HE is often said to be viewed as Britain’s best tennis player when he wins, and Scotland’s when he loses.

Now a five-year piece of research has proved Andy Murray is considered more Scottish than British south of the Border – even when he won gold for Team GB at the Olympics.

READ MORE: Murray: I apologised to Tomas Berdych after Kim's T-shirt tirade

A series of surveys by respected polling firm YouGov established Murray was only ever considered British in England when he won Wimbledon in 2013. But the pollsters say his decision two years ago to back independence for Scotland, on the eve of the referendum, has now made him firmly Scottish rather than British in the eyes of the English.

A spokesman for YouGov said: “YouGov have been tracking the public’s view on Murray’s nationality since his loss to Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2011.

“For the majority of this period the public has tended to think of him as Scottish. However, the tendency to view him as British spikes at times when he is most successful.

“The only time he has been seen as more British than Scottish was straight after he won Wimbledon in 2013, having started the tournament firmly being Scottish in the eyes of the public.”

YouGov , which normally polls Britons on the outcome of elections, has been questioning a panel of almost 2,000 UK adults since 2011 about their perceptions of Murray’s nationality.

The latest poll, carried out this week, had 52 per cent of people rating him as Scottish and 35 per cent as British.

READ MORE: Andy Murray feeling benefit of Ivan Lendl's return ahead of Tomas Berdych clash

Some 1,820 UK adults were asked: “Thinking of Andy Murray, do you think of him as a Scottish sportsman or a British sportsman?”

The survey began two years after Murray, who lives south of the Border, famously caused a furore when he joked he hoped “anyone but England” would win the World Cup. On the eve of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, he declared his support for the Yes campaign and was later subjected to online abuse for his remarks.

Earlier this year, he took a diplomatic stance when asked whether his newborn daughter, Sophia, was Scottish or English – replying simply that she is “British”.

According to the poll, the sportsman from Dunblane reached peak “Scottishness” in February 2011, when he lost the Australian Open to Djokovic, with the 29 per cent who felt he was British dwarfed by the 59 per cent who said he was Scottish.

Even after riding the wave of British euphoria felt in the summer of 2012 to win gold at the London Olympics, Murray was still seen as a Scot. However the gap had closed, with 42 per cent of the UK public viewing him as British.

The only time he was more British than Scottish was after he became the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon but even then it was tight, with the 45 per cent voting British to the 44 per cent who still deemed him Scottish.

But there was a huge swing towards his “Scottishness” after he declared support for the ‘Yes’ campaign in September 2014.

An overwhelming 57 per cent of UK adults said he was Scottish and just 33 per cent British.

The average difference over the 16 polls carried out has been 54 per cent of respondents saying Scottish, 34 per cent British and 12 per cent “don’t know”.

The YouGov spokesman added: “Following his declaration for the Yes campaign, his Scottishness shot up in the eyes of the public.”

READ MORE: Murray: I apologised to Tomas Berdych after Kim's T-shirt tirade

The most recent poll shows a possible Brexit bounce for Murray’s Scottishness north of the border. Of the 167 Scots in the YouGov poll, 79 per cent of viewed him as Scottish and just 15 per cent thought of him as being British.

Last year, Stirling University student,Ben Dickson carried out a study of 200 Murray match reports which dispelled the myth that sports writers described him as British when he won and Scottish when he lost.