Figures from a newly published YouGov poll that questioned Scots on their Westminster voting intentions suggest that Labour’s recent widely reported double digit lead over the SNP has disappeared and that the SNP may have overtaken them.
The figures, taken from a Scottish subset of the YouGov UK tracker poll published on 22 March, show the SNP with a 3 point lead over Labour. The sample size is small and statistically insignificant with 168 respondents being weighted down to 136.
However recent claims by many media commentators and Labour politicians suggesting that the SNP were not a challenge to Labour were themselves based on similar statistically challenged sample sizes.
These new figures come in the wake of a YouGov admission that their polls had overestimated Labour support in Scotland and underestimated SNP support. The figures also follow the recent controversial Ipsos MORI poll that was reputed to have given the SNP a 7 point lead – that poll remained unpublished.
The poll will come as a blow to Labour and a bit of an embarrassment to Secretary of State Jim Murphy who boasted on Tuesday that Labour would: “hold on to everything we have got” in Scotland. Mr Murphy’s seat is one of those under threat and the voters of East Renfrewshire might not take kindly to being taken for granted by the Labour MP.
Mr Murphy was also recently reported to have apologised to his constituents in East Renfrewshire after his widely publicised remarks about the BNP led to them fielding a candidate in the area. He has also come under attack from several leading religious leaders over his remarks suggesting that Labour party values were similar to their own.