Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of winning a majority in the general election are “close to zero” because Labour cannot regain any seats in Scotland, the country’s top polling guru has predicted.

Professor Sir John Curtice said Corbyn’s best hope is to lead a minority government because he cannot deliver more MPs in ­Scotland, despite having just spent two days on the campaign stump north of the Border.

Curtice he said that results in the seven seats Labour is defending in Scotland are “potentially ­fundamental” to Boris Johnson’s chances of winning next month.

Professor Sir John Curtice said Corbyn’s best hope is to lead a minority government
 

The Strathclyde University professor said: “Up until 2010, you could ignore Scotland. No longer.

“What happens in Scotland is potentially fundamental to Boris Johnson winning the election. The chances of Labour winning a majority are frankly as close to zero as one can safely say they are given that the party looks incapable of regaining anything in Scotland.”

He added that in Scotland, the SNP looked like coming out of the election better off.

He said: “It’s a question of whether it is closer to 45 or 50 seats, maybe it is closer to 45 although more polling needs to be done.

“Even though the Lib Dems may makes some trivial gains, the SNP still has to be the favourite to get the third largest party place in the Commons.”

The polling guru said the election was not a competition to win but to see which of the two parties would lose the least number of votes.

The Tories are down four per cent on 2017 across the UK, with Labour down 12 per cent.

Curtice said: “In England and Wales losing less than your ­opponent is fine but in Scotland, the SNP are there.”

He revealed that in Scotland, an average of polls put the SNP on 40 per cent, the Tories on 20 to 23 per cent, and Labour below 20 per cent.

Support for ­independence is at 49 per cent, it has gone up amongst Remain voters.

Curtice said: “It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Brexit impasse is beginning to push Scotland slightly in a pro-Yes direction because it is primarily Remain voters who have shifted.

“There is now a much stronger relationship between opposition to Brexit and your attitude to ­independence.”

The most likely outcome of the General Election, based on current opinion polls, was a majority Tory government, he revealed.

But he added: “This is a pretty binary contest. Either Boris gets a majority and we’re leaving the EU on the terms he’s negotiating, or we get a hung Parliament in which case we have to anticipate that a minority Labour administration will apply for an extension and there will be a referendum.”

In the key election battleground in the north of England the election will be decided by Remain voters, said Curtice.

Curtice said Brexit impasse is beginning to push Scotland slightly in a pro-Yes direction

He said only 14 per cent of Leave voters were backing the Labour.

On the campaign trail, party leader Jeremy Corbyn was heckled for a second day during his tour of ­Scotland, this time over his ­opposition to IndyRef2.

As he gave a speech to ­suppporters in Dundee, he was interrupted by a member of the audience who asked what he planned to do about the “will of the Scottish people”.

Corbyn asked the man, who later identified himself as former SNP activist Bob Costello, if he could return to the question after he had finished his speech.

Costello said: “Is this ­democracy?” Corbyn replied: “Democracy is not when you interrupt somebody when they are speaking.”

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon yesterday said she would prioritise an independence referendum next year over a second vote on Europe.

Asked during First Minister’s Questions about her support for two re-runs by Tory Jackson Carlaw, she said: “My priority is to give the people of Scotland the opportunity to choose independence next year. I look forward to delivering on that.”

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General Election 2019: Top news stories