Analysis of a newly published poll suggests that the Scottish National Party would achieve an even better result in a Scottish election, if it were held today, than it did in May 2011.
The poll, carried out by Panelbase for the Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland, also placed support for a Yes vote as the most popular option.
However in what will be a concern for Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, the poll results suggest that Iain Gray’s replacement has made no impact since taking over leadership of Labour in Scotland.
It also shows the SNP would take former Labour leader Iain Gray’s East Lothian seat and the Tory seats of Galloway and West Dumfries and Ayr – currently held by Alex Fergusson and John Scott.
The poll puts SNP support at 47 per cent in the constituency vote for the Scottish Parliament – a 2% increase since the historic election result of 2011.
This compares to the three other parties falling back or remaining static with Labour at 32%, Tories at 12% and Lib Dems on 6%.
Commenting, the SNP Campaigns Director Angus Robertson MP said:
“The results of this very welcome poll are a result of the SNP’s hard work in governing in the interests of the people of Scotland.
“To have increased our poll ratings by 2% since our sensational election landslide over a year ago is fantastic.
“But it piles even more misery on the anti-independence parties – and is particularly embarrassing for former Labour leader Iain Gray who would lose his seat to the SNP.
“Labour fare no better than its disastrous result last year, or indeed on its election-losing position in 2007 – which comes as a severe blow to a party which has been five years in opposition.
“The people of Scotland are rejecting Labour’s position of ‘no change’ for Scotland and the party’s unholy alliance with the Tories.”
The poll suggests that the SNP would increase its seat total from 69 to 73, Labour would drop one to 36 and the Tories down two to 13. The Lib Dems would hold on to their current tally of five with the Greens on two and independent one.
The survey of 1022 people was carried out between 27th June and 5th July. It also showed that when asked to choose between independence, devo-max and the status quo, more people opted for independence than any of the other two.
In a straight choice between independence and the status quo, the poll showed that gap narrowing with 45% opting for no change and 36% backing independence.
Mr Robertson added:
“The Tories must wake up and realise their vague promise of more powers for Scotland is not convincing the people of Scotland – so much so that they would lose two seats on this poll analysis.
“The Panelbase results pile more pressure on the anti-independence coalition to spell out what their vision is for Scotland’s constitutional future – the people of Scotland deserve to know what their alternative amounts to.”
When the three constitutional options are asked alongside each other, independence is the most popular:
More devolution: 29%
Status Quo: 28%
Asked about supporting independence the figures are:
Don’t Know: 20%
A TNS poll taken earlier this month showed the following figures:
Don’t Know: 20%