Polling woes for Lamont as SNP support exceeds the “No” parties combined

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   By a Newsnet reporter

Johann Lamont’s difficulties in stamping her authority on Labour in Scotland have been laid bare in the latest poll, which shows that she is at risk of losing her own Glasgow Pollok seat to the SNP in the next Holyrood elections.

According to the Sunday Times / Panelbase poll, with the SNP 18 points ahead of Labour in constituency voting intentions, and 23 points ahead in the regional vote, the SNP would gain even more seats than they achieved in the landslide of 2011 which returned a majority SNP administration.

 

The scale of the SNP’s lead is such that it now has more support than the three ‘No’ parties combined.  In the constituency vote, the SNP sits on 48% against a combined Labour/Tory/Lib Dem total of 47%.  The regional vote has the SNP on 48% against a combined Labour/Tory/Lib Dem total of 42%.

Translated into seats, the poll suggests that the SNP would return in 2016 with 71 seats – two more than in the 2011 landslide win – with Labour down four on just 33 seats.

More worryingly for the Scottish Labour leader, a detailed analysis of the poll shows that she along with former leader Iain Gray, and senior backbencher Duncan McNeil would all lose their seats to the SNP.

Ms Lamont’s leadership has been called into question on a number of occasions.  Her controversial “something for nothing” speech alienated many Labour supporters, and despite repeated requests Ms Lamont has refused to spell out her position on nuclear weapons, she remained silent on the allegations of bullying and intimidation in Glasgow Council, and more recently she has been unavailable for comment on Labour’s selection crisis in Falkirk.

Despite claims from the Labour party that Ms Lamont is head of all Labour’s elected representatives in Scotland, both at Holyrood and at Westminster, the Falkirk debacle revealed that Ms Lamont and the senior leadership of Labour in Scotland were not even allowed to read the party’s internal report into allegations of irregularities in the selection process for a replacement to the disgraced Eric Joyce MP.

A recent Cabinet reshuffle saw Ms Lamont demote several senior MSPs in favour of less experienced figures.  Former Finance Spokesman Ken Macintosh refused a demotion and was sacked from the Holyrood front bench.  The MSP revealed splits within the Holyrood group over the Scottish leader’s ‘something for nothing’ comments.

Commenting SNP MSP Sandra White said:

“This poll is a remarkable vote of confidence in the SNP – with an extraordinary 18-point poll lead more than six years into office – but it also puts the spotlight on Johann Lamont’s failure to make any positive impact as Labour leader.

“The SNP have even more support in this poll than our 2011 Holyrood victory, and Labour has gone even further backwards – to the extent that Johann Lamont would lose her own Pollok seat to the SNP, and former leader Iain Gray would lose his East Lothian seat.

“Ms Lamont was supposed to be the first leader of all of Labour in Scotland – including their MPs at Westminster – but she has been invisible during the crisis engulfing Labour in Falkirk, making it clear that Scottish Labour is still very much London-led.

“But it’s not just the Falkirk situation about which Ms Lamont has been silent – across a range of issues, from Trident to tuition fees, Ms Lamont seems unwilling or unable to tell anyone what she really thinks.

“And of course, her decision to align Labour with the Tories in the anti-independence campaign is proving to be as toxic for Labour as it has been for the Lib Dems at Westminster.

“While the SNP continue to deliver after over six years in Government – with the lowest crime in decades, 1,000 additional police officers, one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in the EU, better employment figures than the UK as a whole, free travel for the over-60s, and no tuition fees for young Scots – Johann Lamont’s lack of ambition for Scotland is becoming increasingly unsustainable for Labour.”

The poll, based on a 1,001 sample, was conducted between 17 and 24 July, with the following results:

Constituency (change on 2011 result)

SNP 48% ( +3 )
Lab 30% ( -2 )
Con 13% ( -1 )
Lib D 4% ( -4 )
Other 5% (+3)

Regional (change on 2011 result)

SNP 48% (+4)
Lab 25% (- 1)
Con 13% ( 0)
Green 6% (+2)
Lib D 4% ( -1)
Other 4% (-2)