THE SNP’s deputy leader, Angus Robertson, would become the highest profile casualty of the General Election, according to analysis of an exclusive poll.

In a survey of Scottish voting preferences by BMG, the SNP has again emerged as the most popular party with 43 per cent of respondents intending to back it at Westminster.

It sits 13 points above the Scottish Conservatives on 30 per cent, Labour on 18 per cent, the Liberal Democrats with five, the Scottish Greens with two and others on one, after “don’t knows” have been excluded.

It would translate into a major surge for Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson’s party, catapulting her team from one seat to eight – a two-decade high for the Conservatives who failed to win more than a single Scottish seat since Tony Blair’s landslide in 1997.

According to the Electoral Calculus projector, Tory seats would be gained at the expense of the SNP.

Constituencies such as Aberdeen South, Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, as well as Dumfries and Galloway would be seized by the Tories.

Mr Robertson is defending a 9,065 majority in Moray, but the poll – conducted before the Manchester bomb attack and the recent Corbyn- inspired Labour surge – predicts the senior SNP figure will fail to be re-elected.

Several opinion polls have shown a surge in support for the Tories in Scotland, with them threatening to win a series of SNP-held seats in rural Scotland, including that of Mr Robertson.

Ms Davidson previously said her party’s chances of defeating Mr Robertson in Moray were “close to 50 per cent”. If Tory MSP Douglas Ross does manage to overturn the SNP depute leader’s majority, Ms Davidson said it would be “a real Ed Balls moment for Scotland”.

Another key SNP MP who would be toppled if the projections prove correct is shadow SNP Westminster group leader Peter Wishart, of Perth and North Perthshire, who at the SNP manifesto launch this week said his constituency would be “a line in the sand that the Tories will not cross”.

SNP election campaign manager Derek Mackay said: “This poll was taken over two weeks ago – but like all other polls, it shows that only a vote for the SNP can keep the Tories out.

“Labour can’t win the election in Scotland – and a vote for them just risks letting a Tory MP in the back door.”

The BMG research was published as a confident Mr Corbyn hit the campaign trail buoyed by the narrowing of a Tory poll lead to just three points – although others put it as high as 15. Speaking in Essex yesterday, the Labour leader said he felt there was a pro-Labour “movement going on” across Britain with thousands of people signing up to help campaign for the party.

Tonight, he will be in York for a live BBC TV Question Time; Theresa May will appear on the same programme, albeit separately.

If the Prime Minister puts in a poor performance and Mr Corbyn is seen to have emerged the victor, then nerves will jangle at Tory HQ with just five campaigning days to go.

Ahead of the programme, the party leader will say in a speech that a Labour government would create an engine of investment and growth in Britain’s economy to produce at least one million new jobs.

During the Labour rally in Basildon, Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, made clear that if Labour became the largest party in a hung parliament, it would govern as a minority administration.

She said: “If we are the largest party we go ahead – no deals – with our manifesto, our Budget and our Queen’s Speech.”

Last night SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said that voters in Scotland could play a decisive role in next month’s election.

Campaigning in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said: “What is clear is that it will be ordinary people who pay the price of (Conservative) plans.

“As the polls narrow across the rest of the UK, whether or not the Tories can increase their majority could come down to the outcome in Scotland.

“So while they may still be on track to win the election in the rest of the UK, Scotland now has the opportunity to hold the Tories firmly in check.

“We know that Tory MPs will be a rubber stamp for whatever Theresa May wants to do.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said that recent polls had put the party on a much higher share of the vote, “but what appears consistent is that support for the SNP is on the slide thanks to the threat of a second independence referendum.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said was “very clear evidence” that there is only one party in Scotland capable of standing up to the SNP.

“All across the country people are looking to the Scottish Conservatives to keep Scotland as a key part of the UK, and utterly oppose a second independence referendum.”

BMG polled more than 1,000 Scots between May 12 and 18.

With ‘don’t knows’ included the BMG poll put the SNP on 38 per cent, the Scottish Conservatives on 25, Labour 16, the   Liberal Democrats 4 and the Greens 3, others 2 and 12 per cent said that they were ‘not sure’ who to vote for.