Scottish Labour Support Drops In Poll

Labour's new leadership team has so far failed to increase support for the party in Scotland, a new poll has suggested.

Research by TNS found that Nicola Sturgeon's SNP had more than double the support of Labour in Scotland.

With seven months to go until the Holyrood elections, 56% of people questioned said they would back the SNP in the constituency section of the vote, putting the nationalists 35 points ahead of Labour, who are on 21%.

The polling, in which 1,037 people aged 16 and over were questioned, was carried out after Kezia Dugdale was elected new Scottish Labour leader, with the polling firm saying almost all the interviews were done after Jeremy Corbyn was chosen to lead the party across the UK.

Support for both the SNP and Labour was down by two points on the previous month, with Conservative support in the constituency ballot unchanged at 12% while backing for the Liberal Democrats was up one point to 6%.

In the regional section of the ballot, the SNP had the support of just over half (52%) of those questioned, ahead of Labour on 23%, the Tories on 11%, the Liberal Democrats on 6% and the Scottish Greens on 5%.

Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: "People are still getting to know the new Labour leaders and what they stand for, so it's not surprising there has been little immediate impact on voting intentions.

"One crumb of comfort for Labour may be that the overwhelmingly negative media commentary on Corbyn's election appears not to have affected the party's Scottish support, though the poll was carried out before his recent statement that he would never authorise the use of the UK's nuclear deterrent if he became prime minister.

"Neither did the poll show signs of the reported Labour revival among younger voters: the party's support in Scotland among the 16-34 age group was only 13%, down four points on the previous month and a fifth of the SNP's support in this age group (68%).''

With an in-out referendum on the UK's future in the European Union (EU) to take place before the end of 2017, the poll found almost half (47%) of Scots questioned want the country to remain part of the EU while 18% support leaving. Almost a third (29%) are undecided, with 5% saying they would not be voting in the ballot.

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