Disbelief as poll suggests Iain Gray on course to be First Minister

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There was bewilderment amongst many Scots as a newly published poll suggested Labour under Iain Gray could topple the SNP at the next Scottish parliamentary elections….

There was bewilderment amongst many Scots as a newly published poll suggested Labour under Iain Gray could topple the SNP at the next Scottish parliamentary elections.

The poll, the first since the general election, was carried out by TNS-BMRB and surveyed 1,012 adults.  It puts Labour out in front in the constituency vote with 45%, well ahead of the SNP who are back on 29%.  The figures for the list vote are 41% and 28% respectively.

If the figures carried through to May next year then Iain Gray would replace Alex Salmond as First Minister with Jackie Baillie taking over from Nicola Sturgeon – we would also have Andy Kerr controlling finance replacing John Swinney and Richard Baker would take over from Kenny MacAskill on justice.

The poll will undoubtedly reflect the massive media coverage enjoyed by Labour in the recent general election campaign and the reluctance of the Scottish media to scrutinise Iain Gray’s party cannot be dismissed lightly.  Similarly, headlines such as ‘SNP Government abandons poor’ in today’s Scotsman show no signs of relenting and the SNP can only hope that the Scottish political debate and coverage improves and matures as we near May 2011.

The poll showing Labour in front sits uncomfortably alongside another poll carried out by the Scottish Fire Brigade Union that indicated strong support for independence.  Unfortunately, that particular poll hasn’t received anywhere like the same media coverage.