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ELECTION 2021: Greens on verge historic Scottish Parliament breakthrough, claims poll


By Alan Beresford

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THE Greens could be on the verge of an historic Holyrood breakthrough alongside an SNP majority, a new poll has suggested.

The Greens could be in for a record electoral performance at a Holyrood election, according to a YouGov poll.
The Greens could be in for a record electoral performance at a Holyrood election, according to a YouGov poll.

A YouGov poll for The Times has predicted that the Greens would return 13 MSPs, a considerable increase on their previous six seats. If this result were to be repeated in tomorrow's ballot, then it would put the party just behind Labour, who are forecast to finish third for the second Holyrood election in a row to the Tories.

Labour would claim 17 seats (down seven) while the Conservatives would take 26 (down five).

Meanwhile, the SNP would claim 68 seats (up five), giving them an overall majority of seven in the Scottish Parliament.

The Liberal Democrats would lose a seat, finishing with four.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond's Alba could be in line for a single seat, according to the YouGov figures.

In all, these results would see pro-independence parties number 82 in the new parliament for a substantial majority of 35.

The seat predictions were arrived at using YouGov's data by polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice in The National.

YouGov's survey found support for the SNP in constituency vote has risen to 52 per cent (up three per cent) since the firm’s last poll in mid-April. The Conservatives are down one to 20 per cent, Labour are on 19 per cent (down two), while it is a case of as you were for Liberal Democrats on six per cent.

On the regional list vote, the SNP again lead the pack, albeit by smaller margin, with a predicted 38 per cent (down one).

While the Tories held steady on 22 per cent, Labour lost ground, five points down on 16 per cent.

There was good news for the Greens, whose support rose by three per cent to stand at 13 per cent while the Liberal Democrats' regional vote support remained at five per cent.

Prof Curtice stated that the three per cent recorded by Alba would be enough for them to secure a single seat at Holyrood.

A second poll, this time by Opinium, also has the SNP heading for an overall majority after May 6.

Their prediction has the SNP’s constituency support at 51 per cent and regional list support at 41 per cent, which suggests 67 seats in total. This would give the party an overall majority of five at Holyrood.

The polling firm's research picked up a two-point increase in list vote support for the Conservatives with no change for Labour on 17 per cent.

In terms of seats, this would pan out to 29 for the Tories, a loss of two, with Labour shedding three seats to stand at 20

However, the picture is not so rosy for the Greens who, according to Opinium, would pick up just two seats on the 2016 ballot leaving them with eight in all.

Unlike the YouGov poll, Alba's three per cent standing would not be enough to gain an MSP in the Opinium survey.

The Liberal Democrats would remain unchanged with five seats in the new parliament.

The pollsters are also less optimistic about Scottish Green support compared to other surveys, predicting they will return eight MSPs – up two on their current number.

If replicated in the election, these figures would see a pro-independence bloc of 75 at Holyrood, a majority of 21.


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