Scottish Tories just two points behind Labour

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has a satisfaction rating of just 4 per cent


Listen carefully and you might just be able to hear corks popping in Bute House, Edinburgh.

It is now exactly a year since Nicola Sturgeon moved in to the official residence of the Scottish first minister, taking the reins of the SNP from Alex Salmond following the independence referendum. Meanwhile things are just getting worse for the Labour party north of the border.

According to new polling by Ipsos Mori for STV, the Scottish Conservative Party now trails Scottish Labour by just two percentage points, piling yet more pressure on Jeremy Corbyn.

Asked how they would vote in the constituency section of next year’s elections to Holyrood, of all those likely to vote 50 per cent opted for the SNP, down five points since August. Scottish Labour remains unchanged, backed by 20 per cent of those polled, with the Conservatives up a significant six percentage points to 18 per cent. The Scottish Lib Dems remain on just 7 per cent

A similar pattern emerges on the regional list vote, with 46 per cent supporting the SNP (down four points) and Labour down a point to 19 per cent. The Scottish Conservatives meanwhile are up four points to 16 per cent. The Scottish Lib Dems are on 8 per cent (down one point) with the Scottish Green Party down one point to 7 per cent.

According to the Scotland Votes website, such a result would see the SNP lose one seat in Scotland to take their total to 68, still enough to maintain a majority in the Scottish Parliament. Labour would lose 12 seats, falling from their current tally of 37 seats to 25.

The Conservatives would add three seats to the 15 they currently have whilst the Lib Dems would increase the number of MSPs they have from five to seven. The Scottish Green Party would also see their representation at Holyrood increase from two to eight.

Whilst Nicola Sturgeon remains the most popular party leader in Scotland, her personal ratings have, according to this poll, dropped a little since August. With 67 per cent indicating satisfaction with her performance and 28 per cent who are dissatisfied, she now has a net satisfaction rating of +39 per cent (down nine9 points).

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has seen her net satisfaction rating increase from +9 per cent to +14 per cent, whilst Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale’s ratings have improved from +1 per cent to +4 per cent.

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Greens, remains the opposition leader with the highest approval rating.

The results top off a bad week for Jeremy Corbyn, following ill-timed comments opposing the police’s shoot-to-kill policy.

According to a ComRes poll for the Daily Mail, 72 per cent of people support the shoot to kill policy when a suicide bomber or other terrorist is thought to be about to launch an attack.

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

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