Corbyn: 'Confident' of Scottish election gains

21 August 2018, 15:54

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has said he is "very confident" of gaining Scottish seats in the next general election despite a recent polling slump north of the border.

The Labour leader is on a four-day campaigning visit to Scotland as part of efforts to rebuild momentum following the 2017 snap ballot.

The party gained six seats in Scotland after plummeting to just one Scottish MP in 2015, securing 27% of the vote.

However, recent opinion polls show Scottish Labour has slipped back to around 23%, in third place behind the Tories and the SNP.

The party has said gains in Scotland are key to winning the next Westminster election and is targeting a number of SNP-held constituencies where swings of less than 1% would be required to win.

The seats include Glasgow East, Airdrie and Shotts, Lanark and Hamilton East, Motherwell and Wishaw, Inverclyde and Dunfermline and West Fife.

Speaking as he met with Labour candidates in New Lanark, Lanarkshire, Mr Corbyn said: "It's very important to win in all parts of the UK.

"We want to gain seats in Scotland, we gained some in the general election, we want to gain a lot more.

"We're very confident that we're getting more and more support, more and more members being very active in the party and lots of campaigning going on.

"We're very confident that we can gain seats and we can help to deliver a Labour government through Labour gains in Scotland."

Mr Corbyn's tour began on Monday with a visit to a bus firm in Falkirk where he faced questions over the ongoing row over anti-Semitism, followed by an appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where he said he believes the party is facing greater hostility from the media "than we've probably ever had before".

He is also scheduled to visit Glasgow and make an appearance at the Edinburgh Television Festival.