YouGov chief: SNP ‘could get 26 Westminster seats’

Nicola Sturgeon will take control of a party which has seen a surge in membership. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Nicola Sturgeon will take control of a party which has seen a surge in membership. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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THE SNP could gain another 20 Scottish seats at the UK General Election next year, according to the president of public opinion polling firm YouGov.

Writing on the firm’s website, Peter Kellner says the SNP is facing a huge boost at the Westminster elections, possibly reaching 26 seats - more than half of the 59 constituencies north of the border at Labour’s expense.

He said Labour has “big problems” in Scotland after failing to convince many of their traditional supporters to vote against independence.

A recent surge in membership saw the SNP overtake the Lib Dems to become the third biggest party in Britain, surging to 70,000 up from around just 25,000 in about a week.

Peter Kellner wrote: “In 2010, Labour won 41 seats in Scotland with 42% of the vote, while the SNP won six with just 20%.

“In the 2011 Holyrood elections, the SNP outpolled Labour by 45% to 32%; in this year’s European Parliament elections, the SNP outpolled Labour by 29-26%.

“In this month’s referendum, Labour failed to persuade hundreds of thousands of its traditional supporters to vote against independence.

“Plainly Labour has big problems north of the border. Parity in votes between SNP and Labour next May now looks perfectly possible. This could give the SNP up to 20 more seats, mainly at Labour’s expense.”

The UK General Election is set to be held on 7 May next year.