Labour extends lead over SNP two weeks before polling day, survey suggests

Scottish Labour has extended its lead over the SNP with two weeks to go to election day, a new poll suggests.

A survey by Savanta for the Scotsman spoke to 1,069 Scots between June 14 and 18, with 38% of respondents saying they will vote Labour on July 4 – an increase of one percentage point from the last poll in late May.

Support for the SNP remained on 33%.

The Scottish Conservatives dropped two points in the latest poll to 15%, with the survey coming in the wake of Douglas Ross’s decision to stand down as party leader after July 4 following his bid to seek re-election to Westminster in place of ill colleague David Duguid.

The Liberal Democrats remain on 7%, the poll shows, while a further 7% of those questioned said they will vote for another party.

The two biggest parties also remain almost inseparable in Holyrood support, the poll suggests, with both increasing their share of the vote by one point in constituencies to 36% for the SNP and 35% for Labour.

The SNP has dropped one point and Labour remains stagnant on the regional list – putting both parties on 29%.

The Tories, meanwhile, dropped one and two points on the constituency and list vote respectively, with both settling at 16%.

Anas Sarwar and Sir Keir Starmer smiling and waving, beside Labour's 'change' signage
Pollsters said Anas Sarwar, right, and Sir Keir Starmer could be on course to oversee Labour’s return as Scotland’s largest party (PA)

The Scottish Greens increased their list vote by two points to 12%, while the Lib Dems dropped one point to 7% in constituencies but remain on 10% in the list vote.

Emma Levin, an associate director at Savanta, said the SNP appears to have ended its “downward spiral” but Labour could return as the country’s largest party on July 4 if the findings are replicated.

“Our latest Scottish voting intention suggests a stable picture, with Labour’s narrow lead in Scotland relatively unchanged since before the election campaign and John Swinney’s elevation to First Minister,” she said.

“The SNP appear to have successfully stopped their downward spiral, but this would still mean that Scotland would contribute to a UK-wide majority for Labour.

“If nothing changes between now and polling day, Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer will have overseen Labour’s return to their previously long-established position as Scotland’s largest party.

“It’s more than both men could’ve hoped for, even several years ago.”

Scottish Labour leader deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “The only poll that matters is on the 4th of July, but it is clear that people are looking to Scottish Labour to deliver the change Scotland needs.

“Scots are tired of SNP incompetence and division.

“In fourteen days we will have the opportunity to finally get rid of this Tory Government – an opportunity that Scotland cannot afford to miss.”

Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy said: “In key seats across Scotland this election is a straight fight between the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives – and it will be extremely close.

“If voters unite behind the Scottish Conservatives, we can beat the SNP and end their independence obsession for good.

“But a vote for any party other than the Scottish Conservatives risks the SNP winning in those seats where it’s a straight fight between us and the nationalists.”