Scottish Independence Referendum & Westminster Voting Intention (3-4 February 2024)

February 7, 2024
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 Scottish Westminster Voting Intention poll finds Labour now leading the Scottish National Party by 1% in Scotland.

This poll is the only the second time Labour has led in our Scottish Westminster Voting Intention tracker poll. The Scottish National Party, meanwhile, last held a lead over Labour in our Westminster Voting Intention poll in early October.

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% and won only a single Scottish seat.

Altogether the results (with changes from 9-11 January in parentheses) are as follows:

Labour 34% (-1)
Scottish National Party 33% (-2)
Conservative 18% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 8% (-1)
Reform UK 4% (+2)
Green 2% (–)
Alba Party 1% (NEW)
Other 0% (-1)

66% 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 (59%). 

21% 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 (35%), behind the NHS (69%) and the economy (61%).

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak receives a net approval rating of -34%, down ten points from last month and the lowest rating he has held in our monthly Scottish tracker. Our poll finds 56% (+6) of Scots disapprove of his overall job performance against 22% (-4) who approve.

40% (+4) disapprove of Jeremy Hunt’s performance as Chancellor of the Exchequer, compared to 19% (-5) who approve, giving him a net approval rating of -21% (-9). 

Asked their view on the UK Government, a majority of Scots (63%, +4) say the current UK Government is incompetent. Only 14% (-5) 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 (-53%), the economy (-45%), and housing (-43%).

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Scotland stands at +3%, down eight points from our previous poll. 34% (-3) of Scottish voters approve of Starmer’s job performance, against 31% (+5) who disapprove. 

When asked who would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 47% (+4) of Scottish voters say Keir Starmer and 20% (-4) say Rishi Sunak, giving Starmer the largest lead he has held over Sunak since we began our Scottish political tracker. A further 34% (+1) 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 to 2%, while Labour holds a 2% advantage over the SNP in our regional list voting intention poll. 

Altogether the results of our Holyrood Constituency Voting Intention poll (with changes from 9-11 January in parentheses) are as follows: 

Scottish National Party 35% (-2)
Scottish Labour 33% (+1)
Scottish Conservatives 18% (–)
Scottish Liberal Democrats 8% (–)
Scottish Green Party 3% (–)
Reform UK Scotland 3% (+2)
Alba Party 1% (+1)
Other 0% (-1)

When voters are asked who they would vote for on their regional list ballot, Labour (29%, -1) leads the SNP (27%, +2) by two points, with the Scottish Conservatives eleven points further back in third position on 16% (-1).

Humza Yousaf’s latest net approval rating is -17%, down eleven points from last month, and tying his lowest ever approval rating in our Scottish polling. 25% (-6) approve and 42% (+5) disapprove of his overall job performance since he became Leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland.

A plurality (41%, +1) say the current Scottish Government is incompetent, compared to 25% (-7) who say it is competent.

The Scottish Government earns positive ratings for its policy performance on the coronavirus pandemic (+11%), cultural issues (+6%), and the environment (+2%).

The Scottish Government holds negative net approval ratings for its handling of issues including housing (-20%), the economy (-13%), and the NHS (-12%). 

39% disapprove of the Scottish Government’s performance on Scottish independence, compared to 33% who approve.

Scottish voters believe Humza Yousaf would be a better First Minister for Scotland than Douglas Ross, although he is now tied with Anas Sarwar on the same question

Yousaf (39%) leads Ross (28%) by eleven points, while Yousaf and Sarwar are tied on 33% each.

Our latest Scottish independence referendum voting intention poll finds ‘no’ leading by 4%, the joint-largest lead for ‘no’ since late October.  

47% (–) of Scottish respondents now say they would vote ‘no’ and 43% (-3) say they would vote ‘yes’ if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on whether Scotland should be an independent country. 10% (+3) don’t know how they would vote. 

Last week, it was announced that water bills in Scotland will increase by 8.8% from April. This announcement marks the third consecutive annual increase in water charges for Scottish consumers, following a 5% rise in 2023 and a 4.2% increase in 2022.

Consequently, 45% of Scottish voters now say they are ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ concerned about their ability to afford their water bills this year.

While accurate comparisons between different regions of the UK are hard to make, 29% of Scottish voters think water bills in Scotland are cheaper than they are in the rest of the UK, 22% think they are more expensive, and 20% think they are about the same.

First Minister Humza Yousaf has rejected calls to freeze or subsidise water bills in order to help Scottish consumers with the cost of living crisis, a measure the Government has taken with regard to council tax.

A plurality of 43% oppose Yousaf’s decision to rule out freezing water bills, while only 23% support his decision to do so.

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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