Scottish Independence Referendum & Westminster Voting Intention (4-5 October 2023)

October 6, 2023
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | GB Politics | GB Public Figures | Scottish Independence | UK Elections | UK Politics | Voting Intention

Share this research:

Our Most Recent Research

Following Labour’s victory in yesterday’s by-election in Hamilton and Rutherglen West, Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest monthly Scottish Westminster voting intention poll finds the Scottish National Party leading the Labour Party in Scotland by two points.

For context, at the 2019 General Election, the SNP came first in Scotland taking 45% of the vote and 48 seats, with the Conservatives in second, winning 25% of the vote and 6 seats. Labour came third on 19%, winning only a single Scottish seat.

Altogether the results (with changes from 2-4 September in parentheses) are as follows:

Scottish National Party 34% (-1)
Labour 32% (-3)
Conservative 21% (+6)
Liberal Democrats 9% (+1)
Green 2% (-2)
Reform UK 1% (-1)
Other 1% (–)

67% 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%). 

19% 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 (36%) behind the economy (66%) and the NHS (61%).

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak receives a net approval rating of -27%, down seven points from his rating last month. Our poll finds 50% (+4) of Scots disapprove of his overall job performance against 23% (-3) who approve. 

41% (+3) disapprove of Jeremy Hunt’s performance as Chancellor of the Exchequer, compared to 21% (+1) who approve, giving him a net approval rating of -20% (-2). 

Asked their view on the UK Government, a majority of Scots (60%, +1) say the current UK Government is incompetent. Only 16% (+1) 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 (-50%), the economy (-40%), and housing (-39%).

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Scotland stands at +7%, up two points from our previous poll. 35% (+1) of Scottish voters approve of Starmer’s job performance, against 28% (-1) who disapprove. 

When asked who would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 43% (-1) of Scottish voters say Keir Starmer and 24% (-6) say Rishi Sunak. 33% (+6) say they don’t know.

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

The Scottish National Party’s lead over Labour in our constituency voting intention poll has narrowed by three points to 6%, while the party has regained a slight lead over Labour in our regional list voting intention poll.

Altogether the results of our Holyrood Constituency Voting Intention poll (with changes from 2-4 September in parentheses) are as follows: 

Scottish National Party 35% (-4)
Scottish Labour 29% (-1)
Scottish Conservatives 20% (+4)
Scottish Liberal Democrats 10% (+2)
Scottish Green Party 3% (–)
Reform UK Scotland 1% (-2)
Alba Party 0% (-1)
Other 1% (+1) 

When voters are asked who they would vote for on their regional list ballot, the SNP (26%, +1) now leads Labour (25%, -5) by one point, with the Scottish Conservatives six points further back in third position on 19% (+4).

Humza Yousaf’s latest net approval rating is -6%, up two points from last month. 29% (-2) approve and 35% (-4) disapprove of his overall job performance since he became Leader of the SNP, with a further 31% (+7) saying they neither approve nor disapprove of his job performance.

A plurality (39%, -5) say the current Scottish Government is incompetent, compared to 34% (+6) who say it is competent. 

The Scottish Government earns negative ratings for its policy performance on every issue listed, except for the coronavirus pandemic (+30%), cultural issues (+8%) and the environment (+6%). 

The Scottish Government holds double-digit net negative ratings for its handling of issues such as gender reform (-16%), housing (-12%), relations with the UK Government (-12%), the economy (-11%), and education (-10%). 

38% disapprove of the Scottish Government’s performance on Scottish independence, compared to 34% who approve. 

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

Yousaf (40%, -2) leads Ross (24%, -3) by sixteen points, while Yousaf (36%, -1) also leads Sarwar (26%, -3) by ten points.

Finally, our Scottish independence referendum voting intention poll finds ‘no’ leading by 2%

48% (-1) of Scottish respondents now say they would vote ‘no’ and 46% (+2) say they would vote ‘yes’ if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on whether Scotland should be an independent country. 6% (–) don’t know how they would vote.

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

Share this research:

Our Most Recent Research