Scottish Government approval rating remains positive

As the SNP gathers for its spring conference, a majority of Scots are satisfied with the way the Scottish Government is running the country

As the SNP gathers for its spring conference in Inverness this weekend, our most recent poll shows that a majority of Scots are satisfied with the way the Scottish Government is running the country. Our latest Scottish Public Opinion Monitor, conducted last month, found that 53% of Scots are satisfied with the way the Scottish Government is running the country, down one point since October, compared to 41% who are dissatisfied, up two points since October. This gives the Scottish Government a net approval rating of +12 points, down three points since October. These figures are in contrast to the UK Government’s net approval rating of -41 among voters across Britain. The Scottish Government has a positive approval rating across most of the key demographic groups, although there is some variation. The net approval rating is five times higher among under 35s than those aged 35 and over (+31 compared to +6 respectively) and four times higher among men than women (+21 compared to +4 respectively).

Unsurprisingly, satisfaction ratings tend to follow political allegiances. SNP supporters are the most likely to approve of the Scottish Government’s performance, giving a net approval rating of +70. Liberal Democrat supporters are the second most positive with a net satisfaction rating of +10, while Labour and Conservative supporters are more likely to be dissatisfied, with scores of -15 and -35 respectively.

Christopher McLean, Senior Research Executive at Ipsos Scotland, said: “Almost six years after coming into power at Holyrood, the SNP government retains the approval of a majority of Scots, good news for the party ahead of their spring conference. Satisfaction is particularly high among men and young people, which reflects patterns in voting intention for the SNP and support for independence. However, the relatively low satisfaction among women is further evidence that the SNP need to do more to appeal to female voters.”

Download the charts here (PDF) Download the data tables here (PDF) Technical details:

  • Results are based on a survey of 1,003 respondents (adults 18+) conducted by telephone
  • Fieldwork dates: 4th February – 9th February 2013
  • Data are weight by: age, sex and working status using census data; tenure using SHS data; and public-private sector employment using Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Employment series data
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories
  • Results are based on all respondents (1,003) unless otherwise stated


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