Labour are narrowing the gap in Scotland, a new poll says, but the SNP remain the most trusted party on a number of key issues.

With a general election expected later this year Sir Keir Starmer's party are expected to win a large majority, but the extent of their recovery in Scotland is less certain.

Michael Shanks took a big victory in the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election late last year, but that made him just one of two Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster.

A poll by Ipsos’ Scottish Political Monitor, run in partnership with STV News, has found that the SNP retain a seven point lead in Westminster voting intention down from a 12-point lead in May 2023 and a 10-point lead in November 2023.

The party is the most trusted in many key areas such as managing the NHS (32% to Labour's 27%), growing the economy (32% to 23%) and tackling the cost of living crisis (30% to 23%).

However, in all these areas Labour have made gains since 2022.

The Herald:

The SNP have a 9-point lead over Labour on Scottish Parliament constituency voting intention, down from a 14-point lead in May 2023.

They remain on 39% following the most recent Ipsos poll in November, with Scottish Labour up by three points to 30%.

Support for independence remains broadly in line with the last Ipsos poll, with yes leading by 53% to 47% and no 'undecided' option.

The Herald:

Emily Gray, Managing Director of Ipsos in Scotland, said: “These results underline that while the Labour Party is making considerable headway in Scotland, the party’s leadership should not be complacent about the SNP as an electoral force.

"Humza Yousaf’s party still has a lead on voting intention for both Westminster and Holyrood elections and is the party that the Scottish public trust most to manage the NHS, the economy, education and the cost of living crisis.

"The direction of travel will worry the SNP, as Labour has been gaining ground across a range of policy issues while trust in the SNP has been on the wane.

"Given the profile of marginal seats in Scotland, even small changes in vote share can make a big difference to the final result – which means there is still much uncertainty for the parties at this point in an election year.”

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SNP Depute Leader, Keith Brown said: “It's encouraging that people across Scotland continue to support the SNP and our strong record in government. The SNP will never taken a single vote for granted, and will keep delivering for people across Scotland every day by focussing on their priorities.

"The SNP remains the most trusted party in Scotland across all the issues polled, including the economy, health, education and cost of living.
"With independence at 53% in this poll, people also back our positive vision for Scotland’s future, as an independent country in the EU with full access to the single European market.

“The Westminster parties will always ignore Scotland’s interests. At the general election, only the SNP will stand up for Scotland and offer a better future with independence.”