Poll: Almost half of Scots want ‘hate crime’ law ditched

A new poll has shown clear public opposition to the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime and Public Order Act.

Almost half of Scots believe the legislation should be ditched, with only one in five in favour of keeping it on the statute books.

The survey of more than 1,000 Scottish voters was carried out by FindOutNow on behalf of the Alba Party.


The polling firm found that 45 per cent of adults said they wanted to see the act repealed, 21 per cent wanted to retain it, and 35 per cent were undecided.

Announcing the results, the Alba Party reported: “Three quarters of Conservative voters favoured scrapping the law, compared with just under half of Labour voters.

“Significantly, almost one in three SNP voters (31 per cent) want to abolish the act.”

Alba MSP Ash Regan called on First Minister Humza Yousaf, her former SNP colleagues, and other parliamentarians, “to now side with those that want to see this act repealed”.


Writing in the Sunday Mail, former First Minister Lord McConnell branded the new law “unworkable”.

Excluding crimes against women from the Act, the Labour Lord argued, had inflamed “a key flashpoint with this legislation – the arguments between feminist and transgender campaigners”.

He added: “This is exactly what good legislation should seek to avoid. Good political leadership should try to win the argument, build a consensus not sow division.”


David Threadgold, Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said the scale of complaints received since the Act was implemented on 1 April was “simply unimaginable”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Police Scotland have gone public and said that on every occasion, reports of hate crimes will be investigated. That creates a situation where we simply cannot cope with demand at the moment.”

Threadgold added: “When you have vexatious complaints, people who look to weaponise this legislation or who make these complaints for personal gain or political point scoring, then that creates a problem for the police which can affect public satisfaction in my organisation.”

Last week, the organisation’s General Secretary, David Kennedy, warned that over a third of officers were still waiting to undergo the necessary training to enforce the Act.

Also see:

SNP hate crime law faces barrage of criticism

‘Report hurtful words’ says Scots Govt ‘hate crime’ campaign

Street preacher wins £15k after wrongful arrest for ‘hate crime’