SUPPORT for Scottish independence is at 56 per cent in the latest poll on the issue carried out by JL Partners, a polling firm set up by a former adviser to Theresa May.

Politico published the survey which gives Yes a 12-point lead and finds a dislike of Boris Johnson is fuelling support for self-determination.

Other persuasive arguments included Brexit – which 62% of Scots voted against in 2016 – and the UK Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the latest in a succession of polls to put support for independence ahead of support for the Union. Yes backing grew when Boris Johnson was elected with an 80-seat majority in December, but in recent months polls have put the exact support level between 55% and 58%.  

READ MORE: Scottish independence support has 12-point lead in latest Politico poll

James Johnson, the founder of JL Partners and May’s former pollster, said the findings show this is “is certainly the gravest situation the Unionist cause has found itself in in recent history”.

Here’s four key findings from the JL Partners/Politico poll.

  • Section 30

The National:

We know from a recent leaked memo circulated around senior UK Government figures on anti-independence strategy that rejecting a Section 30 order and seeking to delay a referendum as far as possible may be the game plan. This poll finds that, in the case of an SNP majority in 2021 (which looks very likely), most swing voters (53%) would be opposed to Westminster rejecting a Section 30 order. The poll has the SNP on 58% of the constituency vote.

  • Handling situations

The National:

This poll confirms what a lot of analysts have suggested, which is that the Scottish and UK government’s different handling of the coronavirus pandemic has influenced thinking on independence. The survey finds that 84% of swing voters think the UK Government has handled the situation badly, compared to 74% who think the Scottish Government has handled it well.

The poll also finds voters see big differences in how the governments handle situations in general. The Scottish Government is seen to be handling the economy, the NHS and schools better than Westminster.

  • Unionist leaders

The National:

Earlier this month the 21-page leaked Hanbury memo identified a “vacuum of leadership within the Unionist movement” – so the question is who would take a leading role in a future No campaign? This poll confirms Westminster will likely be keen to keep Johnson far away from it. Undecided voters were asked for their views on pro-Union politicians – they thought favourably of Keir Starmer, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Rishi Sunak and Ruth Davidson. The Scottish Tories are currently keen to put Sunak in the spotlight in Scotland to help them fight against independence, The National reported earlier this month.

  • Convincing arguments

The National:

Among undecided and swing voters the most persuasive argument for independence was: “Boris Johnson is not the leader I want to have for my country.” Some 79% of them agreed with it. According to Politico’s report the other convincing arguments were on Brexit, the pandemic and a wish to settle the constitutional question. The full tables will be available later today.