Support for Scottish independence has dipped, according to a new poll published amid internal division in the SNP.
The Savanta ComRes poll put support for independence at 47%, compared with 42% for staying in the UK and 10% undecided.
It’s the the first time support for separation has dropped below 50% since December.
When people who haven’t made up their minds are stripped out, the poll is 53-47 for leaving the UK, a fall of four points for independence and a rise of four points for the union compared with the last poll by the firm.
The SNP has been rocked by divisions in recent weeks with a difficult public row between the leadership under Nicola Sturgeon and outspoken critics including MPs Joanna Cherry and Kenny MacAskill.
The first minister is also in a bitter public battle with former leader Alex Salmond over the botched investigation into allegations of misconduct against him.
The Scotsman poll shows 45% of people think the SNP is divided but it’s made little impact on the likely result of an election in less than three months.
Around 54% of Scots say they will back the SNP at the election, with 43% supporting them on the regional list.
If reflected nationally, that would see Ms Sturgeon back in charge of the Scottish Government with a majority.
‘Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands’
The fight for second place appears to have the Conservatives in a stronger position than in some previous polls with 23% support in constituencies and 21% in regions.
Labour, currently without a leader, are on 16% in constituencies and 18% in regions.
Despite the drop in support, the SNP have taken the poll as a plus. Deputy leader Keith Brown MSP said: “With 21 consecutive polls showing majority support for independence, it is clear that Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.
“People in Scotland have the right to decide their own future, in a post-pandemic referendum. The issue at the very heart of the election in May will be who has the right to decide what sort of country we should be after the pandemic – the people of Scotland or Boris Johnson?”