Support for keeping Scotland in the UK has edged in front, according to two new polls, which shows the future of the constitution still hangs in the balance.
Findings from YouGov suggest 51% back the union with 49% supporting independence, when people who don’t know are excluded.
The results, published by The Times newspaper, also sent a warning to SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon ahead of May’s Holyrood election.
Half of the electorate appear to oppose a referendum this year with similar numbers against another ballot before 2023.
SNP could still gain majority
Despite that setback for the SNP, Ms Sturgeon’s party still could achieve a majority at the election in May, the YouGov polling indicated.
However, a second poll, conducted by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman newspaper, suggested the SNP might miss out on a majority by one seat.
That poll mirrored the YouGov poll’s 51-49 split on the union, when “don’t knows” are excluded.
Meanwhile, the YouGov findings – based on answers from 1,100 people between March 4 and 8 – also reveal Sturgeon has won over more people than her predecessor Alex Salmond in the wake of Holyrood’s harassment inquiry.
Polling shows 71% of SNP voters believe her side of the story compared with 12% of party supporters siding with Mr Salmond’s version of events.
Ms Sturgeon also appears to be far more popular with the general public than Mr Salmond.