Time is running out for opposition parties to impact on the SNP's polling dominance
With just weeks to go until Scotland goes to the polls, the SNP continues to have an unassailable lead over its rivals.
According to the data compiled by TNS, of those expressing a preference for how they will vote and who are certain to vote, the SNP maintains a commanding lead.
On the constituency vote, the SNP is now on 60 per cent (up 3 points) with Labour unchanged on 21 per cent, the Conservatives down 4 points to 13 per cent and the Lib Dems up 1 to 4 per cent.
On the regional vote share, the SNP is again up 3 points to 55 per cent, Labour is on 21 per cent (up 2 points), the Conservatives are down 4 points to 13 per cent, and the Lib Dems are down 2 to 4 per cent. The Greens remain unchanged on 6 per cent.
According to the Scotland Votes website, replicated at the elections to Holyrood in May such a result would see the SNP win 80 seats, 11 more than they won in 2011. Scottish Labour would slump from the 37 achieved in 2011 to pick up just 27 seats.
The Conservatives would remain unchanged on 15 seats whilst the Lib Dems would lose all but 2 of the 5 seats they currently hold. The Green Party would increase their representation in the Scottish Parliament from 2 MSPs to 5.
Commenting on the results Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland said:
“There is no evidence from this February data that the Conservatives in Scotland have made any progress in narrowing the gap with Labour, to claim to be the second party – indeed, if anything, they have fallen back a little. With nine weeks to go, time is running out for opposition parties to make real inroads into SNP polling dominance.”
Asked about the SNP’s handling of various policy issues, TNS have noted that opinion on the government’s handling of education in Scotland has become more polarised since it last asked these questions in July 2015.
The poll finds that 34 per cent of respondents feel that the SNP has a good record on education (up 4 points) with 23 per cent saying they have a poor record (up 4 points) and 35 per cent saying the government has neither a good nor a poor record (down 5 points).
Over the past six months opinion has hardly changed on the Scottish government’s management of the NHS, the economy, and crime and justice. The results are as follows:
The NHS: 35 per cent good (+1), 31 per cent neither (-2), 30 per cent poor (+1), 3 per cent don’t know (-1)
Economy: 22 per cent good (-3), 49 per cent neither (+4), 24 per cent poor (0), 5 per cent don’t know (-1)
Crime & Justice: 23 per cent good (0), 42 per cent neither (+2), 28 per cent poor (-1), 7 per cent don’t know (-1)
Commenting, Tom Costley said:
“Six months after we last asked these questions – during which time the opposition have been challenging the SNP government on their record – there has been next to no change in public opinion of their management of the economy, health service and crime and justice.
“With focus on the next few months likely to be on Europe, opposition parties in Scotland are likely to find it ever harder to make their arguments about the government’s performance heard.”
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot ForwardLike 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.