:: Monday, July 01, 2002 ::

Socialists on course for seven seats

The Herald

TOMMY Sheridan's Scottish Socialist party is on course to win seven seats at next May's Holyrood election, according to the latest poll for The Herald.

The NFO System Three survey found the SSP at an all-time high of 8% in the regional list standings, with growing support in almost every part of the country.

An analysis by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) suggests this would translate into seven MSPs, an increase of six on Mr Sheridan's current single seat, and establishing the SSP as significantly more than a one-man band.

Based on the figures, the SSP would get two list seats in the West of Scotland, and one each in the Highlands and Islands, Lothians, Central, Glasgow, and South.

One of the victims of any growth of the SSP could be Robin Harper, the current Green MSP in the Lothians, although his party could gain three list seats in the Highlands and Islands, North-east, and South, making for the strong prospect of a substantial rainbow block of red-green MSPs in the new Holyrood.

This could even approach the scale of the Tory group - estimated on today's figures at 12 - although such a projection should be treated with caution, as the Conservatives have historically performed better in real elections than in opinion polls.

The SSP scores highest on the list vote in the West of Scotland (13%), followed by Highlands and Islands (11%), Glasgow (10%), Lothians and South (both 8%), Central (7%), Mid and Fife (4%), and North-east (3%)....

July 1st 2002

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