Same horse, different rider. The election of new leaders for UK and Scottish Labour has had no impact on the standing of the party in Scotland, where it remains 35 percentage points behind the SNP, according to the latest research from pollster TNS.
So despite all hardline socialist Jeremy’s Corbyn’s calculated bluster about his newly-caring Labour Party, his promise of inclusivity and a “kinder politics”, his reception by voters north of the Tweed has been a resounding “meh.” The same can be said of new Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.
The polling also shows that voters are still keen for the UK to stay within the EU with little change over the last few months.
Around 47 per cent intend to vote for the UK to remain in the EU in the promised referendum, down two points since the last time TNS asked this question in May. Support for a British exit was 18 per cent (-1) with 29 per cent undecided (+3) and 5 per cent saying they would not vote (+1).
This tweet quickly illustrates the breakdown:
Scottish EU referendum poll: Remain: 47% (-2) Leave: 18% (-1) (via TNS / 9-30 Sep)
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) October 8, 2015
Plenty of doubts have been expressed about Labour’s commitment to EU membership since Corbyn’s election, while the SNP remains strongly in favour. However, Labour’s voters in Scotland appear to be more pro-EU than SNP supporters, with two thirds (66 per cent) of Labour voters wanting to stay in the EU with 13 per cent wanting to leave, against under half of SNP voters (46 per cent) in favour of remaining and 23 per cent supporting exit. The Scottish left could, ironically, keep Britain in the European Union.
Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, had this to say about the latest numbers:
“People are still getting to know the new Labour leaders and what they stand for, so it’s not surprising there has been little immediate impact on voting intentions.
“One crumb of comfort for Labour may be that the overwhelmingly negative media commentary on Corbyn’s election appears not to have affected the party’s Scottish support, though the poll was carried out before his recent statement that he would never authorise the use of the UK’s nuclear deterrent if he became prime minister.
“Neither did the poll show signs of the reported Labour revival among younger voters: the party’s support in Scotland among the 16-34 age group was only 13 per cent, down four points on the previous month and a fifth of the SNP’s support in this age group (68 per cent).”
For all the promise of a new Labour dawn, the fact remains that Scottish Labour lost nearly all its 41 Westminster seats at the May general election, leaving it with just Ian Murray in Edinburgh South. Since then neither sentiment or voter intention has changed.
The SNP was responsible for Labour’s demise claiming 56 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats on an anti-austerity platform and on current projections is likely to repeat that again.