Labour on course for mass revival in Scotland at next general election, according to new poll

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Labour could become the second largest party in Scotland, winning more than 20 seats from the SNP

Labour could be on course to take back more than 20 seats from the SNP in Scotland at the next election, following a period of intense turmoil for the ruling party, according to a new poll.

Humza Yousaf’s party could see their number of MPs almost halved, leaving them as the largest party by only a handful of seats, if polling carried out by YouGov proves to be accurate.

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It comes after a high-profile investigation into SNP finances and funding which has seen two senior officials in the party arrested and later released without charge, including Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell.

Labour has said the poll shows Scotland is “sick and tired of Tory and SNP sleaze and failure,” while an SNP MP whose seat looks at risk said his party is the only one “offering a real alternative to the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party”.

‘Realistic prospect’ of Labour gains

Labour would retake many seats it held as strongholds in Scotland for decades prior to SNP rule if an election were held tomorrow, a detailed MRP poll carried out by YouGov shows.

The polling puts the SNP on 27 seats (-21), Labour on 24 (+23), the Conservatives on 4 (-2) and the LIberal Democrats on 4 (=).

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Labour’s gains would come at the SNP’s expense, with much of Glasgow and the central belt predicted to change hands, including Rutherglen and Hamilton West, where former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier will almost certainly face a by-election after a recommendation that she be suspended for 30 days over covid rulebreaking.

Only one SNP MP, Chris Stephens, would remain in Glasgow, according to the projection.

The MRP projection will also make grim reading for the Scottish Conservatives, with Douglas Ross’ party currently the second largest north of the border but projected to lose two seats to the SNP, including Ross’ Moray constituency.

It comes after polling guru Professor John Curtice told NationalWorld last month that “for the first time since 2015”, Labour has “a realistic prospect of picking up a handful of seats in Scotland”.

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He said it’s possible that the party could gain as many as 15 seats north of the border - something which would make it easier for Sir Keir Starmer to secure a majority when the country heads to the polls in autumn 2024.

In addition to helping the Labour Party win support in Scotland, Professor Curtice also said the SNP drama could assist the Tories. “It could make it easier for the Conservative Party to hang on to the seats it already has,” he explained. “But I do still think it helps Labour more.”

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.

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“That, plus the prospect of losing their own Scottish leader’s seat, will no doubt worry the Conservatives.”

‘The change that Scotland needs’

Labour shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray, 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.”

“Scotland needs a fresh start with a majority Labour government. Under Anas Sarwar’s leadership Scottish Labour will continue to earn back the public’s trust so we can deliver the change that Scotland needs.”

The SNP’s David Linden, whose Glasgow East constituency would, according to YouGov, go to Labour, 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.

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“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.”

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.”

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