Labour sinks to record polling low under Lamont


by a Newsnet reporter

New Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has dragged her party to a new poll low of 23 per cent – dramatically down on even the worst performances of her failed predecessors Iain Gray, Wendy Alexander and Jack McConnell whose lowest points were 25 per cent, 29 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

The latest poll analysis shows Johann Lamont has recorded the lowest level of party support for a Scottish Labour leader as well as the greatest ever poll deficit for the Labour party with a deficit of -26% behind the SNP.

Ms Lamont’s polling deficit dwarfs comparisons with previous Labour leaders.  Even Iain Gray managed to poll better than Ms Lamont is managing.  Shortly before the last Holyrood elections, Labour under Iain Gray was polling a defict of 18%.  Wendy Alexander’s worst rating was -14%, whereas Jack McConnell dropped to -16% a few days before he announced his resignation.

Just over one month into the job as Labour leader, Ms Lamont has failed to energise or enthuse Labour’s dwindling support base.  Voters are increasingly abandoning a Johann Lamont led Labour party which has hitched itself to the Tory-inspired anti-independence wagon and continued with negative attacks.  Support for the SNP is touching 50% whilst Labour is on a historic low of 23%.   This is 9% down on their Holyrood election result when the party polled its worst result in decades.

A Holyrood election based on these figures would result in Labour retaining just one constituency MSP.  Among the constituencies which would be won by the SNP are those of current and former Labour leaders Johann Lamont and Iain Gray.  The poll shows that there is now no such thing as a safe seat for Labour in Scotland.  

Projections from the most recent IPSOS Mori poll would give the SNP an increase of four Holyrood seats to 73, Labour would lose 8 seats.

With local elections due in 3 months time, the outlook for Labour is looking bleak.  The party is faced with the very real prospect of losing control of former bastions like Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.  This would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago, and some commentators have expressed doubt that Ms Lamont’s leadership would be able to survive such catastrophic losses.  With a marked lack of experience and talent on the party’s benches, it is difficult to see how the party could recover.

Commenting Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, said:

“Not only has Scottish Labour slumped to an all-time low of 23%, but the poll deficit under Johann Lamont is the worst of the three previous Scottish Labour leaders. Based on this poll she would even lose her own constituency, along with former leader Iain Gray.

“This is a consequence of the Labour party’s on-going negativity and support for David Cameron’s anti-independence campaign.

“As this analysis shows, support for Labour has been steadily decreasing. The party’s constant negativity and convergence on the constitution and economy is seeing Scottish voters abandoning them in their droves.

“It is not a coincidence that after Ed Miliband said he agreed ‘100%’ with the Tories on Scotland’s future the party has slumped nine points since last year’s Holyrood elections.

“But it isn’t just the Scottish Labour leader facing poll misery as Clegg, Miliband and Cameron are all in the same situation.

“The people of Scotland are saying loud and clear they do not want Westminster meddling and negativity from the anti-independence parties.

“Instead they are responding to the hard work of the SNP Government with 58% of Scots satisfied with the performance of the First Minister, getting a positive poll rating of +22.”