Rishi Sunak marginally more popular in Scotland than rival Liz Truss, poll finds
Conservative leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak is slightly more popular with the Scottish public than his rival Liz Truss although neither candidate is viewed favourably north of the border.
Polling from Ipsos, which was taken in the days leading up to a hustings event in Perth earlier this week, found that both candidates are more popular in Scotland than current Prime Minister Boris Johnson but that neither have a large amount of support.
Just one in five Scots (19 per cent) have a favourable opinion of Sunak, dropping to 15 per cent for Truss and 14 per cent for Johnson.
Similarly, when don’t knows and no opinions were excluded from the findings, the results directly translated into unfavourable opinions, with 59 per cent having an unfavourable view on Sunak, 60 per cent on Truss and 74 per cent on Johnson.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, meanwhile, is more popular among the Scottish public, with 26 per cent viewing him favourably and 40 per cent unfavourably.
Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos in Scotland, said the findings, which are the result of interviews with 1,000 adults between 12 and 15 August, highlight “the scale of the challenge the new prime minister will face to reverse the Conservatives’ political fortunes in Scotland”.
“Irrespective of whether Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss becomes prime minister, though, the new prime minister looks set to be a little better positioned to turn things around than Boris Johnson was,” she added.
The scale of the challenge facing the Tories was also highlighted in another poll published earlier this week, which indicated that regardless of who wins the leadership race, the new prime minster is likely to persuade a significant proportion of Scots to vote for independence as and when another referendum goes ahead.
According to the poll, which was carried out by Survation on behalf of Edinburgh consultancy Diffley Partnership, most Scots (around 60 per cent) said the outcome would not affect their opinion on the union but 19 per cent of people said they would be "much more likely" to back Yes if Sunak wins while 20 per cent said they would if Truss wins.
Despite Truss proving marginally less popular than Sunak among the general population, pollster Mark Diffley said the Survation research also highlighted that among Conservative voters in Scotland Truss is seen as “more in touch and a better prospect to take on the SNP".