Labour could end SNP dominance by taking most seats in Scotland – poll

Scottish Labour could counter a decade of SNP dominance in Scotland at the General Election by taking the most seats, a poll suggests.

A survey by Survation for True North spoke to 1,026 people aged 16 and over between May 23 and Monday.

Labour was the choice of 36% of respondents, while 32% backed the SNP.

While support for the Tories in the General Election remained around 17% and the Lib Dems were on 9%.

John Curtice
Professor Sir John Curtice analysed the poll (Strathclyde University/PA)

If the poll was replicated on July 4 – according to polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice, of the University of Strathclyde – Labour would come just shy of a majority of seats on 28 out of 57, up from the single constituency won in 2019.

But the SNP would plummet to just 16 compared to the 48 won five years ago.

The Tories would increase their tally from six MPs to eight and the Lib Dems would gain one, rising to five.

Responding to the poll, Sir John said: “The party’s support for Westminster is as much as four points down on the beginning of the year.

“Fewer than two in three of those who would vote Yes in an independence referendum are currently minded to vote for the party.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers a speech to supporters, members and local people during his visit to Lancing in West Sussex, while on the General Election campaign trail
Personal approval ratings of political leaders also showed Sir Keir Starmer to be the most popular among respondents (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“As a result, Labour now have a clear lead in Westminster vote intentions for the first time since the 2014 independence referendum.

“As the General Election campaign gets under way, the SNP face the prospect of severe losses at the beginning of July, and thus the possible loss of its coveted status as the third largest party at Westminster.

“The party badly needs to try and persuade Yes supporters to return to the party fold.”

True North managing partner – and former SNP head of communications – Fergus Mutch said it was “Labour’s election to lose”, adding that Labour’s momentum would require a “powerful response” to counter.

The poll also looked at voting intentions for Holyrood, with just under two years to go before the 2026 election.

Labour would again streak past the SNP, if the poll were to be replicated, winning 48 seats to the SNP’s 42.

The Tories would drop to 17, while the Lib Dems would return 13 MSPs and the Greens would win 9.

Personal approval ratings of political leaders also showed Sir Keir Starmer to be the most popular among respondents, sitting on a 3% net approval rating compared to -38% for Rishi Sunak.

First Minister John Swinney – who took over the reins of the SNP just weeks ago – was on -7%, just behind Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar on -3%

Support for independence also replicated that of the 2014 referendum, with 45% of decided voters backing separation and 55% in favour of staying in the UK.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “We need to get rid of the Tory Government. The way to do that in Scotland is to vote SNP because we are the main challengers in every Tory held seat.

“Austerity, Brexit and the cost of living crisis – all imposed on Scotland by Westminster – have pushed up household costs, hit the economy hard and cut the money available to spend on the NHS.

“At this election, vote SNP to put the interests of Scotland first.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Dame Jackie Baillie said the poll showed Scots “turning away” from John Swinney’s leadership.

“SNP top brass that have been paraded in front of the media to boast about John Swinney’s popularity have been left with egg on their face as this poll shows that both Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer are more popular than him,” she added.

“The reality is that the Scottish National Party has lost its only positive message in this campaign and is now left with only scaremongering and misinformation to try to distract from their failure.

“Scottish Labour doesn’t want to just send a message to Westminster – we want to send a government that will boost pay, cut bills, renew public services, and revive our economy.”