One year on, my polling shows how optimism is growing in Ukraine

By Lord Ashcroft

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine a year ago today. My latest polling reveals how optimism has grown in Ukraine, how Putin has so far largely kept control of the narrative in Russia, and how the British and American public see their country’s role in the conflict.


Allies and aid

Asked whether various countries and organisations were doing enough to help, nearly three quarters of Ukrainians in our survey said yes for Britain; 71% did so for the US. (more…)

A year on from the invasion, Ukrainian resolve is stronger than ever

By Lord Ashcroft

This article was first published in the Daily Mail.

I first visited Ukraine in 2018 to meet soldiers in the trenches of the Donbas region in the east, who were defending their country from Russian-backed separatists. I have been fortunate to return several times, and I’m in Kyiv again today to show my support on the anniversary of the invasion.

Nobody who has followed events over the last year could fail to be moved by the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people. My latest polling only underlines that.

Most people here are prepared for the war to last months or even years longer, and I have found no appetite for any compromise with Russia or trading territory for peace.

‘Victory is the 1991 borders [the official territory declared when Ukraine proclaimed itself an independent state, free from the USSR] and joining NATO, as well as returning Crimea to Ukraine. That is a minimum,’ as one Kyiv resident said.

But even after that, the threat from Russia would remain, probably longer than Putin himself (more…)

Scottish independence, gender recognition, de facto referendum… My latest polling from Scotland

By Lord Ashcroft

Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government have had an unusually tough few weeks. As my new poll of more than 2,000 voters in Scotland confirms, the damage is largely self-inflicted. In particular, most Scots – including many former SNP supporters – oppose Sturgeon’s position on gender recognition and the idea of framing the next election as a de facto referendum on independence.


Gender recognition

On the issue behind Sturgeon’s latest confrontation with Westminster – the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill – I found only just over one in five Scots (22%) saying they supported the Bill and that London was wrong to block it. Nearly twice as many (43%) said they opposed the Bill and the UK government was right to block it. Overall, more than half (54%) said they opposed the reforms, with 29% in favour. Half said the UK government was right or within its rights to stop the legislation, with 33% saying it was wrong to do so (more…)

Nicola Sturgeon and political gravity: my latest polling from Scotland

By Lord Ashcroft

This article was first published in Holyrood magazine.

To the four prime ministers who have quit Downing Street since Nicola Sturgeon took up residence at Bute House, the First Minister must have seemed enviably immune to the laws of political gravity. If those laws now seem to be reasserting themselves, my latest poll of over 2,000 Scots helps explain.

Much of Sturgeon’s success lies in her skilful positioning as a powerful voice for Scotland against an indifferent or hostile Tory Westminster. In the row over the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, that strategy has backfired. My research highlights two main reasons why.

The first is that Scots disagree with her about the issue itself, and that many side with Westminster over Holyrood on the fate of the Bill (more…)