UK gives Andy Murray a grudging 1% Britishness boost after Wimbledon


THE UK rewarded Andy Murray for his historic second Wimbledon title with a miserly one per cent increase in his “Britishness” rating.

A poll carried by YouGov the day after he clinched the title found that he is considered Scottish by 52%, British by just 36% while 12% didn’t know.

The previous poll, conducted on July 8 – two days before the final in SW19 – returned the figures 54% Scottish, 35% British and 11% don’t know.

Research was conducted before and after Murray won Wimbledon
Research was conducted before and after Murray won Wimbledon

The results are surprising because the only poll to have shown Murray more British than Scottish was conducted after his 2013 win at Wimbledon. Then he was judged 45% British to 44% Scottish.

Experts believe Murray’s backing for the “Yes” campaign in the 2014 independence referendum has made the tennis star seem irredeemably Scottish south of the border.

After Sunday’s Wimbledon final, Murray unintentionally drew a chorus of boos for David Cameron after acknowledging the outgoing Prime Minister’s presence in the crowd. The following day Murray insisted he hadn’t meant to embarrass Cameron.

A YouGov spokesman said: “Looking at research from both pre and post Wimbledon, there has been little change in how people view Andy Murray, despite his historic achievement.

“That said, we’re sure that getting his hands on the famous trophy will be more than enough to console him.”

YouGov, which normally tackles weightier subjects such as the outcomes of general elections, has now polled 17 times on the issue of Murray’s perceived nationality.

Each time, 1,820 people across the UK were asked: “Thinking of Andy Murray, do you think of him as a Scottish sportsman or a British sportsman?”

The poll results
The poll results

Murray reached peak ‘Scottishness’ in February 2011, when he lost the Australian Open to rival, Novak Djokovic.

At that point, just 29% thought of him as British, which was dwarfed considerably by the 59% who said he was Scottish.

The average result of the 17 polls carried out has been 54% “Scottish”, 34% “British” and 12% “don’t know”.

A spokesman for YouGov said: “YouGov have been tracking the public’s view on Murray’s nationality since his loss to Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2011.

“For the majority of this period the public has tended to think of him as Scottish.

“The only time he has been seen as more British than Scottish was straight after he won Wimbledon in 2013, having started the tournament firmly being Scottish in the eyes of the public.

“Following his declaration for the “Yes” campaign in 2014, his Scottishness shot up in the eyes of the public.”

One of the recent polls post-Brexit shows a bounce for Murray’s Scottishness north of the border. Of the 167 Scots in the YouGov poll, 79% of viewed him as Scottish and just 15% thought of him as being British.

Murray defeated Canadian, Milos Raonic in last weekend’s final on Centre Court, comfortably beating his opponent in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6.