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November 25, 2019

Labour facing electoral wipeout in Scotland: poll

World

P
Pa
November 25, 2019

EDINBURGH: Labour is set to lose all but one of its seats in Scotland, according to a new poll.The Panelbase study for the Sunday Times suggested that only Ian Murray will be returned to the House of Commons. Murray, a frequent critic of leader Jeremy Corbyn, was the sole Labour MP north of the border in 2015. The poll, which surveyed 1,009 people in Scotland, found that support for the Labour Party in Scotland could dip from 27 per cent to 20 per cent.

According to analysis from Strathclyde University Professor Sir John Curtice, the SNP are also on course for another electoral win in Scotland, seeing their seat count rise from 35 to 41 after December 12 if there is a uniform swing across Scotland, with support rising from 37 per cent to 40 per cent.

According to the poll, Scotland’s ruling party could lose North East Fife, the seat with the smallest majority in the UK, with Stephen Gethins holding just two more votes over his Liberal Democrat rival in 2017. The First Minister was on the campaign trail with Gethins on Saturday in his constituency. The poll has the seat being won by the Lib Dems, taking the party’s Scottish total to five, while overall support will rise from 7 per cent to 11 per cent.

The Conservatives are expected to lose just one seat in Scotland, with Stirling predicted to move from Stephen Kerr to SNP MEP Alyn Smith. If the poll is found to be correct, the party’s support will also drop by one percentage point, to 28 per cent. The poll found the First Minister to be the only leader with a positive approval rating at +3 per cent.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s popularity rose slightly from -36 per cent to -34 per cent, while the Labour leader also improved but still found himself trailing the Tory leader on -41 per cent.

On the issues voters believe to be harmful to the UK, 37 per cent of Scots said Scottish independence, with 39 per cent saying the same of Brexit. Almost half of all those surveyed said Scottish independence would be a “good opportunity” for the country, at 45 per cent, while just 24 per cent said the same of Brexit.

Responding to the poll Kirsty Blackman, the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, said: “Only the SNP can beat the Tories in Scotland. While we take nothing for granted, the SNP are in a strong position — and we’re well and truly the party with the momentum. This poll underlines the fact that neither Labour nor the Lib Dems can take seats off the Tories.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chairman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: “This poll shows that the Lib Dems are a growing force in Scotland. Everyone who is pro-EU and pro-UK should vote for us on December 12.”