British PM's Conservatives open up record lead

Professor Curtice said the Tories had failed to open a large gap between them and Labour, and that Kezia Dugdale's party was "down but not out".

Ms Sturgeon said the general election in Scotland will be "straightforward choice" between the SNP or Conservative MPs who will "rubber-stamp" Prime Minster Theresa May's hard Brexit and austerity policies.

It is tipped as one of seven seats across Scotland where the Tories can expect victory.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will order her Conservatives to forget last week's triumph in local elections and to renew their efforts to work "flat out" for "every vote" in Britain's national campaign.

Internal party data based on how Scotland voted at last week's local government election claims that the party is poised to stage a remarkable comeback north of the border.

However, Ms Sturgeon, who joined the SNP's new council group in Glasgow, said: "I've heard lots of ludicrous arguments in my time in politics but this takes the prize for the most ludicrous argument".

"Make no mistake - we are the underdogs going into this campaign".

So, the fact that the party won only 32% in the local elections would seem to raise questions about the SNP's ability to repeat that feat.

The SNP took 32.3 per cent of the vote, which is unchanged from the last council election in 2012 but down from 46.5 per cent of the "first past the post" constituency votes secured by the party in last year's Holyrood election.

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Although the Conservatives did well "by their standards", they did so by taking votes from Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party and not by eating into SNP support, the First Minister said.

Last week the UK Prime Minister accused the European Union of interfering in the upcoming UK General Elections on 8 June, causing more tensions with the 27 member block and drawing criticism for provoking what some analysts fear could be a "no deal Brexit" situation. Not only is the Tory revival real (some Nationalists appeared to be in denial about that), but if some of the swings on Thursday are replicated in Westminster constituencies next month then the SNP could lose some senior figures.

"Do we want to have strong voices standing up for Scotland?"

"The strength of feeling that's out there in this election is so much stronger than I've come across at previous elections", she added.

"Voters across Scotland will take a dim view of arrogant Tories taking them for granted".

"The people have their say at the ballot box and I think the north-east of Scotland has a way of bringing people who make vainglorious boasts down to earth with a sharp bump".

"Scotland must speak with a clear voice in this election to stop the Tories in their tracks". Turnout will also be higher next month, although the 46.9 per cent turnout last week was higher than normal for council votes.

"As none of us are strong enough to win any of the seats in Kent on our own it is nearly as if they want the status quo of traditional party divides to remain and ensure another five years of Conservative government".

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