Home Business News Labour neck-and-neck with SNP for first time

Labour neck-and-neck with SNP for first time

by LLB political Reporter
14th Oct 23 11:37 am

Labour and the SNP are neck-and-neck in the Westminster voting intention for the first time, according to the latest Scottish opinion polling from Savanta for The Scotsman.

The polling shows the SNP on 35% of the vote, down three points from Savanta’s last poll in June, with Labour also on 35%, up one point in the same period.

The Conservatives rise two points to 19%, with the Liberal Democrats on 6%.

This is the seventh consecutive narrowing of the gap in the Westminster VI for a Savanta / The Scotsman poll, falling from a 21 point lead for the SNP last June to having no lead at all now. This is the first time that a Savanta poll has shown the SNP without a Westminster voting intention lead, and only the third time any pollster has shown anything but an SNP lead since the 2014 independence referendum.

According to seat aggregator Electoral Calculus, if these figures played out at a General Election, the SNP would lose 29 seats based on their 2019 performance, while Labour would win 27 in addition to their sole Scottish MP returned in December 2019. The Conservatives would have six seats, two more than the Liberal Democrats.

The SNP are also down three points in the Holyrood Constituency VI, now on 37% of the vote with Labour unchanged on 33%.

And Labour now lead the SNP in the Holyrood list vote, by 29% to 28%.

Despite the SNP’s falling numbers, the Indy Ref II voting intention is once again unchanged, with Yes static on 49%, and No on 51%. If a referendum were tomorrow, it would be too close to call.

Anas Sarwar now has the highest favourability rating of any politician in Scotland, with his net rating improving by four points to +3, all the more notable when compared to significant drops in net favourability for Humza Yousaf (down six points to -16), Kate Forbes (down 11 points to -9) and the Scottish government in general (down eight points to -2).

Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta said, “The SNP’s continued decline is further evidenced in this latest poll from Savanta for The Scotsman, showing for the first time Labour tied with the SNP.

“While changes poll-on-poll are rarely outside the margin of error, the trend since June 2022 has seen a 21-point SNP lead completely eroded, and they would have little chance of claiming to be the largest party in Scotland if these figures played out at the next election.”

“Labour are in the ascendency after a great recent by-election result, and that’s reflected too in Anas Sarwar’s personal ratings. His fortunes at the moment are significantly better than Humza Yousaf’s, and while following Nicola Sturgeon was always going to be difficult, the SNP’s declining poll ratings started well before Yousaf took office.

“Evidence in Rutherglen and Hamilton West of unionist tactical voting compounds the SNP’s electoral issues, and Yousaf may well soon be tempted to employ some damage limitation tactics akin to the ones being used by Rishi Sunak in England in order to stop the SNP’s declining ratings before even attempting to turn things around.”

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