The SNP will lose North Perthshire to the Tories but hold three-way marginal North East Fife in next month’s general election, new polling data suggests.
Analysis by Lord Ashcroft suggests which party is most likely to emerge victorious in each constituency using surveys, census information, and the particular circumstances and history of seats.
It says the Conservatives have a 52% “win chance” in Perth and North Perthshire, a key battleground with MEP Ian Duncan taking on incumbent Pete Wishart, who has held the seat for the SNP for the past 16 years.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will launch her party’s manifesto in Perth on Tuesday and has campaigned in the constituency twice already since the snap election was called.
In a boost to the SNP, however, the data says Stephen Gethins has a 64% “win chance” in North East Fife, with Ms Sturgeon expected to visit the area again this week.
The analysis also suggested the Tories, who are standing local councillor Tony Miklinski, have overtaken the Liberal Democrats to climb into second place.
However, internal Lib Dem canvassing data, seen by The Courier, puts Willie Rennie’s party ahead across the constituency.
The party was backed by 35.05% of people activists spoke to. The SNP received the support of 29.99%, and the Conservatives 20.65%.
Mr Rennie won the Holyrood constituency in last year’s Scottish Parliamentary vote and former councillor Elizabeth Riches is standing for the party in the general election.
The Scottish Lib Dem leader said the Ashcroft analysis was “largely nonsense”, adding that Ms Riches was “favourite to win” the seat.
He said: “The Liberal Democrats convincingly beat the SNP at the council elections in North East Fife and in the Scottish Parliament seat last year. The Conservatives were third in both.
“The survey uses an utterly flawed method. Similar surveys have accepted that national results can’t predict local results in this way.
“This survey includes Tory voters from places like Dumfries and Ayr to pump up the numbers. It doesn’t tell the story using actual Fife voters.”
Mr Miklinski said the council elections saw the Conservatives gather momentum across Fife.
He added: “This changes the dynamic of North East Fife completely. The majority in North East Fife want to stop the Nationalists; and now they can do that by electing a Conservative instead of an irrelevant Lib Dem.”
Angus is also in play, the research suggests, although the SNP’s Mike Weir is still expected to edge out Conservative challenger Kirstene Hair and has been given a “win chance” of 57%.
Every other seat in Tayside and Fife is rated as extremely safe for the SNP.
Elsewhere in Scotland, the Ashcroft analysis says the Tories are favourites to take SNP depute leader Angus Robertson’s seat in Moray.
It also suggests Labour and the Lib Dems will be wiped out in Scotland with the Nationalists given a 43% “win chance” Edinburgh South, currently held by Ian Murray, and 56% in Orkney and Shetland, the constituency being fought by Alistair Carmichael.
A spokesman for the SNP said: “In all parts of Scotland, now more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland at Westminster.
“Labour cannot be trusted to stand up to the Tories, and Tory MPs will simply do whatever Theresa May tells them.”
A Labour spokesman said: “This shows that voters cannot be complacent, especially in Edinburgh South.
“In constituencies across Scotland like Edinburgh South, Dunfermline and West Fife and Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, only Labour can stop the SNP.”
Scottish Conservative Moray candidate Douglas Ross said: “People are sick of the SNP’s endless threat of another referendum, and are putting their trust in us to stand up to the nationalists.
“In seats all over Scotland, which the SNP has taken for granted for too long, people are turning against the nationalists.”