Nicola Sturgeon is on course to win an 11-seat majority at May’s Holyrood election, according to the latest poll.
The SNP remain out on front, with 53% of voters saying they would back the party with their constituency vote and 38% saying they would use their list vote to support Ms Sturgeon.
Meanwhile, Alex Salmond’s Alba Party continue to lag behind – with just 3% of the public saying they would back the former first minister at the ballot box.
According to this latest poll, carried out by STV News/Ipsos MORI, almost two thirds of voters also say they are “dissatisfied” with Mr Salmond’s performance.
Polling guru Professor John Curtice told us last week that if the ex-SNP boss continued to pick up such negative numbers it would be “all over” for his ambitions of a meaningful Holyrood return.
Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, told STV: “Our latest poll results suggest the SNP are on course to win a majority of seats at Holyrood in May.
“Independence remains the top issue for Scotland’s voters and an independence ‘supermajority’ at Holyrood looks well within the realms of possibility.
“However, our poll indicates that this may come from an uplift in support for the Scottish Greens on the regional vote rather than for Alba.
Nicola Sturgeon remains the highest rated party leader. Anas Sarwar is polling quite well, with 46% satisfied with him – but a third still don't know enough to rate him. Alex Salmond's ratings are lower than Boris Johnson's – 9% are satisfied with Salmond, 64% dissatisfied (5/7) pic.twitter.com/6iu2gL8Jz8
— Emily Gray (@Emily_IpsosMORI) April 7, 2021
“Alba’s main impact to date may have been to remind pro-independence voters of how to use their regional vote tactically.”
Reacting to the poll, Mr Salmond said: “There have been three polls thus far since Alba’s launch just twelve days ago.
“Each of them shows identifiable support for Alba. As Alba’s name recognition gets across we will gain further ground.”
Seat projections taken from the poll suggest the SNP could return 70 of the 129 MSPs, giving them a majority of 11, which they believe would secure a mandate to hold a second independence referendum, something which has previously been rebuffed by Boris Johnson.
The Scottish Tories would win 25 seats under the projection, with Scottish Labour on 19, the Scottish Greens on 11 and the Scottish Liberal Democrats on four.
SNP deputy leader Keith Brown said: “This poll shows that there is absolutely no room for complacency. To ensure that Nicola Sturgeon is re-elected as First Minister, and to allow the recovery to be made in Scotland it has to be both votes SNP on May 6th.
“The SNP is the only party in this election putting forward a serious plan for government, with Nicola Sturgeon determined to lead Scotland through the COVID-19 pandemic and into a national recovery.”
Ipsos MORI conducted telephone interviews with a representative sample of 1038 adults aged over 16 between March 29 and April 4.