What do Scottish voters want from the General Election?

  • Insight
  • 26 May 2024

More in Common's first poll of Scottish voters since the start of the General Election campaign shows Labour ahead by five points

New More in Common polling of 1,016 people in Scotland has revealed that Labour starts the election campaign with a 5 point lead over the SNP, a greater than 15 point swing to Keir Starmer’s Party from the SNP since 2019.

Such a result would see Labour gaining over 25 seats north of the border, significantly easing their path to securing an overall majority in Parliament.

Labour’s gains are being driven by a sense the party would have done a better job than the SNP if they had been in power in Scotland. Asked who would have done a better job Scottish voters responded as follows:

If there is a glimmer of hope for the SNP it lay in the fact that new first Minister John Swinney is the most popular of the Scottish politicians More in Common polled - although his approval rating remains negative at minus two. Keir Starmer has an approval rating of minus ten, Anas Sarwar of minus 11, while Rishi Sunak’s approval rating is minus 43. 

Scottish voters are also significantly more likely to think that John Swinney is an improvement rather than a downgrade on Humza Yousaf, 34% say he is an improvement on the previous First Minister, 5% say a downgrade while 37% say no better or worse and 25% don’t know. 

Despite Swinney’s stronger personal brand it is clear that the SNP’s recent woes are hampering the Party’s personal prospects, with a negative approval rating of minus 21 the SNP score 16 points lower than the Labour Party’s.

Meanwhile the Labour Party is more trusted on many of the public’s most important issues, with more people trusting Labour on the NHS, housing and the cost of living than the SNP.  Strikingly only 19% of poll respondents said that Scottish independence would be a top issue deciding their vote, compared to 65% who said the Cost of Living and  49% who said supporting the NHS.