THERESA May’s pollster has warned that the “Union is doomed” after 56% of Scots told him they’d back Yes at indyref2.
The survey, carried out by James Johnson’s JL Partners for Politico, gave support for independence a 12 point lead, with No at 44%, when don’t knows are excluded.
It’s the 11th serious poll in a row to show majority support for independence.
According to James Johnson that boost for yes is partly because swing voters “loathe” Boris Johnson, and partly because they believe the Scottish government has handled the pandemic, the economy, the NHS and schools better than the rest of the UK.
Writing on Politico, Johnson said: “It is hard not to look at these figures and assume the Union is doomed. It is certainly the gravest situation the Unionist cause has found itself in in recent history.”
The study also found that the UK’s opposition to another indyref would be deeply unpopular if the SNP secures a majority.
The pollster said it would drive up support for independence and for Nicola Sturgeon amongst swing and undecided voters.
He said the Prime Minister’s current line that the last vote was a once in a generation question “falls flat in focus groups, and half of swing voters reject the line that it is currently too soon to have another vote.”
On the constituency vote, the SNP were on 58, the Tories on 19, Labour 13, the LibDems 8 and the Greens 2. On the list vote, the SNP were forecast to take 53%, the Tories 19, Labour 13, LibDem 8, Green 5.
Earlier this month a memo sent to Michael Gove warned of a “lack of key personnel among those on the ‘No’ side of the independence debate.”
The report – leaked to Bloomberg – was prepared by political consultants Hanbury for a select group of insiders at the heart of the Tory Government.
The analysts warned of “a vacuum of leadership within the Unionist movement which is leaving the campaign rudderless at a key moment”.
Friday’s poll said that while Labour figures like Keir Starmer, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are “viewed particularly positively” among undecided voters, none of them do as well as Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
James Johnson told Politico: “The chancellor has a net rating of +30 with Scottish swing voters, higher than Keir Starmer, Gordon Brown, Alex Ferguson, and even the Queen.
“Ruth [Davidson] has lost some of her popularity since she stepped down, but still gets a positive judgment from voters. No 10 should lock away Boris, and put up Rishi and Ruth.”
“In focus groups [Boris Johnson] is not just criticised in the way David Cameron and Theresa May were,” Johnson adds, “but loathed.”
There was some sombre reading for the Yes side too. Arguments about uncertainty are still the most likely to sway swing voters to remain in the Union.
The poll found that the most persuasive argument for voting No would be that “an independent Scotland is a step into the unknown.”
When asked who had the better argument over currency and defence, most voters backed the No side.
However, when asked who had the better argument on the economy, 40% said the Yes side, with 39% saying No.
When asked which side had the better argument on Scotland’s relationship with Europe, 60% said the Yes side.
The SNP’s Depute Leader, Keith Brown, said: “With consecutive polls putting support for independence above 50%, it’s clear that majority support for independence is no longer a trend, but now the settled will of the people of Scotland.”