YouGov poll predicts “less rosy” picture for Conservatives, who could lose two of their six seats to the SNP and the Liberal Democrats…reports Asian Lite News
The SNP could lose 23 seats to Labour in the next Westminster election, with the party facing wipeout in most of “Red Clydeside”, according to a new poll.
High-profile figures in the SNP who are at risk of being defeated include the party’s deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black and former defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald, according to the analysis by YouGov.
There are also “less rosy” predictions for the Conservatives, who could lose two of their six seats to the SNP and the Liberal Democrats, who are expected to stay on just four.
While there has been criticism focused on the Scottish Government’s rural policies in recent months, most of the heavy losses for the SNP occur in the central belt.
In Glasgow – once branded “Red Clydeside” for the regularity with which it returned Labour MPs – the SNP is predicted to see a dramatic reversal in fortunes losing six out of seven constituencies won in the 2019 UK election.
Glasgow Central, Glasgow East, Glasgow North, Glasgow North East, Glasgow North West and Glasgow South all projected as gains for Labour.
The modelling suggested Anas Sarwar’s party could also win the Western Isles, ousting the long-serving SNP MP Angus MacNeil, who has held the seat there since 2005.
Meanwhile, Rutherglen and Hamilton West – where a recall petition could force a by-election ahead of the next general election if current MP Margaret Ferrier, now sitting as an independent, is suspended from the Commons for the proposed 30 days – could be another Labour capture.
However the SNP could gain Moray – currently held by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross (above), who is stepping down at the next election.
Another potential change would see UK energy minister Andrew Bowie lose his West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine seat to the SNP.
But overall the research, which involved more than 3500 voters north of the Border, suggested Labour are currently expected to be the big winner – going from just one MP to 24.
The SNP are projected to have their worst General Election results since 2010, dropping from the 48 seats won in 2019 to 27.
This includes two seats where MPs subsequently left to join Alba – East Lothian held by Kenny MacAskill and Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath held by Neale Hanvey.
There are also proposed changes to constituency boundaries, which will be finalised in 2023 and see 57 Westminster constituencies in Scotland instead of the current 59.
The research, which used MRP (multi-level regression and post-stratification) statistical techniques to forecast the results, was based on fieldwork carried out between April 10 and May 21.
This was after Humza Yousaf took over as SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, and after a police investigation into SNP finances resulted in both the party’s HQ in Edinburgh and the home of Nicola Sturgeon being searched.
The polling firm said the findings “suggest that repeated recent bad news stories for the SNP and its new leader, Humza Yousaf, including accusations of party mismanagement and potential criminal cases being brought against senior officials, have taken a serious toll on both the party’s popular support”.
Meanwhile, it noted that “the figures will make welcome reading for Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, as well as the party’s national leader Keir Starmer”, adding that “Labour may well need a significant number of victories in Scotland to lift them over the majority line at the next Westminster contest, and the data currently suggests they are on track to do just that”.
Patrick English, associate director of political and social research at YouGov, said: “The results of YouGov’s Scottish MRP shows the SNP have some serious cause for concern, but will provide strong encouragement to Labour as they look ahead to the next general election.
“Making significant gains in Scotland could be crucial to Starmer’s chances of heading into Number 10 with a parliamentary majority next year, and these figures suggest his party is now making strong progress north of the border.
“That, plus the prospect of losing their own Scottish leader’s seat, will no doubt worry the Conservatives.”
SNP MP David Linden said: “Voting SNP is the only way to get rid of unelected Tory governments in Scotland for good. The SNP is the only party in Scotland offering a real alternative to the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party, handing voters the opportunity to escape the mess of Brexit and rejoin the EU with the full powers of independence.
“A strong team of SNP MPs could hold the balance of power and we would use our influence to make sure Westminster takes real action to tackle the cost of living, protect our NHS, and ensure Scotland’s democracy is respected.”
Labour shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray MP, who is currently the party’s only MP north of the border, said: “Scotland is ready for change and it falls to Scottish Labour to deliver it.
“The people of Scotland are sick and tired of Tory and SNP sleaze and failure.”
A Scottish Conservative spokesperson said: “It’s clear that voters are increasingly turned off by the scandal and civil war engulfing the SNP and their obsession with independence over the real priorities of the Scottish people.”
Meanwhile, a Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: “In seats like East Dunbartonshire and Ross, Skye and Lochaber, we’re nipping at the heels of the failed SNP and offering a brighter alternative for communities.”