The latest opinion poll for the Scottish Parliamentary elections is good news for Labour. 10 points ahead of the SNP in the constituency vote, and 4 points ahead on the regional list vote. Our constituency vote is up 9 points since 2007, whilst everyone elses are down – the SNP by 2%, Tories by 3% and the Lib Dems by 5%. In terms of overall seats this poll puts Labour on 58, SNP on 43, Tories on 13, Lib Dems on 12 and Greens on 3.
Now we are still 5 months out from the election in May, and much can happen in that time. However, some trends can be ascertained from it and other recent Scottish polls. The SNP have not been hit too much by their record at Holyrood, and Labour must concentrate on pointing this out, and highlighting what we will do differently. The Coalition parties have been hit slightly, with the Liberal Democrats faring worse than their partners.
Now, I will be the first to admit that extrapolating the results of a national poll to local results is hazardous (at best!), but I was intrigued to see where this surge in labour support would play out locally. Taking as a starting point the notional 2007 results for the new seat, and applying the vote changes give us a surprising result.
Now, we still see the seat being SNP, albeit with a slightly reduced majority of 4,498. However, the opinion poll catapaults Labour into second place from 4th, with 5,277 votes, ahead of the tories down to 3rd on 4,574, and the Lib Dems now in 4th on 3,714.
As I’ve said in a previous post I thought we had a good chance to come second here. This opinion poll bears that out – a good result here is within our grasp. There is still all to play for in this seat, and even a victory cannot be ruled out.