The creation of the Alba Party has not dented the SNP vote, according to the second of two polls released on Thursday.
The poll by Opinium for Sky News would put the SNP on 71 seats, a majority of 13, with Alex Salmond’s Alba Party polling at just 2% and unlikely to win a single seat.
This is in contrast to an earlier poll by Savanta ComRes for the The Scotsman which predicts the SNP could narrowly miss out on a majority at Holyrood due to voters choosing to vote for the Alba Party, suggesting the results for next month’s election are on a knife-edge.
Strong lead for Sturgeon
The most recent poll for Sky reveals Nicola Sturgeon maintains a strong lead in approval ratings with +23, with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar up to a net score of +10, but Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross down to -31.
Mr Salmond has a net approval rating of -60, with 65% of voters polled saying they think he mainly has his own interests at heart.
The latest poll is the fourth to predict the Alba Party are unlikely to pick up any seats in the May 6 election.
A majority of voters would vote Yes for Scottish independence, while 49% would vote no, the data shows.
The survey also predicts the Tories would win 27 seats, Labour would have 21, the Greens would have six and the Liberal Democrats would secure four.
‘The most disappointing results are for the Labour party’
Chris Curtis, Senior Research Manager at Opinium, comments: “If Scottish unionists had been hoping that the fallout between Salmond and Sturgeon would hurt the SNP, then our latest polling is going to be a disappointment.
“It looks like being on the campaign trail has further boosted the First Minister’s ratings, while the unpopularity of Alex Salmond has meant he is struggling to make a dent.
“Perhaps the most disappointing results in the poll are for the Labour party.
“Their new leader’s surging popularity is currently failing to translate into any more votes, as Labour ends up in the unenviable position of being everyone’s second choice.”
Election debate performance
Ms Sturgeon was deemed to have performed best in the first TV debate, aired last week on the BBC, with 67% of those who saw at least some of it thinking she performed well versus 27% who thought she performed badly.
Mr Sarwar is also perceived to have done a good job on the night, with 62% thinking he did well, compared to 28% who think he did badly.
The results were less favourable for Mr Ross, with just 28% of those surveyed thinking he did well, compared to 62% who think he did badly.
The leaders of the five main political parties will face off again in a live STV debate on Tuesday.
Scottish voters are divided as to whether Mr Salmond should be invited to take part in future leader debates, with 43% thinking he should, and 47% thinking he should not.