Voters split 50/50 on Scottish independence – STV poll

Record low approval ratings for Boris Johnson, with 83% dissatisfied with the Prime Minister's performance.

Support for Scottish independence divided 50/50, according to Ipsos poll for STV News iStock
Those polled were split 50/50 on whether Scotland should be independent.

Scottish voters are split 50/50 on independence, according to a new poll for STV News.

Backing for ‘Yes’ is now at 50% – down five points compared to the last Ipsos poll in December 2021. 

Excluding undecideds, the Scottish Political Monitor suggests the future of an independent Scotland could hang in the balance if another referendum was held now.

Boris Johnson has proved unpopular among Scots.
Boris Johnson has proved unpopular among Scots.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for indyref2 by the end of 2023 last year, however the UK Government has indicated it wouldn’t give consent.

Meanwhile, approval ratings for Prime Minister Boris Johnson have hit a new low in Scotland, where 83% said they were ‘dissatisfied’ with his performance.

As the cost-of-living crisis grips the country, 59% of people in Scotland feel worse off than they were a year ago. Two-thirds think they would be worse off in the future if Johnson’s Conservatives win the next general election.

The SNP remain the dominant party in Scotland with 44% of those likely to vote backing them in an immediate general election; one point down compared with December 2019.

Labour, however, is now in second place on vote share, at 23% – higher than the 19% achieved in December 2019. This is compared with 19% for the Conservatives, down from 25%. One in ten voters would back the Liberal Democrats.

A calculation shows the SNP would have 49 Scottish seats in the House of Commons, followed by the Liberal Democrats on five, the Conservatives on three and Labour on two.

Labour's predicted vote share has risen to 23%.
Labour’s predicted vote share has risen to 23%.

Top issues facing Scotland

Key concerns for the Scottish public are inflation and the rising cost of living, with 30% mentioning this as an important issue facing Scotland.

It’s followed by healthcare/ the NHS (27%), education and schools (24%) and the economy (22%).

Meanwhile, the proportion seeing Scottish independence/ devolution as one of the most important issues facing Scotland today has fallen by 10 points since last November, to 17%.

‘New low for Boris Johnson’

Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos in Scotland, said: “Boris Johnson has never received positive ratings in Scotland, but these latest Ipsos and STV News findings are a new low for the Prime Minister.

“Although the SNP continues to dominate voting intentions, there are tentative signs of a recovery for Scottish Labour, with continued positive ratings for Anas Sarwar, and Labour ahead of the Conservatives on Westminster voting intention.

“However, the scale of the challenge facing Labour is underlined by the fact that after 15 years in government the SNP remains the most trusted party across a wide range of policy areas.

“This includes the cost of living – which the public say is the most important issue facing Scotland at present.”

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 16+ across Scotland over the phone between May 23-29.