Scots more likely to favour independence regardless of who next PM is as Truss and Sunak head to Perth

The two candidates head to Perth on Tuesday evening to face Tory members at an official hustings


Scots would be more likely to favour Scottish independence regardless of who becomes the next Prime Minister, a poll has found,

A study from Survation and Diffley Partnerships, which polled more than a thousand Scots, found that around a quarter would be more likely to favour independence irrespective of who wins the Conservative Party leadership race.

When asked whether they would be more likely to support independence if Ms Truss became Prime Minister, 20 percent of participants said they were "much more likely", while a further five percent said they would be "a little more likely".

When the same question was asked about Mr Sunak, 19 percent of people said they were "much more likely", with seven percent saying they would be "a little more likely".

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak

The poll also found that most Scots didn’t know who would make a better Prime Minister with 47 percent of people voting for that option.

While Ms Truss picked up 27 percent of the votes and Mr Sunak 25 percent.

Ms Truss came out on top with 11 percent more likely to support the Tories under her leadership versus Mr Sunak’s nine percent, as well as 25 percent voting for Ms Truss as more honest and 19 percent siding with Mr Sunak as the more truthful individual.

Ahead of the hustings in Perth on Tuesday night, the leadership contenders have both promised greater scrutiny of the Scottish Government if they become the next Prime Minister.

Ms Truss has committed to get “Scotland’s economy moving”, and vowed to give Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) special legal protection, allowing them to be more outspoken as they scrutinise decisions made by the devolved government.

She said: “Having grown up in Paisley, I consider myself to be a child of the Union. When I say I’ll deliver for our country, I mean all of it.

“I will never let anyone talk down Scotland’s potential. As a nation we are stronger together and the UK needs Scotland as much as Scotland needs the UK.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

“For too long, people in Scotland have been let down by the SNP focusing on constitutional division instead of their priorities. That won’t happen under my watch.”

She added: “I’ll make sure that my government does everything to ensure elected representatives hold the devolved administration to account for its failure to deliver the quality public services, particularly health and education, that Scottish people deserve.

“As prime minister and minister for the Union, I will deliver on my ambitious plan to capitalise on the opportunity we have to turbocharge the growth and business investment required to get Scotland’s economy moving.”

Mr Sunak meanwhile promised to make it a requirement for Scotland’s most senior civil servant, the permanent secretary to the Scottish Government, to attend Westminster’s Public Affairs and Constitutional Affairs (PACAC) Select Committee each year, just like the UK Government’s cabinet secretary.

The former chancellor has also promised to enforce “consistent reporting of public service performance data across the country” so that UK Government could hold Scottish Government accountable for essential public service delivery.

Mr Sunak said: “The future of the United Kingdom is bright but our Union must work together, each nation shoulder to shoulder, to get there. We must defeat the collective challenges threatening the health of our public services. Under my plans the UK Government will play its part, but the same must be reciprocated by Holyrood.

“For too long the SNP has been able to obscure its failures by picking and choosing the data it publishes – I would change that, ensuring the Scottish Government’s record could be held to account, while ensuring our public services are better joined up.

“Scottish senior civil servants will also face greater scrutiny, with the permanent secretary to the Scottish Government required to appear annually at a UK Parliament Select Committee hearing.”