19 per cent swing to SNP in Labour held seats

But 49 per cent would prefer Ed Miliband as prime minister compared to 29 per cent for David Cameron


Labour is heading for a dramatic reversal in fortunes in Scotland, according to new polling out this evening by ComRes for ITV News.

ComRes surveyed voting opinion in the 40 seats Labour held in Scotland before Parliament was dissolved and recorded a 19 percentage point swing from Labour to the SNP.

Applied uniformly, this would see the SNP take 28 of Labour’s seat north of the border at the General Election. In 2010 Labour increased its share of the vote in Scotland by 2.5 per cent.

The full results in the 40 seats, with changes from the 2010 election are:

  • SNP on 43 per cent (+24.1 points)
  • Labour on 37 per cent (-14.3 points)
  • Conservatives on 13 per cent (-0.5 point)
  • Lib Dems on 2 per cent (-11.8 points)
  • UKIP on 2 per cent (+1.5 points)
  • Greens on 2 per cent (+1.2 points)
  • Other parties on 1.2 per cent (+0.8 points)

Asked about what the SNP’s approach should be in the event of a hung parliament, voters in these seats lean more towards supporting Labour than the Conservatives.

41 per cent would prefer there to be no formal agreement with any party, with 21 per cent supporting the idea of the SNP backing a minority Labour government and 21 per cent supporting a full SNP-Labour coalition. However those supporting independence for Scotland are noticeably more likely than opponents to want the SNP to enter into an agreement with Labour.

Meanwhile with Labour needing urgently to woo back previous Labour voters who supported independence in September’s referendum, this poll finds that 81 per cent of ‘yes’ voters saying they will vote SNP, compared to 8 per cent of ‘no’ voters. The poll also finds that 30 per cent of those who voted Labour in 2010 in these 40 seats intend to vote SNP next month.

Of those planning to vote SNP, 56 per cent say it is to secure an independent Scotland, with 35 per cent saying Labour no longer represented people like them. 30 per cent refer to broken promises over devolution as the reason for their support for the SNP.

The only chink of hope for Labour is that asked who they would prefer as prime minister, 49 per cent say Ed Miliband compared to 29 per cent who say David Cameron.

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

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

14 Responses to “19 per cent swing to SNP in Labour held seats”

  1. robertcp

    The chink of light is that SNP MPs will keep Labour in power and the resulting government might be more progressive as a result.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    Or they might go for the allies who’ll create a situation where Scotland would be independent, the Tories.

  3. littleoddsandpieces

    Labour will not revoke the Coalition’s Pensions Bills 2010-2014 (flat rate state pension 2016) that will mean huge numbers of men and women will be left with nil state pension for life
    their sole pension provision.

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


    The SNP could clear out the big UK wide parties in Scotland, by talking directly to the poor that now outnumber all other voters in many voting areas and the votes gained by the sitting Tory, Lib Dem and Labour MPs in Scotland.

    This includes the working poor and claimant unemployed due to the raise in retirement age.

    Half the over 60s are within the working poor.

    If the SNP care, please, could you share my petition on your party and personal Twitter and Facebook pages.

    The Scottish can then see that we are all going to be left in penniless starving old age.

    With no pension provision (payable if remain in work or retire), just as Universal Credit hits in 2016, with its permanent sanctions, to the unemployed and the part time working poor.

    The SNP can protect the Scottish over 50s from Universal Credit and the flat rate state pension that is less not more or nil state pension for life, and fight for the rest of us, which Labour will not do.

    The SNP as kingmakers in a supply and confidence arm’s length coalition (has the most power in UK parliament), the SNP can ensure the Coalition’s aggressive abolition by stealth of much of the state pension is reversed.

    This is a Vote or Starve election.


  4. Jim Bennett

    It’s a very close election. There has been a massive swing to the SNP but the 6% gap is within the margin of error for polls which could put the SNP and Labour on exactly the same polling level. A slight move in Labour’s favour could result in retention of most of their seats.
    Even a 40% SNP to 35% Labour overall Scottish result could mean Labour as the largest Scottish party. Labour deserve to be destroyed in Scotland but it will take a phenomenal amount of work with nothing taken for granted.

  5. Scott Dearden

    A uniform swing across these constituencies is unlikely to happen. Depending on where the swings happen the SNP could sweep the board completely or struggle to unseat Labour as the biggest party. The only real insight we’ve got into this so far is Lord Ashcroft’s seat by seat polling which shows favourable voting patterns for the SNP. But it’s dangerous to read too much into a single polling agency’s figures.

    FPTP may be unfair but it’s darn exciting for political anoraks sometimes! Needless to say it’s going to be a nail biting election night for all involved.

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    “Parties I disagree with must be destroyed”

  7. Guest

    WHY is it important Hamas loving sites must be promoted – bombs rather than pensions?

  8. robertcp

    They are not that stupid.

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    “Stupid” being achieving their long-term goals? Mm.

  10. robertcp

    Labour in Scotland would think that Christmas had come early if the SNP supported a Tory government. You need to remember that the NUT’s priority is the Scottish Parliament election in 2016. That is the election which they need to win if they want another referendum.

  11. Leon Wolfeson

    So that brings us to a question.

    Is the SNP serious about independence, or their local vote?

    You’re arguing the latter.

    (Because the Tories policies, if they give Scotland a pass on them, would rapidly lead to divergence and an easy way to separatism)

  12. robertcp

    The referendum was lost last year, so the SNP has to give priority to its local vote. Independence is not going to happen if the SNP loses votes in any case.

  13. Julia


    MSM playing dirty so the SNP must be doing well

  14. Guest

    Wah, there’s a free press.
    And you’re trying to find logic in the Daily Fail..really shows some non-thinking of the same level as that rag there!

Leave a Reply