Kezia Dugdale’s approval rating drops as Scottish Labour looks set to lose second place to Scottish Conservatives

Written by Jenni Davidson on 27 April 2016 in News

The Scottish Conservatives look set to take second place at Holyrood from Labour according to a new opinion poll

Kezia Dugdale’s approval rating has plummeted 16 per cent in the space of two months as the Scottish Conservatives look set to replace Labour as the second largest party at Holyrood, according to a new poll.

Dugdale, who launched Labour’s manifesto for the Holyrood election this morning, is the only Scottish party leader to have a negative approval rating, according to an opinion poll conducted by Ipsos MORI for STV News.

Labour retains a narrow lead over the Tories on the constituency vote among those who are likely to vote, however it has been overtaken by Ruth Davidson’s party on the list.

If the poll plays out on 5 May then the Scottish Conservatives will pick up 23 seats at Holyrood – up eight on 2011 – while Labour will only manage 20, down 17 on the last election.

The Scottish Greens would go from two Holyrood seats to nine, the Lib Dems would go up one to six, and the SNP would claim two more seats to end up with 71 MSPs.


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Just 33 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with Dugdale’s performance as Scottish Labour leader while 44 per cent were dissatisfied, leaving her with an approval rating of -11 with just over a week to go to the election.

This contrasts with the other Scottish party leaders who all have a positive or neutral approval rating. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has a rating of +36, a drop of three per cent since February, while Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie is on +23.

Tory leader Ruth Davidson is on +15 with Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie seeing an equal number of respondents satisfied and dissatisfied with his performance.

Davidson’s approval rating has gone up by seven per cent since February, while Harvie’s and Rennie’s have each risen by four per cent.

According to the poll, Labour retains a small lead over the Conservatives in the constituency vote with 20 per cent of the vote share to the Tories’ 17 per cent.

However, this drops to 19 per cent and 18 per cent respectively among those who said they were likely to vote on 5 May.

In the regional list the poll reports Labour neck-and-neck with the Conservatives, both on 18 per cent, but dropping to 17 per cent for Labour and 19 per cent for the Tories among those who said they were likely to vote on the day.

The SNP is predicted to maintain a clear lead with 52 per cent in the constituencies and 46 per cent in the regional lists overall, or 51 per cent and 45 per cent respectively among those who intended to vote.

The latest poll also shows widespread approval for the SNP’s record in government, particularly on the economy. Fifty-six per cent of respondents said the last Scottish Government did a good job of managing the economy.

The poll has the SNP far ahead of Labour or the Conservatives on questions such as understanding the problems facing Scotland, having the best policies for the whole country being the most clear united about its policies and having the best team of leaders.

The SNP also had the strongest results for the statement ‘I know what the party stands for these days’ with 80 per cent, followed by the Conservatives on 63 per cent and UKIP on 58 per cent.

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