ALMOST two-third of Scots think the next five years of life in the UK will be worse than the previous five, with just one in ten expecting things to improve, a damning new poll has suggested.

Commissioned by Alba, the polling found that 63.8% of Scottish adults expect the next five years of life in the UK to be worse than the five years up to now.

In contrast, just 12% of people said they expected things to be better over the same period. Around one in four (24.2%) said they thought things would remain much the same.

Alba said the poll, run by Find Out Now between July 6 and 14, was “not good reading for anyone hoping to present a positive vision for the future of Scotland as part of the UK”.

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They highlighted how the previous five years had seen both Brexit and a pandemic, emphasising the pessimism amongst Scottish voters.

Subsamples from the representative polling show that optimism is greater among those who voted Leave than those who voted Remain in the Brexit referendum of 2016, although the majority of both groups (55% and 69% respectively) expect things to worsen in the coming years.

Optimism is also greater among Conservative voters than SNP voters, the subsamples suggest, with Labour and LibDem supporters falling somewhere in the middle.

Among those who voted Tory in 2019, 50.9% expect things to get worse in the next five years, while 19.6% expect them to improve. For the SNP this was 74.2% against 7.9%.

Chris McEleny (below), Alba’s general secretary, said the polling reflected an “underlying crisis of confidence in the future of the UK”.

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He called for the Yes movement to view the public’s pessimism as an opportunity to campaign for independence, highlighting how his party leader Alex Salmond would soon lead the party’s “60th pro-independence public meeting of the past year”.

McEleny said: “This poll is grim reading for the Labour Party and the Tories. Both are vying to be the next UK Government but even their own voters think that the next five years living in Scotland as part of the UK will be worse than the last five years – and that was a period that we left the EU, had a global pandemic, and the Tories crashed the economy.

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“This underlying crisis of confidence in the future of the UK should be an opportunity for the independence movement.

“By offering a positive vision of what an independent Scotland can achieve we can give people the facts and the confidence to choose the hope of an independent Scotland over the fear of just how bad the future will get if we stay part of the UK.”

The Find Out Now polling used a representative sample of 1005 Scottish adults. The question, “Do you believe that the next five years living in the UK will be better or worse than the last five years living in the UK?”, was asked between July 6 and 14, 2023.