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by Louise Wilson
29 November 2023
Six in ten Scots believe Michael Matheson should resign over data bill row

Humza Yousaf has stood by his health secretary throughout the row | PA/Alamy

Six in ten Scots believe Michael Matheson should resign over data bill row

Six out of ten Scots believe Michael Matheson should resign over his £11,000 data roaming bill, new polling by Ipsos has found. 

Among SNP voters, just over half (52 per cent) believe he should resign, while almost three-quarters of those who vote Conservative (74 per cent) and Labour (72 per cent) think he should go. 

The SNP retains its lead in voting intention for both the next general and Scottish election. 

And support for Scottish independence is slightly ahead, with 54 per cent saying they’d vote Yes and 46 per cent saying No. 

Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos in Scotland, said: “Although Humza Yousaf’s party have been having a difficult time of late, with controversy over Michael Matheson’s parliamentary iPad data roaming bill of almost £11,000, they remain out in front when it comes to voter preferences for both Westminster and Holyrood elections.” 

Around 40 per cent of people intend to vote SNP at the general election next year, while 30 per cent say they will back Labour. 

The Tories are in third with 15 per cent, while only six per cent of voters intend to back the Lib Dems. 

At Holyrood level, the SNP has a 12-point lead over Labour in constituency voting intention (39 per cent to 27 per cent). 

That gap is slightly smaller for the regional list vote, with the SNP on 33 per cent and Labour on 26 per cent. 

The Conservatives are supported by 15 per cent of voters in both the constituency and regional vote, with the Lib Dems on eight per cent for both. 

Around four per cent of voters would choose the Greens in the constituency vote, but 10 per cent intend to back the party on the list. 

Slightly more voters think Labour is ready to form the next UK Government (41 per cent versus 36 per cent), but fewer agree the party is ready to form the next Scottish Government (32 per cent to 45 per cent). 

Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, is the only political leader to receive a positive net satisfaction rating of +3. 

First Minister Humza Yousaf has a satisfaction rating of -13, while Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross is on -27. 

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “We take absolutely nothing for granted and will re-double our efforts with the powers we have to help communities and businesses.” 

Regarding the Matheson polling, Ross said: “This poll demonstrates how arrogant and out of touch the First Minister was to not just stand by a totally discredited minister but aid and abet his efforts to mislead the public. He must finally do the right thing and sack Michael Matheson.” 

And Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “The verdict of the Scottish public is clear – they want a health minister that is focused on our NHS not one focused on saving his job.” 

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