Scottish Independence Referendum & Westminster Voting Intention (8-9 May 2024)

May 10, 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 leading the Scottish National Party by 7% in Scotland, six points higher than in our previous poll last month, and the largest lead recorded by any polling company for Labour in Scotland since June 2014.

The 38% for Labour in this latest poll is their highest vote share in our Scottish voting intention polling to date and is also their joint-highest vote share in any Westminster voting intention poll by any polling company in Scotland since June 2014.

Conversely, the 31% for the SNP in today’s poll is the lowest share of the vote they have recorded since we began our Scottish political tracker in March 2023.

The Conservatives (14%), meanwhile, record their lowest share of the vote ever in our Scottish Westminster Voting Intention poll and their joint-lowest vote share with any polling company since December 2022.

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 6-7 April in parentheses) are as follows:

Labour 38% (+5)
Scottish National Party 31% (-1)
Conservative 14% (-3)
Liberal Democrat 8% (–)
Green 4% (+2)
Reform UK 4% (-1)
Alba Party 1% (-1)
Other 0% (–)

62% of Scottish voters cite the NHS and the economy as among the three most important issues that would determine how they would vote in a General Election. 

16% 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, making it only the joint-sixth most commonly selected issue. Among 2019 SNP voters Scottish Independence is only the third most commonly selected issue (29%) behind the NHS (65%), and the economy (57%).

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak receives a net approval rating of -46%, down twelve points from March and the lowest rating he has ever recorded in our Scottish polling. Our poll finds 61% (+5) of Scots disapprove of his overall job performance against 15% (-7) who approve.

43% (-3) disapprove of Jeremy Hunt’s performance as Chancellor of the Exchequer, compared to 16% (-4) who approve, giving him a net approval rating of -27% (-1). 

Asked their view on the UK Government, a majority of Scots (63%) say the current UK Government is incompetent. Only 11% 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 (-54%), housing (-50%), and the economy (-48%).

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Scotland stands at +2%, up three points since March. 33% (–) of Scottish voters approve of Starmer’s job performance, against 31% (-3) who disapprove.

When asked who would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 48% (+5) of Scottish voters say Keir Starmer and 16% (-6) say Rishi Sunak, giving Starmer his largest lead ever over Sunak in our Scottish polling. A further 36% (+2) 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, Labour have taken the lead over the Scottish National Party in our constituency voting intention poll for the first time

This poll marks the first time Labour has led the SNP in a constituency voting intention poll for a Scottish parliamentary election with any polling company since August 2014.

Labour (35%) achieve their joint-highest vote share in a constituency voting intention poll for a Scottish parliamentary election with any polling company since June 2014, while the SNP (33%) achieve their joint-lowest share in our constituency voting intention poll.

At 15%, the Conservatives achieve their lowest share of the vote in our constituency voting intention poll since we began our Scottish political tracker in March 2023.

Altogether the results of our Holyrood Constituency Voting Intention poll (with changes from 6-7 April in parentheses) are as follows: 

Scottish Labour 35% (+3)
Scottish National Party 33% (-1)
Scottish Conservatives 15% (-6)
Scottish Liberal Democrats 9% (+3)
Reform UK Scotland 3% (–)
Scottish Green Party 3% (+1)
Alba Party 1% (-1)
Other 0% (-1)

Labour also now holds a six-point advantage over the SNP in our regional list voting intention poll, the joint-largest lead Labour has enjoyed in a regional voting intention poll for a Scottish parliamentary election with any polling company since March 2011

When voters are asked who they would vote for on their regional list ballot, Labour (33%, +4) leads the SNP (27%, +1) by six points, with the Scottish Conservatives thirteen points further back in third position on 14% (-3).

Humza Yousaf, who stepped down as Leader of the SNP and Scottish First Minister this week, leaves office with  a net approval rating of -35%, down nineteen points from March and his lowest ever rating in our Scottish polling

17% (-8) approve and 52% (+11) disapprove of his overall job performance since he became Leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland.

A plurality (47%) say the current Scottish Government is incompetent, compared to 24% who say it is competent.

The Scottish Government earns positive ratings for its policy performance on the coronavirus pandemic (+17%).

The Scottish Government holds negative net approval ratings for its handling of every other issue prompted, including housing (-26%), gender reform (-23%), the economy (-16%), and the NHS (-15%). 

41% disapprove of the Scottish Government’s performance on Scottish independence, compared to 30% who approve.

Of Humza Yousaf’s thirteen months as First Minister of Scotland, a plurality of 49% of Scottish voters rate his time in office as a failure, against only 17% who rate his time in office as a success.

Among those who voted for the SNP at the last Holyrood election in 2021 (when Nicola Sturgeon was the party leader and First Minister), 35% rate Yousaf’s time in office as a failure, against only 28% who say it was a success.

A majority (55%) of Scottish voters support Humza Yousaf’s decision to resign as leader of the Scottish National Party and as First Minister of Scotland.

Among those who voted for the SNP in 2021, an even higher 60% support Yousaf’s decision to resign, against only 8% who oppose his resignation.

Two-thirds of voters say the likelihood of them voting for the SNP in a UK General Election (64%) or a Scottish Parliamentary Election (64%), or the likelihood of them voting ‘Yes’ in an independence referendum (66%) is unaffected by Humza Yousaf’s resignation as First Minister.

Of Yousaf’s successor as Leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland, John Swinney, 30% of Scottish voters have a favourable opinion, against 23% who have an unfavourable opinion.

Among those who voted for the SNP at the last Holyrood election, a majority of 52% have a favourable opinion of Swinney.

Among Scottish voters as a whole, 35% support and 18% oppose John Swinney becoming Leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister of Scotland.

Among 2021 SNP voters, 62% support and only 4% oppose Swinney’s elevation to party leader and First Minister.

Finally, our latest Scottish independence referendum voting intention poll finds ‘no’ leading by 4%.

48% (+6) of Scottish respondents now say they would vote ‘no’ and 44% (–) say they would vote ‘yes’ if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on whether Scotland should be an independent country. 8% (-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

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