politics.co.uk poll spells trouble for Labour

Only forty-six per cent of people believe Labour can win the Glasgow East by-election, according to a politics.co.uk poll released today.

The responses come despite more optimistic forecasts from political analysts over the last week.

They will make depressing reading for the Labour party. Asked whether Gordon Brown should resign as prime minister if his party loses the by-election, half of respondents said he should. Only forty two per cent disagreed.

The poll shows Alex Salmond’s Scottish National party (SNP) retain an impressive level of support.

Asked if the SNP would govern Glasgow East better than Labour, 51 per cent of respondents said they would, while only 24 per cent disagreed with the statement.

But the highest result in the poll concerned the performance of Mr Salmond as Scottish first minister. Asked if he has been good at his job since coming to power a year ago, 54 per cent of respondents said he had been, with only 19 per cent saying he had been a bad first minister.

Commenting on the results, Angus Robertson, SNP Westminster leader, said: “This is an excellent eve of poll election boost for John Mason and the SNP.

“The results are fantastic – and they show that we are witnessing a tale of two governments.

“Above all, these figures show that the SNP are on the people’s side, and Labour are out of touch.”

Mr Salmond gives every indication of sharing respondents’ beliefs about tomorrow’s vote. He has now begun to adopt the high-risk strategy of framing the by-election as a battle between the SNP and Labour, rather than local candidates.

“It’s a test of strength between two governments,” Mr Salmond said.

“On balance, most people are pretty satisfied with what they have seen from the SNP government in Edinburgh thus far.

“Any by-election is a test of every party that contests it. One aspect of this election is a tale of two governments. People are passing judgment, clearly, on the Labour government at Westminster, but they’re also passing judgment on the SNP government at Scotland. That’s as it should be.”

The poll comes a day before the crucial by-election vote, which could see Labour lose power in the constituency for the first time in half a century.

Most political analysts are still expecting Labour to retain its control of Glasgow East, but by a drastically reduced majority.

politics.co.uk will be covering tomorrow’s events as they happen.