From "The Guardian"
SNP set for 56 of 59 Scottish seats in general
election, poll suggests
The full scale of the post-referendum political earthquake in Scotland has been demonstrated by a new poll which suggests Charles Kennedy’s once safe seat will fall to the Scottish National party, along with the seat Gordon Brown is retiring from in May.
The poll by Lord Ashcroft – which is of a series of parliamentary seats across Britain – indicates that the SNP, led by Nicola Sturgeon, could win 56 of Scotland’s 59 parliamentary seats, according to the veteran polling analyst Mike Smithson. This would virtually wipe out the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats north of the border.
The projected success of the SNP would almost cancel out Labour gains in other parts of Great Britain, producing a dead heat between the two main parties on 7 May, according to Ashcroft’s projections.
The former Tory treasurer, who now insists he is an impartial pollster, suggested that the Tories and Labour would be tied on 272 seats each. Labour won 258 seats in 2010 while the Tories won 306 seats.
In a presentation to the ConservativeHome website, Ashcroft challenged David Cameron to “weaponise” himself – a play on the wording Ed Miliband is reported to have used to describe Labour’s tactics on the NHS.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats were shocked by signs of the depth of the SNP breakthrough despite losing the independence referendum in September. Charles Kennedy, the former Lib Dem leader, is five points behind the SNP in his Highlands seat of Ross, Skye and Lochabar. The poll placed the SNP in his seat on 40%, the Lib Dems on 35%, Labour on 9% and the Tories on 8%.