RECENT opinion polls seem to be all over the place. Some suggest that Labour will trounce the SNP, others that Labour's gains will be more modest in Scotland with the SNP remaining the dominant party.

Naturally it's the first that receive far more publicity in a Scottish media which longs for a return to the “good old days” when independence was not a serious issue in Scottish politics and the SNP were a relatively minor party which could be safely ignored.

It appears that the reason for the discrepancy is that in most SNP-held seats in Scotland, Labour were in second place at the last Westminster General Election, in many cases not too far behind. Given these relatively tight margins, a tiny difference between polling samples can translate into wildly different outcomes in the resultant poll. So on the one hand we get polls saying that Labour are going to overtake the SNP, and other polls, such as yesterdays, which say that the SNP will end up with 40 Scottish seats as opposed to 13 for Labour.

READ MORE: 'Game on' in the Borders to oust incumbent Scottish Tories

On the other hand, most polls appear to agree that the Tories are facing potential devastation in Scotland, with yesterday's poll suggesting that they are facing a 1997-style extinction-level event in Scotland. If that glorious moment does indeed come to pass at the next General Election, expect Douglas Ross (below) to quickly pop up in the House of Lords with a freshly minted peerage from where he'll still continue to girn about “divisive nationalism”.

The National: Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross during First Minster's Questions at the Scottish

The other lesson from recent polling is that Keir Starmer categorically does not need seats in Scotland in order to win an absolute majority in the Commons. If the results of yesterday's poll, carried out for the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror by Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus, are replicated at the ballot box during the next General Election then Labour will win a historic landslide majority of 254, easily surpassing the majority won by Tony Blair in 1997. The Conservatives would be reduced to just 80 seats, their worst result in history, and a low from which they would struggle to recover. The LibDems would take 53 seats, surpassing the SNP as the third largest party in the Commons.

Martin Baxter, founder of Electoral Calculus, told the Mirror: "The public seem even more disenchanted with the Conservatives under Rishi Sunak (below) than they were with John Major in 1997. A Labour landslide looks increasingly likely, and Labour voters want nationalisation, increased public spending and higher taxes."

The National: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA

However, Starmer has already ruled out all those things. Under Starmer, there will be no nationalisation of the energy companies, the rail companies or the English water companies. There will be no tax increases on the richest. All he offers is Tory-lite. The same nasty policies that only benefit the wealthy, but with more hand-wringing. His historic victory, if it does indeed come to pass, is quite likely to be followed by an equally historic fall from grace.

It is clear from these figures that Starmer does not need to win in Scotland in order to secure a Labour majority in Scotland – even if Labour won no seats at all in Scotland and their 13 predicted seats went to the SNP, Labour would still enjoy a crushing record majority in the Commons.

Despite what he says, the real reason that Starmer wants to crush the SNP in Scotland is not in order to secure a strong majority over the Tories. A vote for the SNP is also an anti-Tory vote. Indeed, given Starmer's policies, it is more so than a vote for a right-wing British nationalist Labour party.

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Starmer seeks to reduce the SNP to political irrelevance, not in order to beat the Tories, but to remove the thorny issue of Scottish independence and another referendum from the political agenda. Just like Scotland's anti-independence media, he too seeks a return to the “good old days” when independence was not a serious issue in Scottish politics and the SNP were a relatively minor party which could be safely ignored, with Scotland securely locked back in the Union-flag-branded shortbread tin.

You only need to look at the dismal record of Michael Shanks, the Labour victor of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, to see what will happen if Scots are foolish enough to fall for Labour's false promises.


Following today's news that the British economy is in recession, making a mockery of one of Rishi Sunak's five key promises upon which he invited us to judge him – the promise to grow the economy – the Tories are growing increasingly nervous. Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the Prime Minister's promise to grow the economy was "in tatters."

She said: "It's absolutely clear that Britain remains trapped in a spiral of economic decline.

“This exposes a government and a PM completely out of touch with the realities on the ground.

“This is Rishi's recession and the British people will pay the price."

READ MORE: Poll points to historic SNP General Election win – can we trust it?

The Conservatives are bracing themselves for more bad news as voting gets under way in two by-elections in what were formerly safe Tory seats. Voting is taking place today in Kingswood in Gloucestershire and Wellingborough in Nottinghamshire. Labour are widely tipped to take the seats, which would result in the Tories exceeding their record number of by-election defeats in a single parliament.

In Wellingborough, Labour are hopeful that they can overturn the Conservatives' majority of 18,540. The Tories show every sign of having given up on the seat with few senior Tories appearing on the campaign trail.

The National: Peter Bone has been stripped of the Tory whip (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The by election was called after sitting MP Peter Bone (above) – an arch-Brextremist on the frothing right of the party – was suspended from the Commons for six weeks when a Parliamentary committee found he had bullied and was sexually inappropriate around a staff member.

In the South Gloucestershire constituency of Kingswood, the Tories are defending an 11,000 majority. The by-election was called after Chris Skidmore, known for his advocacy of green issues, resigned in protest against the UK Government’s bill to allow new oil and gas licences to be issued.