Nicola Sturgeon popularity rises as Unionist approval falls

Politicians that back the Union have seen their popularity fall while approval for Nicola Sturgeon has risen according to a new poll.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Contributed
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Contributed

Research from YouGov and The Times found that Jeremy Corbyn in particular had lost significant support in the past four months.

Just 13 per cent of Scots think that Mr Corbyn is doing well, while 69 per cent say he is doing badly.

This gives the Labour leader net satisfaction of minus 56, compared with minus 35 in November.

Theresa May is on a net rating of minus 10, down from minus 5.

Ruth Davidson’s net satisfaction rating was found to have dropped and her lead over Nicola Sturgeon has shrunk.

The Scottish Tory leader’s rating fell from 25 in November to 18 while Ms Sturgeon has increased five points to 16.

The First Minister’s approval rise comes amid a decline in support for the Scottish Government’s handling key issues such as health and education.

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On education, 44 per cent of Scots believe that the government is doing well compared to 42 per cent (37 per cent in November) who believe the SNP are doing badly. The increase in disapproval pushed the Scottish Government’s net approval down from 7 to 2.

Earlier this month the government suffered a parliamentary defeat over education after MSPs backed opposition claims the administration is “failing” pupils, teachers and parents. MSPs voted 63 to 62 at Holyrood in support of a Scottish Labour motion to that effect as the party piled pressure on Education Secretary John Swinney, who has delayed his planned reforms to the sector.

Speaking at the time, Education Secretary John Swinney said: “The government has set out in the national improvement framework, an agenda for strengthening Scottish education from the foundations that we have.

“I am first to accept ... that there are challenges that exist within Scottish education and there is an opportunity for political parties in this Parliament to work with the government in taking forward the agenda and contributing to the agenda.”