Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Game on in the race for Holyrood

It looks like game on for the Scottish parliament elections, with a neck and neck poll in today's Times newspaper.

The poll is a massive turnaround for the SNP after languishing behind Labour over the winter.

Unfortunately the poll isn't in the London edition of the paper, and as it's behind a paywall online, I'll post the results below.

In the constituency section, the the SNP on 37 per cent, up six points since November.

Labour on 36 per cent, down five points, with the Tories and the Lib Dems both unchanged on 13 per cent.

In the regional list vote the SNP are up to 35 per cent, that's plus three, and Labour is on 33 per cent, down three.The Tories are up one point on 13 per cent and the Lib Dems are up one to 10 per cent.

How would the parliament look on May 6th? On these figures the calculation is that Alex Salmond would lead the largest party with 51 seats, four more than his minority government has now.

Labour would gain two seats and be on 48 MSPs. The Tories would be down three to 14 MSPs and the Lib Dems would be reduced to a rump of 12 seats, four less than they hold now.

The Greens may end up with four seats and make crucial coalition partners for either the SNP or Labour. (Remember to take into account the George Galloway and Margo MacDonald personal vote which may take the edge of main party showings).

This could lead to interesting coalition negotiations, or as happened the last time, a minority SNP government.

There are nearly 80 days to go to the election, so a lot can happen but this is the second boost the SNP has had this week - with bus tycoon Brian Souter promising £500,000 towards the party's campaign.

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