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SNP marked low on economy as Labour struggles

SNP leader Humza Yousaf fares worse than his Labour rival Anas Sarwar

Twice as many Scots think the Scottish Government is doing a bad job managing the economy as say they are doing a good job, according to a new Ipsos poll.

Ratings for Scottish Government’s economic management have fallen significantly since March 2023. Half (50%) said the government was doing a bad job and 25% thought it was doing a good job. This gives a ‘net’ score of -25, down from -16 in March.

The findings are an indication of the task facing First Minister Humza Yousaf who has pledged to make economic growth a priority of the new session of parliament.

However, Labour performed barely any better, with just 29% saying it would do a better job on the economy and 23% that they would do worse. Almost half – 48% – think it would make no difference, or are unsure.

The poll is particularly negative about whether the Scottish Government is improving the NHS in Scotland – 55% say they are doing a bad job of this, and just 22% that they are doing a good job (‘net’ -32, similar to the net score of -30 recorded in March 2023).

The Scottish Government’s score card is also negative for improving the education system in Scotland (46% bad job, 23% good job) and Improving people’s own living standards (47% bad job, 18% good job, ‘net’ -28).

None of the Scottish or Westminster party leaders included in the survey receive a positive rating from the public.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar received the least negative rating , with Mr Yousaf slightly behind. Scottish leader Douglas Ross and Westminster Tory leader Rishi Sunak received the most negative ratings.

Emily Gray, managing director at Ipsos in Scotland, commented:  “Humza Yousaf’s first Programme for Government places a strong emphasis on growing the economy, alongside tackling poverty and inequality and delivering on public services.

“These findings indicate the Scottish public see considerable room for improvement in the SNP Government’s performance across all these areas.

“Perceptions of their handling of the economy, in particular, are more negative now than when we last asked this in March.

“However, the public is not necessarily inclined to think a Labour Scottish Government would do a better job.”

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