A new poll from Lord Ashcroft has found that the majority of people in England believe they subsidise Scotland and other parts of the Union.

According to the poll, which surveyed 1558 adults in England, many think Scotland and Northern Ireland benefit more from the Union than the rest of the UK.

Voters who backed Leave in the EU referendum and Conservative Leavers were the most likely to hold this viewpoint, with two-thirds saying Scotland benefits most from being part of the union. Just one in five thought all parts of the UK benefit equally from its membership.


The poll, which was conducted from with voters from different geographical locations and different political beliefs found that 51% of the 1558 adults polled believed that England subsidised Scotland. 

READ MORE: Conservative Leave voters in England would choose Brexit over keeping Scotland in the Union 

The widespread view of the poll according to Ashcroft was that the English “pay for Scotland” with the knowledge that Scots get certain things such as free NHS prescriptions and free university education that are not available in England. This was thought to be the driving factor in the subsidy claim.

Of those polled, 25% weren't happy 'subsidising Scotland' while 26% said they were fine with the current arrangement. in total, 78% of Conservative Leave voters believed that Scotland was subsidised by England. 


People were slightly more likely to think Scotland benefits disproportionately from being part of the UK compared to Northern Ireland. In total 46% of people believed in England believed that they subsidies Northern Ireland. 

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The poll also measured views on Brexit and the Union in general.

Asked whether they would choose between Brexit or keeping Scotland in the Union, 76% of Tory Leave voters said they would prioritise Brexit over the continued integrity of the UK. This compared to the 45% of English voters who would prioritise Scotland remaining in the UK over Brexit.


Full results available on Lord Ashcroft polls. 

Despite the overall results, when asked, 43% said they hoped Scotland remained part of the Union. Recent polling carried out in September by Lord Ashcroft found a majority for Scottish independence. 

The focus groups in the Ashcroft poll were conducted with voters of different political outlooks in Bexley, south-east London, and Newcastle upon Tyne