Ashcroft poll shows SNP surge in Cumbernauld



Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 09:44 on 4 February 2015


Politics    SNP    Labour    General Election


The peer’s polling took in all of the Glasgow Westminster constituencies, in addition to other Labour strongholds which voted ‘Yes’ in September’s independence referendum.

Incumbent Labour MP, Gregg McClymont (above) faces losing the seat, according to Ashcroft's polling.

POLLS released today (4 February) by the form Conservative Party treasurer, Lord Michael Ashcroft show that Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East may be on the SNP’s gain list come May 8th.

For nearly three months Lord Ashcroft has been tempting political anoraks and enthusiasts alike with his suggestions of constituency-level polling. Today, the results were published for the first time. 

The peer’s polling took in all of the Glasgow Westminster constituencies, in addition to other Labour strongholds which voted ‘Yes’ in September’s independence referendum.

These Labour ‘primaries’ included Airdrie and Shotts; Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill; Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East; Dundee West; Motherwell and Wishaw; Paisley and Renfrewshire South; and, West Dunbartonshire. 

Lord Ashcroft’s constituency-level polling also took in the opinions of voters in two current Liberal Democrats seats – mainly, Gordon, where Alex Salmond is standing to become an MP in May, and Danny Alexander’s constituency of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey. 

Announcing the results of his polling via his website, Lord Ashcroft said: “Most of my constituency research is focused on marginal seats. But in post-referendum Scotland, the concept of a marginal seat is rather obsolete. Huge swings to the SNP in national polls suggest that even some MPs who must have thought they had a job for life are threatened.”

He added: “My first round of Scottish constituency research therefore required a different approach. I decided to look primarily at Labour seats – including some with colossal majorities – in areas which voted yes to independence, or where the result was very close. 

“This included all the Glasgow seats, plus Airdrie & Shotts; Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill; Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East, Dundee West; Motherwell & Wishaw; Paisley & Renfrewshire South; and West Dunbartonshire. I also looked at two current Liberal Democrats seats of interest: Gordon, where Alex Salmond is standing in May, and Danny Alexander’s constituency of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey. In total, the research covers more than a quarter of all the constituencies in Scotland.”

The publication of polling results today comes after Lord Ashcroft told Sky News in a rare interview, last week, that the SNP’s “surge” in support across Scotland is “real”.

In Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, Lord Ashcroft’s polls show that the constituency would swing to the SNP in May’s General Election.

Labour was backed by 34% of the poll’s respondents; the Liberal Democrats earned support from 2% of respondents; the Conservatives were backed by 6%, other parties were supported by 7% of those polled, while the SNP’s support was 52%. 

Drill down further, you and find that 3 per cent of those polled would vote UKIP if there was a general election for the Westminster parliament tomorrow, while the Greens picked up the same level of support as UKIP, and other parties earned the backing of 1% of respondents. 

SNP General Election Campaign Director, Angus Robertson MP said that his party are “taking absolutely nothing for granted” after all but one of Lord Ashcroft’s polls showed SNP gaining the Labour seat.

Mr Robertson said: "These polls include some of Labour's safest seats in the whole of the UK as well as Scotland, and they are clearly excellent for the SNP - but we are taking absolutely nothing for granted, and will work hard for every vote and seat in May.

"These seat-by-seat polls also underline the extent to which Labour are paying a huge price for their toxic referendum alliance with the Tories - which to all intents and purposes has continued. In recent weeks, we have seen Labour MPs vote with the Tories for £30 billion more austerity cuts, vote with the Tories to spend £100 billion on a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons, and abstain on a key vote for a fracking moratorium. That is why we need the real clout for Scotland that only a strong team of SNP MPs can deliver – to be a real force for change.

"People can only make Scotland's priorities Westminster's priorities by voting SNP in May. While all the recent polls and our council by-election win in Gordon Brown's seat indicate the potential SNP vote, they act as a spur to the entire party to work harder than ever before so that we can do better than ever before.

"Scotland needs and wants an alternative to austerity cuts, cancellation of the horrendously expensive Trident renewal, the powers of real Home Rule, protection for our oil and gas industry, and a safeguard for our place in Europe by ensuring that all four UK nations would have to vote for EU withdrawal before the UK could exit. And we are prepared to vote for a Bill to restore the NHS in England to the public service, publicly accountable, it was always meant to be - which will help safeguard Scotland's budget.

"These are objectives which the people of Scotland can achieve - and can only achieve - by voting for a strong team of SNP MPs to hold the balance of power at Westminster.

"The Tories have been rejected in election after election in Scotland, and the SNP would never help them into power. By electing SNP MPs, the people of Scotland can vote to get rid of the Tories, protect the welfare of everyone who lives here, and promote progressive politics across the UK."

The General Election will take place on May 7.