Voters would be split down the middle if a Scottish independence referendum were held tomorrow, according to a new poll by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman.
The poll shows both Yes and No on 46% of the vote, while 8% of Scotland are undecided; removing those who don’t know, puts Yes on 50% and No also on 50%.
This represents an increase in the Yes vote share of two points from the last Savanta ComRes Scottish independence voting intention in late October.
The poll comes as Scottish voters express an increased dissatisfaction with the government in Westminster in the wake of the Partygate scandal.
The Prime Minister’s personal net favourability rating drops 16pts since October and now sits at -62, making him the least favourable politician in Scotland alongside the leader of the Alba Party, Alex Salmond.
The favourability rating of the UK government as a whole also drops by a similar margin, now with a net rating of -50. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, who has previously enjoyed relatively reasonable favourability ratings in Scotland, drops 10pts to -19.
The Chancellor is, however, still seen more favourably than the Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross, whose own rating drops two points to -21.
This is despite an overwhelming majority of Scots (79%) saying that Mr Ross made the right decision in calling for the Prime Minister to resign due to Partygate. A similar proportion of Scots (78%) agree with the Scottish Conservative leader and say the Prime Minister should step down.
Those that think the PM should go include half (50%) of those who voted Conservative at the Holyrood election last May.
The poll also finds that 54% of Scottish adults, including 46% of those who would vote No if a referendum were tomorrow, say that the Partygate scandal has hurt the case for Scotland remaining in the union.
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “A 50/50 split on the independence voting intention does represent a bit of shift towards Yes since our last poll in October, but ultimately given the disaster the UK government in Westminster is currently experiencing, one would perhaps expect support for independence to be higher.”
“Indeed, many swing independence voters will likely weigh up in their minds the competence of both the Scottish and UK governments at any given moment to help decide how they’d vote at a future referendum, and while the UK government is in disarray, with four in five saying the PM should resign over Partygate, it’s perhaps surprising that support for Scotland to go it alone, away from the disingenuous nature of Westminster politics, isn’t higher.”