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Ashcroft Scotland polling: Danny and Douglas Alexander could lose their seats in SNP surge

New polling of Scottish constituencies show the shadow foreign secretary and Chief Secretary to the Treasury could lose their seats, and Labour could be left with only six seats.

By Anoosh Chakelian

The long-awaited polling of Scottish seats from the most celebrated pollster of this election campaign has finally come out. It spells danger for Labour, as it shows the SNP surge in Scotland is well underway.

Out of the 16 seats Ashcroft polled, he found 15 of them likely to see an SNP win. These include the seat of Inverness, held currently by the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, and Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Labour election coordinator and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander’s seat. In an embarrassing twist, both high-profile politicians could be voted out in May. It is also possible that the shadow Scottish secretary, Margaret Curran, will lose her Glasgow East seat.

On top of this, it appears former First Minister Alex Salmond will comfortably be returned to Westminster, representing Gordon, where the Lib Dem MP Malcolm Bruce is standing down.

This is the pollster’s first round of Scottish constituency research, and covers more than a quarter of seats there, but already shows that the nationalists are well ahead. In Labour-held seats, the overall swing to the SNP is 25.4 per cent. Among these, he found that only Glasgow North East would stay in Labour hands – although even there, Labour’s majority has dropped from 54 points to seven.

In Lord Ashcroft’s analysis of this latest round of polling, he writes that if the smallest swing to the SNP (21 per cent) he found among these seats were repeated across the whole of Scotland, it would endanger a huge 35 out of the 41 Labour seats in Scotland.

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However, he warns against assuming such a uniform swing. There may be a different pattern when polling future seats that gave less of a strong Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum last year, and he found that one third of Labour-SNP switchers would consider reverting their support back to Labour.

For further analysis of this polling, read Ashcroft polls – SNP are set to win more than 50 MPs in May on our sister polling site, May2015.

Update 11am:

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy says this:

These polls show that Scottish Labour is well behind and has a big gap to close. But in the end the only people who will benefit from these polls are David Cameron and the Tories.

It is a simple fact that the single biggest party gets to form the next government. The more seats the SNP get from Labour, the more likely it is the Tories will be the biggest party and David Cameron will get into government through the back door.

That would be a terrible outcome for Scotland but it’s what might happen if Scotland votes SNP.

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