Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll reveals the Scottish public's damning verdict on the Brexit deal: the UK Government "prioritised English interests over Scottish interests", and came back with a "bad deal" for the Scottish fishing industry

Judging from their jubilant reaction on Christmas Eve, the Scottish Tories clearly thought they were going to be rewarded by the electorate for the last-gasp averting of No Deal.  But the obvious problem with that belief was that Boris Johnson had ended up selling the Scottish fishing industry down the river to get his deal, just as Edward Heath had done five decades earlier to get into the Common Market in the first place.  The Tories tried to overcome that snag by putting a positive gloss on the fishing concessions, but was anyone in Scotland buying that?  I decided to use our new Survation poll to find out.

To secure the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, the UK Government agreed to allow EU boats to continue fishing in UK waters for the next five and a half years.  Do you think this is a good deal or a bad deal for the Scottish fishing industry?  (Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll, 11th-13th January 2021):

A good deal: 21%
A bad deal: 48%

With Don't Knows excluded -

A good deal: 31%
A bad deal: 69%

Damning stuff, although what would really worry me if I was the Tories is the reaction of their own voters - 38% of whom say the deal is bad, with only 35% saying it's good.  It's not hard to imagine that those negative sentiments may be particularly magnified among traditional Tory supporters in coastal communities, in which case the party will have a fight on its hands in May in its two key target seats of Banffshire & Buchan Coast and Moray.  (Both are currently held by the SNP, but the Tories won the equivalent Westminster seats in both 2017 and 2019.)

Tellingly, Leave voters from the 2016 EU referendum are almost as strong in their denunciation of the deal (49% say it's bad) as Remain voters (54%). As we know, there are plenty of Leave voters who backed independence in 2014, and if those people become convinced that Scotland has been shafted by a Hard Brexit, it could be a significant turning-point.

It's probably not a coincidence that the three regions most opposed to the deal are the Highlands & Islands (55%), Mid-Scotland & Fife (54%), and the North-East (51%).

During negotiations on the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, do you think the UK Government gave greater priority to Scottish interests or to English interests?

Scottish interests: 13%
English interests: 53%
Both equally: 24%

I don't see how the Tories can have any complaints about this result - if respondents hadn't felt very strongly about the subject, "both equally" was there as a nice, safe, neutral option, and that would have been the majority outcome.  Instead, an absolute majority plumped for "English interests", so there's clearly a lot of anger out there.  The only difference on this question is that Tory voters are more forgiving - 61% of them very charitably say that British negotiators were even-handed between English interests and Scottish interests.  But among Leave voters, there's a slim plurality who say that English interests were prioritised.  Even No voters from 2014 take the same view - 46% say "English interests", which slightly outnumbers the combined total for "Scottish interests" (5%) and "both equally" (39%).

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There are still lots more questions to come from the poll, including (belatedly) the Holyrood voting intention numbers.  If you'd like to be the first to know when the results are published, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.  


  1. Will it make any difference at all? In my eyes it wont if there is no Plan B for Indy in the SNP.

    1. How do you know there isn't one? Do you think they should publish it in detail so London can have plenty of time to prepare to counter it?

    2. Smearer Skier - spoiler alert Russell has just published a plan in the National. Of course it could be a phoney plan to put the Britnats on the wrong footing. It could of course be just a phoney plan.

  2. The Inquiry into the FM, Scotgov and Special Advisers have announced that they have had a submission from Geoff Aberdein since October and will not publish it. Just who does that benefit I wonder. Shameful.

    The truth does not seem to matter to a lot of people in Scotland. It did not matter to Trump either.

    1. What's this got to do with independence? Seems you are not very interest in that from your posts; too focused on 'day job' domestic political squabbles.

      And why did Aberdein not ask for any meetings between him and Sturgeon to be minuted? Because they were private party business at the request of Salmond maybe?

      Either Aberdein was up to no good and didn't want that recorded, or he was just honestly meeting Sturgeon on private business. Must be one of the two.

  3. IainM,

    I'd have thought it obvious that a political party, in this case the SNP, can only put their manifesto in front of the electorate. I have no idea who Geoff Aberdein is. Perhaps you could link us to some sort of samizdat copy?

    These seem to me to be diversionary tactics which do not further the basic idea that we would be better off free. For some, it appears to be about their own position in a new hierarchy. Frankly they are getting the cart in front of the horse. Without independence thay will remain marginalised for ever more.

    After independence, as a front right and centre achievable objective, we can, as a nation, determine what we want to do next.

    I might embrace SNP policy or I may not. In a free, post independence, election, I'd probably vote Green. Meantime, until we have that freedom to vote on issues like that without the existential threat to our very existence it behoves you - at least in my opinion - to give your vote to the most likely method of gaining our liberty. Which is either the SNP or the Greens. IMVHO, YMMV.

    That, it seems to me, is the question. All else is politics 101. My point? That sometimes an issue transcends political squabbling.

    I am utterly unimpressed with the groupiscules that have arisen from the mud and have tried to benefit, politically, with the possibility that they will fracture an independence vote.

    Basically, you have an incredibly popular government that pushes for Independence for Scotland, with majority support from the electorate, which you also apparently want. But you see flaws?

    Are you a Trojan Horse?

  4. Apologies,

    That was my opinion on 'Independence for Scotland's' post, though, on re-reading IainM's post it probably applies to him / her too.

  5. A brexit dividend.

    British to face ban on entering EU under German plan to shut borders - The Times

    (Reuters) - European governments would be allowed to ban all UK residents from entering their countries and cut all passenger transport links with Britain under a German proposal to the European Union, the Times reported on Thursday.

    EU member states are free to impose temporary bans on entry and on transporting passengers entering from non-EU countries with virus variant areas, the Times reported, citing a draft proposal reviewed by the newspaper.

    1. Lots of internal borders, within Schengen, have been closed at various times during the pandemic.

      I doubt, therefore, this has anything to do with Brexit & is absolutely all above Covid respond.