Labour faces constituency annihilation at Holyrood

Labour could be in for a shock at the next Holyrood election. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Labour could be in for a shock at the next Holyrood election. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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LABOUR is facing a constituency wipeout in Edinburgh and across Scotland at next year’s Holyrood elections, according to the latest poll.

The party would lose all its current first-past-the-post seats and see its numbers cut from 37 to just 24, all of them elected from the regional top-up lists.

The Survation survey found support for the SNP had increased again since the party’s landslide general election victory in Scotland, although backing for independence remained in the minority.

The poll showed the Nationalists on 56 per cent in the constituency vote for next year’s Scottish Parliament election, up from the 45 per cent it won in the last Holyrood vote in 2011. Labour was at 20 per with the Tories on 14 per cent and the Liberal Democrats seven.

For the list vote, the figures were: SNP 45 per cent; Labour 19; Conservatives 12; Greens 11; Lib Dems eight and Ukip five.

According to an analysis of the figures, the SNP would win 71 Holyrood seats. Labour would have 24, the Tories 14, Greens 12, Lib Dems seven and Ukip one.

The poll found support for independence at 43 per cent, with 47 per cent opposed and ten per cent undecided.

SNP business convener Derek Mackay hailed the party’s “extraordinary positive ratings after eight years in government”. But he said: “We take absolutely nothing for granted, and will work hard every day between now and next year’s Holyrood election to retain the trust of people right across Scotland.”

The Greens hope to win seats in every region and believe they could take two on the Lothian list. Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone said: “With our surging, enthusiastic membership and great candidates in place, we are determined to deliver our best ever result at Holyrood.

“Polling isn’t a prediction but given the consistent numbers we’re seeing, there’s a clear opportunity to elect many more Green MSPs.”

Edinburgh’s only Labour constituency MSP, Malcolm Chisholm, is standing down next year. If the poll is right, city transport leader Lesley Hinds, the candidate chosen to succeed him in his Edinburgh Northern and Leith seat, would lose to the SNP.

Two sitting SNP MSPs, Kenny MacAskill and Marco Biagi, are also quitting at next May’s election. But on the basis of the survey, the SNP would have no trouble holding their seats.

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com