Crisis for Unionist parties as poll reveals more than half of Scots support SNP


By a Newsnet reporter 
Results of a newly published survey reveal that support for the SNP has risen to an all time high.
The poll, carried out by Ipsos Mori, shows that support for Alex Salmond’s party is now greater than at any time and is more than all other parties put together.

Published on Friday, it shows that, of those certain to vote, 51% would cast their vote for the SNP which is a rise of two points since the last Ipsos Mori monitor in August and a six point rise on their historic Holyrood victory in May.

The poll results will be a worry for opposition parties with support for Labour falling by two points to 26% and both the Tories and the Lib Dems unable to make any impact despite new leaders, both remaining more or less static at 12% and 8% respectively.

Alex Salmond’s personal approval rating of 62% is far higher than any of the opposition leaders. 

The poll suggested that new Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie faces recognition problems with 52% of people unable to give an opinion on his performance.

New Tory leader Ruth Davidson faced similar recognition problems with 57% of people unable to give a view, but with Davidson barely a month into the role this will be less worrying than for the Lib Dem front man.

With the Scottish Labour leadership contest still ongoing there were no comparative figures available for the Labour leader.  However whoever emerges victorious faces a challenge with 41% of Labour voters saying they approve of Alex Salmond.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the poll calling it “sensational”.

Ms Sturgeon, fresh from her impressive handling of the gale force winds that battered Scotland on Thursday said:  “We are moving into new territory and six points up from the 45% of Scottish voters who backed the SNP at the election.

“The SNP now have more support than all the other parties added together.

“Our support and momentum is continuing to climb as we keep moving Scotland forward by delivering our ambitious programme for government.

“The SNP now has the support of over half the electorate, and there is growing support for Scotland having the full range of job-creating powers we need to boost jobs and recovery, protecting the NHS front line services and becoming an equal and independent country.

“The First Minister’s approval rating has soared to 62% of voters saying they are satisfied with the way he is doing his job – more than three times ahead of any of the other party leaders.”

These latest poll results will be worrying for the opposition parties as, despite a hostile media, the popularity of the SNP continues unabated with the two new opposition leaders struggling to be recognised by voters and unable to dent Salmond’s popular appeal.

The choice of Labour leader begins to take on a new urgency but many political commentators have questioned whether any of the candidates has the political presence to take on Salmond and lead the fight to save the Union.