A FIRM majority of Scots support proposals to make it easier for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC), a new poll has found.

The headline result is likely to buoy the Scottish Government, with both the SNP and Greens having pledged to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) in “the first year of this parliamentary session”.

However, it also revealed that aspects of the Government’s gender reform proposals do not enjoy such public support.

The poll, conducted by Savanta ComRes for the BBC, asked 2038 Scots their opinions on a wide range of issues connected to trans people and gender reform.

It found that 57% of Scots support making it easier for trans people to obtain a GRC, while just 20% opposed.

This position was held by the majority of women (63%), and by a plurality of men (49%). Just 15% of women opposed making it easier to get a GRC, while 26% of men opposed it.

Across the political spectrum, only a plurality of Conservative voters opposed making it easier to obtain a GRC (41% vs 33%). Supporters of all the other parties supported the idea, including 66% of SNP voters.

Supporters of Scottish independence (according to whether they voted Yes in 2014) were more likely to favour the idea than those who supported remaining in the Union. Some 60% of Yes voters supported making it easier to get a GRC, while 18% opposed. For No voters, this was 48% vs 27%.

However, the specific aspects of the bill do not have anything like the public support enjoyed by the general notion of making it easier to get a GRC.

The ComRes poll found that proposals to allow people to self-identify as their chosen gender enjoyed only slim support, with 40% backing the plan vs 38% opposing it.

The GRA reform proposal to lower the amount of time a person needs to live as their chosen gender before obtaining a GRC from 2 years to 6 months was slightly opposed. A total of 44% of Scots rejected the idea, while 37% supported it.

The plan to reduce the age at which a person can legally change their gender from 18 to 16 was also opposed. While 31% supported the idea, a majority (53%) opposed the plan.

There was also a clear majority in favour of making it illegal to make a false declaration of gender identity. A total of 60% said it should be illegal, while just 16% said it should not.

READ MORE: The moral panic over Stonewall and trans rights is fuelled by misinterpretation

Elsewhere, just 10% of respondents said close friends or family of theirs were trans, while the majority (53%) said they did not know anyone who was trans.

A large majority of Scots (67%) said they were not following the GRA issue closely, compared to 31% who said they were.

The polling also found that a plurality of Scots (39% vs 35%) oppose allowing people to identify as non-binary, neither male nor female.

At points, the results of the poll seem contradictory. A massive majority (61% vs 10%) agreed that single-sex spaces should continue to be upheld in law. However, a plurality of respondents also said that transgender men and women should be allowed to use the public bathroom of their choice.

Professor Sir John Curtice, who has studied the results of the poll for the BBC, said: “There are two obvious characteristics of us as a society on transgender men and women.

“The first is that we are pretty evenly divided on many of the arguments we are having such as whether to make it easier for them to register legally their new gender and whether or not they should be able to use toilets of the gender to which they identify.

“The second is that quite a lot of us are still not really very sure about where we stand on this issue.

“On many of the questions in this poll we have got between a fifth and a third of people saying they are frankly not sure, don't know, neither agree nor disagree with either option. In contrast to the online debate, which is undoubtedly deeply polarised, the general public are not particularly sure and only about a third are following the issue closely.”

Referring to a difference in responses according to age, Curtice added: “If the views of the under 35s are indicative of the direction we are going, it may well be in ten or twenty years time what at the moment is the subject of intense debate perhaps will become less so.”

Vic Valentine from the Scottish Trans Alliance told the BBC: “I’m really pleased to hear that overall there is a majority of people who would support making it easier for trans people to change the sex on our birth certificates.

“When we have the opportunity to talk to people about what the reforms are all about and why the changes are needed, we often find that people are pretty supportive about the fact that the situation should be made easier for us.”

You can find the full data from the Savanta ComRes poll, which was conducted between online between January 7 and 25, here