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Half think Humza Yousaf doing a bad job after 100 days as First Minister – poll

YouGov polled 1,100 Scots between June 26 and 29.

Half of respondents to a new poll have said they believe First Minister Humza Yousaf is doing a bad job.

A YouGov study, shared exclusively with the PA news agency of 1,100 Scots between June 26 and 29, shows 50% viewed the First Minister as having done a bad job since taking office.

Mr Yousaf marked 100 days in the job on Friday.

Meanwhile, just 23% endorsed his time in office, which has been peppered with internal issues withing the SNP and a number of policy U-turns on the deposit return scheme and highly protected marine areas (HPMAs).

Humza Yousaf
The First Minister has been in office for just over 100 days (Jane Barlow/PA)

A previous poll conducted in April found 19% of people thought Mr Yousaf was doing well, and 44% believed the opposite, although his tenure was just weeks old when the poll was conducted.

The First Minister boasted a slightly better rating than Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, with 22% of Scots saying he was doing a good job leading the UK Government, compared to 59% who said he was doing a bad job.

On favourability, 28% had a favourable view of the First Minister, while 51% had an unfavourable view.

Those polled were also given six topics and asked to evaluate Mr Yousaf’s performance, including on the cost of living, where just 15% believed he had done well, compared to 60% believing the opposite.

On the ongoing investigation into the SNP’s finances, 22% of respondents believed Mr Yousaf was doing a good job, compared to 48% who believed otherwise.

Some 17% approved of his stewardship of the economy, while 55% did not.

Elsewhere, 18% believed he had done a good job on healthcare, compared to 56% who did not and 20% believed his administration were handling climate change well, compared to 44% who believed otherwise.

On Scottish independence, 18% believed he had handled the issue well, while 50% did not.

The poll also suggested that support for independence had fallen back since the previous poll in April, with 37% saying they would back separation, down from 39%.

Those who would vote no in a future referendum also increased to 46%, while 6% of respondents said they would not vote, 9% responded that they did not know how they would vote and 2% refused to answer the question.

A spokesman for the First Minister told the PA news agency recent polling has shown the SNP remains the “most popular party in Scotland, which reflects the record of delivery of the new Scottish Government”.

While the SNP remain in the lead, surveys in recent months have shown the gap to be reducing.

The spokesman added: “In his first hundred days, Humza Yousaf defined the core missions of his administration – equality, opportunity, community – and introduced substantial measures to help achieve these aims.

“His first action as First Minister was to triple the funding to help households most vulnerable to fuel poverty, and more than 300,000 families are benefiting from our game-changing Scottish Child Payment – which is unique in the UK.

“We have launched a new 10-year cancer strategy to improve survival rates and provide excellent, accessible care for all, and are making progress in cutting NHS waiting lists.

“Just last week, the First Minister announced the biggest pay uplift since devolution for senior medical and dental staff, and Scotland continues to be the only nation in the UK that has avoided NHS strikes over the last year.

“Work to reset relationships with business and local government is well underway, as well as rebuilding and reshaping how education is delivered.

“Putting the needs of people is at the heart of everything we do as a Government.”

But Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said the First Minister had “somehow managed to fall short of the low expectations we had of him”.

“He has been missing in action while Scots struggled with the worst cost of living crisis in decades and the NHS crisis he let spiral as health secretary,” she said.

“He failed as transport minister, justice secretary, health secretary – and now he is failing as First Minister too, leaving his party and our country in chaos.”

Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy said the only surprise from the poll was that “just half those responding think Humza Yousaf’s doing a terrible job”.

“The First Minister has watched several of his flagship policies fall to pieces and his party descend into open warfare, and there’s still a huge shadow over their conduct and murky finances,” he added.

“Meanwhile, while Humza pushes his independence obsession, the health service is at breaking point, the ferries fiasco continues, public services have been slashed and a further £1billion black hole in the budget has been announced.

“Anyone who doesn’t find that disastrous must have been on the moon for the past 100 days.”

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