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by Liam Kirkaldy
10 August 2015
SNP support continues to rise ahead of 2016 Scottish Parliament election

SNP support continues to rise ahead of 2016 Scottish Parliament election

Support for the SNP has continued to rise, with 62 per cent of voters planning to back the party in their constituency vote at the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, according to the latest polling from TNS.

A survey of 1029 adults aged 16 or over in Scotland found that 62 per cent plan to vote for the SNP in the constituency section of the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, with support for Labour on 20 per cent, the Conservatives on 12 per cent and the Lib Dems down to three per cent support.

Meanwhile 54 per cent of those surveyed said they would vote SNP in the regional list, with Labour on 20 per cent, the Tories on 12 per cent, the Greens on eight and the Lib Dems on four.

Support for the SNP was even higher among 16-34 year olds, with 73 per cent of 16-34s expressing support for the party.

The poll found 15 per cent of those who voted Labour in the general election plan to switch to the SNP for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

But although the SNP is enjoying high support, views on its policy record were mixed, with less than a third describing its performance as ‘good’ in three out of four key areas.

On the party’s economic record, 25 per cent said it was doing a good job, 24 per cent said poor, while 45 per cent of people chose ‘neither’.

On health, which previous TNS polling found to be the most important issue in the eyes of voters, 34 per cent rated the SNP Government’s performance as good, 29 per cent said it was poor, and 33 per cent selected ‘neither’.

The party fared better on education, with 30 per cent rating its performance as good and 19 per cent saying it was poor, while voters were less impressed with the SNP record on crime and justice, with 23 per cent describing its performance as good, and 29 per cent saying it was poor. In both categories 40 per cent answered ‘neither’.

Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said: “This poll suggests that the opposition parties may find voters ready to listen to their alternative policies, although with Labour still engaged in leadership elections at Scottish and UK level, the SNP’s chief rival in Scotland is not yet ready to present a programme to the electorate.

“The SNP’s position may be largely due to the positive mood surrounding its strong performance in the referendum and general election. But there has been extensive media reporting of problems on devolved issues, especially in the NHS and around the new unified Police Scotland.

“The SNP now has an opportunity to build the case for its record in government before the Holyrood election campaign gets properly under way towards the end of this year.”

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