Support Rising For Tories In Scotland

23 April 2017, 09:05 | Updated: 23 April 2017, 11:21

Ruth Davidson Scottish Conservative leader

A third of Scottish voters are backing the Tories, according to fresh polling conducted after Theresa May called a snap election.

The Panelbase survey, commissioned by The Sunday Times Scotland, shows 33% backing Ruth Davidson's party in general election voting intentions, suggesting it could be on course to win a clutch of new seats in Scotland in June.

The Tories, who are campaigning on a message of opposing the SNP's bid for a second independence referendum, currently have one Scottish MP - David Mundell.

Support for the party is up on the 2015 general election result, where they took almost 15% of the vote, and up from 28% in a previous Panelbase poll conducted in March.

The new poll also shows the SNP on 44%, down from 47% in last month's poll and from almost 50% in the 2015 election.

The party won 56 out of 59 Scottish seats in 2015 and is still on course to take home a majority on June 8.

Support for Labour has dropped to 13% from 14% last month and just over 24% in 2015. With only one MP, Ian Murray, the party faces a battle to maintain a Scottish presence at Westminster.

Among the other parties, the Lib Dems are backed by 5% of voters, up one percentage point from March, while Ukip and the Greens are supported by 2% of voters each, both down from 3%.

Panelbase polled 1,029 voters between April 18 and 21.

A second poll by Survation, commissioned by the Sunday Post, found support for the SNP at 43%, with the Tories on 28%.

Scottish Labour lag behind with just under 18% while the Lib Dems recorded almost 9%.

The pollster also asked respondents about independence, with 53% saying they would vote No in a referendum and 47% backing Yes, when those who are undecided are excluded.

Survation asked whether, in the event of another Conservative majority government, voters would be more or less likely to support independence.

A total of 37.9% said such a result would make them more likely, 15.5% less likely, 39.8% no more or less and 6.7% were not sure.

The survey of 1,018 people was also conducted between April 18 and 21.

SNP business convener Derek Mackay said: "The SNP will give Scotland a strong voice against austerity, blind pursuit of a rock-hard Brexit and a complete disregard for Scotland's interests.

"The more Tory MPs there are in Scotland, the heavier the price we will all pay, with pensioners now in the Tories' sights.

"The Tories think they can do what they want to Scotland and get away with it. We won't let them. ''

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: "The polls today make one thing clear. Only the Scottish Conservatives have the strength and support to take on the SNP.

"We take nothing for granted and we will now be working even harder running up to June 8 to challenge the SNP in every community in Scotland.''