Scottish Labour supporters prefer Nicola Sturgeon to Kezia Dugdale

Scottish Labour has 'a mountain to climb' say pollsters


Labour’s new leadership, both north and south of the border, has so far failed to make any discernible impact on Scottish voters.

According to new polling out today by TNS, of those expressing a preference for how they would vote, 58 per cent of Scottish voters indicated they would vote SNP in the constituency section of next May’s elections to Holyrood.

This is up two percentage points since last month. Scottish Labour are up 3 points to 24 per cent with the Conservatives unchanged on 12 per cent and the Lib Dems down 2 points to 4 per cent.

Asked how they would vote in the regional list section of the ballot, 52 per cent said the SNP (unchanged), Labour were up 2 points to 25 per cent, and the Conservatives were unchanged on 11 per cent. The Lib Dems were down 1 point to 5 per cent and the Green Party were unchanged on 5 per cent.

According to the Scotland Votes website, such results would see the number of SNP MSPs increase from 69 to 76, increasing its majority to 23. Scottish Labour meanwhile would see its number of MSPs fall from 37 to 34, in the process losing all of its constituency members.

TNS also asked how much voters liked or disliked each of the party leaders on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 was ‘like a lot’ and 1 was ‘do not like at all’.

Leading the pack was SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon, with 44 per cent saying that they liked her (scoring between 7 and 10) compared to the 25 per cent who disliked her (scoring between 1 and 4). She was also liked by more Labour supporters (32 per cent) than Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale was (25 per cent.)

Just 7 per cent of respondents said that they liked Dugdale, with 46 per cent saying that they did not know who she was.

Scottish Conservative Leader, Ruth Davidson was liked by 11 per cent of respondents, roughly the level of support for her party, and disliked by 35 per cent. David Cameron was disliked by 61 per cent of respondents and liked by just 14 per cent.

Whilst 15 per cent said they liked Jeremy Corbyn, 36 per cent disliked him. 21 per cent said they had not heard of him.

In a bleak assessment of Scottish Labour’s position, Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland said:

“Labour has a mountain to climb in terms of party support, and clearly its leadership is so far failing to achieve recognition and appeal among Scottish voters. Dugdale has only six months to establish herself with voters before the Holyrood election.

“One crumb of comfort for Labour may be that, asked the same question two years ago, the then Labour leader Johann Lamont was liked by per cent of electors and 41 per cent did not know who she was – these are similar figures to Dugdale’s but Lamont had been Scottish Labour leader for about two years by then, while Dugdale is just starting out.”

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

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