English think Scottish and Welsh governments did better handling coronavirus than Boris Johnson - poll

PUBLISHED: 08:38 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:42 23 June 2020

Boris Johnson poses for a photo at the Wight Shipyard Company at Venture Quay during a visit to the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

Boris Johnson poses for a photo at the Wight Shipyard Company at Venture Quay during a visit to the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

People in England think that the governments in Wales and Scotland have done a better job of handling the coronavirus pandemic than Boris Johnson’s government.

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A new poll from YouGov found that just 41% think Boris Johnson’s administration dealt with the pandemic very well or fairly well, with 53% saying it had done a bad job.

The polling found that 57% believed Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the crisis in Edinburgh had been better, with just 19% giving it a bad rating.

Mark Drakeford’s Welsh administration received a 50% approval rating compared to 17% who said it had performed badly.

Stormont in Northern Ireland received a 45% approval rating, with just 13% believing it had done badly.


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Dr Dafydd Trystan, a political scientist, said the findings were “quite remarkable”.

He said: “The results from England on the comparative performance of the four governments of the UK are quite remarkable.

“While electors take an unfavourable view of the UK government’s approach to COVID, net -12, their view of the other governments of the UK is far more favourable.

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“The Northern Ireland Executive has a rating of +32%, the Welsh government +33% and Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish government records a remarkably positive score of +39%.

“These ratings are underpinned by the fact that Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat voters alike rate positively the effective record of the Celtic governments in comparison to the apparent failures of Boris Johnson in England.”

The polling was commissioned by YesCymru, whose chairman said the crisis could spark a debate on the future of the union.

He said: “These numbers are incredible and show people in England are now aware of devolution in a way they weren’t before.

“And they like what they see in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast and they definitely don’t like what they see in Westminster.

“The Covid-19 crisis has dramatically shown the flaws in the centralised Westminster style of government and it’s time that we have a proper debate about the future of the union.

“The union is letting down the people of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and people in England know it, the Westminster establishment has been found out.”

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