Ashcroft polls: SNP extend lead in key seats

Nicola Sturgeon signing nomination form 2

The latest batch of Ashcroft constituency polls in Scotland indicate that the SNP will make gains from key figures in Labour and the Lib Dems.

Ashcroft surveyed eight constituencies: three Labour, four Lib Dem, and one Conservative. The Labour seats, as well as Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Lib Dems) and Scotland’s only Conservative seat were also polled by Ashcroft in February.

Out of the three Labour seats, the February data suggested that the SNP were to make two gains (Glasgow South West and Paisley and Renfrewshire South). The data suggested SNP leads of three and eight points respectively. However, the new data illustrates a further surge in support for the SNP with the new leads being twenty-one and eleven points respectively. This suggests that the SNP could be set to make large gains from Labour in May, with massive leads.

The polling in February suggested that in the seat of East Renfrewshire, held by Labour, Labour had a one point lead, but the April data suggests that the SNP now have a lead of 9%.

As for the Liberal Democrat seats, the polling suggests that the SNP could be set to take East Dumbartonshire, North East Fife and Ross, Skye and Lochaber, with leads of eleven, thirteen and fifteen respectively. The last of those three seats is currently held by Charles Kennedy. An SNP victory there would be a blow to Nick Clegg’s party.

SEE ALSO: Danny Alexander set to lose seat to SNP, suggests Ashcroft poll

As for the fourth Lib Dem seat, the polling suggests something quite interesting: that the seat could go to the Conservatives. Ashcroft’s poll gives the Conservatives a one point lead (30%) over the SNP (29%) and the Liberal Democrats (28%), suggesting a three way battle in Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk.

The final seat polled was the Conservative’s only Scottish seat: Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale. The polling suggests a two way fight between the Conservatives on 34% and the SNP on 36%.

If these results were all repeated on polling day the Liberal Democrats’ Charles Kennedy and Jo Swinson, as well as Labour’s Douglas Alexander, would be among key figures to lose their seats.

The polling suggests that the SNP are set to make large gains in Scotland. They face a few tough battles, but overall it looks as if in many cases they could win by double digit margins. Something remarkable is going on in Scotland in terms of the political landscape, a change that in the event of a hung parliament could be crucial in determining the future of the UK, somewhat ironic for a party so determined to break up it up.

With less than three weeks until the election, it's hard to imagine Labour turning this around.

The full results of the polls can be accessed here.

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