Scottish Labour is less popular than its policies – good news for the SNP

Meanwhile, Tory leader Ruth Davidson backs Scottish unions on Trident

Labour’s brand north of the border is now toxic, if new polling is to be believed.

According to data produced by BMG Research for the Herald newspaper, 51 per cent of those Scots polled supported Labour’s proposals for a 1p rise in income tax to protect education and other public services, with just 21 per cent opposing it.

However, support for the policy dropped by eight percentage points when respondents were told that the proposal came from the Scottish Labour Party.

The findings highlight the deep rooted problems the Labour brand now faces north of the border, which will not be resolved after an expected battering for the party in next month’s elections to Holyrood.

Noting that she was ‘aware of the size of the challenge’ when she took the job of Scottish Labour leader last year, Kezia Dugdale has observed that while it was ‘encouraging’ to see support for the party’s tax policy, more work was clearly needed to translate this into votes.

The BMG Research survey also asked those polled how they planned to vote in May’s elections. On the constituency vote, 43 per cent said the SNP, with 17 per cent saying Labour, 13 per cent Conservatives and 5 per cent Liberal Democrats.

In the regional list vote, the SNP was on 37 per cent, Labour on 16 per cent, Conservatives on 13 per cent, Greens 6 per cent, Lib Dems 5 per cent and UKIP 3 per cent.

Ruth Davidson

Meanwhile, in the confused world that is UK, let alone Scottish politics, the Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson has come out in solidarity with the trade unions over nuclear weapons.

Speaking as the GMB Union put forward a motion to the Scottish TUC conference in Dundee supporting the renewal of trident to protect jobs, especially at Faslane, Davidson commented:

‘I have met and listened to many traditional Labour supporters who see the common sense in renewing Trident. They are worried about the direction the party is now taking.

My message to them is that me and my team will stand shoulder to shoulder with you on this issue.

Together we can make the case for preserving Britain’s security and for protecting thousands of Scottish jobs.’

The SNP have long called for unilateral disarmament, a position backed by Scottish Labour at its conference in November.

Carwyn Jones: Saving Wales

Welsh Labour will today launch its manifesto for the Assembly elections which its leader, Carwyn Jones, has argued will be a ‘plan for prosperity’ which will ‘get the country moving’.

The key proposals in the manifesto will include:

  • Plans to create 100,000 all-age apprenticeships.
  • Provision of 30 hours-a-week free child care, 48 weeks of the year for working parents of three and four-year-olds.
  • Fast broadband to every property in Wales.
  • Tax cuts for all small businesses by reducing business rates across Wales.
  • Establishing a Welsh development bank to provide funding to micro, small and medium enterprises.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward

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