Labour are ahead of the Conservatives in Holyrood voting intentions, an opinion poll has found, with the SNP maintaining a comfortable lead.
The Savanta ComRes poll for The Scotsman newspaper put Anas Sarwar’s party ahead of Douglas Ross’s Tories in both constituency and list votes.
It suggests the partygate scandal has affected Conservative fortunes, as senior figures like Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson have seen falls in their popularity.
On the independence question, the poll found No on 51% and Yes on 49% when undecideds are removed.
Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,010 Scottish adults between April 26 and May 3.
For Holyrood constituency voting, the SNP were on 46%, Labour on 25%, the Conservatives on 18% and the Liberal Democrats on 7%.
In the regional list vote, the SNP were on 31%, Labour on 23%, the Conservatives on 18%, the Greens on 14% and the Liberal Democrats on 10%.
Chris Hopkins, associate director at Savanta ComRes, told The Scotsman: “Labour’s large lead over the Conservatives in second place, of both the constituency and list Holyrood VIs (voting intentions), is certainly eye-catching, but as with almost everything related to Labour at the moment, it feels more like a lead more to do with the fortunes of the Conservatives than anything Labour are doing especially well.
“The Conservatives’ Westminster fortunes have taken a battering since partygate, but it appears that the cost-of-living crisis has turned Scottish voters away from the party, and with there unlikely to be any remedy to many voters’ concerns about the affordability of basic items needed to live on the horizon, it’s possible things could get worse for the Conservatives before they get better – including on Thursday in the local elections.”
The Savanta ComRes poll also found Rishi Sunak’s popularity had dropped by 26 percentage points compared to their last polling, with his favourability now sitting at minus 48%.
Boris Johnson’s net favourability was at minus 58%, having fallen by 7%.
At the weekend, a Panelbase poll for The Sunday Times put Labour ahead of the Conservatives in Westminster voting intention.
On Scottish independence, some 53% of people said they viewed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s timetable of a referendum before the end of next year to be unlikely.
Some 49% of respondents said they would vote in favour of independence, while 51% said they would vote against, when undecided voters were removed.
Speaking on Thursday, the First Minister said: “That’s the plan I put to the Scottish people in the Holyrood election last year and was elected on and that’s the plan we will continue to work towards.
“For now, and for the next 24 hours or so, I’m going to focus on – hopefully, though, I don’t take it for granted – winning the council elections.”