SNP in freefall as new poll indicates party set for crushing election losses
Published: 24/05/2023- 11:26
Updated: 24/05/2023- 11:27
The SNP faces huge losses at the next general election as a new poll shows it is on course to lose 21 seats.
Pollsters at YouGov said recent events in Scotland had taken a "serious toll" on the party which could see some high-profile MPs voted out.
Among them are SNP deputy leader in Westminster Mhairi Black, former leadership contender Alison Thewliss and long-serving MP Angus MacNeil.
The poll was carried out after Humza Yousaf became SNP leader and after the home of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was searched as part of an investigation into the party's finances.
Pollsters at YouGov said recent events in Scotland had taken a 'serious toll' on the party including a probe into Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP finances
The forecast for each constituency is based on a survey of 3,500 voters across Scotland.
YouGov predicts that the SNP would lose 23 seats to Labour, but could take back two from the Tories, including the Moray constituency of Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.
The poll also suggested Labour would take the constituency of Margaret Ferrier, the nationalist MP who is facing a 30-day suspension from the Commons for breaking Covid rules.
Patrick English, associate director of political and social research at YouGov, said: "The results show the SNP have some serious cause for concern, but will provide strong encouragement to Labour as they look ahead to the next general election.
"Making significant gains in Scotland could be crucial to [Labour leader] Keir Starmer's chances of heading into No 10 with a parliamentary majority next year, and these figures suggest his party is now making strong progress north of the Border.
"That, plus the prospect of losing their own Scottish leader's seat, will no doubt worry the Conservatives."
According to the research, the SNP would fall from 48 seats to 27, Labour would surge from one seat in Scotland to 24, while the Tories would drop from six seats to four and the Liberal Democrats would retain their four seats.
YouGov said its findings suggest that recent bad news stories for the SNP, "including accusations of party mismanagement and potential criminal cases being brought against senior officials, have taken a serious toll".
YouGov predicts that the SNP would lose 23 seats to Labour, but could take back two from the Tories, including the Moray constituency of Scottish leader Douglas Ross
A Tory spokesman said: "It's clear voters are increasingly turned off by the scandal and civil war engulfing the SNP and their obsession with independence over the real priorities of the Scottish people.'
Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray added: "Scotland is ready for change and it falls to Scottish Labour to deliver it.
"The people of Scotland are sick and tired of Tory and SNP sleaze and failure. Scotland needs a fresh start with a majority Labour government.
"Under Anas Sarwar's leadership Scottish Labour will continue to earn back the public's trust so we can deliver the change Scotland needs."