SNP and Greens continue to rise, despite referendum defeat

Debating Chamber Scottish Parliament

A Panelbase poll puts the SNP ahead in both Holyrood and Westminster elections in Scotland. It also puts the Scottish Greens on track to win 9 seats

The poll, conducted between the 29th September and the 1st October, has shown that despite the referendum defeat, the pro-independence parties are gaining momentum.

Additionally, since the referendum, the SNP have become the third largest party in Britain - in terms of membership. The Scottish Greens have also done well to more than triple their membership since the 18th September.

According to the poll, for the constituency vote in the Scottish Parliament, 42% would vote SNP. This would be down from the 2011 election, but still shows a considerable lead for the nationalists as only 27% of those polled said they would vote Labour.

Furthermore, 15% would vote Conservative. The Liberal Democrats and UKIP would be neck and neck on 5% each. This could lead to UKIP’s first seat in the Holyrood chamber. As for the Scottish Greens, they do not contest in constituencies in Scottish elections.

For the regional - more proportional - element of the Scottish Parliament - 37% would vote SNP and 9% would vote Green, showing confidence in the pro-independence parties despite the ‘no’ vote last month. 27% would vote Labour, 16% Conservative, 5% Lib Dem and 4% UKIP.

According to the predictions calculator on ‘ScotlandVotes.com’ this would give the following make-up for the Scottish Parliament (/129):

-SNP 61 (-8 from 2011 and just short of a majority)

-Labour 35 (-2)

-Conservatives 19 (+4)

-Greens 9 (+7)

-Lib Dem 4 (-1)

If this were to be the case in 2016, the SNP could run a minority administration, or even join with the Greens in a formal coalition agreement.

However, if that was not enough to show commitment to the cause for independence, when asked about who the respondents would vote for in a Westminster election, 34% of respondents said they would vote SNP - 2% more than Labour. Generally, Scottish opinion polls have put the SNP in front in Holyrood elections in recent years, but not in Westminster elections. However, this poll signifies a change.

Additionally, 18% would vote Tory, 6% UKIP, and 5% Liberal Democrat, in a Westminster general election.

About the SNP’s future prospects, Peter Kellner, YouGov’s President, recently wrote on the firm’s site that the party may expect up to perhaps 20 MPs next May - almost half those currently available in Scotland. Such seats would be won at Labour’s expense as the party faces ‘big problems’ north of the border.

Such an outcome could be detrimental to any chance Labour has in securing a victory in 2015 if the results are tight.

As many as a third of former Labour supporters are estimated to have voted ‘yes’ in the recent referendum, showing that many could be moving towards the SNP and - to a lesser extent - the Scottish Greens.

What this poll shows is that the SNP and the Scottish Greens, as well as the cause for independence, are far from dead. It also shows that Labour are struggling in Scotland and UKIP might even build on its European election success where the party won its first seat in Scotland this year.

In Scottish politics, so much is at stake for all the parties in the next couple of years.