The SNP is on course to win a majority at the Scottish Parliament While Alex Salmond is less popular than Boris Johnson among Scots voters, a new poll has found.  

A fresh survey of voting intentions and the popularity of party leaders suggests the SNP is on course to win a five-seat majority at Holyrood – with the Scottish Greens the biggest threat of denying Nicola Sturgeon’s party total control.  

Scottish Labour are set to climb to second place above the conservatives – but Mr Salmond’s attempt to return to politics is set to crash and burn with voters unimpressed with his Alba party.  

The poll also found that support for Scottish independence remains on a knife-edge, with 51% opposed and 49% in favour. However, the numbers are flipped to 2% in favour of ‘Yes’ when people were asked if Scotland was allowed to rejoin the EU after leaving the UK.  

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Projections based on the survey, carried out for The Sunday Post by polling company Survation, suggests the SNP will win 67 seats, giving Nicola Sturgeon a majority of five at Holyrood. 

Scottish Labour is projected to win 24 seats, the same number the party won in the last Holyrood election, with the Scottish Tories coming third with 22 seats, nine fewer than they won in 2016.  


Alex Salmond's attempt to return to politics may be doomed, the survey found

Meanwhile, the survey of more than 1,000 Scots last week, suggests the Scottish Greens could almost double their seats from six to 11. 

But Salmond’s hopes of a return to Holyrood are hanging by a thread with his Alba Party projected to secure just 3% of the regional list vote and needing a late surge in support to win any seats. 

Leading polling expert Sir John Curtice said: “At the beginning of the campaign Nicola Sturgeon was concerned that Salmond’s Alba Party would eat into her party’s list vote. There is not much sign of that happening. Just 5% of SNP constituency voters are backing Salmond. Rather, it is the Greens who are doing much of the damage with as many as 15% of SNP constituency voters saying they will back the Greens on the list.” 

The results put the SNP ahead in both constituency and list votes, on 50% and 35% respectively. Labour sit on 21% and 22%, the Tories 21% and 20%, and the Lib Dems on 7% for both votes. The Greens are on 10% in the list and Salmond’s Alba Party on just 3%. 

Professor Curtice estimates the figures would translate to 67 seats for the SNP, giving Nicola Sturgeon a majority of five. Labour would be second with 24, the Tories 22, the Greens 11 and the Lib Dems 5. 


Mr Sarwar is revilatising Labour, the poll found

On the question of party leaders popularity, Mr Salmond was found to be the least popular political leader in the UK among Scottish voters, with just 10% holding a favourable view of him and 74% holding an unfavourable view.  

By contrast, Nicola Sturgeon remains Scotland’s most popular leader, with 52% of voters holding a favourable view of her. When those with unfavourable views are subtracted from favourable to give a net score, only Sturgeon and Sarwar have positive ratings. 

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The survey will be discouraging for Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, who, it is suggested, like Salmond, is less popular with Scots voters than Boris Johnson. There was speculation last week that Johnson was not visiting Scotland during the campaign because of his unpopularity here. 

Meanwhile, Sarwar is viewed favourably by 29% of voters. Labour political strategist and former Better Together chief executive Blair McDougall told the Sunday Post: “What Anas Sarwar has managed to do through force of personality is what previous Labour leaders have tried but failed to do, which is tell a more positive story about what Scotland can do as opposed to a return to divisive arguments.” 

HeraldScotland: MSP Patrick Harvie

Patrick Harve: The Greens are forecast to do well

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “This poll shows the election is on a knife edge when it comes to whether the SNP has a majority.

“If voters want to ensure it is Nicola Sturgeon and an SNP government that leads Scotland through the pandemic and into recovery, then it has to be both votes SNP when the country goes to the polls on May 6.”

Mr Salmond said: “This latest poll highlights the key argument that Alba have been making.

“Just like in 2016 when the SNP did so well in constituencies, they won’t win any seats on the regional list, not a single one.

“It also shows Alba within a mere 1% of a parliamentary breakthrough in three out of the eight regions.

“After just four weeks of existence that is some progress.

“The Greens are picking up support of independence supporters but the reality is that they are as weak as water on independence.

“Only Alba are treating independence with urgency and seriousness.”