MORE than one in five voters who backed Labour at last year’s General Election will vote Yes in the next indyref, a new poll has revealed. 

The result of the Politico survey will be yet another headache for Keir Starmer and Richard Leonard who have struggled to articulate a position on the constitution. 

Overall, the poll suggested 56% of Scots would back independence at the next referendum, with many voters naming Boris Johnson as one of their biggest factors for wanting to leave the UK.

The polling of 1016 Scottish voters by JL Partners, the firm led by Theresa May’s former pollster James Johnson, said the argument “Boris Johnson is not the leader I want to have for my country” was the most persuasive for swing voters.

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

With the Prime Minister proving unpopular, Unionists will be desperately a seeking new "anyone but Boris" figurehead to lead the No campaign.

While Labour figures like Keir Starmer, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are “viewed particularly positively” among undecided voters, the pollster says, none of them do as well as Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Johnson told Politico: “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 [Davidson] 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.” 

“In focus groups [Boris Johnson] is not just criticized in the way David Cameron and Theresa May were,” Johnson adds, “but loathed.”

Earlier this month, a memo sent to Michael Gove (below) warned of a “lack of key personnel among those on the ‘No’ side of the independence debate.”

The report – leaked to Bloomberg – was prepared by political consultants Hanbury for a select group of insiders at the heart of the Tory Government.

The analysts warned of “a vacuum of leadership within the Unionist movement which is leaving the campaign rudderless at a key moment”.

READ MORE: Scottish independence: Four things we learned from the 56% poll

One Tory source told The National at the time that while their party had a rudder, and Labour had a rudder of sorts, the “Unionist movement don’t even have a vessel”.

The source added: “Basically since 2014 – arguably the couple of years before too – the Tories were the unionist movement, did the heavy lifting, all the funding, all the boots on the ground.

“But, as we know, that’s only ever going to get you so far.”

They said it was hard to see how the parties could work together in any second independence referendum.

“The Union won’t survive without a strong Labour,” our source said. “But, aside from Ian Murray, there’s nobody and nothing.

“So unless the two sides learn to work together – and how can they when they’re at such loggerheads in Westminster – there won’t really be much of a Unionist movement.”

A Labour source said they thought that if a referendum was called then it was inevitable that the two sides would come together.

They said: “While there isn’t anyone leading a united party campaign at the moment, I don’t think that’s the problem it’s made out to be as there isn’t a referendum campaign underway – and there are non-party pro-UK groups which are very active. If there ever did end up being another referendum then of course people would have to put differences aside.

“The two pressing issues today are Boris Johnson’s unpopularity and Richard Leonard’s unpopularity.

“Labour is key to fixing both because the SNP’s greatest fear is the possibility of a Labour government across the UK – but for Keir to achieve that, it requires Scottish Labour to recover.”