POLITICS
08/06/2018 11:10 BST

Support For SNP hits 40% - But Tory Ruth Davidson Is Still Scotland’s Most Popular Politician, YouGov Poll Reveals

Nicola Sturgeon's party would pick up 8 Westminster seats, YouGov survey says, while Scottish Labour would be left with 1.

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Delegates at the Scottish National Party conference at the SEC Centre in Glasgow in 2017 

Support for the Scottish National Party has climbed to 40%, according to a fresh poll of Scottish voters. 

A new YouGov survey says that, were a general election held tomorrow, Nicola Sturgeon would claw back eight seats the SNP lost last year, underlining the scale of the challenge still facing Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland. 

The poll suggest Scotland is far from hitting what Davidson calls “peak SNP” and comes as the party gathers in Aberdeen for its spring conference. 

The survey found Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives have retaken second place on 27% - up 4%. 

Scottish Labour, now led by Richard Leonard, meanwhile, dropped 5% to 23% in Westminster voting intentions, according to the poll for The Times Scotland.

Despite the SNP and Tories both growing in support by 4% since January, a seat projection from the poll gave the SNP 43 MPs, up from 35, but saw the Tories drop two seats to 11.

Labour would lose six seats and be left with just one MP, according to the poll of more than 1,000 Scots carried out at the start of June.

Davidson, however, was the only senior politician with a positive rating at 11. Theresa May scored lowest at -44 with Nicola Sturgeon on -2.

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Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson is Scotland's most popular senior politician, but her party would still lose seats at the next Westminster election, according to a new poll 

The poll found Leonard’s approval rating was -20 while UK party leader Jeremy Corbyn has an overall -30 rating among Scottish voters surveyed.

The poll recorded also no change in support for independence from the 45% in the 2014 referendum. 

Support for a referendum in the next five years stood at 40%, with 52% against and 8% unsure, despite the SNP launching its Growth Commission report, which is aimed at rebooting the debate..

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “This is an extraordinary endorsement of our record in government, with people continuing to put their trust in the SNP to deliver for Scotland.

“But it also shows that we’re winning the argument over Scotland’s future - how best we keep driving our country forward, delivering the best public services anywhere in the UK and building a fairer country.

“Our vision to create a successful economy and flourishing, inclusive society could not be further at odds with despair and chaos of Brexit from the Tories.

“But these figures will make dismal reading for Labour. They’ve got no credibility on the serious issues we face as a country, Richard Leonard is a struggling leader and that’s why they’re plummeting in the polls.”