Support for Lib Dems falls to just 3 per cent

Liberal Democrat support in Scotland remains extremely low, according to a poll.

The party, which secured 19 per cent of the Scottish vote in the last general election, got just 3 per cent in the latest survey by pollsters Angus Reid.

Support for UK coalition partners David Cameron and Nick Clegg is lower in Scotland than anywhere else in Britain, while Labour leader Ed Miliband enjoys the greatest support north of the border, the survey suggests.

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The SNP would make large gains if a general election was held this month, taking 35 per cent of the poll compared with 20 per cent in the 2010 general election. But this would not be enough to beat Labour which also saw its share of the vote increase, to 44 of those polled compared with 42 per cent in the last general election.

The Conservatives' share is slightly down, on 13 per cent compared with nearly 17 per cent in the general election.

Gordon Banks, Labour MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, said: "This is an excellent poll for Labour, showing a very significant lead over the SNP. And the Labour vote has increased even on our great 2010 election result."

He added: "Ed Miliband's leadership during the phone-hacking scandal has certainly caught the public eye. Ed has constantly set the agenda, whilst David Cameron's personal friendship with many of the key players in the scandal puts him behind the curve: he just doesn't get the public anger with what has been going on."

Although Angus Reid`s sample size was small, 161 Scottish residents from a poll of 2,002 UK adults, it is broadly in line with recent running polls by YouGov.

The average results of six polls conducted by YouGov in the last 10 days, which involved 1,194 Scottish residents, also had Labour on 44 per cent , the SNP slightly less than Angus Reid on 28 per cent , a better result for the Lib Dems on 7 per cent and the Tories on 18 per cent .

SNP MSP for South of Scotland Chic Brodie said other UK poll sub-samples in recent days, for MORI and ComRes, have put the SNP in the lead for a Westminster general election.

He said: "This is a small sample but another sensational poll indication for the SNP for a Westminster general election, and a disaster for the UK coalition parties, particularly the Lib Dems."

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He added: "The poll will set alarm bells ringing in Lib Dem headquarters in Scotland. It spells out the price of the Lib Dems' negative attitude to more powers for the Scottish Parliament and how, under Willie Rennie's leadership, they have degenerated into just becoming cheerleaders for the unpopular Tories."