VOTERS’ estimations of the UK and Scottish leaders of both the Tory and Labour parties have sunk to record lows, Professor Sir John Curtice has said.

Curtice, the president of the British Polling Council, was commenting on the results of a YouGov poll conducted for The Times and published today (November 25).

The survey found that Nicola Sturgeon is the only UK political leader with a positive approval rating, while every one of her opponents languishes in the negative numbers.

The SNP leader had an approval rating of +12 among respondents, down from highs of +50 last summer but still far above her political opponents.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar’s rating has plummeted to a rating of -1, while his UK leader, Keir Starmer, has also seen a drop in his approval rating, which now sits on -35.

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The news is equally poor for the Tory leaders, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson having an approval rating of -62. A massive 78% of people said Johnson was doing his job poorly.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has also seen a drop in his rating, which now sits on -38. Just 17% of Scots said he was doing well in his role.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, the leader of the Scottish LibDems, has an approval rating of -16. However, the majority of respondents (55%) said they did not know how he was performing.

The Green ministers and party co-leaders, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater (below), have an approval rating of -8. A total of 27% of people said they were doing well, compared to 35% who said they were doing badly, and 38% who did not know.

The National: Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie

The poll also asked Scots about their feelings on independence, with the results suggesting a slight lead for No.

A total of 46% of those asked said they would vote to remain in the Union in a second referendum, while 40% said they’d vote for independence.

Four per cent of people said they would not vote, while 2% declined to answer and 9% said they did not know, suggesting the question remains on a knife edge.

The poll also found that 48% of Scots believe the SNP will have a mandate for a second referendum if they win a majority of seats north of the Border at the next General Election.

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Commenting on the poll’s results, Professor Curtice wrote in The Times that the SNP seemed well placed to dominate Scotland’s seats in a future General Election, which may give them “crucial bargaining power in the not unlikely event [of] a hung parliament”.

He adds: “There is no sign of any electoral challenge to the grip of the nationalist movement on the Holyrood chamber. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are mired in sleaze, and the UK and Scottish leaders of the Conservative and the Labour Party have all sunk to record lows in voters’ estimation.”

Curtice noted that the “constitutional question has not gone away”, but said the debate around it seems to have quietened down.

The professor also highlighted a massive drop in support for an independence referendum “within the next 12 months” among SNP voters - a positive 34% rating for the idea before the Holyrood election has become negative 10%.

He said the quiet may have “persuaded many independence supporters that the Yes movement does not yet have the energy for a successful campaign”.

Elsewhere, the poll found that voters are evenly split between Ian Blackford, Kate Forbes, and Humza Yousaf on who should take Sturgeon’s role at the head of the SNP after her eventual exit.

All three of those prominent SNP politicians polled at 6%. John Swinney polled at 5% and Joanna Cherry at 4%.

Don’t know (42%) and None of These (22%) were by far the most common answers given.

The YouGov poll surveyed 1060 Scots adults between November 18 and 22, 2021.