Labour facing landslide defeat in Scottish election

Almost two-thirds of those asked plan to vote SNP in next May’s elections for the Scottish Parliament

The SNP top two: Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon


The sense of crisis engulfing the Labour Party as Jeremy Corbyn looks set for a clear victory in the leadership contest has been compounded by abysmal new data from Scotland.

Polling by TNS BMRB has found that 62 per cent of those questioned intend to vote for the SNP in the constituency section of next May’s elections for the Scottish Parliament, up 2 percentage points from last month.

Labour remain on just 20 per cent, unchanged from last year, with the Conservatives are down 2 points to 12 per cent and the Lib Dems falling from 5 per cent to 3 per cent.

Similar changes were seen in the regional list vote, with the SNP on 54 per cent (up 3 percentage points), Labour on 20 per cent (down 1 point), the Conservatives down 1 point to 12 per cent, the Greens on 8 per cent (up 1 point) and the Lib Dems languishing on 4 per cent (down 1 point).

According to the Scotland Votes website, such a result would see the number of SNP MSP increase from the 69 it secured in 2011 to 78 in 2016. Labour meanwhile would see its tally of MSPs fall from the 37 achieved in 2011 to just 25 next year.

More difficult still for Labour is the news that 15 per cent of those who backed the party in Scotland at the general election are planning to vote SNP for the Scottish parliament, compared with 8 per cent the previous month.

The increased support for the SNP comes despite the party polling poorly when those surveyed were asked to rate the government’s record over the last 12 months in a number of key areas. On the NHS and crime and justice, 29 per cent of adults said the SNP government had performed poorly – a quarter of the SNP’s own supporters rated the party poor on the NHS and 22 per cent on crime and justice.

Commenting on the results, head of TNS Scotland Tom Costley said:

“It is interesting that the SNP has such a strong lead in voting intentions for the Scottish parliament while only a third or fewer of voters view its performance in the past year in a positive light.

“This poll suggests that the opposition parties may find voters ready to listen to their alternative policies, although with Labour still engaged in leadership elections at Scottish and UK level, the SNP’s chief rival in Scotland is not yet ready to present a programme to the electorate.”

He continued:

“The SNP’s position may be largely due to the positive mood surrounding its strong performance in the referendum and general election. But there has been extensive media reporting of problems on devolved issues, especially in the NHS and around the new unified Police Scotland.

“The SNP now has an opportunity to build the case for its record in government before the Holyrood election campaign gets properly under way towards the end of this year.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

7 Responses to “Labour facing landslide defeat in Scottish election”

  1. TN

    I wonder if a Corbyn-led Labour will a actually help them for May in Scotland.

  2. stevep

    ” The sense of crisis engulfing the Labour Party as Jeremy Corbyn looks set for clear victory in the leadership contest has been compounded by abysmal new data from Scotland.”

    Yet another Right Foot Forward commentator taking the opportunity to bash Jeremy Corbyn by implying Labour`s somehow in a crisis because he`s clearly in the lead and the poor poll showing in Scotland is making it worse.

    Labour isn`t in a “crisis” because he is in the lead, they`re in a crisis because they were rejected by their own core supporters who had lost patience with vacuous Tory-lite policies over the years and voted for other parties.

    Scotland rejected Labour because they were too far to the right.

    It would be interesting to see what the Scottish polls would show, in say, 2 years time, with Corbyn as Labour Leader.

    It was also the Lib-Dem meltdown that enabled a Conservative majority, not the fear of a left-wing bogeyman lurking around Downing Street.

    The current thinking is that Labour is going to somehow go backwards to the `60s or `70s if Corbyn becomes leader. It`s absolute hogwash by people who should know better.

    Labour has always been the progressive, forward-thinking party, planning for a better future for all of us in Britain, right up until 1979 when Thatcher and her far-right cronies plunged us back to Victorian values and Pre-WW2 levels of unemployment.

    Jeremy Corbyn probably represents the Labour Party`s only hope of salvation by taking the party forward to embrace more radical progressive policies that will benefit all of us not just the elite few.
    If Labour stays as the Tory-lite party it will lose any credibility it has not already lost. Support will dwindle as no-one will be sure of what it stands for.

    That`s another reason the Tories won the election, they are a Brand, you know what`s on the tin, rotting and unpalatable as it is.
    Labour needs to show it is a brand to be trusted by standing up for working people, the NHS, the welfare state and, indeed, the vast majority of us in the UK.

    If Jeremy Corbyn is the only man for the job, then vote for him.

    Let`s not rewrite history, the truth should stand on it`s own merits.

  3. Richard MacKinnon

    “The sense of crisis engulfing the Labour Party as Jeremy Corbyn looks set for a clear victory in the leadership contest has been compounded by abysmal new data from Scotland.” This statement is missing an important word, which is, ‘establishment’. It should be placed after Labour Party in first sentence, so as to read “The sense of crisis engulfing the Labour Party ‘establishment’ as Jeremy Corbyn …………..”
    To be taken seriously political commentary should not be blatant in its partiality as this piece of hand wringing pap is. Corbyn’s support grows in direct proportion to the number of ‘articles of doom’ churned out by the desperate brigade of hangers-on to that old rotten Westminster Labour organisation.

  4. derek the viking

    No, no, no, no, no, no! Labour in Scotland must separate itself completely from Tory-ilte Labour in England. If Labour were ever to get their act together and work alongside the SNP, the Greens, etc, in a spirit of social cooperation to fight those toxic Tories, they would regain some respect and work towards a fairer society for all.

  5. Richard MacKinnon

    I agree. Labour in Scotland need to be fully independent of the UK Labour Party. Then Scotland can ask the question of Labour “If independence is ok for Labour why is it not ok for Scotland?” There being only one sane reply to this question, then I am certain that Scottish independence would follow the creation of The Independent SLP before the next Glasgow Fair weekend.

  6. Esmee Phillips

    Unfortunately the likely leadership winner, Kezia Dugdale, wants SLab to remain umbilically attached to head office in ThatLondon.

  7. ultraviolet_uk

    It is bizarre, isn’t it, that the author apparently cannot see that the same phenomenon that is causing the collapse in Scotland, the conviction that Labour offers nothing to anyone even vaguely left of centre, is also what is driving the support for Corbyn.

Leave a Reply