If Murphy loses his seat, will he resign as Scottish Labour leader?

Jim Murphy - Labour Party conference

The latest Ashcroft poll suggests that Jim Murphy could lose his seat by nine points. If he loses will he resign?

Polling of his seat in February (East Renfrewshire) suggested that the Scottish Labour leader was clinging on by his fingernails as the data gave him a one point lead. However, new polling, conducted this April, puts the SNP a clear nine points ahead.

Such results, if repeated on election day, would see Jim Murphy lose his Westminster seat. Furthermore, it would be a bitter blow to Scottish Labour and Labour as a whole.

But in the event that Murphy loses his seat - and by such a wide margin - will he resign?

On one hand, the Scottish Labour party has failed to stop the SNP surge. Even as recently as February it was reported by the Daily Record that Murphy had said that his party would get more seats than the SNP come May. With the election just over two weeks away this looks rather unlikely. Furthermore, if the SNP were to dominate Scotland’s parliamentary landscape after the election, this combined combined with Murphy losing his seat would suggest that Murphy has failed to combat the SNP threat and that he should resign.

SEE ALSO: SNP surge: Jim Murphy hanging on by his fingernails

Then again it is likely that when Murphy became Labour leader he had all the intentions of playing the long game. Of course he might not have anticipated losing his own Westminster seat, but perhaps he sees next May as being the real challenge.

May 2016 is when the Scottish parliamentary election is being held. After a Labour defeat in May they will have a whole year to rebuild and prepare for next May. Perhaps Murphy is playing the long game.

Right now we cannot be so sure what will happen. If Murphy loses his seat there will no doubt be calls for him to go, but if he is determined that May 2016 is the real battle and that his party have a chance then it is hard to see him giving up so soon.

See the full results of the Ashcroft polls here.

SEE ALSO:

 Lib Dems preferred over SNP or UKIP to hold the balance of power

Ashcroft polls: SNP extend lead in key seats

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