Connect with us

Politics

‘Loathing’ of Boris Johnson fueling surge in support for Scottish independence: Poll



LONDON — Boris Johnson’s leadership is the biggest factor driving swing voters in Scotland towards backing independence, according to an extensive new analysis of public opinion on a fresh referendum. 

Brexit, the U.K. government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a desire to settle the question once and for all were among the most persuasive arguments for independence among undecided and swing voters surveyed as part of polling by JL Partners, the firm led by Theresa May’s former pollster James Johnson. But none proved as persuasive as the argument: “Boris Johnson is not the leader I want to have for my country” — a sentiment 79 percent of swing voters agreed with. 

The poll of 1,016 Scottish voters, conducted in September and shared exclusively with POLITICO, gave independence a 56 to 44 percent lead, excluding those who said they did not know. The 12-point lead is in line with other recent polls showing a growing lead for a Yes vote in any future referendum. POLITICO’s latest Poll of Polls puts the lead for Yes at 50 to 42, with 8 percent undecided. Fifty-five percent of voters backed “no” in Scotland’s first independence referendum in 2014.

Worryingly for Downing Street, the study also found that the U.K. government’s current opposition to holding another independence referendum would prove unpopular should First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) win a majority in next May’s Scottish parliament elections, with 53 percent of swing voters surveyed last month saying the U.K. government would be wrong to deny a new referendum in that scenario.

An SNP majority in Scotland is considered increasingly likely, with the poll putting the party well ahead on 58 percent of the constituency vote. POLITICO’s Poll of Polls has the SNP on 54 percent. 

!function(e,t,i,n,r,d){function o(e,i,n,r){t[s].list.push({id:e,title:r,container:i,type:n})}var a=”script”,s=”InfogramEmbeds”,c=e.getElementsByTagName(a),l=c[0];if(/^/{2}/.test(i)&&0===t.location.protocol.indexOf(“file”)&&(i=”http:”+i),!t[s]){t[s]={script:i,list:[]};var m=e.createElement(a);m.async=1,m.src=i,l.parentNode.insertBefore(m,l)}t[s].add=o;var p=c[c.length-1],f=e.createElement(“div”);p.parentNode.insertBefore(f,p),t[s].add(n,f,r,d)}(document,window,”//e.infogr.am/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”,”bf73fae6-d97d-4673-af67-889385e0929b”,”interactive”,””);

The U.K. government currently says the matter of Scottish independence was “settled” in 2014. When former Prime Minister Theresa May faced calls for a second referendum during her spell in office she deflected, insisting “now is not the time,” a stance which James Johnson, founder of J.L. Partners, said was backed by No. 10’s own polling of Scottish opinion at the time. 

Now, he said, the picture had “dramatically changed” and was “bleak” for unionists. 

“It is hard not to look at these figures and assume the Union is doomed. It is certainly the gravest situation the Unionist cause has found itself in in recent history,” James Johnson said. 

Pro-independence sentiment had already been on the rise in Scotland since the U.K. voted to leave the EU in 2016, when Scottish voters backed Remain by 62 percent to 38.

Boris Johnson’s lack of popularity in Scotland has long been understood by No 10. However, the pandemic — and specifically perceptions of how well Johnson and Sturgeon respectively have performed — appears to have galvanized SNP support, with the poll finding that 84 percent of swing voters think the U.K. government handled the situation badly, compared to 74 percent who say the Scottish government handled it well. 

Should a second referendum be held, the choice of spokespeople for the unionist campaign will be crucial, the polling suggests. The role of the opposition Labour party, which is pro-union, will be key, with more than one in five Scottish voters who backed the party at the 2019 general election currently saying they would vote for independence. Labour figures like party leader Keir Starmer, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Chancellor Alistair Darling (the latter two both Scots) are viewed particularly positively among undecided voters. 

!function(e,t,i,n,r,d){function o(e,i,n,r){t[s].list.push({id:e,title:r,container:i,type:n})}var a=”script”,s=”InfogramEmbeds”,c=e.getElementsByTagName(a),l=c[0];if(/^/{2}/.test(i)&&0===t.location.protocol.indexOf(“file”)&&(i=”http:”+i),!t[s]){t[s]={script:i,list:[]};var m=e.createElement(a);m.async=1,m.src=i,l.parentNode.insertBefore(m,l)}t[s].add=o;var p=c[c.length-1],f=e.createElement(“div”);p.parentNode.insertBefore(f,p),t[s].add(n,f,r,d)}(document,window,”//e.infogr.am/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”,”d4e94461-69da-4872-a608-4008041cfd09″,”interactive”,””);

Among Conservative union advocates, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson are viewed favorably. 

“The chancellor has a net rating of +30 with Scottish swing voters, higher than Keir Starmer, Gordon Brown, Alex Ferguson, and even the Queen,” James Johnson said. “Ruth has lost some of her popularity since she stepped down, but still gets a positive judgment from voters. No. 10 should lock away Boris, and put up Rishi and Ruth.” 

“In focus groups [Boris Johnson] is not just criticized in the way David Cameron and Theresa May were,” James Johnson adds, “but loathed.”

Arguments about economic uncertainty are likely to the most persuasive in the union cause. The poll found that the most persuasive argument for staying in the U.K. among swing voters, which 69 percent agreed with, was “an independent Scotland is a step into the unknown.” 

!function(e,t,i,n,r,d){function o(e,i,n,r){t[s].list.push({id:e,title:r,container:i,type:n})}var a=”script”,s=”InfogramEmbeds”,c=e.getElementsByTagName(a),l=c[0];if(/^/{2}/.test(i)&&0===t.location.protocol.indexOf(“file”)&&(i=”http:”+i),!t[s]){t[s]={script:i,list:[]};var m=e.createElement(a);m.async=1,m.src=i,l.parentNode.insertBefore(m,l)}t[s].add=o;var p=c[c.length-1],f=e.createElement(“div”);p.parentNode.insertBefore(f,p),t[s].add(n,f,r,d)}(document,window,”//e.infogr.am/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”,”9b48381b-f61b-4d8d-8934-9e7408d4cc0d”,”interactive”,””);



Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence
43°
Partly Cloudy
6:55am4:15pm EST
Feels like: 36°F
Wind: 12mph SSW
Humidity: 58%
Pressure: 29.79"Hg
UV index: 0
WedThuFri
45/30°F
52/37°F
54/41°F
Advertisement

Top News cnn