Monday, 25 March 2013

Labour Leadership Crisis as Poll Analysis Shows Lamont Would Lose Seat


The leadership of Johann Lamont has come under pressure today as a poll analysis shows that voters may punish the Labour Party in Scotland even further, following a week in which Labour parliamentarians abstained on a series of key issues - Iraq, Trident, free bus passes, and workfare.

Analysis of the weekend Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times and Real Radio - which puts SNP support higher than in the 2011 Holyrood election, and Labour lower - shows that on these figures Labour leader Johann Lamont would lose her Glasgow Pollok seat.

The same result would also see the seats of two former party leaders fall to the SNP, with Iain Gray’s East Lothian and Motherwell & Wishaw, the former seat of Jack McConnell, returning SNP MSPs. In all, the SNP would pick up an additional six constituency seats from Labour, and a further two from the Tories.

The poll will raise questions over the future of Johann Lamont’s leadership, with the party sliding further backwards two years on from their disastrous 2011 election performance, when the SNP won an overall majority within a more proportional voting system.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White said:

“This is a fantastic poll for the SNP - showing an even higher level of support than in our landslide victory in 2011, and demonstrates that we are continuing to earn the trust of the people of Scotland.

"It is also a stark rejection of the depressing negativity of the Labour Party in Scotland - under Johann Lamont's leadership, Labour have fallen back even further than they did under Iain Gray

"On these poll figures, Johann Lamont's own seat would be won by the SNP - as well as the constituencies of her two predecessors as leader.

"People have remarked on Johann Lamont's negative attitude in responding to the announcement of the independence referendum date - Labour in Scotland appears to have degenerated into nothing more than an anti-SNP and anti-independence party.

"Being joined at the hip with the Tories in the anti-independence No campaign is clearly hurting Labour - particularly with support for an independent Scotland now needing a swing of only just over 5 per cent to move ahead - and this poll warning will set alarm bells ringing throughout the party.

“The SNP will always put the interests of Scotland first, and it is a fantastic vote of confidence that so many people are continuing to place their trust in us to deliver for them and their families.”

Last week in the Scottish Parliament, Labour MSPs abstained on votes to continue the older person’s bus pass, to oppose renewing Trident, and to condemn the illegal war in Iraq which has cost tens of thousands of lives. Meanwhile, Scottish Labour MPs in Westminster abstained on a key vote on welfare legislation rather than taking a stand on the issue of workfare.

The Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times/Real Radio surveyed 885 adults in Scotland between 18-22 March and found:

Scottish Parliament Constituency vote (change on 2011 result in brackets):

SNP: 47% (+2%)
Labour: 30% (-2%)
Conservatives: 12% (-2%)
LibDems: 5% (-3%)

Using Weber Shandwick’s Scotland Votes seat calculator, this would result in Labour losing the following constituencies to the SNP:

Glasgow Pollok
Greenock & Inverclyde
East Lothian
Edinburgh North & Leith
Motherwell & Wishaw
Uddingston & Bellshill

The Tories would also lose the following seats to the SNP:

Galloway & West Dumfries
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