Just 2% say the same of Wales
With England’s first match of the 2022 World Cup set to kick off on Monday, the results of a new YouGov RealTime survey conducted in Scotland reveal that a quarter (26%) want England to do badly at the tournament. Among those Scots with an interest in football, the number who want England to perform poorly climbs higher still, to 37%.
Nevertheless, there are plenty in Scotland who will be cheering England on. One in eleven Scots say they will be actively supporting England (9%), while another 18% say that although they will not actively be supporting them, they want England to do well (18%).
Among Scottish football fans specifically, a third will either be supporting England (17%) or wishing them well (17%).
There is substantially more goodwill for the Welsh team, who will also play their first match on Monday. While about as many Scots say they will be supporting the Wales side (8%), a much larger 40% say they want them to do well, even though they won’t be supporting them specifically. These figures rise to 15% and 47% respectively among football fans.
In stark contrast to the English side, hardly any Scots wish the Welsh team ill (2%), with this number largely the same among football fans (4%).
About four in ten Scots are not invested in the fates of the two teams, with 39% saying they don’t mind how well or badly England do, and 42% saying the same for Wales.
Who will England be supporting at the World Cup?
Four in ten English people (41%) say they will be supporting the home team, with another 27% saying that, although they are not supporting them, they want the Three Lions to do well. Among football fans, support rises to 78%, with another 12% being well-wishers.
There is little animosity in England for this year’s Welsh rivals – only 5% want Wales to do badly. Indeed, 9% say they will be supporting Wales, and 35% want Wales to do well even though they are not supporting them.
Among English football fans specifically, one in six (17%) will be actively supporting Wales, and another 41% hoping they do well. They are no more likely than the wider population to want to see Wales do badly (6%).
One in six English football fans (16%) say they will be supporting both England and Wales at the tournament, as do one in twelve of the wider English population (8%).
Who will Wales be supporting at the World Cup?
Approaching half of people in Wales (47%) say they will be actively supporting the national team at the World Cup. A further three in ten (30%) say they want the team to do well, even though they won’t be supporting them.
When it comes to England, four in ten say they want the Three Lions to do well, including 17% who will be actively supporting them. However, one in six Welsh people (16%) say they want England to do badly.
Among those Welsh people who are fans of football, a majority of want England to do well, including 33% who will be supporting them. The number who want Wales to do badly is largely the same as the wider population, at 18%.
One in five Welsh football fans (20%) will be supporting both teams at the World Cup, as will 11% of the wider Welsh population.
A quarter of Welsh people who have no interest in football will nevertheless be supporting their national side at the World Cup
While many people are generally turned off football, the World Cup has a way of stirring national pride. This is particularly the case in Wales this year. With the last, and only, other time the Welsh team have qualified for the World Cup being in 1958, this year’s tournament has captured the imagination of those in Wales who don’t normally care for the sport. As many as 24% of Welsh people who say they are “not at all” interested in football say they will be supporting the Wales team at the tournament, and another 41% want them to do well. Only 23% seem disinterested.
By contrast, in England – whose presence at the World Cup is a much more common occurrence – there is more muted enthusiasm among those who aren’t interested in football. Nevertheless, one in seven of this group (14%) still say they will support the England team, and 35% want them to do well. One in three (35%) don’t care how England do.
Unsurprisingly, those Scots with a lack of interest in football are unlikely to support either team (3%). What is more notable among this group is that, despite their disinterest in football, as many as one in five (19%) actively want the England team to do badly. There is no such attitude towards the Welsh team (a statistical 0% want Wales to do badly).
Similar numbers of Welsh people who aren’t interested in football also want England to do badly (16%). By contrast, just 3% of English people who have no interest in football want Wales to do badly – the same number that want their own team to perform poorly.
Most people in each nation expect to watch some of the World Cup
Despite Scotland having not qualified for the World Cup, Scots are about as likely to say they will be watching the 2022 World Cup as people in England and Wales. In each nation, 12-13% say they will watch a great deal of the tournament, 18-20% a fair amount, and 25-28% will watch some, but not very much.