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Four days of predicting a Blairite leader & poll points to Scottish Labour meltdown


Ipsos-MORI poll

The latest poll from Ispos-MORI is a devastating blow to Labour which underlines the desperate state in which the New Labour years (as well as the failure of Ed Miliband to put them behind us) have left the Scottish Labour party. The poll shows a 30% swing across Scotland from the 2010 general election, leaving the SNP with a 29% lead over Labour (52/23) compared with a 22% lead for Labour in what was the best result across the UK for Labour in 2010 (42/20). Labour would retain only 4 seats on this basis, a loss of 37 seats.

This poll demonstrates that the SNP clearly represent a significantly greater threat to Labour in next year’s general election than UKIP in England (where today’s YouGov has Labour inching into the lead again). Whereas UKIP could perhaps take a tiny number of seats such as Great Grimsby off Labour if its current surge is maintained in the real contest where a British government is at stake, the SNP could take large numbers. But whereas UKIP might actually help Labour win some marginals (though not all), in Scotland there’s no upside.

It’s not good for the other Westminster parties either. The Tories would lose their only seat and the Lib Dems 10 of their 11 – a disaster though they will almost certainly lose more in England, quite possibly to Labour UKIP and the Tories.

But this poll is bad news for Jim Murphy too because the fieldwork for this poll was conducted between 22 and 29 October during four days of which, the news media was predicting that a Blairite would lead Labour in Scotland after the resignation of Johann Lamont late on Friday (24 October). Recent UK-wide polls have appeared to show a significant swing from Labour to the SNP even before Lamont’s resignation, though sample sizes and data weightings have made it difficult to be certain.  But the manner in which Murphy carried out his coup against Lamont and the media predictions that a Blairite (initially Sarwar or Murphy and then Murphy) would win the leadership will surely have reinforced the slide.


  1. John P Reid says:

    I really Don’t think that the current polls are due to a couple of days among the chattering classes that jim Murphy could stand for Labours Scottish leader,is the reason that the SNP are 29% ahead,as I don’t think it’s even been discussed among average Scottish voters, there are other choices Like Alastair Darling, anyway the boundaries in Scotland mean that a 29% lead for the SNp means over turning at most 10000 seat Labour majorities,there’s not one under 9600 and the MOST likely gain for the SNP will be Malcolm Bruce old seat and he’s a retiring Libdem


    I definitely agree – Jim Murphy is pure poison to Labour in Scotland. Most of the Scots hate Thatcherism whether it comes from Tories or Blairites (mind you they do not seem to see through the race to the bottom low corp tax Salmond, well not yet…).

    Pure poison for Labour, and pure poison for Ed.
    If Ed does not win next year, a Blairite will get the leadership, and that would be a killer for the poor in both England and Scotland.

  3. David Pavett says:

    In Scotland all the New Labour chickens (many of them with “One-Nation Labour” hastily scrawled over their “New Labour” labels) are all coming home to roost at the same time. Years of hard work of ditching any looking like a socialist priniciple in favour purely electoral calculations and of embedding neo-liberal axioms into Labour’s basic thoughts are now paying off (so to speak) in one grand slam disaster. The only chance of averting this fast-developing melt-down is by moving to the left and developing a genuinely democratic approach to politics. In these circumstances Jim Murphy clearly represents the kiss of death for Scottish Labour.

  4. David Melvin says:

    The election of the leader of the Scottish branch office of the Labour party sounds a little like a rerun of Blarite v Brownite with the left supporting the Brownite, as happened with Ed v David. When history repeats itself it usually degenerates into farce. Ed really needs to read some of his Dad’s books.

  5. Pauline Sharp says:

    Good grief, surely Labour have picked up on this by now. You need to go left, your voters have had enough in Scotland, it is staring at you in the face. About time you dealt with it.

  6. swatantra says:

    Isn’t it about time that we all stopped using terms like ‘Blairite’ and ‘Thatcherite’. Both are ancient history nowadays, and we should all have grown out of it. Afterall it is Halloween today, and both entities should be part of the Halloween tradition, and the Blair/Witch folklore.

  7. Mukkinese says:

    Here we go again, allowing one poll to fuel hysterical speculation.

    Drama, drama, drama! why let the truth get in the way of a good story when hype will alter the political reality?

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Now two polls, Mukkinese. And whilst it is normally wrong to be alarmed at one poll, when its the first Scottish poll for a while and the swing is so dramatic, I think it’s right to be very concerned.

      1. Robert says:

        He’s happy if Murphy gets in being a Blair-rite

  8. David Ellis says:

    Ironically if Labour has supported the Scottish working class against Westminster by leading the Yes Campaign it is the SNP that would now be looking at meltdown and we’d be looking at an independent socialist Scotland but that is in the world where the Labour Party isn’t dominated by a clique of self-serving, rampant opportunists and stupid unionist thugs like Murphy.

  9. P Spence says:

    All the energy and momentum is with nationalists north and south of the border and across much of Europe too.

    It’s no more than a symptom of the capitalist global crisis.

    In the absence of a powerful and internationalist labour movement with a clear socialist agenda people seek shelter from their insecurities’ in false notions of “kith and kin” peddled by nationalists.

    Unless a charismatic socialist leads the LP in Scotland, next year will be a catastrophe.

  10. Peter Rowlands says:

    It is worth recalling that Scotland was the only part of the UK that actually swung to Labour in the 2010 election, reflecting fear of a Tory government. The argument would stand next year in that a majority Labour government could almost certainly not be returned, and Labour as the largest minority party probably not, without most Scottish MPs being Labour. The SNP would presumably argue that Scotland’s best interests would be served by them holding the balance of power than a majority Labour government, and the poll indicates that this is the majority view. This would be reinforced if Murphy becomes leader.

  11. John Reid says:

    I suppose blair could be seen as unpopular now, after his commets that Ed miliband shouldn’t hav ecriticised his pro immigration policy

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