Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Poll shows slump in Tory support after partygate as Labour moves into second place

Douglas Ross and Boris Johnson
Douglas Ross and Boris Johnson

The Scottish Tories could slip into third place behind Labour for the first time in six years at next week’s Scottish local elections, according to a new poll.

Partygate and a succession of scandals at Westminster appear to be playing on voters minds as they prepare to head to the ballot box on Thursday.

The latest tracker survey from polling company Panelbase found the SNP are on course for a comfortable victory on May 5.

But there could be further troubles ahead for Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross if Labour surge ahead as predicted and leapfrog his party into second place.

SNP predicted to win comfortably

Council elections can be tricky for parties in government but the Panelbase poll puts the SNP on 42% when undecided voters are excluded.

That figure would be a significant jump from the 32% the party recorded at the last local elections in 2017.

But it also represents a six point drop for the SNP since the company polled last November.

Nicola Sturgeon.

Meanwhile, Anas Sarwar’s Scottish Labour are predicted to finish on 24% this time around, with the Conservatives languishing at 21%.

The Lib Dems were fourth on 7% and others are predicted to attract 5% of the votes.

The survey of 1,009 voters in Scotland was conducted last week before the SNP government’s 15th anniversary in power.

SNP rise ‘far from certain’

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said the polls confirms the impression that the Tories will struggle to defend the high water mark they achieved last time around.

He told the Sunday Times: “Such an outcome would only exacerbate the political fragmentation and division on the pro-Union side of Scotland’s constitutional debate.”

alba party polling
Professor Sir John Curtice.

However, he added it is “far from certain that the SNP will be able to improve significantly on what proved to be no more than a modest performance in 2017, and thereby add further impetus to its attempt to hold another independence referendum”.

Focusing minds a tough task for Tories

Douglas Ross will hope to focus minds on bins, potholes and council tax as the Tories enter the final days before the local elections with a new scandal adding to partygate.

Conservative MP Neil Parish announced his resignation on Saturday as he admitted twice watching pornography in the House of Commons.

The fresh embarrassment comes as activists canvas for votes for a Tory party led by a prime minister who was fined by police for breaching his own coronavirus laws.

A group of men dressed as Boris Johnson stage a protest at Downing Street

Boris Johnson will hope voters prioritise his perceived successes, such as the vaccine rollout and Brexit, rather than the lockdown breaches and tax hikes.

In a statement released ahead of the polls, the prime minister said: “The elections next Thursday matter.

“People are voting for councillors and councils who decide how often bins are collected, how many potholes are repaired and how much council tax is paid.

“And I have to tell you that its hardworking Conservative councillors and councils across the country who deliver better local services while managing taxpayers’ money wisely.”

DEREK HEALEY: How Douglas Ross came out of partygate worse off than Boris Johnson

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal