A poll has suggested that almost half of Scots believe the Hate Crime Act should be repealed. 

The Act creates a new stirring-up offence for some protected characteristics and consolidates existing laws, but critics have suggested it could have a chilling effect on free speech. 

More than 7,000 complaints were made online in the first week after the law came into affect, and that number has now topped 10,000.  

The law has been criticised by figures such as JK Rowling and Elon Musk, but has been defended by the Scottish Government and former First Minister Humza Yousaf.  

We want to know what Herald readers think – should the law be repealed? 

Vote now in our online poll:  

READ MORE: Poll finds nearly half want Scottish hate crime law scrapped

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf 'showing absolute contempt for women' claims JK Rowling

READ MORE: Tories to force Holyrood vote on repealing Hate Crime Act

The Scottish Conservatives proposed a motion at Holyrood last month to have the law repealed but it was voted down by 69 votes to 49 with five abstentions. 

Todsy’s Savanta poll for The Scotsman found 56% of men believed the law should be scrapped compared to 43% of women. 

It also found 62% of people aged 55 or over thought the Act should be revoked while only 34% of those aged 16 to 34 thought the same. 

Savanta interviewed 1,080 Scottish adults aged 16 and over online between May 3 and May 8. 

Scottish Tory justice spokesman Russell Findlay said new First Minister John Swinney should “listen to the Scottish public who want to bin the SNP’s hate crime law”. 

“This flawed legislation is being weaponised by activists with an axe to grind and putting our overstretched police under increased and unnecessary pressure,” he said. 

“Police and legal experts warned that this would happen, yet the Scottish Conservatives were the only party to oppose it in parliament.”