Even Murphy knows the latest poll is bad news for Scottish Labour

Ashcroft's poll shows that a Labour-SNP coalition is by far the most popular outcome from the election


“Bad news for Scottish Labour but great news for the Tories.”

That’s Scottish Labour Leader Jim Murphy’s frank and honest assessment of Lord Aschcroft’s latest round of constituency polling, which includes eight constituencies in Scotland.

Whatever way we look at it, no gloss can be put on the fact that with two months until polling day Labour have been unable, so far, to fend off the SNP bandwagon that’s been rolling since the independence referendum in September.

Last month, Ashcroft released polling from 16 constituencies in Scotland, showing the SNP ahead in all but one seat, Glasgow North East.

Yesterday, he released details of yet more polling in an additional eight seats north of the border.

It shows, dramatically, the SNP continuing to be on course to take a swathe of Labour seats, including Gordon Brown’s seat of  Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath; Charles Kennedy’s seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber; and Edinburgh South, constituency of the leader of the Better Together Campaign, Alistair Darling.

The one chink of light is that Jim Murphy seems on course to retain his seat of East Renfrewshire – although with a lead of just one percentage point, it is well within any margin of error.

Whilst Labour has persistently warned Scotland that a vote for the SNP only serves to help the Conservatives, it could now be time to reassess the scare tactics.

Firstly, Scotland voted in droves for Labour in 2010 and yet David Cameron still found himself in Downing Street.

But more importantly still, across the eight seats polled, by far the most popular outcome from the election is a coalition involving Labour and the SNP.

In a bleak assessment for Labour, Professor John Curtice and Strathclyde University  conclude on the ‘Scotland Thinks’ blog:

“Doubtless, with its spring conference due to take place this weekend, Labour will try to redouble its efforts to turn the position around. But today’s polling also reveals two problems that could well undermine its hopes of doing so.

“First, the SNP, with its recently heavily inflated membership, is more visible on the ground. In each of the five Labour held seats covered by today’s polling, more people say they have been contacted by the SNP than by Labour, in some cases as much as by a factor of two to one.

“Second, the message that voters need to vote Labour to get rid of Cameron looks cuts little ice with many SNP voters. Even though only 12 per cent of SNP supporters in the eight seats covered by today’s polling say they are satisfied with Mr Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister, only 38 per cent would prefer to see Mr Miliband in his place.

As many as 33 per cent of SNP supporters say that while they are dissatisfied with Mr Cameron’s performance they would still prefer him to Mr Miliband. Invoking dislike of Mr Cameron does not look as though it will be enough to enable Labour to turn the position around.”

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

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19 Responses to “Even Murphy knows the latest poll is bad news for Scottish Labour”

  1. Jim Bennett

    “Murphy declares latest poll bad news for Scottish Labour” – no shit, Sherlock!

  2. treborc1

    Which Tories the blue one or the Blue ones since Labour now see it’s self a Blue labour.

  3. AlanGiles

    Murphy is bad news for Scottish Labour. A time expired Blairite toady with a big mouth and a little brain

  4. uglyfatbloke

    Murphy’s assessment is n’t really either frank or honest and he knows it. The tories regard the gnats with a positively visceral hatred and no Labour PM (except, arguably, Wilson in 1964-6) has depended on Scottish MPs to form a government. If the tories can be comprehensively beaten in England and Wales it won’t matter whether there are four Labour MPs from Scotland or forty and won’t matter if there’s four nationalists of forty. When Labour recovers in Scotland it will be through the absence of people like Murphy and Curran…Darling and Brown are already going, so that’s a start.

  5. Steve Bowers

    “When labour recovers” surely you mean if, the Tories took a kicking up here some time ago and look where they are now………………………. more pandas !

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    So a major step up from the current run of MP’s then.

  7. robertcp

    It is looking like the SNP will get a majority of the seats in Scotland, which would mean that Labour cannot govern without the support of the SNP and probably the Lib Dems. I wonder if in the future there will be a new left of centre but non-nationalist party in Scotland, which would replace both Labour and the SNP.

  8. Tamas Marcuis

    Murphy knows if he loses his seat he will be out of politics.
    Unable to supply favours or hand out jobs. Somehow the London bosses were fooled by his referendum stunts that he might be useful. But he is despised even by many of the rump thats left of Labour in Scotland. He will become another Galloway an oddity amusing to the press.

    Still he may still yet hold his seat, even if, as Jim is happy to do, he sacrifices every other Labour seat.
    With Murphy its all about Jim.
    So prepare to see East Renfrew the entire focus of Labour Party (scotland) to the exclusion of all else.

  9. Tamas Marcuis

    There’s no room for recovery. These polls only show that the voting pattern in Scotland for Hollyrood is now also for Westminster. SNP voters are no longer willing to lend votes to Labour at general elections. It is amazing that anybody is surprised. Labour spent two years viciously insulting SNP supporter then expect them to ever vote for them again.
    This whole situation is as predictable as Labour is foolish.
    The link has been broken and can never be restored. There will be no great restoration of past glories.

  10. Kevin

    How dare Murphy call my switch from Labour to SNP as part of a Bandwagon
    I am never voting Labour again, he said the same thing over and over again. They all rehearsed the lines and sound like each other. No vision only scare tactics, im honestly fed up with Labour.

  11. Derick Tulloch

    There were two transformative General Elections in the last century
    1918, where Sein Feinn went from 6 to 73 MPs, resulting in Irish Independence 4 years later
    1945, when the UK turned towards a limited form of social democracy
    2015 has the potential to be just such an event

  12. Keith M

    Labour must get back to its roots and jettison all vestiges of Blairites neo liberalism.

  13. littleoddsandpieces

    The SNP and Plaid Cymru of Wales have said they would do a support and confidence type of coalition with Labour.

    But that will still be insufficient for Labour to rule after May.

    The Tories would then continue ruling by default, which is life threatening to millions of people in England,
    who do not have a party to protect them with Devo Max or some devolution on welfare and pensions as in the Celt nations.

    In marginals in England, sitting Tory and Lib Dem MPs are in voting areas where the working poor, unemployed and poor pensioners outnumber all other voters, and the sitting MPs have very slim majorities.

    Within a lot of these are running real socialist parties that offer a means for Labour to gain more support and confidence coalition partners, that would then save the nation from the predicted severe hung parliament, which may indeed cause yet another election 6 months or so down the line and yet another hung parliament ad nausem.

    The abject poor of all ages would then know they have someone to vote for and come out to vote.

    If Labour just shut up shop in Scotland and use that funding to support these socialist parties in Tory and Lib Dem marginals with slim majorities, then these small parties would get the media coverage these socialist parties are being entirely denied right now.

    Multi party coalitions are the future.

    No so-called big party will ever again get sufficient to form a government on their own.

    The voters will just not come out, as for people with money there is no urge to do so. Nothing too much will change for them.

    For the tens of millions of poor, this is a Vote or Starve election.

    So why isn’t Labour funding the ads of such parties, in Tory and Lib Dem slim marginals, of:

    – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)
    – Class War
    – Socialist party of Great Britain (GB)
    – Mebyon Kernow in Cornwall
    – The Left Unity Party

    That no-one gets to hear about at all, yet are natural partners to Labour.

    And pushes Tory and Lib Dems MPs out of marginals.

    The 1950s baby boomers are worse off than our parents and grandparents for the first time since we were born, and worse off than even a decade ago to our ancestors. (Institute of Fiscal Studies)

    Poor pensioners will get ever worse off and they are also millions.

    Poor families are mostly in work or low income self employed.

    The unemployed include the over 50s disabled / chronic sick losing benefit.

    And Universal Credit means permanent sanctions with nil food money forever, even for men and women well over 65 because of the raised retirement age.

    Even with non state pension payout for men at 73 or even 76 forecast for them under UC benefit rules.

    See how at:

  14. Guest

    Oh, you’ll be giving the labour supporters a good kicking like what happened last weekend then eh? Really…shows the isolationist viewpoint perfectly.

  15. Leon Wolfeson


    Labour are right wing.
    The Tories are right wing.

    Nope, none such.
    FPTP is broken and needs changing. Then we might see real change elsewhere.

  16. Keith M

    Are you surprised Blairites stick in the craw.

  17. Julian Gibb

    What happened to the Biggest Party forms the government?

  18. Nick

    Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond running the country… Cameron and co are not ideal, but look at the numbers: reduced unemployment, growing economy, reduced deficit, more doctors and nurses in the NHS, low inflation, low interest rates. We’ve gone from the deepest recession for generations to a stable, growing, optimistic economic future for the UK. Just imagine what Miliballs and the fish twins will do to the country.

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