Labour could lose half its Scottish seats, says new TNS poll

Billy Ehrenberg
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No thanks? Jim Murphy of Labour (Source: Getty)

The Scottish National Party (SNP) could double its vote in the 2015 General Election, according to a poll from TNS.

The news is a further blow to Scottish Labour, who, if the figures are representative, could see themselves on the wrong side of a 10-point deficit and facing the loss of half of its Scottish seats.

Of the 1,006 adults surveyed in face-to-face interviews, 41 per cent said they intended to vote SNP and 31 per cent Scottish Labour. As the graph below shows, this is a big swing from the 2010 result, where the SNP got only 20 per cent of the vote and Labour 42 per cent.

Another line of questioning revealed that only eight per cent of those polled said Jim Murphy’s appointment as the leader of Scottish Labour made them more likely to vote for the party. The majority of this eight per cent were older voters.

Conversely, the poll found, 22 per cent of 18-34 year olds said they intended to vote for the Green party.

Turnout in the election, however, is expected to be lower than the independence referendum.

Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said,

It would appear that the high level of turnout for the independence referendum is not going to be replicated, not surprising when you consider the different context between the two events.

The turnaround in the Scottish political scene which sees the SNP polling at this level has been widely attributed to traditional Labour voters who voted Yes in the referendum deciding to stay with the SNP.

But it is also worth noting that the SNP may well also have benefited from the collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote – from 19 per cent in the 2010 election to 4 per cent in the latest poll.

The poll results come after a poll by Lord Ashcroft showed Labour's situation in Scotland to be equally dire. Looking at Labour seats from the 2010 General Election that had subsequently voted Yes to independence, Ashcroft's poll concluded only one would remain red come May.

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