SCOTS regard Nicola Sturgeon’s government as “competent”, “effective” and “empathetic” in how it runs the country – but view Boris Johnson’s as “incompetent” and “ineffective”, according to new research findings.

The opposing attitudes towards the Edinburgh and London administrations are the latest results to be published from a super-sized poll conducted by Survation for the pro-independence research organisation Progress Scotland.

Some 2093 voters were asked to rate the two governments in ways such as competence, effectiveness, responsiveness, communication and empathy, with the survey carried out between September 25 and October 5.

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Among the findings are:

- Competence: 67% think the Scottish Government is competent but 70% of people think the UK Government is not competent

- Effectiveness: 68% believe the Scottish Government is effective but 69% of people believe the UK Government is not effective

- Responsiveness: 73% think the Scottish Government is responsive but 65% of people think the UK Government is not responsive

- Good at communicating with public: 80% believe that the Scottish Government is good at communicating with the public but 72% believe the UK Government is not good at communicating with the public

- Empathetic: 71% think the Scottish Government is empathetic but 80% think the UK Government is not empathetic.

- Authoritative: this was is the only measure where the UK Government had a positive rating, where 55% of people believe the Westminster Government is authoritative while 76% believe the Scottish Government is authoritative.

Voters also had a more positive assessment on how the Scottish Government had handled the pandemic compared to the UK’s.

When asked on a 0-10 scale for each government, over a quarter of voters (27%) gave the UK Government the lowest score (zero), compared to just one in 10 (9%) giving the Scottish Government a zero score, while maximum 10 out of 10 scores were given to the Scottish Government by 15% compared to just 2% for the UK Government. More widely, 60% rated Scottish Government in the positive column (6-10), compared to 16% for the UK Government.

On the performance of leaders, similarly the First Minister received higher ratings for her handling of the pandemic than the Prime Minister for his.

Some four in 10 Scots (39%) gave the PM zero out of 10 for his handling of the crisis, compared to just 2% who scored him 10 out of 10.

Meanwhile, around one in 10 Scots (9%) gave the FM zero out of 10 and one in five scored her performance as 10 out of 10. More widely, 12% rated the PM’s performance in the positive column (6-10) compared to 62% who rated the FM’s performance as 6-10.

The survey was designed by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research Ltd.

Johnson has seen his approval ratings plummet during the pandemic over mixed messages on the wearing of face coverings and working from home.

He was also accused of undermining his own government’s rules to stay at home if experiencing symptoms when he failed to sack his chief adviser Dominic Cummings over lockdown breaches.

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Sturgeon, in contrast, swiftly sacked her former chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood for breaking stay at home rules by visiting her second property in Fife.

The SNP also withdrew the whip from Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Margaret Ferrier after she admitting breaches self-isolation rules.

Angus Robertson, the former SNP deputy leader and managing director of Progress Scotland, said: “This poll illustrates the significant difference in general public attitudes between the UK Government and the Scottish Government, which is largely positive towards Holyrood and negative towards Westminster.

“These findings are also mirrored in relation to specific questions on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and between First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Earlier parts of the poll have already been released which reflect how much opinion is changing in Scotland and impacting on views towards Scottish independence.

“The poll has already established that the highest-ever percentage of voters in Scotland now believe that there would be a Yes victory if a referendum were held tomorrow and that one third of 2014 No voters have changed their minds to Yes or are not sure how they would vote.”