 2016, with land reform campaigner Andy Wightman next on the list, welcomed the poll.

She said: “Everyone takes polling with an added pinch of salt these days but we do believe we’re in a strong position to turn these consistent numbers into elected MSPs working hard for communities.

“It is clear that the Scottish Parliament needs a main opposition party that is constructive yet challenging, and the Scottish Greens are ready for that role.”

A Conservative spokesman said the poll showed its support was solid, adding that it would build on that.