Survey shows all three UK leaders more unpopular in Scotland


By a Newsnet reporter

A poll carried out on behalf of the Sunday Times has revealed the extent of the unpopularity in Scotland of the three leaders of the main UK parties.

The survey, carried out by YouGov, showed that the leaders of the Labour, Tory and Lib Dem UK parties were significantly more unpopular north of the border than south, with Labour’s Ed Miliband’s popularity as low as Nick Clegg’s.

According to results of the poll, the strength of feeling against UK Prime Minister David Cameron is five times greater in Scotland than across the rest of the UK.  The Tory leader registered a negative rating of -37 in Scotland against a rating of -7 in the rest of Britain.

Mr Cameron’s satisfaction rating was 30% in Scotland against 44% in the rest of the UK, whilst those unhappy with his performance were 67% and 51% respectively.

In contrast, the poll showed that 62% of Scots were happy with First Minister Alex Salmond’s performance against 27% unhappy – a rating of +35%.

The poll also showed Labour leader Ed Miliband struggling to make any impact in Scotland with only 18 per cent of Scots believing he is doing well, against 76% who were unhappy.  Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg registered a similar level of support with 18% satisfied and 77% unhappy.

Across the UK the satisfaction rating for Miliband was 20% satisfied against 66% who were unhappy.  For Clegg the figures were 21% satisfied and 70% unhappy.

Figures from the Sunday Times/YouGov poll also revealed the UK Coalition government’s unpopularity is greatest in Scotland with 63% saying it is bad for people like them compared to only 13% saying it is good.  This compares to 53% saying bad and 21% good for Great Britain as a whole.

On the question of whether the UK Coalition is managing the economy well or badly, 71% of people in Scotland said badly compared to only 24% who said well – a net dissatisfaction of -47.  This compares to 56% badly and 36% well for Great Britain as a whole – a net dissatisfaction in Scotland of -20.

Commenting SNP MSP Bill Kidd said:

“Scottish voters are clear that David Cameron, or any other of the leaders of the anti-independence parties, do not represent their needs.

“The UK Government’s refusal to change its economic strategy, and Labour’s recent acquiescence, to invest in the capital projects that would help to create jobs and support recovery are just part of their problem.

“Panic induced comments from anti-independence party leaders to lecture Scots on an outdated union do not match the aspirations of the people of Scotland.

Mr Kidd said that scaremongering was no longer working and called on the Unionist parties to change their rhetoric or else risk alienating more Scots.

He added:

“As the election resoundingly demonstrated, the ambitions of the Scottish people go far beyond the inadequate Scotland Bill proposed by the anti-independence parties.

“And the SNP will ensure that people can vote to achieve a vibrant, successful, independent Scotland in the referendum in the second half of this Parliament – exactly as we said in the election.”

The First Minister’s figures from Ipsos Mori poll of 1001 adults in Scotland was conducted between 1st and 4thDecember 2011.

Figures for David Cameron, David Miliband and Nick Clegg are from a Scottish sample conducted by YouGov between 5th – 6th January 2012.

The results for Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg come before Tory leader announced his intention to try to take control of the independence referendum.