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Trust in Scottish Government highest since 1999

Published: 17 Mar 2016 10:00

Satisfaction with NHS also at a record high.

Public trust in the Scottish Government to act in Scotland's best interests is at its highest level since 1999 – and more than three times as high as trust in the UK Government.

New findings from the 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey, published today, show that 73 per cent of people in Scotland trusted the Scottish Government, compared with 23 per cent who trusted the UK Government.

Key findings from the 2015 survey show:

  • The high level of satisfaction with the way the NHS in Scotland is run has been maintained, and stands at 62 per cent in 2015 – the highest level since the survey began
  • 76 per cent of people thought the Scottish Government ought to have the most influence over the way Scotland is run – up from 63 per cent in 2013
  • 59 per cent thought the Scottish Government was good at listening to people's views – up from 46 per cent in 2013, and compared to 17 per cent who said the same of the UK Government
  • Around a third of people – 32 per cent – said the economy should be the Scottish Government's highest priority

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

"It's clear that the people of Scotland trust the Scottish Government to listen to their views, and act fairly and in their best interests.

"This reflects our commitment to being Scotland's most accessible government ever, giving people the chance to tell us what matters to them, and inform the decisions we make. This includes the travelling Cabinets and public meetings that have reached many parts of Scotland, and wide-ranging online engagement such as our Fairer Scotland conversation.

"It's also clear that the economy remains the highest priority for the people of Scotland. This is a priority we share and we are continuing to make progress on our ambition to boost inclusive economic growth, and raise productivity in Scotland.

"Three quarters of people believe the Scottish Government should have the most influence over the way Scotland is run. While we remain of the view that the Smith Commission and Scotland Bill could have delivered more effective powers to the Scottish Parliament, we're committed to using the new powers to create a fairer and more prosperous country."

Notes to editors

You can review the survey report in full at

The findings relate to the Scottish Government-commissioned core module of the Scottish Social Attitudes survey, carried out by the independent ScotCen Social Research which is part of NatCen Social Research. Since 1999 the survey has asked around 1,200 to 1,500 people what it's like to live in Scotland and what they think about how Scotland is run.

The 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes survey interviewed a representative random probability sample of 1,288 people between July 2015 and January 2016. Data are weighted to reflect known patterns of non-response bias and the age and gender profile of the Scottish population.

You can view the survey technical report at: