A new poll has predicted that the SNP will fail to gain a majority in the Scottish Parliament in May - and that the Alba Party will capture almost ten seats. 

The Panelbase survey predicts that Nicola Sturgeon's party will finish on 61 seats - the same number they have now, and seven short of gaining absolute control of Holyrood. 

Alex Salmond is forecast to have a dramatic return to politics, commanding and eight-strong group which would see Alba leapfrog the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who are predicted to lose seats and become the smallest party in the chamber. 

READ MORE: SNP 'on course for five-seat majority with Labour in second'

The Scottish Greens would also pick up MSPs, forming a group of 11. This means the 'supermajority' for independence sought by Mr Salmond would become a reality - but with the former First Minister having considerable influence in how any plans played out. 

The survey did not paint a pretty picture for the unionist parties, with the Scottish Conservatives and Labour also losing seats.

HeraldScotland:

How will the Scottish Parliament look come May?

Panelbase interviewed a representative sample of 1075 adults in Scotland, including 16 and 17 year olds, from 21st-26th April for the Scot goes Pop website.

Based on their answers, the website predicted the next Scottish Parliament would be made up of 61 SNP MSPs (down two from 2016), 24 Conservatives (down seven), 20 Labour 20 (down four), 11 Greens 11 (an increase of five), eight for Alba 8 and five for the Liberal Democrats 5.

Panelbase estimated that the SNP would gain 45% of the constituency vote, Labour 22%, the Conservatives 20%, the Lib Dems 8% and the Greens 4%.

In the  regional list ballot, the SNP were predicted to receive 36%, the Conservatives 21%, Labour 18%, Greens 10%, Alba 6%, the Liberal Democrats 6% and George galloway's All for Unity party 2%.

Earlier this week, a poll by Survation for the Sunday Post predicted that 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.  

Alex Salmond was found to be less popular than Boris Johnson, while Alba were not forecast to return an MSP. 

HeraldScotland:

Could Alba become a force in the Scottish Parliament?

Scot goes Pop author James Kelly wrote: "The big story is Alba's showing on the list.  This is the third Panelbase poll in succession to show the new pro-independence party on 6%, but in this case the seats projection is even more favourable than before, with Alex Salmond on course to lead an eight-strong group at Holyrood - bigger than the Greens and Liberal Democrats had in the previous parliament. 

READ MORE: Salmond promises 'more courage, less caution' as he launches Alba manifesto

"If that's how it turns out, Alba will arguably have succeeded in bringing about the 'supermajority' they promised, albeit with the Greens playing a crucial role as well. 

"Pro-indy parties in combination are projected to have 80 seats, which amounts to 62% of the 129 seats in the parliament."