POLLS commissioned by a Tory peer show more than 60% of Scots think Alex Salmond's Government has the wrong priority, with many believing it is too focused on independence at the expense of jobs and the economy,
A poll of almost 10,000 people also gives the First Minister a negative approval rating from voters, while another survey puts support for independence at just 26%. Labour said the results reinforced what it had been saying for months, that "the SNP has put Scotland on pause while they focus on breaking up Britain".
But Yes Scotland dismissed the surveys as wildly out of date because much of the sampling was done in February and May.
The poll found 61% thought the Scottish Government had the wrong priority. Independence was the policy most Scots, 49%, named as ministers' main focus, with the second highest, the economy, cited by just 7% of those asked.
Asked about the party leaders, Mr Salmond's "net favourability" rating was -4, less than Labour leader Johann Lamont who scored +3, but above LibDem leader Willie Rennie on -8 and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson on -20.
A separate poll, of 1000 people, on independence put support at 26% with 65% opposed and 10% undecided.
The polls were commissioned by Lord Ashcroft who said: "Asked what they thought was at the top of the administration's agenda, half spontaneously named the independence campaign - seven times as many as mentioned the economy and jobs.
"Only just over one-third said they thought the current priority was right; asked what the Scottish Government should focus on instead, the economy topped the list comfortably. Many in our focus groups worried that the prolonged, repetitive debate over independence damaged the economy by creating uncertainty and deterring, or at least postponing, much-needed investment."
Scottish Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar said: "This poll reinforces what Scottish Labour has been saying for a number of months: the SNP has put Scotland on pause while they focus on breaking up Britain. Scots know this is a distraction from what really matters to them. At a time when families are struggling to make ends meet, more Scots than ever are under-employed and underpaid and with growing pressures on our NHS; the SNP are failing to govern for Scotland."
Blair McDougall, director of Better Together, said: "It is increasingly clear Alex Salmond is putting his obsession with independence ahead of the interests of the Scottish people. Instead of focusing on the things people care about, like jobs and the economy, the nationalists spend all their time campaigning for independence. Alex Salmond is more interested in securing his own place in history than securing a better future for Scotland."
A spokesman for Yes Scotland said: "In polling terms this survey is wildly out of date. Sampling was taken between February and May, and much has changed since then. Indeed, it's been superseded by another of this anti-independence politician's own polls which shows a shift towards a Yes vote. And the most recently sampled poll shows Yes one point ahead.
"We know from research the more people learn about independence the more likely they are to vote yes because they realise having a government they vote for in Scotland is the best way to build a fairer, more prosperous country."
Lord Ashcroft commissioned three polls of 10,007 adults between February 22 and May 9; 1000 between June 7 and 17; and 1013 between August 2 and 9.
Focus groups were also conducted in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow in July.