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Scottish Labour party establish a long awaited lead over Conservatives

Chris Hopkins Political Research Director 04/05/2022

The Labour lead over the Conservatives is the largest in any poll since the end of 2015.

Scottish Labour have established a seven-point lead over the Scottish Conservatives to be the clear second party in Scotland if a Holyrood constituency vote were held tomorrow, according to a new poll from Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman.

The Conservative's poor performance in this poll is compounded by drops in favourability for its key figures. The Prime Minister's favourability rating drops seven points to -58.

The SNP remain static on 46% if a Holyrood constituency vote were held tomorrow, with Labour on 25%, and the Conservatives on 18%.

In the list vote, possibly more reflective of how the elctorate will vote at the local council elections on Thursday (5 May), the SNP drop a further three points since March to 31%, while Labour (23%) enjoy a five point lead over the Conservatives (18%).

The SNP’s list vote proportion was as high as 38% back in January, representing a sevent-point slide since the start of the year. If, however, the list vote is more reflective of a potential local council voting intention, the SNP list vote share could rebound somewhat after May.

The Greens, on 14%, equal their best vote share in a Savanta ComRes poll, while the Liberal Democrats are up two points since March to 10%.

The Conservative’s poor performance in this poll is compounded by drops in favourability for its key figures. The Prime Minister’s favourability rating drops seven points to -58 – although this should be placed in teh context of an 11-point rise in March’s poll – while Rishi Sunak’s rating drops a significant 26 points to -48. Douglas Ross’ rating drops a more modest two points to -25.

Nicola Sturgeon remains the only leader with a positive favourability rating, on +13, unchanged from March.

Elsewhere in the poll, Savanta ComRes’ first in Scotland since the Prime Minister and Chancellor received fixed penalty notices for breaching lockdown regulations, three quarters (72%) say the PM should resign, while three in five (62%) say the same of the Chancellor. However, just a quarter (23%) say Nicola Sturgeon should resign after being spoken to by police over her own rule-breaking.

And on independence, while overall voting intentions have barely shifted since the last poll, a majority of voters express doubts over whether the SNP’s planned timetable for a referendum to be held in 2023 would actually happen.

In total, half (53%) say it is “unlikely” a referendum will be held by the end of next year, while two in five (39%) say it is “likely”.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes says,

“Labour’s large lead over the Conservatives in second place of both the constituency and list Holyrood VIs are certainly eye-catching, but as with almost everything related to Labour at the moment, it feels like a lead more to do with the fortunes of the Conservatives than anything Labour are doing especially well.

“The Conservative’s Westminster fortunes have taken a battering since Partygate, but it appears that the cost of living crisis has turned Scottish voters away from the party, and with there unlikely to be any remedy to many voters’ concerns about the affordability of basic items needed to live on the horizon, it’s possible things could get worse for the Conservatives before they get better – including on Thursday in the local elections.”

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