30 - 07 - 2020 / Polling


Mark Diffley talks polls with LBC Radio's Eddie Mair on 23 July 2020 answering a range of questions from general trends of Scottish Independence, Covid and Boris Johnson's visit Scotland.

In an interview with Eddie Mair on LBC Radio, expert pollster Mark Diffley was asked a range of questions covering many topics, first of which was that the trend in polls when it comes to Scotland's independence.

Mark Diffley said "the trend is there has been an uptick in support for independence" and "is consistently over 50%." a reverse in what we saw in the 2014 referendum result, where Yes is now 55% and No is 45% which has been a feature in most polls in the past year.

He qualifies these results as not just in response to the Corona virus and the public opinions in Scotland and rest of the UK on how each government has handled the pandemic but highlighting the difference in Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon's managing of the situation has only "accelerated what we have observed nine months in the polls prior."

Mr Diffley explains that the main factor in the change in polls towards independence is in fact, Brexit. Scotland has a different view on Brexit as it voted 62% to 38% in favour of Remaining in the European Union compared to England which voted 53.4% to Leave, Northern Ireland 55.8% to Remain and 52.5% in Wales to Leave.

"we know that as we got closer to the exit of the European Union, more people who voted both to stay in the UK (so voted No in 2014) but voted to Remain in the EU are changing their minds on the independence question and that has been the real driver in the last nine to twelve months."

Eddie Mair of LBC asked given the striking differences in public opinions of the Prime Minister and the First Minister, what does Boris Johnson have to do to turn the independence polls around in his favour?

Mark stated that one of the things that could perhaps be in Boris Johnson's favour is that two thirds of people in Scotland are not clamouring to have a second independence referendum in the next two years, in that sense time is on the Prime Minister's favour.

"However, the UK Government's line: 'we're just not interested', 'we're just not going to allow it to happen' I think politically, that won't hold for the longer term"