Jeremy Hunt is the Conservative leadership candidate favoured to boost relations between the nations of the UK, a new poll suggests.
The YouGov flash poll shows 37% of Conservative voters across the UK who responded backed the Foreign Secretary to improve relations between the nations which make up the UK.
He was 16 percentage points ahead of his rival Boris Johnson, who scored 21% among Conservative voters polled, equal to those who said both would do a good job.
A further 16% of Tories responding said neither would improve relations among UK nations, while 6% said they did not know or were not sure.
A spokesman for Mr Hunt said: “Conservative voters clearly believe Jeremy Hunt is the best choice to protect the Union.
“Jeremy isn’t paying lip service to the Union, he has set out plans to strengthen it by backing Scottish businesses, backing local armed forces bases and backing fishermen.
“Conservative voters realise Jeremy and Ruth are the duo who can send Nicola Sturgeon packing in 2021 and keep Scotland strong within the UK.”
At a leadership hustings in Perth on Friday night, Mr Hunt ruled out enabling the Scottish Government to hold a second independence referendum while he was prime minister, while his rival did not give a similar assurance.
Mr Johnson pledged to defend the union, and when he was questioned on whether he would rule out another referendum on independence, said: “I see absolutely no case for having a second referendum in Scotland. I think it’s absurd.”