LONDON, February 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
- Swing to SNP could leave Labour with one MP in Glasgow
- Labour-SNP coalition is most popular election outcome
- Danny Alexander and Douglas Alexander could lose seats
- Alex Salmond on course to return to Westminster
A surge in support for the SNP threatens Labour's Scottish heartlands and could leave the party with just one MP in Glasgow, according to new polling from Lord Ashcroft.
More than one third of 2010 Labour voters in Labour-held seats, plus nearly half of those who voted Liberal Democrat, said they intended to vote SNP at the general election in May.
The research was conducted in January among 16,000 voters in 16 Scottish constituencies - 14 currently held by Labour, mostly in areas with a strong support for independence, and two held by the Lib Dems.
The poll found the SNP ahead in six out of Labour's seven seats in Glasgow, and with an eight-point lead over Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander in Paisley & Renfrewshire South. The Lib Dems' Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, also faces defeat to the SNP in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey, while Alex Salmond is on course to win the Gordon constituency with a comfortable majority.
Lord Ashcroft's polling, published today, includes the following findings:
- Swings to the SNP in Labour-held seats ranged from 21% (Airdrie & Shotts) to 27% (Motherwell & Wishaw; Dundee West).
- SNP leads in Labour-held seats ranged from three points (Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill; Glasgow South West) to 34 points (Dundee West). Labour retained a seven-point lead in Glasgow North East, which they won by a 54-point margin in 2010.
- In Labour-held seats, 60% of 2010 Labour voters said they would vote for the party again in May; 35% said they would switch to the SNP. Just 12% of 2010 Lib Dem voters said they would vote Lib Dem again; 47% said they would switch to the SNP.
- 41% of Labour-SNP switchers were optimistic about prospects for the economy over the next year, compared to 50% of voters in the Labour-held seats overall and 59% of Labour voters.
- 38% of voters in the Labour-held seats said they were dissatisfied with David Cameron and would rather have Ed Miliband as Prime Minister (including 49% of Labour-SNP switchers and 59% of Labour voters). 44% said either that they were satisfied with Cameron (18%) or dissatisfied but preferred him to Miliband (26%).
- 68% of Labour-SNP switchers said they definitely ruled out voting Labour in 2015.
- A Labour-SNP coalition was the most popular election outcome, favoured by 39% of voters in the Labour-held seats, including 69% of SNP supporters and 79% of Labour-SNP switchers. 15% of SNP voters said they would like to see a coalition between the SNP and the Conservatives.
In his commentary on the research, published on Conservative Home, Lord Ashcroft said:
"If a swing to the SNP of 21%, the smallest in this range, were to be repeated across the board next May it would endanger 35 of Labour's 41 seats in Scotland. But we cannot assume such a uniform swing. Most of the seats in this survey are in areas which returned a particularly strong yes vote in September, where the SNP attraction will naturally be greater; in future rounds of research we may find a different pattern where support for independence was lower.
"Even so, the prospect of losing heartland seats will be a blow to Labour's hopes: every seat they lose in Scotland means another they have to win from the Conservatives in England, while the national polls could not be much narrower.
"But as ever, it is vital to remember that these polls are a snapshot, not a prediction. The Labour majorities in some of these seats are such that even a swing of this magnitude has not put the SNP far ahead. With a vigorous Labour campaign there remains room for movement before May. By no means all voters have made up their minds. Just over two thirds of switchers from Labour to the SNP say they rule out voting Labour again in 2015 - which means nearly one third are at least open to the idea of returning."
Notes to Editors
- Full details of the research, including seat-by-seat data, are available at http://www.LordAshcroftPolls.com
- 16,007 adults were interviewed by telephone in 16 constituencies between 5 and 30 January 2015. Results have been weighted to be representative of all adults living in each constituency. The constituencies polled were: Airdrie & Shotts; Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill; Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East; Dundee West; Glasgow Central; Glasgow East; Glasgow North; Glasgow North East; Glasgow North West; Glasgow South; Glasgow South West; Gordon; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey; Motherwell & Wishaw; Paisley & Renfrewshire South; West Dunbartonshire.
- Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is an international businessman, author and philanthropist. He is founder and Chairman of the Board of Crimestoppers, a member of the Board of the Imperial War Museum, Chairman of the Trustees of Ashcroft Technology Academy, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University and Treasurer of the International Democrat Union. From 2005 to 2010 he was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.
- His political books and research papers include Smell The Coffee (2005); Minority Verdict; What Future For Labour?; What Future For The Liberal Democrats? (2010); Crime, Punishment & The People; Project Blueprint; The Leadership Factor (2011); Degrees of Separation; The Armed Forces & Society; Blue Collar Tories; Project Red Alert; They're Thinking What We're Thinking: Understanding The UKIP Temptation (2012); What Are The Liberal Democrats For?; Marginal Territory; Are You Serious: Boris, The Tories And The Voters; Small Island: Public Opinion And The Politics Of Immigration (2013); and Cameron's Caledonian Conundrum (2013); Europe On Trial (2014); and The People, The Parties And The NHS (2015).
- Full details of Lord Ashcroft's polling and commentary can be found at LordAshcroftPolls.com, where you can sign up for news alerts. You can also follow him on Twitter: @LordAshcroft.