Boris Johnson urges Scottish Labor voters to back second independence referendum

NEARLY four in 10 Labor voters say they are more likely to support Scottish independence because Boris Johnson is in Downing Street, a poll has found.

Previous reports of internal research carried out by Deltapoll for Scottish Labor ahead of the local elections in May show that, overall, 40% of all voters say they are more likely to support Scotland leaving the UK because of the prime minister.

But now the Sunday National can reveal a breakdown of results by party shows that aside from SNP voters, Labor supporters are most likely to say they will support independence because of Johnson.

The poll of around 1,000 Scottish adults found that 39% of those who voted Labor in the 2019 general election agreed with the statement that Johnson as Prime Minister ‘makes me more likely to support a Scotland independent”.

READ MORE: ‘The game is set for Union,’ says Ian Blackford as he calls for Scottish independence referendum

The equivalent figure for SNP voters was the highest at 65%, while for the Liberal Democrats it was 26% and the Greens 24%.

Even some Tories – at 8% – agreed their own UK party leader was more likely to bring them back to independence.

Labor took second place in local elections earlier this month, pushing the Conservatives into third place and becoming Scotland’s largest Unionist party for the first time since 2016.

However, it was still the party’s second-worst local election result on record, winning 282 seats to the SNP’s 453.

Commenting on the poll, an SNP source said: ‘Labour will continue to scrap it for second place in Scotland with the Tories until they stop advocating for control of Westminster in Scotland.

“They are continually denying the democratic mandate the people of Scotland gave just a year ago for an independence referendum, until they recognize that they will continue to be irrelevant in Scotland.”

The issue of Labor’s rejection of another independence referendum had been raised in the weeks before the election.

Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar (above) has previously said his party cannot ‘pretend we believe in something we don’t believe’ and said mayoral candidates must back the union

However, the stance against a referendum has been criticized by Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Roz Foyer as not “viable”.

She said it should be up to the Scottish Parliament to decide if there is an indyref2.

“I certainly hope that Labor looks at itself and puts itself forward and thinks about how to appeal to all workers and voters who support some form of independence or additional powers for Scotland, and really think about how they are going to make a viable offer to these people,” she added.

READ MORE: Major Aberdeen independence movement event set to kick off 2023 campaign for Yes

Len McCluskey (below), the former general secretary of Unite the Union, also insisted Scottish Labor must address the constitutional issue. He said the party was “stagnant” and “completely out of touch” with ordinary working class people in Scotland.

The National: Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey delivers his speech during the union policy conference at the Brighton Centre, Brighton, East Sussex.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.  Picture date: Monday July 11, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Labor Unite.  Photo

“I think Scottish Labor really needs to grab the nettle, they need to talk about the independence issue,” he said. “They should support a second referendum, even if they are not stating at this stage whether or not they support independence.

“But they need to have an imaginative approach, they should, in my opinion, embrace the concept of federalism and devo-max, to try to breathe new life into the party or else the job could be lost for another generation in Scotland. ”

Reports ahead of the local election suggesting that at least 25 Labor councilors had expressed sympathy for Scottish independence were dismissed by the party, which claimed the majority had “changed their minds”.


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Edward L. Robinett