An analysis of recent polls has given the SNP a 3% lead over Labour in voting intention for a Westminster general election.
The next such election is due in May 2015, around six months after the referendum on independence.
The analysis of the latest samples from six major polling companies over the past 20 days amounts to a combined sample of 582.
It shows the following average result (with changes from the 2010 Westminster election):
SNP: 36% (+16%)
Labour: 33% (-9%)
Tory: 17% (n/c)
LibDem: 7% (-12%)
Commenting on the analysis, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay MSP, said:
“The result we achieved in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election was outstanding, as people across Scotland put their trust in the team, record and vision of the SNP Government. And 2012 has been another year of progress for the SNP and for Scotland.
“This latest poll of polls show that the progress is continuing and the SNP continue to lead the way for Scotland into 2013.
“The latest polling on independence also shows that the referendum is there to be won – backing for an independent Scotland is strong, and ahead on certain scenarios – and we believe that this support will grow through 2013 as the debate moves from process to substance.”