Support for Scottish independence has slipped by 4% since last November, a new poll suggests, but the Yes side holds the lead for the 22nd straight survey.
An Ipso Mori poll for STV News of 1,031 adults in Scotland shows 52% in favour of independence, when undecided voters are removed, down from 56% in the last survey by the same firm.
According to the survey, 52% of respondents said they would cast their constituency vote for the SNP in May’s Holyrood elections – down from 55% in November – with 23% voting for the Conservatives, 15% for Scottish Labour, 5% for the Lib Dems and 3% for the Greens.
In the regional list, 47% would vote SNP, 22% for the Tories, 14% for Labour and 8% and 6% for the Greens and Lib Dems respectively.
With the party looking almost certain to be the biggest in Holyrood, SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “This poll shows that voters in Scotland are continuing to put their trust in the SNP, ahead of the Westminster parties, to lead Scotland’s recovery.
“The people of Scotland want to have their say on Scotland’s future in a post-pandemic referendum and the clearest way to secure that opportunity is with an SNP majority in May.
“While today’s findings are encouraging, they underline the importance of Both Votes SNP at the election to stop Boris Johnson’s Tory party having the whip hand over Scotland.
“It is up to the people who live and work here to decide Scotland’s future, not Westminster governments we didn’t vote for.”
Lorna Slater, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, said: “I am delighted to see yet another opinion poll showing the Scottish Greens on course to elect a record number of MSPs in May.
“We’ll continue to put the work in to show exactly why electing more Green MSPs will make a difference.
“It’s clear that the public appreciate the constructive approach adopted by the Greens over the last five years and throughout the pandemic which has delivered so much for communities across Scotland.”
The ongoing Salmond inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints against the former first minister does not appear to be shifting opinions of the SNP, according to the poll.
Of those asked, 58% said it did not change their opinion of the party while 36% said it made them view the SNP less favourably, despite First Minister Nicola Sturgeon being accused of “corruption” by political opponents.
While the First Minister remains the most popular leader in Scotland, her favourability rating has dropped by 16%, falling to a net of 32% since October.
Tory leader Douglas Ross’ rating rose by 5%, from a net of -17% to -12%, while the Lib Dems’ Willie Rennie went from a negative to positive favourability rating during the same period, from -1% to 6%.
Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie enjoyed a 12% net rating – the first time the company had asked about him in this election cycle.