While all the focus on today’s Ashcroft Scotland poll has been on growing support for independence the numbers that could have most impact on an early UK general election are in the chart above. How the national party leaders are rated according to the Ashcroft question asking respondents to give a rating from 0 to 100.
One of the remarkable things about the GE2010 outcome was that Gordon Brown’s LAB did substantially better in Scotland than in the rest of GB. The party increased its vote share and picked up 41 of the 59 Scottish seat while getting hit back elsewhere.
This was put down to the fact that Brown is Scottish, sat for a Scottish constituency and that Scottish voters have a tendency to favour their own – a tendency shown this latest poll.
For in choosing Dumbarton E MP, Jo Swinson, the LDs have become the first national UK party since 2010 to be led by someone who is Scottish and this is the first Scotland only poll since the leadership change.
It is not often appreciated that until the post-IndyRef 2015 General Election the LDs were, in terms of Westminster seats, the second biggest party north of the border being particularly strong in the borders and Highland regions. The GE2010 Scottish seat split was LAB 41,LD 11,SNP 6 and CON 1.
So more positive numbers now for their leader might be boost LD hopes of what might happen at an early general election.
As PBers will know I am a Lib Dem member and the reason I voted for Swinson in the leadership election was because I hoped that she could just have an edge with Scottish voters that could have an impact in terms of seats.