The last time John Swinney was leader of the SNP, 20 years ago, the party went on to return only six MPs in the next general election. Labour returned 41 north of the border. Swinney had resigned the year before, but this was his electoral legacy. 

Could history be about to repeat itself now he is leader once again? The most recent YouGov poll, conducted after Swinney became leader and First Minister, suggests that Labour has a ten point lead over the SNP in Scotland. If that were maintained on polling day, the nationalists would be reduced from 43 MPs to only 11. Scottish Labour would win 35 seats – which could mean the difference between Keir Starmer entering No. 10 with an overall majority and him being a minority prime minister.

Such a rout against the SNP is unlikely. But there is no disguising the anxiety in the SNP about this snap summer election, which John Swinney argued ‘disrespected Scotland’. It will fall during the Scottish school holidays which begin three weeks before England’s. This adds a new dimension of uncertainty since many Scottish voters will be away from home. Some will organise postal votes, and many disillusioned former SNP supporters may vote with their buckets and spades.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

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