Independence is viewed as the most important issue by fewer than one in five people according to recent poll data.

The poll, carried out by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman put independence as the most important issue for just 19% of respondents, and down from a high of 23% in the same series of polls.  

READ MORE: New poll: SNP on course for outright majority while Alba fails to win a seat

The poll for The Scotsman found two-thirds of voters who said they will vote for the SNP on the regional list would be “unlikely” to back Alex Salmond’s new party and that the SNP/Green coalition was viewed as the "best mandate" for a potential second Scottish independence referendum. 

The poll, carried out between April 2 and 7 quizzed 1,007 Scottish adults and predicted an overall pro-independence majority with 74 MSPs.

Only 19% of those partaking in the poll said that independence was one of the top issues facing Scotland

When asked to pick their three “most important issues facing Scotland” 45% of Scots said health, 35% picked employment and welfare, 31% opted for education, and 25% said Brexit.

Independence was on 19% with the environment on 17% and housing on 16%.

Support from the union and independence was tied at 50% once don't knows had been excluded but showed that 38% were keen on a referendum in the next two years, with 53% saying a second vote should happen within the next five years or sooner.

The poll showed that the SNP would narrowly miss out on an outright majority, returning 64 seats, with the Alba Party taking votes that would cost the SNP a majority but returning no MSPs.

An SNP majority is backed as the “best mandate” for a second independence referendum by 27% of Scots with 14% backing a formal SNP/Green coalition.

READ MORE: Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon gives firm ‘No’ to working with Alex Salmond

7% back an Alba/SNP coalition with just 6% backing an Alba/SNP/Green coalition.

Chris Hopkins, the associate director at Savanta ComRes, said the scale of the task for Alba is significant, mainly due to Mr Salmond’s dire favourability ratings of -51%.

He said: “With the SNP’s list vote seeming to hold steady around 40%, and with just one in five of those rating their chances of voting Alba in the list even remotely likely, the task for Alex Salmond’s new party is a big one.

"While his party do not need masses of SNP votes in order to take list seats away from the unionist parties – possibly only 5-7% of the overall list vote in any given region – a major barrier to achieving this seems to be Salmond himself, with two thirds of Scots and seven in ten SNP voters saying that Salmond is not fit for public office.

"We also find that half of Scots feel confident in understanding what is meant by a ‘supermajority’, perhaps showing that it’s the messenger rather than the message that will be Alba’s biggest hurdle.”