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Tories brace for local elections misery in Scotland as poll reveals they are sunk behind SNP and Labour as third-placed party – while Rishi Sunak’s popularity has plummeted
- New poll shows Tories are third-placed party in Scotland behind SNP and Labour
- Only Alex Salmond is more unpopular than Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak
- The Chancellor’s personal ratings have nose-dived amid the cost-of-living crisis
- Savanta ComRes survey points to local elections pain for Tories tomorrow
The party’s worsening fortunes in Scotland appear to driven by the deep unpopularity of senior Conservatives, such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in the wake of the Partygate scandal.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak‘s personal ratings have also taken a battering as Scots – like many others across the UK – are faced with the cost-of-living crisis.
According to the Savanta ComRes survey, the Tories are now backed by less than one in five voters (18 per cent) in Scotland when it comes to constituency voting intention for the Scottish Parliament.
This puts them behind the dominant SNP (46 per cent) and Scottish Labour (25 per cent).
The Conservatives are also the third-placed party when it comes to regional list voting intention, with the Tories again on 18 per cent, Labour on 23 per cent, and the SNP on 31 per cent.
The survey revealed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, retains her positive favourability rating among Scottish voters (13 per cent).
But, by contrast, only her predecessor Alex Salmond (-63 per cent) is more unpopular than Mr Johnson (-58 per cent) or Mr Sunak (-48 per cent).
The Tories are now backed by less than one in five voters (18 per cent) in Scotland when it comes to constituency voting intention for the Scottish Parliament
The Conservatives are also the third-placed party when it comes to regional list voting intention, with the Tories again on 18 per cent, with Labour on 23 per cent, and the SNP on 31 per cent
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s personal ratings have taken a battering as Scots – like many others across the UK – are faced with the cost-of-living crisis
The PM’s favourability rating has dropped seven percentage points since March, when he was revealed to have enjoyed an 11-point rise as he led the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Chancellor’s popularity has plummeted by 26 percentage points since March, at a time when Britons have been feeling a squeeze from soaring prices and rocketing energy bills.
The Savanta ComRes survey is the pollster’s first in Scotland since the PM and Mr Sunak were handed a police fine for breaching Covid rules.
There was little more enthusiasm for Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who initially called for Mr Johnson to resign over Partygate before backtracking on his demand.
Mr Ross has a net favourability (-25 per cent) below that of Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar (-4 per cent), Scottish Green co-leaders Lorna Slater (-11 per cent) and Patrick Harvie (-14 per cent), and Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton (-17 per cent).
The Conservatives’ poor polling in Scotland is likely to lead to the party shedding council seats in the country at tomorrow’s local elections.
The PM’s favourability rating has dropped seven percentage points since March, when he was revealed to have enjoyed an 11-point rise as he led the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The Chancellor’s popularity has plummeted by 26 percentage points since March, at a time when Britons have been feeling a squeeze from soaring prices and rocketing energy bills
Chris Hopkins, political research director at Savanta ComRes said: ‘Labour’s large lead over the Conservatives in second place of both the constituency and list Holyrood voting intentions are certainly eye-catching.
‘But, as with almost everything related to Labour at the moment, it feels like a lead more to do with the fortunes of the Conservatives than anything Labour are doing especially well.
‘The Conservative’s Westminster fortunes have taken a battering since Partygate, but it appears that the cost of living crisis has turned Scottish voters away from the party.
‘And with there unlikely to be any remedy to many voters’ concerns about the affordability of basic items needed to live on the horizon, it’s possible things could get worse for the Conservatives before they get better – including on Thursday in the local elections.’
Ahead of the council elections, Ms Sturgeon this week reaffirmed her intent to push ahead with a second Scottish independence referendum next year.
But the poll revealed only a minimal change in enthusiasm for Scotland breaking away from the rest of the UK.
Without including undecided voters, 49 per cent said they would vote for independence (up one point), while 51 per cent said they would vote to retain the Union (down one point).
A majority of voters also expressed doubts over whether Ms Sturgeon’s planned timetable for a referendum to be held in 2023 would actually happen.
More than half (53 per cent) said it was unlikely a referendum would be held by the end of next year, while two in five (39 per cent) said it is ‘likely’.
Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,010 Scottish adults aged over 16 years online from 26th April to 3rd May 2022.
Source: Daily Mail