SUPPORT for Scottish independence has a 12-point lead over support for the Union and is fuelled by a dislike of Boris Johnson, according a new poll published by Politico.

The website published a survey carried out by JL Partners, the firm ran by Theresa May’s former pollster James Johnson, finding 56% of the 1016 Scottish voters polled supported Yes compared with 44% who backed No, with don’t knows excluded.

The firm asked undecided and swing voters which arguments they found the most convincing, with Brexit, the UK’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and a desire to settle the constitutional question all proving persuasive.

However the most convincing argument, which 79% of those polled agreed with, was: “Boris Johnson is not the leader I want to have for my country.”

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The study also found that the UK’s opposition to another indyref would be unpopular if Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP secures a majority at the upcoming Holyrood election, which looks likely based on polling.

More than half (53%) of swing voters polled said the UK Government would be wrong to reject a Section 30 order in those circumstances.

The poll has the SNP on track to win 58% of the constituency vote.

Johnson said the picture in Scotland has “dramatically changed” since May’s “now is not the time” mantra. He called the situation “bleak” for Unionists.

He went on: “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.”

On the pandemic, 84% of undecided and swing voters said the UK Government had handled the crisis badly while 74% thought the Scottish Government had handled it well.

The National:

Voters were also asked about their views on pro-Union politicians. A recent leaked memo circulated around senior UK Government figures on strategies to fight against independence warned of a “vacuum” of leadership on the Unionist side, prompting the question of who would have a key role in a future No campaign.

Johnson went on: “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 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.”