Scottish Independence Referendum & Westminster Voting Intention (29-30 October 2023)

November 1, 2023
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | GB Politics | GB Public Figures | Scottish Independence | UK Elections | UK Politics | Voting Intention

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Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest monthly Scottish Westminster Voting Intention poll finds Labour and the Scottish National Party tied in Scotland at 32% each.

The 32% for the SNP in today’s poll is the joint-lowest share of the vote they have recorded in any Westminster Voting Intention poll publicly released by any company since June 2014. The Conservatives, meanwhile, achieve their highest vote share in our Westminster poll since we started our Scottish monthly tracker in March, but remain in third place, nine points behind Labour and the SNP.

For context, the SNP came first in Scotland in the 2019 General Election, taking 45% of the vote and 48 seats, with the Conservatives in second, winning 25% of the vote and six seats. Labour came third at 19%, winning only a single Scottish seat.

Altogether the results (with changes from 4-5 October in parentheses) are as follows:

SNP 32% (-2)
Labour 32% (–)
Conservative 23% (+2)
Lib Dem 8% (-1)
Green 2% (–)
Reform 2% (+1)
Other 1% (–)

65% of Scottish voters cite the economy as one of the three most important issues that would determine how they would vote in a General Election, ahead of the NHS (57%). 

18% of respondents cite Scottish Independence/The Union as one of the three issues that would most determine their vote if a General Election was held tomorrow. Among 2019 SNP voters Scottish Independence is only the third most commonly selected issue (31%) behind the economy (65%) and the NHS (61%).

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak receives a net approval rating of -19%, up eight points from his rating last month. Our poll finds 46% (-4) of Scots disapprove of his overall job performance against 27% (+4) who approve.

45% (+4) disapprove of Jeremy Hunt’s performance as Chancellor of the Exchequer, compared to 19% (-2) who approve, giving him a net approval rating of -26% (-6). 

Asked their view on the UK Government, a majority of Scots (60%, –) say the current UK Government is incompetent. Only 18% (+2) view the UK Government as competent.

On its policy performance, Scottish voters give the UK Government negative net approval ratings on every policy issue listed, including on the NHS (-48%), the economy (-36%), and housing (-35%).

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Scotland stands at +11%, up four points from our previous poll, and his highest net approval rating in Scotland since November 2022 (when it was also +11%).

37% (+2) of Scottish voters approve of Starmer’s job performance, against 26% (-2) who disapprove. 

When asked who would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 40% of Scottish voters say Keir Starmer and 30% say Rishi Sunak. 31% say they don’t know.

The next Scottish Parliamentary Election is not due to be held until May 2026.

However, when voters are asked who they would vote for if a Scottish Parliamentary Election were held tomorrow, the Scottish National Party’s lead over Labour in our constituency voting intention poll has narrowed by two points to 4%. The party retains its one-point lead over Labour in our regional list voting intention poll. 

Altogether the results of our Holyrood Constituency Voting Intention poll (with changes from 4-5 October in parentheses) are as follows: 

Scottish National Party 34% (-1)
Scottish Labour 30% (+1)
Scottish Conservatives 22% (+2)
Scottish Liberal Democrats 8% (-2)
Reform UK Scotland 2% (+1)
Scottish Green Party 2% (-1)
Alba Party 2% (+2)
Other 0% (-1) 

When voters are asked who they would vote for on their regional list ballot, the SNP (28%, +2) leads Labour (27%, +2) by one point, with the Scottish Conservatives six points further back in third position on 21% (+2).

Humza Yousaf’s latest net approval rating is -4%, up two points from last month, and the highest net approval rating he has recorded in our tracker since becoming First Minister in March. 32% (+3) approve and 36% (+1) disapprove of his overall job performance since he became Leader of the SNP.

A plurality (40%, +1) say the current Scottish Government is incompetent, compared to 33% (-1) who say it is competent.

The Scottish Government earns positive ratings for its policy performance on the coronavirus pandemic (+33%), the environment (+16%), cultural issues (+13%), transportation (+3%), and education (+1%).

The Scottish Government holds negative net approval ratings for its handling of the other seven issues listed, including gender reform (-14%), housing (-8%), and the NHS (-5%). 

41% disapprove of the Scottish Government’s performance on Scottish independence, compared to 35% who approve.

In the wake of Storm Babet, which dumped between 150 and 200mm of rain on parts of eastern Scotland and caused three fatalities, a plurality (39%) of Scottish voters say they approve of the Government’s response to the storm, against 14% who disapprove.

Scottish voters believe Humza Yousaf would be a better First Minister for Scotland than either Douglas Ross or Anas Sarwar

Yousaf (41%, +1) leads Ross (26%, +2) by fifteen points, while Yousaf (35%, -1) also leads Sarwar (28%, +2) by seven points.

Our latest Scottish independence referendum voting intention poll finds ‘no’ leading by 5%

50% (+2) of Scottish respondents now say they would vote ‘no’ and 45% (-1) say they would vote ‘yes’ if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on whether Scotland should be an independent country. 5% (-1) don’t know how they would vote. 

Finally, with schools closed in four council areas today following strike action by members of Unison, and with further strike action planned next week, a plurality of 41% of Scottish voters say they support Unison members going on strike over pay. 31% oppose the strike action.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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