Public: Cameron is safe if Scotland votes 'yes'

William JordanUS Elections Editor
September 03, 2014, 2:14 PM GMT+0

Voters – including many Labour supporters – think David Cameron should remain Tory leader and PM in the event of a ‘yes’ vote

YouGov’s latest poll on Scottish independence finds the once robust lead for the pro-union side collapse to just six points, providing a boost for pro-independence campaigners and making a photo finish in the September 18th referendum vote look possible. The narrowing lead for ‘no’ has also forced many people south of the border to seriously contend with what Scottish independence will mean for the rest of Britain, if they have not already. The prospect of Scotland leaving the UK poses particular problems for David Cameron, who already faced questions of whether he would resign in the event of a 'yes' vote earlier this year.

A new YouGov poll suggests that if the British people could decide, the remains of the UK would keep their prime minister – even if it loses Scotland. Fully half of British voters nationally think David Cameron should remain leader of the Conservative leader and prime minister, nearly double 28% who think he should resign.

Many non-Conservatives back Mr Cameron in this regard, including 30% of Labour voters, 56% of Lib Dems and 47% of UKIP voters.

Despite only being 50%, this is a strong result for Mr Cameron and suggests that he is relatively well insulated from the referendum issue. Normally, if you ask voters whether [enter politician's name here] should resign, large numbers will say yes regardless, such is their lack of popularity.

Mr Cameron gets more backing than several other politicians in this respect, even with Scottish independence in the equation. In April YouGov asked whether a number of politicians should “resign and be replaced by someone else from their party”, apropos of nothing in particular. By significant margins people said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, then-Education Secretary Michael Gove, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Business Secretary Vince Cable should all resign.

Interestingly, even when asked on this occasion (with no mention of Scotland) about whether David Cameron should resign from his role as Leader of the Conservative Party, the public opposed the idea by 51%-32% – virtually identical to the numbers found when the presumption of Scottish independence is built into the question. So, at least when it is viewed theoretically, the notion of a ‘yes’ vote appears to have little, if any, impact on the public’s answer to the question of whether Mr Cameron should remain at 10 Downing come September 19th.

Image: PA

See the full poll results