GLASGOW, Scotland – The Scottish National Party (SNP) is on course to free Labour’s stranglehold on Scotland’s House of Commons seats, an exit poll has found.
Led by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP are predicted to win 58 out of Scotland’s 59 parliamentary seats. The Scottish Labour Party is expected to hold the remaining seat.
If accurate, this general election will potentially go down in history as a spectacular rejection of the established parties by the Scottish electorate, resulting in defeats for a number of senior political figures. But, as Tony Blair’s former communications director Alastair Campbell told the BBC, this particular poll “doesn’t feel right” and must be taken with a pinch of salt.
Taking to Twitter to express her scepticism at the exit poll’s findings, Ms. Sturgeon said: “I’d treat the exit poll with huge caution. I’m hoping for a good night but I think 58 seats is unlikely!”
Scotland’s First Minister continued: “Thanks so much to everyone who voted @theSNP today. Whatever the results, I’m very proud of our campaign.”
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also took to Twitter, writing: “Unanimity in the studio from Lib, Lab, Nat and me (sic) – the exit poll is wrong for Scotland.”
Speaking to BBC Scotland’s election night programme, Ms. Davidson expanded on her earlier musings: I remember 1992. Exit polls can get it badly wrong. I’m going to wait until 3am or 4am before I start making predictions.” That year, two exit polls predicted a hung parliament instead of a majority for John Major’s Conservative Party.
On the cusp of a potentially catastrophic defeat, Scottish Labour chose instead to thank their supporters, tweeting: “Polls have closed. To every single person who has helped and been part of an incredible campaign – a huge thank you”.
Conducted by Ipsos MORI and GfK NOP for the BBC, ITV and Sky News, the findings of the UK-wide poll were released to the public straight after voting finished at 22:00 BST on Thursday.
Researchers interviewed 22,000 people in 141 polling locations in 133 constituencies through the United Kingdom.
The overall forecast predicts the Conservatives will win 316 seats, Labour 239, the SNP 58, Liberal Democrats ten, Plaid Cymru four, UKIP two and others, such as those sitting as independents, 19.
The official results from the Scottish constituencies are expected to be announced in the early hours of Friday morning.