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Nationalists on Course to Retain Power in Scotland

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TEHRAN, April 19 (ICANA) – The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) appear to be on course to retain power in the devolved Scottish parliament, according to the latest opinion poll ahead of next month's elections.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 10:43:54 AM
Nationalists on Course to Retain Power in Scotland

A YouGov poll for Scotland on Sunday showed that the SNP has regained the lead over Labour in both the constituency and regional votes under the country's proportionate representation system, suggesting that First Minister Alex Salmond's party could win a second term as a minority government.

The nationalists recorded 40% support in the constituency vote, with Labour trailing on 37%, the Conservatives on 11 and the Liberal Democrats on just eight per cent. In the regional list vote, the SNP leads with 35%, with Labour on 33%, the Tories on 12% and the Lib Dems on seven per cent.

At the last elections in 2007, the SNP emerged as the largest party, winning 47 of the 129 total seats with an average of 31% of the vote, The number was just one more than Labour, which gained an average of 30% of the voted.

The election is the fourth since devolution in 1999 and so far no single party has won a overall majority in the Scottish parliament, which has significant powers on health, education, the environment, policing and justice system with a £30 billion budget.

Prior to the SNP's historic victory four years ago, Labour previously formed coalition governments with the Liberal Democrats, the current partners of the Conservatives in the British government.

Opinion polls suggest that the Lib Dems set to pay a heavy price for reneging on many of its principles by going into coalition with the Tories at the elections on May 5, which also include for the Welsh Assembly and for a series of local authority seats across the UK.

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