A new opinion poll conducted by Progressive Scottish Opinion confirms that the SNP has opened up a large lead over Labour in voter intentions for the election on Thursday.
Compared to a similar survey conducted by the same organisation last month (in brackets) the polll shows a dramatic turnaround in the Scottish electorate’s voting intentions over the course of the campaign. In the constituency vote the SNP leads Labour by 45% (+8) to 35% (-8) with the Conservative on 10% (-1%) and the Lib Dems on 6% (+1). In the regional list vote the SNP are on 41% (+4) with Labour on 36% (-8), the Conservatives record 8% (-3) with the Lib Dems on 5% (+1) behind the Greens who are on 6% (+1).
In terms of the composition of the Scottish Parliament, these figures would see the SNP have 62 MSPs, Labour the principle opposition with 51, the Conservative 8, the Liberals 5, and the Greens 3.
The significance of such an outcome is that pro-independence MSPs in Holyrood would form a majority and so there would undoubtedly be an independence referendum sometime in the next parliament.
With only days to go the poll is another nail in the coffin of Iain Gray’s campaign to become First Minister and a resounding endorsement of Alex Salmond’s completed first term. Although this is simply an opinion poll and last minute swings are common in elections, no-one would have predicted such a lead for the SNP going into the last week of the campaign.
The SNP’s campaign has been positive and effective while Labour’s has been negative and lacked organisation and vision. This is reflected in the endorsement of the SNP by an array of newspapers which are not normally allies of the party such as The Sun and today by the Scotland on Sunday newspaper.
Another poll out today by YouGov also shows that SNP well ahead of Labour. On the constituency vote (compared to a previous poll by the same organisation conducted from 15-18 March in brackets) the results are as follows: SNP: 42% (+4), Lab: 34% (-7), Con: 12% (+2), Lib: 7% (+1). On the list vote the findings are as follows: SNP: 35% (+3), Lab: 33% (-6), Con: 12% (+1), Lib: 6% (n/c), Gre: 7% (+2).
Not surprisingly, the SNP are delighted with these poll findings. Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“These are excellent polls as we enter the final days of the campaign. They will motivate every potential supporter to vote SNP in both the constituency and list votes on Thursday to ensure Scotland re-elects the Scottish Government and Alex Salmond for First Minister – so that vital measures such as the Council Tax freeze, record apprentice numbers, and protection of the health budget are secured.
“Last month, at the start of the campaign, the same polls gave Labour a clear lead on the constituency and list votes – the SNP have since moved ahead because of our positive campaign. We are taking nothing for granted, and will work harder than ever before to win the trust of the people for our record, team and vision for Scotland.
“The stronger the SNP vote, the more progress can be achieved for Scotland. Labour’s campaign is unremittingly negative, which is why it is failing. Positive versus negative, optimism versus pessimism, are what is motivating and encouraging people in this election.”