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by Louise Wilson
07 April 2021
SNP remain on course for election victory despite drop in regional support


SNP remain on course for election victory despite drop in regional support

The emergence of the Alba Party has put more of a focus on tactical voting but not necessarily for the party’s gain, a new poll has found.

The Ipsos MORI poll suggests the SNP remains on track to winning the most seats, but the number of people saying they will back it in the regional vote has dropped nine percentage points since mid-February.

Around three per cent of voters said they would back Alba on the list, but 12 per cent have said they will now support the Scottish Greens – up four points since its last poll.

Independence was the key issue for many voters, with almost half of respondents mentioning it as the reason behind their voting intention.

Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said: “Independence remains the top issue for Scotland’s voters and an independence ‘supermajority’ at Holyrood looks within the realms of possibility.

“However, our poll indicates that this may come from an uplift in support for the Scottish Greens on the regional vote rather than for the Alba Party.

“The Alba Party’s main impact to date may have been to remind pro-independence voters of how to use their regional vote tactically.”

For constituency votes, more than half (53 per cent) of people said they intend to back the SNP, while only two per cent support the Greens. Alba is not standing in any constituency battle.

Meanwhile, support for Scottish Labour is increasing with both constituency (18 per cent) and regional (18 per cent) on the up.

It coincides with a favourable view of new leader Anas Sarwar, who has a net approval rating of 26 per cent (46 per cent are satisfied with him compared to 20 per cent who are dissatisfied).

The Scottish Conservatives have seen a slight drop in support, going down to 20 per cent in the constituency vote and 21 per cent in the regional vote. The party’s leader Douglas Ross has a net approval rating of -23 per cent.

Nicola Sturgeon remains the most popular party leader in Scotland with a net approval of 29 per cent.

Alex Salmond on the other hand is the least popular leader, with a net satisfaction rating of -55 per cent. This puts him even lower than Boris Johnson.

The poll was conducted between 29 March – 4 April, involving 1,038 people.

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