23 Labour MPs face fuel backlash, survey

As the fuel crisis engulfs Labour 23 of its MPs in Scotland - including two UK cabinet ministers - face losing their seats to the SNP according to a swing based on the latest opinion poll analysis showing that the SNP has built up a 9 point lead over Labour for the Westminster general election.

The study - based on all five UK opinion polls conducted in May which provide Scottish samples - gives the following ratings (change from 2005 election in brackets):

SNP: 35% (+17%)
Lab: 26% (-14%)
Tory: 20% (+4%)
LibDem: 14% (-9%)
Other: 5% (1%)

Applying the figures to the Electoral Calculus projection the SNP would win 33 seats, compared to Labour's 14, 7 for the LibDems, and 5 for the Tories. On the basis of these figures the SNP would capture 23 seats from Labour.

Commenting on the analysis, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said:

"Labour's vote is disintegrating in Scotland as they face a backlash for sky high fuel taxes whilst short-changing Scotland of a fair share of oil revenues.

"This sensational analysis shows that it is only the SNP in Scotland which can offer a credible challenge at the next Westminster election.

"The Scottish samples of UK polls consistently show the SNP ahead, and the aggregate figures for all five polls conducted in May indicate that twenty three Labour seats would fall to the SNP - including two UK cabinet ministers.

"By failing to offer any alternatives for ordinary people affected by the cocktail of high oil prices mixed with Gordon Brown's high fuel taxes their silence makes them the tim'rous twenty-three.

"They are being consumed by rising fuel prices and for turning their backs on the reasonable request for Scotland to have a pro-rata share of the Treasury's oil windfall as a bare minimum.

"An initial 10% share of this year's windfall would be £500 million – a substantial sum.

"This could form the basis of a long-term Scottish oil fund from which earnings could be used to protect hard pressed sectors of the economy such as emergency service vehicles, ferries, fishermen and public transport.

"Instead of that Alistair Darling makes the astonishing claim that there is no oil windfall. The people of Scotland who are paying through the nose for fuel will be equally astonished at this claim.

"The tim'rous twenty-threes silence means the SNP's target of 20 seats at Westminster is well within our grasp. As this analysis shows, people across Scotland want to see MPs working for Scotland, not acting as lobby fodder for Gordon Brown.

"With a block of 20 or more SNP MPs, Westminster really would be dancing to a Scottish jig - and we would secure real progress on vital Scottish interests such as attendance allowance, council tax benefit, North Sea revenues, and our fair share of Barnett resources."

Notes:

The five polls for all of May with Scottish samples were Populus/Times (2-4 May), YouGov/Sun (7-8 May), Comres/Independent on Sunday (14-15 May), YouGov/Sunday Times (15-16 May), and YouGov/Telegraph (27-29 May).

They provide a combined sample size of 728.

According to Electoral Calculus' analysis twenty-three Labour MPs face losing their seats to the SNP.

Seat - Sitting MP

Dunbartonshire West - John McFall
Glenrothes - John MacDougall
Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East - Rosemary McKenna
Livingston - Jim Devine
Falkirk - Eric Joyce
Inverclyde - David Cairns
East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow - Adam Ingram
Dundee West - Jim McGovern
Kilmarnock & Loudoun - Des Browne
Linlithgow & East Falkirk - Michael Connarty
Midlothian - David Hamilton
Lanark & Hamilton East - Jimmy Hood
Aberdeen North - Frank Doran
Paisley & Renfrewshire North - Jim Sheridan
Glasgow North - Ann McKechin
Edinburgh East - Gavin Strang
Ayrshire North & Arran - Katy Clark
East Lothian - Anne Moffat
Aberdeen South - Anne Begg
Edinburgh South West - Alistair Darling
Edinburgh North & Leith - Mark Lazarowicz
Stirling - Anne McGuire
Ochil & South Perthshire - Gordon Banks

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