SNP end the year on a high

Two new polls bring little Christmas cheer for Corbyn

 

The SNP end the year on a high, according to new polling published today.

The final poll of 2015 by TNS of public attitudes in Scotland has seen the SNP’s lead north of the border increase as a result of slippage in Labour’s support.

Less than six months away from elections to Holyrood, SNP support in the constituency section of the vote remains the same as last month on 58 per cent among all those expressing a preference as to how they would vote.

Scottish Labour are on 21 per cent (down three percentage points) whilst the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats remain steady on 12 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Other party are up two points to 4 per cent.

Results of the polling around the regional list section of the vote put the SNP up two points to 54 per cent, Scottish Labour down five points to 20 per cent and the Conservatives up one point to 12 per cent. The Lib Dems are down one point to 4 per cent and the Greens on 9 per cent (down four).

According to the Scotland Votes website, replicated uniformly next May, such results would see the SNP win 78 seats, nine more than they already hold in the Scottish Parliament. Labour would lose 12 seats, falling to just 25.

The Conservatives would remain steady on 15 seats whilst the Lib Dems would lose all but three of the five seats they hold at present. The Greens would pick up seven seats to get nine in total.

Commenting on the findings, Tom Costley, the head of TNS Scotland said:

“The past month has seen the political agenda return to devolved issues such as healthcare and transport, with opposition politicians attacking the SNP government’s record on hospital provision and on maintenance of the Forth Bridge. The criticism appears to have had little or no effect on support for the SNP.”

He continued:

“One interesting feature of the poll is that the number of those who say they are certain to vote in 2016 has been declining, and now stands at 58 per cent, down from 64 per cent as recently as the TNS poll in September. The turnout in Scotland in the May 7 general election was 71 per cent.

“It may be that, faced with the SNP’s huge lead in the polls, a number of voters feel that their vote would not influence the result. However, it seems unlikely that turnout in May will be as low as the 50 per cent recorded in the 2011 Holyrood elections.”

The results come as the secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell today launched a scathing attack on the SNP’s failure to devolve powers away from Holyrood to local communities.

Citing the devolution agenda in England, Mundell used a speech to declare:

“On the crucial issue of breaking up the central government monolith, it’s now Westminster – and a Conservative government – which is setting the pace and leading the way.”

After the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), representing Scottish Councils, slammed the SNP’s budget last week as ‘totally unacceptable’, he continued:

“There is now a real risk that Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, and indeed the towns and counties of Scotland as a whole, will be left behind – stuck in a 1990s time-warp of centralised, Holyrood-dominance.”

The poll in Scotland comes amidst similarly gloomy findings in Wales. According to polling commissioned by WalesOnline, three-in-ten adults in Wales are less likely to vote for Labour since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader.

Jeremy Corbyn may be celebrating 100 days as Labour leader today, but based on the findings of both these polls he will have little cause for cheer.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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