Shropshire Star

Fact check: Labour and SNP predicted to win most seats in Scotland nationally

An SNP claim to be the ‘only’ party posing a threat to the Conservatives applies to seats won by Tories in 2019.

Published
A Saltire flag and a Union flag flying above Whitehall in Westminster.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on June 12, the Scottish National Party said: “Only the SNP can beat the Tories in Scotland. Voting for another party risks letting the Tories in through the back door.”

An accompanying video shows the results from the 2019 general election for all six Scottish Westminster constituencies which were won by the Conservatives, along with both parties’ share of that vote.

Evaluation

Recent YouGov polling, broken down to constituency level, shows the SNP and Conservatives are the parties most likely to win in the highlighted constituencies, albeit with a reduced margin over other candidates.

However, across Scotland, the current polling data shows that Labour and the SNP are much more likely to win a larger vote share overall than the Conservatives.

The facts

The SNP’s post is worded ambiguously, potentially suggesting that only they or the Conservatives had a realistic chance of winning a majority of seats in Scotland. As the video makes clear, however, the claim more specifically relates to the six constituencies of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine; Banff and Buchan; Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk; Dumfries and Galloway; Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale; and Moray.

In all six seats, the SNP were ahead of all other parties by at least 29 percentage points, making them the only close challengers to the victorious Conservative MPs in 2019.

Due to boundary changes coming into force for the 2024 General Election, Banff and Buchan has seen some changes to the area it covers, and been renamed Aberdeenshire North and Moray East. The 2019 constituency of Moray has also been replaced by Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey.

In the latest MRP poll by YouGov, which uses modelling to provide a constituency-level breakdown for voting, the SNP and the Conservatives remain the two parties predicted to receive the highest share of the vote in each of the unchanged and new constituencies, albeit with a reduced majority over Labour, who are now forecast to finish third in each of them.

The modelling also shows three of the constituencies (Aberdeenshire North and Moray East; Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale; and Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk) are leaning Conservative, Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey leans to the SNP and the other two are too close to call.

However, the picture across Scotland as a whole is significantly different to that in the 2019 general election, according to pollsters.

In 2019, the SNP took 45.0% of all votes cast in Scotland, while the Conservatives had 25.1% of the vote share and Labour, in third, 18.6%.

But ahead of the 2024 vote, polls are showing that Labour and the SNP are clear frontrunners in Scotland.

An Ipsos poll conducted between June 3 and 9 for STV showed that the two parties were neck-and-neck on 36%, while the Conservatives were on 13%.

And the most recent YouGov poll, published on June 11, showed 44% of the expected UK vote share for Labour, 23% for the SNP and 10% for the Conservatives – level with the Green Party, and behind the Liberal Democrats on 11%.

Links

The SNP on X: “Only the SNP can beat the Tories in Scotland” (archived)

House of Commons Library: General Election 2019: results and analysis (archived)

House of Commons Library: Boundary review 2023: Which seats will change in the UK? (archived)

YouGov – voting intention, Scotland (archived)

YouGov – Full results of June 3 MRP poll (archived .xlsx file)

YouGov – First YouGov MRP of 2024 general election shows Labour on track to beat 1997 landslide (archived)

Election Check 24

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