Analysis of opinion polling this week has provided the latest indication of the strong growth in support for the SNP ahead of next year’s Westminster election.
The combined level of support for the SNP recorded in the Scottish sub-samples of daily opinion polls by YouGov this week for the UK General Election has the nationalists on 38.6 per cent, compared to support for Labour at 29.3 per cent.
The polling boost coincides with news that membership of the party has rocketed by 45,000 members since the referendum – from some 25,000 members to 70,000.
The SNP has now overtaken the Lib Dems as the third biggest political party in the UK and its membership is now greater than the three Unionist parties in Scotland combined.
Meanwhile, a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday last week put support for the SNP at the next Holyrood election at 49 per cent – an incredible four points up on 2011.
Commenting, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay said:
“This analysis of voting intentions for the next Westminster election is another indication of the rising support the SNP is attracting across Scotland.
He added: “It is the latest warning sign for Labour who find themselves in an increasingly precarious position in Scotland after their referendum alliance with the Tories.
“It is clear from the surge in support we have seen that people across Scotland are putting their trust in the SNP to stand up for Scotland’s interests – and to hold the Westminster parties to their vow of extensive new powers for Scotland.”
News of the surge in popular support for the SNP is in stark contrast to the situation facing their British Labour party rivals after the independence referendum showed voters in Labour’s traditional heartlands opposing the party’s anti-independence stance.
The past few days have witnessed in-fighting amongst Labour’s Scottish group, with reports that MP Jim Murphy was seeking to replace the party’s beleagured leader in Scotland. However Johann Lamont has hit back denying she was planning to step down and insisting she would be fighting the next Scottish election.
The British Labour party is also coming under pressure to increase its devolution proposals of more powers following a no vote. Many observers have suggested Labour could face a backlash in Scotland if a pre-referendum vow, made by former party leader Gordon Brown, to grant Home Rule is not honoured.
Average of YouGov Westminster voting intentions for the week 18th to 25th September 2014 – weighted sample of 872 respondents from Scotland.
SNP – 38.6%
Lab – 29.3%
Con – 18.1%
Lib Dem – 5.2%
UKIP – 2.6%
Green – 4.6%
Other – 1.5%
Telephone poll of 871 Scottish adults by Survation carried out on Friday 19 September.
2016 Scottish Parliament voting intention: (changes on 2011 election)
Conservative – 13% (-1)
Labour – 33% (+1)
Lib Dem – 3% (-5)
SNP – 49% (+4)
Another Party – 1% (nc)