The danger for Labour lies very firmly in Scotland

Tory gains from the Lib Dems could push them ahead of Labour as they continue to lose seats to the SNP


The growing sense of concern within Labour circles about their faltering election campaign will today grow still further, with new research predicting that the Conservatives will be the largest party after the next election.

According to the analysis commissioned by asset manager Toscafund and carried out by Professor Richard Rose, founder-director of Strathclyde University’s Centre for the Study of Public Policy, increasing support for the SNP north of the border and growing support for UKIP will turn a number of seats into three way marginal, with both the Conservatives and Labour set to both lose and pick up seats in May.

The research, however, notes that Tory gains from the Liberal Democrats will give them the edge over a Labour Party which faces heavy losses to the SNP in Scotland.

Professor Rose writes:

“Asking which party is ahead in the public opinion polls is meaningless in this close-fought election because seats in the House of Commons are awarded at the constituency level not the national level.”

The research notes that a slump in Lib Dem support would benefit the Tories more than Labour, given that they are second in over two thirds of all 57 Lib Dem controlled seats.

According to Rose’s analysis, which is being trailed heavily in the Scottish political magazine Holyrood, whilst third parties will take a third of the vote nationally, this won’t equate to seats. He explains:

“With the support of one in six of the electorate, the British first-past-the-post system will cut UKIP down to size, giving it less than one per cent of the seats in Parliament.”

The danger for Labour remains very firmly in Scotland, with Rose predicating that 45 per cent of those who voted Yes in September’s independence referendum will support the SNP in May, handing them 45 seats in the Commons. Explaining the mindset of Scots voters, he continued:

“At the May election, most Scots will not be voting for which Englishman should be in Downing Street but who can best represent Scotland’s interests in parliament.”

The new findings come as Scottish Labour Leader Jim Murphy prepares to argue today that Labour can beat the SNP in Scotland irrespective of what the polls say.

Marking 50 days since being elected leader in Scotland, Murphy will boldly declare that the Scottish public will ‘switch big’ back to Labour ahead of May’s election. Such is his confidence that he will predict that Labour will actually gain an extra seat from their current tally by taking East Dunbartonshire from the Lib Dem Minister Jo Swinson.

Despite the predications however, shadow foreign Douglas Alexander, leading Labour’s election campaign, repeatedly refused to rule out any post-election deal with the SNP when speaking on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday.

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

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12 Responses to “The danger for Labour lies very firmly in Scotland”

  1. AlanGiles

    Labour has only itself to blame. They could have gone for a clean slate voting for a leader with no baggage instead of which they went for obnoxious old Blairite expenses scammer Jim Murphy.

  2. littleoddsandpieces

    Labour has nothing to fear from a landslide victory in Scotland by the SNP.

    After all the SNP have confirmed they will only go in coalition with Labour.

    So whatever seats are lost by Labour in Scotland are not really being lost.

    The betting is now on the Tories beating Labour in England. That is where the focus should be.

    The Tories will:

    – re-assess poor old second world war disabled veterans for disability benefit, and re-assessment usually means loss.

    – cut benefits by 23 per cent going to the already starving

    – 2016 the flat rate pension deprives huge numbers of men and women of any state pension

    see why under my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:

    – Cut Pension Credit in 2016 (savings component gone for new claimants)

    – Cut Pension Credit in 2016 for current pensioners by having to be assessed again and again just like the disability and Jobseekers benefits, which means will be lost more and more

    So what is Labour offering the poor who are bulk in work, suffering a return of the Truck System now called the salary sacrifice system and sneaking in and not telling staff are designated as apprentices and get only a couple of quid an hour wages, so avoiding the minimum wage?

    To the 2.6 million poor pensioners only on state pension and now liable to lose pension credit?

    To the new claimant pensioners retiring next year getting absolutely no state pension from the flat rate that is anything other than single tier, as the Department of Work and Pensions has said individuals will get different rates for decades to come, in a complex and complicated calculation?

    Will Labour abolish sanctions on benefit claimants?

    Will Labour shut down the hated Jobcentres that are now nicknamed Sanctions Centres, now that it will not cost anything in redundancy as the staff are being let go as they go digital in March?

    Will Labour revoke the Coalition’s Pension Bills 2010-2014 and pay the state pension to men and women aged between 60 and 66 in 2015??

    Isn’t politics about winning?

  3. steroflex

    Ms Sturgeon is very far to the left of Labour we are told and if the Labour gets in on a coalition, it will have to swing far to the left to keep her on board. Add to this the strong influence of the TUC – which is now the major paymaster – and you are going to get a very 1970s scenario.

  4. steroflex

    And all the Tories are red nosed capitalists who eat children for breakfast in their mansions (untaxed) and keep their illegal immigrant sex slaves in the basement along with the slave manacles for the working class.
    Meanwhile the Labour Saints go marching on!

  5. Frann Leach

    Better than the 1930s one planned by the Selfservatives

  6. uglyfatbloke

    Selfservatives…brilliant name; hats off to you!

  7. Guest

    Still on your little anti-Miliband jaunt, I see, as you ignore the issue of policy.

    Why should a Tory get to tell Labour who’s allowed to be Labour leader anyway – and trying to leave Labour leaderless now really does give away your agenda.

  8. Guest

    So far better off than austerity? Right.

  9. Guest

    Oh heck no. This has been deeper and harder than the 30’s.

  10. AlanGiles

    I am not a Tory. It is the Labour leadership that has backed up the coalition’s austerity agenda. It is Rachel Reeves (Labour) who has said she will be “tougher than the Tories” on welfare, it is the idiotic Tristram Hunt who wants schoolteachers to swear some sort of oath of office.

    Finally why don’t you have the guts to sign your little hysterical missives with your name – or at least a pseudonym rather than the gutless “Guest”?

  11. Guest

    Oh, right,you’re…a UKIPer, as you go on a nice little rant, calling other views “hysterical” blah blah.

    No wonder you love austerity so much, that you’re so scared that Ed might roll back SOME of it, etc.

  12. Guest

    MOST IMPORTANT to interact with Hamas-supporting sites.

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