SCOTS are the most negative of all four UK nations about Boris Johnson and the Westminster government's handling of coronavirus.

Research by the University of Bristol and King's College London found that Scottish residents were the most likely to think the UK Government had handled the pandemic badly, and were most distrustful of the Prime Minister compared to those living in Northern Ireland, Wales and England.

It also found that more than half of Scots (58%) feel ignored by Westminster and 43% said the UK Government acted unfairly towards people like them- the highest proportion of any of the four nations.

The findings were based on a study of 4896 adults over the age of 18 across the UK, conducted between April 1 and 16 2021.

More than half (55%) of Scots thought the pandemic had been mishandled in the UK, similar to Wales (51%) but more than in Northern Ireland (45%) and England (40%).

The same proportion of Scots said their experience of the crisis had decreased their trust in the UK Government - the only nation where more than half of people felt this way.

On the Prime Minister's pandemic handling , 72% of Scots said they didn't trust him much nor at all, compared to 60, 51 and 47% in Wales, Northern Ireland and England respectively.

Meanwhile Scots felt the opposite about Nicola Sturgeon, with two thirds (66%) saying they trusted her to handle Covid-19.

Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, said: "Scotland stands out as the most negative of the UK nations for ratings of the UK government’s performance during the coronavirus crisis, and in particular in how this has affected their levels of trust in Westminster.

"To have over half of Scots saying they trust the UK government less because of their experience of the pandemic is vital context to the Scottish parliamentary election, and to the longer-term challenges facing the United Kingdom.”
Dr Siobhan McAndrew, senior lecturer in quantitative social science at the University of Bristol, said: "Divergence across the home nations in evaluation of the UK and devolved governments’ handling the pandemic is very interesting to see, since vaccine clearance and vaccination procurement are centrally-governed, while rollout is primarily a devolved issue.

"The Scottish public are most likely to trust their own government a great deal, as well as having the highest proportion saying their trust in the UK government has fallen because of the pandemic.

"Perceptions of performance in relation to the pandemic appear to relate to political identification and trust as much as to appraisal of specific successes and failures.”

A UK Government spokesman said:“From the furlough scheme to vaccine procurement and the backing of our military personnel, the UK Government has been working tirelessly to support all parts of the country throughout the pandemic.

"Over 50m people across the UK have now received their first vaccine dose, and the furlough scheme continues to support almost half a million jobs in Scotland.

"The UK Treasury has allocated the Scottish Government more than £14 billion in additional funding to protect lives and livelihoods, this is on top of the block grant and in addition to the extensive direct UK Government support in Scotland”.