Support for Scottish independence has surged, according to a new poll.

A new poll by Panelbase for the Sunday Times has concluded 54% of Scots are now backing independence.

Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are heading for a landslide victory at the 2021 Holyrood elections, with the poll recording 'record' support for the party - the highest number Panelbase has concluded for the Sunday Times so far.

The 'yes' camp has seen a rise in popularity, with a 55%-45% vote against leaving the UK back in 2014 turning into a 54%-46% lead for nationalists today.

READ MORE: YouGov Poll: Half of Conservative voters in England support English independence

It represents a five-point leap in backing for independence, with a five-point fall in support for the union since the paper's last poll in March. 

The poll was conducted between Tuesday and Friday, and surveyed 1,026 voters in Scotland.

In the constituency vote, the SNP is on 55%, representing a four-point jump since March. The Conservatives are on 20% (-6), and Labour 15% (+1).

The Liberal Democrats and Greens remain unchanged at 6% and 3% respectively.HeraldScotland: Source: Panelbase/Sunday TimesSource: Panelbase/Sunday Times

Polling expert and politics professor John Curtice predicts that this will lead to an SNP victory of 74 of Holyrood's 129 seats.

This would be 11 more than they achieved in the 2016 election.

Conservatives would fall by seven seats to 24, Labour down seven 17, and the Greens would rise by three to nine with the Liberal Democrats unchanged on five.

The poll also detailed mass support for Nicola Sturgeon, with the country's First Minister receiving an approval rating of plus 60 for her handling of the coronavirus crisis.

In contrast, Boris Johnson's rating in Scotland is minus 39.

READ MORE: Letters: SNP must end the division of independence as new crisis looms

Professor John Curtice believes the balance has been tipped in favour of independence due to the perceptions of Sturgeon's handling of the crisis, as well as the country's opposition to Brexit.

He told The Times: “Never before have the foundations of public support for the Union looked so weak.

"Unsurprisingly, for many nationalists, the past three months have exemplified how Scotland could govern itself better as an independent, small country. More importantly, it may have persuaded some former unionists of the merits of that claim, too.”