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by John Johnston
28 November 2019
SNP on course for major general election gains, poll suggests


SNP on course for major general election gains, poll suggests

The SNP is on course for major gains in the general election as support for Labour slumps in Scotland, a new poll has revealed.

The Ipsos MORI survey for STV found support for Nicola Sturgeon's party in Scotland is at 44 per cent, seven points up from the 37 per cent of the vote they received in 2017.

The Scottish Conservatives are in second place on 26 per cent compared to 29 per cent two years ago.

Support for Labour has slumped from 27 per cent to 16 per cent while the Liberal Democrats are up 5 points to 11 per cent

According to Ipsos Mori, the figures would translate into a 13-seat boost for the Scottish National Party, taking their total to 48, while the Conservatives would see their 13 seats drop to just six.

But the analysis spells disaster for Jeremy Corbyn, who would see his seven seats in Scotland slashed to just one, and make his path to Downing Street even trickier.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats would retain their current four seats.

In a further boost for Sturgeon, a supplementary question found that support for Scottish independence is now at 50 per cent

However, only a third of voters "strongly supported" the First Minister's plans to hold a second independence referendum next year.

Responding to the results, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said it proved the general election was a "two horse race in Scotland".

He added: "Only the SNP can beat the Tories and deprive Boris Johnson of the majority he craves.

"And with support for independence now at 50 per cent it is completely unsustainable for any Westminster politician to try and block Scotland's right to choose."

Luke Graham, Conservative candidate for Ochil and South Perthshire, said: "Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold a second independence referendum next year. Not in the distant future - within the next 12 months. Yet this poll reveals just how unpopular that policy is.

"When asked to choose, more people say they strongly oppose another referendum next year that any other option. It shows that Nicola Sturgeon is completely out of touch with mainstream Scottish opinion."

Emily Gray of Ipsos MORI Scotland said the SNP had the most reason to be "pleased" by the findings.

“The party looks set to make gains at the general election and Nicola Sturgeon’s personal ratings remain the highest of any of the party leaders," she said.

“Looking beyond the election, the timing of a second independence referendum remains a difficult balancing act for Nicola Sturgeon, since more of the Scottish public oppose a second referendum being held in the next year than support it."

It comes after a major YouGov poll found the Conservatives would secure a comfortable 68 seat majority if the election was held tomorrow.

The constituency-by-constituency multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) model also concluded the SNP would make gains north of the border, but predicted a more modest increase of eight seats.

The Ipsos MORI fieldwork was carried out between 19-25 November and gained responses for 1,046 Scottish voters.

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