Scottish independence: If there's no majority now, despite all Boris Johnson's problems, there won't be next year either – John McLellan

Even as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was preparing to atone for the failings identified in the Sue Gray report into Partygate, the gap between public opinion about political leadership and support for Scottish independence was once again writ large.

Thursday, 26th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Despite Boris Johnson and Partygate, a majority of Scots want to stay in the Union (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Despite Boris Johnson and Partygate, a majority of Scots want to stay in the Union (Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Another opinion poll published yesterday morning put support for the Union at 55 per cent, and that’s after months of controversy about the culture of Downing Street and the Prime Minister’s integrity, compared to the still relatively undented popularity of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It is yet another illustration that whatever the Scottish public might think about the personalities of the two leaders, about the cost-of-living crisis or Brexit, or whatever issue may be top of the new agenda, it is not translating into consistent approval for the end of the United Kingdom.

There is little argument that repeated elections endorse Ms Sturgeon as the best politician to stand up for Scotland’s interests, but it’s clear that many are making a very different judgement call when it comes to making a decision which will have consequences going far beyond the current performances of individual politicians.

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Scottish independence: YouGov poll shows same Yes result as 2014 referendum

Lengthening hospital waiting lists, rising drug deaths, lower education standards, and a faltering economy amidst a global crisis are not the solid platform from which most Scots are prepared to take a leap, whatever they might think about Boris Johnson’s trustworthiness.

A referendum in 2023? If there’s no majority for independence now after all the problems the UK Government has faced, there’s little chance of one next year.