Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy set to lose seat

Jim Murphy launches Labour's Scottish manifesto. Picture: John Devlin
Jim Murphy launches Labour's Scottish manifesto. Picture: John Devlin
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SCOTTISH Labour leader Jim Murphy is set to lose his seat in the general election, according to a new poll in his 
constituency.

The latest series of individual constituency surveys by Lord Ashcroft shows the SNP beating Mr Murphy in East Renfrewshire by nine points – a dramatic change since February when a similar poll showed Labour one point ahead.

The poll showed shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander 11 points behind the SNP in his Paisley seat and former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy trailing the Nationalists by 15 points.

The Tories’ sole Scottish MP, David Mundell, would also lose his seat, but the Conservatives would win a seat from the Liberal Democrat former Scottish secretary Michael Moore.

The polls came just hours after Mr Murphy launched Labour’s Scottish manifesto, predicting the closest election in his lifetime.

He said: “The votes we cast in Scotland will make a difference in deciding who governs the UK.”

But he added Labour was fighting to beat David Cameron at the ballot box rather than deal with a “shoddy backroom deal” with the SNP.

The night before, Nicola Sturgeon told Ed Miliband he would not be forgiven if he refused to work with the SNP in a hung parliament to keep David Cameron out of Downing Street.

But Mr Murphy said: “Most Scots haven’t forgotten that they [the SNP] brought down a previous Labour government.

“And most Scots will never forgive them if they prevent this Labour government from being elected.”

Labour revealed a number of new policies in the manifesto, including plans to recruit 500 more GPs for the NHS in Scotland in addition to the 1000 extra nurses already promised, paid for with the £1 billion the party says would come to Scotland from the mansion tax on properties worth £2 million and above.

Scottish Labour would 
create a £200m fund to help cancer patients, and put the same amount into a new fund for improving mental health treatment, Mr Murphy announced.

He also proposed 100 new breakfast clubs for children in the poorest parts of Scotland and pledged jobs for older Scots who are long-term 
unemployed.

And he hit out at the SNP, saying: “Nationalism did not create the NHS or a welfare state. Nationalism did not establish the rights of working people. Nationalism did not transform the housing conditions of Scotland’s cities.

“All of that was done by Labour governments and, more often than not, it was opposed by the Scottish Nationalists who now seek to steal these clothes.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but flattery will get Scotland nowhere if we end up with a Tory government.”