The latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey shows public trust in the Scottish Government to act in Scotland’s best interests is more than four times as high as trust in the UK Government.

The survey, conducted in 2019-20 before lockdown, shows people were nearly five times more likely to say the Scottish Government should have most influence over how the country is run than to say the UK Government should.

The survey was a face-to-face one, using a random sample of all those aged 16 and over living anywhere in Scotland, and measured public attitudes towards trust in government and influence over how Scotland is run – as well as views on the economy, the health service, tax and voting.

The findings show:

  • 61% of people trusted the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests, compared with a record low of 15% for the UK Government
  • 73% of people thought the Scottish Government ought to have the most influence over how the country is run, compared with 15% for the UK Government
  • 61% of people thought the Scottish Parliament was giving Scotland a stronger voice in the UK, 5% thought it was giving Scotland a weaker voice
  • 94% of people thought it was important to vote in Scottish Parliament elections
  • Satisfaction with the way the NHS in Scotland is run at a record high since the survey began, sitting at 65%
  • Among those who thought that the economy had grown weaker over the last 12 months, people were more likely to say this was a result of UK Government policies (54%) than Scottish Government policies (19%)

Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the survey, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said:

“The people of Scotland are politically engaged and trust the Scottish Government to listen to their views and act in their best interests.

“We are currently dealing with the biggest crisis our country has faced since wartime so, even though this data was collected before lockdown, it is heartening to see public trust in the Scottish Government remains so high.

“Throughout the pandemic we have recognised the importance of maintaining public trust and confidence in Government which has been absolutely vital in allowing us to control the virus effectively, and we will continue to strive to do all we can to maintain and deliver upon this trust and see the country through this challenging period.”

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

“I am absolutely delighted, but not surprised, by these findings. The Scottish Government has always had Scotland’s best interests at heart and the public know that.

“Faith in the UK Government has been falling for years but with trust now at its lowest since the survey began twenty years ago, it is blatantly clear the Scottish people want to go a different way and break free from the austerity and uncaring agenda that has crippled many families and everyday people right here in Paisley for too long.

“The data also indicates the main priority for many is the state of the economy and while we are undoubtedly facing a blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic – like every country across the globe – the Scottish Government has provided unrivalled support to those who need it and I know they will continue to do so until we come out the other side of this. “It is becoming more and more apparent as the weeks and months go on that Scotland is definitely not best served under the UK Government so it is time for us to strike out on our own and take control of our own finances as an independent country – and clearly the public agree too.”