What? An ICM poll for BBC Sport seems to have resulted in some toast dropping on Mike Smithson’s Politicalbetting site but it does seem to be true – despite the old rivalry most people in Scotland would actually support England at football.

ICM polled people across the whole of the UK (most British opinion polls exclude Northern Ireland), with booster samples in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to allow meaningful comparisons between responses from each nation, and asked them about their attitudes towards the 2012 Olympics, the World Cup and the UK’s national teams.

77% of people were pleased that London was to host the 2012 Olympics, with little contrast between the nations (though regionally people in the South-East were one of the most pleased – they are within travelling distance to see the games, but don’t bear the burden of London taxpayers). 74% of people were happy with the present arrangements of a united Great British Olympic team. 19% of people in England would prefer the home nations to have separate teams as would 30% of people in Wales, 43% of people in Scotland and 34% in Northern Ireland.

In this Summer’s World Cup in Germany the majority (73%) of people agreed that they would rather that England fans did not offend German sensibilities by singing the themes from Dambusters and the Great Escape during the tournament, an opinion which was broadly even between the nations – 73% of respondents in England agreed. English respondents were asked what they would like played as the English national anthem – a slight majority (51%) preferred “Land of Hope and Glory” over “God Save the Queen” (44%), although other perennial suggestions such as “Jerusalem” were not offered as options.

Finally the thorny question of support. 90% of UK respondents said they would like to see England do well. As you might expect though, there are significant minorities, particularly in Scotland, who would rather they didn’t – 11% of people in Wales would like to see England do badly, 18% of people in Northern Ireland would like them to badly, along with 25% of people in Scotland. And the crunch question – if England reached the final against Germany, who would you support? 85% of respondents in Wales would support England, 81% of respondents in Northern Ireland would support England and…wait for it…69% of respondents in Scotland would support England against Germany.


Comments are closed.