New poll shows SNP heading for victory

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With less than three weeks to go till the election, a YouGov poll shows that the SNP has overtaken and surged past Labour. The poll also shows that as the election campaign has progressed Alex Salmond’s leadership popularity has widened when compared to Labour’s Iain Gray.

Momentum seems to be with the SNP as the campaign progresses, with the recent findings showing an improvement in the parties fortunes compared to the findings by the same polling organisation last month (in brackets). The survey shows the SNP have hit the important 40% (n/c) mark in terms of voting intentions for the Constituency vote while Labour are 3 percentage points behind on 37% (-2), the Conservatives are static on 11% (n/c) with the Lib Dems showing some signs of revival on 8% (+3) while Other recorded 4%.

In terms of the regional List vote the campaign has seen more fluctuation in party fortunes. The SNP are on 35% (+3) with Labour trailing on 33% (-6) the Conservatives on 12% (n/c) the Lib Dem on 7% (+2) just ahead of the Greens on 6% with Other picking up 7% of the popular vote.

Based on these findings the calculation of seats which the parties would win are SNP: 55, Lab: 49, Con: 14, Lib Dem: 6 and Green: 5

Recently the Labour party was recording opinion poll leads over their SNP rivals of high as 15%. Their party strategists will be wondering how their campaign has allowed the SNP to close such a huge gap and indeed become favourites to win the election on 5th May.

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See – Election campaign: Not so magic moment

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There is no doubt that the SNP’s trump card is the popularity and omnipresence of their leader Alex Salmond. By contrast all objective observers have noted Iain Gray’s underwhelming campaign. Labour have been dogged by lack of organisation, campaign gaffes and leadership squabbles whilst the SNP have been organised, united and slick.

The YouGov poll shows that as the campaign has unfolded the Salmond-factor has been decisive in edging the SNP closer to their much coveted second term. When respondents were asked who would make the best First Minister Alex Salmond’s ratings have risen further since last month on 42% (+4) with Iain Gray on 14% (n/c), Annabel Goldie on 9% (n/c) and Tavish Scott on 3% (n/c).

As the campaign heads towards the final lap the principle contenders will vie for the undecided voters. A key factor for this category will be who they consider the most suitable candidate to lead the nation. This is perhaps where the YouGov offers more reassurance for the SNP. When asked who would make the best First Minister between the two main leaders Alex Salmond scores 52% (+4) with Iain Gray recording just 27% (-6). For Labour this finding will set alarm bells ringing as the party needed Gray to set the heather alight in order to maintain the party’s poll lead.

The YouGov poll was sampled from 13-15 April among 1,135 adults.{jcomments on}