SCOTTISH voters with an open mind about independence are despondent about Brexit and the Tory leadership contest, according to research carried out by Progress Scotland, the new polling and research organisation founded by former SNP depute leader Angus Robertson.

The organisation has published its first round of focus group findings. Focus groups were held in Edinburgh and Glasgow on the July 9 and 10, 2019, with responses on the current Brexit dominated political climate including: “Things are falling apart all over the place", "I don’t feel as if we are travelling in the right direction” and “I’m actually fed up with it all to be honest. Fed up”.

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A total of 19 participants took part in the discussions, with 9 in Edinburgh and 10 in Glasgow.

All voters had indicated that they are “undecided” on the issue of Scottish independence; some had voted “No” while others had voted “Yes” in 2014.

The focus groups drew participants from all age groups and social classes, with a “near equal” balance of women and men.

Responses also demonstrated a lack of support for both leadership candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson.

Some responses included: “I have no confidence in either of them… it proves to me our political industry at the moment is like a circus, so why not have a clown leading us” and: “I’m not sure Boris Johnson knows what Scotland is... I think it’s a disaster, just him in general, being in charge of probably the biggest decision of my lifetime.”

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Published days before the result of the election of the new leader of the UK Conservative party is announced, responses in the focus groups show that the next prime minister will face an uphill struggle to win over Scottish voters.

Progress Scotland Managing Director Angus Robertson said: “Views in Scotland are extremely negative about the current Brexit political climate and the Tory leadership

candidates. This latest research shows the depth of feeling amongst voters who are open-minded or undecided about Scottish independence.

Opinion polls show majority support for holding another independence referendum and majority support for "Yes" if Boris Johnson is elected.

“We will be commissioning further focus groups around the country and large scale opinion polls to gauge the changing mood in Scotland to better understand the views of people who are open-minded or undecided about Scottish independence.”

Mark Diffley, the independent polling and research advisor who conducted the focus groups, said: “Voters feel confused, disillusioned and angry with the current political climate.

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“The next prime minister faces an uphill struggle to win over Scottish voters. Open-minded voters want another independence referendum but not until Brexit situation is clearer.

“Brexit is key to attitudes on independence with undecided voters having no ideological opposition to it but want to hear the detail.”

Results showed that most voters within the focus groups feel confused, disillusioned and angry with the current political climate.

When asked to give their spontaneous views on the current political scene, voters are overwhelmingly and almost exclusively negative.

The themes between the two group were almost identical and covered issues from confusion and observations that “everything is messy”, to more active negativity such as feeling “unheard” and “angry” and helpless because of the actions taken by the political class, especially driven by the Brexit process.

Progress Scotland is founded by Angus Robertson, former Westminster leader of the SNP until 2017 and former SNP depute leader , to “better understand how people’s views are changing in Scotland”.

It commissions public opinion polling, focus groups and other research in order to build an “in-depth look at the attitudes of a small number of voters”, representing different areas of society but whom are all "undecided on the issue of Scottish independence".