SNP 52% (+6), Lab 24% (-6), Con 13% (-1), LD 6% (+3), Green 3% (-1).

London – 13 April 2015 – The SNP increased its lead over Labour in Scotland in the last month, a period which saw Nicola Sturgeon, the party leader, widely judged to have performed well in the UK-wide leaders’ debates, according to a new poll by TNS.

More than half of adults in Scotland who are certain to vote in the May 7 general election (52%), said they would vote SNP, against 24% backing Labour. The 28-point lead is nearly double last month’s figure, when the parties scored 46% and 30% respectively. The Conservatives scored 13% (down 1 percentage point), the Liberal Democrats 6% (up 3) and the Greens 3% (down 1). Support for UKIP in Scotland is almost negligible.

The survey of 978 adults aged 18+ in Scotland covered the period of the UK-wide TV debates, although it closed before the impact of the Scottish leaders’ TV debates could be taken into account.

Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland said: “The official election campaign has got off to a great start for the SNP, undoubtedly helped by Nicola Sturgeon’s strong performance in the UK-wide TV debate. Not only has Labour’s hopes of a recovery in support been dashed but even worse, it appears to have gone backwards.

“The SNP seems to be building on the momentum which they carried forward from the independence referendum, while Jim Murphy is still struggling to win back Labour’s lost supporters. Indeed, the latest poll shows some evidence that the growth in SNP support is mainly coming from disaffected Labour supporters.

“But it’s important to remember that the campaign is really only beginning and 29% of those who say they are certain to vote have not made up their minds who to vote for. It will be interesting to see what difference the campaigns of the various parties make to people’s intentions by polling day.”

Support for the SNP continues to be very strong among younger voters (who are certain to vote and express a preference) – 71% of the 18-34s, against 57% for the 35-54s and 40% for those aged 55 and over. Among the oldest age group, Labour scores 32% and the Conservatives 20%.

However, fewer of the younger voters say that they are certain to vote – 52% of the 18-34s against 67% overall.

In the event of a hung parliament, 44% of Scottish voters would prefer a Labour-led government against 15% backing a Tory-led government. The most popular single option is a Labour-SNP coalition with 25% backing. Both parties have ruled this out, but the response suggests that some form of SNP-Labour co-operation has significant backing – the next most popular option is 9% for a continuation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

Nearly a third (31%) of Labour voters would prefer the option of co-operating with the SNP, while 28% opted for a Labour minority government.

If the SNP holds a majority of Scotland’s 59 seats in a hung parliament, voters are evenly divided between those who want the SNP to work with Labour (34%) and those who want the SNP to remain a separate bloc in the Westminster Parliament (32%). SNP voters are also evenly divided: 42% want to work with Labour and 45% to remain separate.

Notes to editors:

The full data tables are available here.

1. A sample of 978 adults aged 18+ was interviewed across Scotland over the period March 18th-April 8th 2015.

2. To ensure the sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland (aged 18+), it was weighted to match population profile estimates in the analysis. Data was also weighted to match turnout and share of vote from the 2010 General Election (as recorded in House of Commons Library Research Paper 10/36 18 May 2010), and turnout and share of constituency vote from the 2011 Holyrood election (as recorded in SPICe Briefing 11-29 2011 Scottish Parliament Election Results

3. All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling.

About TNS
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