Analysis of a new poll has shown the SNP’s lead reduced to one point ahead of Labour as the gap between the two parties continues to narrow.
A YouGov survey carried out on behalf of the Scottish Fabians, released on Monday, showed the gap between Labour and the SNP in Scotland has narrowed just one point, with 33% of voters backing the SNP at Westminster and Labour on 32%, with “don’t knows” removed
The survey also showed 20% of voters backing the Conservatives, 5% voting for the Scottish Greens and 5% backing the Lib Dems.
With “don’t knows” included, the SNP were on 33%, Labour were on 31%, the Conservatives remained on 20%, the Scottish Greens were on 6% and the Lib Dems were on 4%.
The group, which is affiliated to Labour, previously calculated that the party needs the backing of one in five of those who voted SNP or Green to win 25 targets seats across Scotland and form a majority government.
The seats are all currently held by the SNP apart from Rutherglen and Hamilton West, which Labour won in a by-election to replace previous MP Margaret Ferrier last week.
Winning most or all of these Scottish target seats is crucial for Labour, as it makes the path to power in Westminster much easier, the Fabians said.
Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice has said that for every 12 seats Labour win in Scotland, it takes two points off the swing needed in the rest of the UK.
A Labour majority government also emerged as the most popular outcome in Scotland, the research found.
Katherine Sangster, national director of the Scottish Fabians, said: “Following the victory in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, this research shows Labour is well positioned to win target seats across Scotland at the next election.
“Labour is making significant progress in rebuilding the ‘first red wall’, with key voter groups either intending to vote Labour or open to doing so – and they want a majority Labour government after the next election.
“There remains more to do for Labour to convert support into votes at the ballot box, and there is an obvious group to persuade: those who prefer a majority Labour government but aren’t yet backing the party.
“However, the evidence is clear – Labour is on the right track towards winning seats across Scotland and forming a majority government whenever the next election is called.”
Further analysis showed 21% of SNP voters in the last general election and 18% of independence voters at the 2014 referendum said a Labour majority government was their preferred outcome at the next election.
Eighteen per cent of voters said they would back a majority Conservative government.