SUPPORT for independence has risen back to its joint record level, according to a new poll.

The poll from The Scotsman/Savanta ComRes also found the SNP are on course for a majority at next year's Holyrood election. 

It found 58 per cent of voters intend to back Yes, with 42% voting No, once don't knows are excluded. 

With don't knows included, 52% back Yes and 38% No.

Meanwhile, 40% of voters think a second independence referendum should happen within the next two years. 

The poll found 15% say five years should pass before another vote, while 6% want to wait a decade and 12% believe it should be longer. 

Just 16% say there should not be a referendum at all. 

The SNP is projected to win 55% of the constituency vote and 42% of the regional list vote, putting it on course for a majority.

An Ipsos MORI poll for STV previously put support for independence at 58%, once undecideds were removed - the biggest lead ever recorded.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: "This poll – the seventeenth in a row with a clear majority for Yes – shows that independence is becoming the settled will of the majority of people in Scotland.

"Faced with an arrogant, out-of-touch Tory government at Westminster, which side-lines Scotland at every opportunity, and is dragging Scotland out of the EU against our will, it's no surprise that people want a better future." 

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: "In the middle of a global pandemic and the devastation that it continues to cause, the last thing Scotland needs is a second divisive independence referendum.

"The Scottish Conservatives led by Douglas Ross are the only party with the strength to stand up to the SNP, protect Scottish jobs and move the country on from the divisions of the past."