One in five Scots 'unlikely to wear Poppy'

Almost a fifth of adults are unlikely to wear a poppy to mark Remembrance Day this year, with one in five of those saying they will not do so because they believe Remembrance Day glorifies war.

77 per cent of people in Scotland said they supported the appeal and were likely to wear a Poppy.
77 per cent of people in Scotland said they supported the appeal and were likely to wear a Poppy.

Scots have among the lowest levels of support for the Poppy appeal of all regions of the UK, with just 77 per cent saying they were likely to don the iconic red flower in the run up to 11 November. In the north east of England and Yorkshire and Humberside, support for the campaign was highest, with 84 per cent of people saying they would wear the flower.

The survey found that UK-wide, 11 per cent of adults will not wear poppies, while another nine per cent are unsure about supporting the annual Poppy Appeal, which raises around £43 million a year for service personnel and veterans. One in six say they oppose current military action by UK armed forces.

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Poppyscotland, which makes five million poppies a year at the Lady Haig factory in Edinburgh, said it welcomed the news that three quarters of the population supported their campaign.

The number is higher among the under-25s, around 21 per cent of which say they will definitely not wear poppies, while a further 11 per cent are unsure, according to the study from researchers Consumer Intelligence, interviewed 1,056 people from its online polling database.

A total of 29 per cent of Scots, however - and the same number nationwide - believe poppies should be compulsory in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

Consumer Intelligence’s research found one in 12 people have suffered hostility from others for wearing poppies, or experienced arguments. Around one in 20 parents say they would not encourage children to wear poppies in case they are targeted.

However, around 32 per cent of donors plan to give more for the Poppy Appeal this year.

Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, said: “The Poppy Appeal commands widespread support and raises huge sums but not everyone agrees with it or backs it.

“It is interesting however that tolerance of those who oppose poppies is so high with most people accepting it is a matter of personal choice.”

Poppyscotland chief executive Mark Bibbey said: “We are somewhat baffled that the research firm behind this study has concluded that the Scottish Poppy Appeal is anything other than incredibly well supported.

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“It simply highlights what we already know; namely that the Scottish Poppy Appeal means a great deal to a great many people. Clearly we never take the support of the Scottish public for granted and we take very seriously our duty to ensure future generations understand the significance of the poppy and the Remembrance period."

He added: “However, receiving the backing of more than three-quarters of the population is not cause for concern. This news should provide reassurance to the Armed Forces community – some of whom rely on Poppyscotland’s vital, life-changing support – that the public care about them and are committed to supporting the Poppy Appeal once again this year.”