THE latest poll has voters telling the SNP to focus on recovery from the pandemic rather than the constitution.

A YouGov survey for The Times indicates voters are more concerned with health, economic recovery and improving education over the next five years, instead of Scottish independence.

When asked to list their top priorities for the new Scottish government, health and the economy came joint top, with each marked as a priority by 55 per cent of those surveyed.

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The survey, which asked 1,144 people aged 16 or older between May 2 and May 4, also found education was third at 42 per cent, while climate change and the environment came fourth with 26 per cent of people listing it as a priority.

Meanwhile, independence only came fifth, after being listed as a priority by 21 per cent of people.

Social care came sixth, at three points behind.

According to the survey, less than half (45%) of people who planned to vote SNP in their constituencies put independence in their top three priorities.

In addition, it was only listed by 37 per cent of “yes” supporters.

Ms Sturgeon’s opponents have attacked her plans to hold another vote on Scottish independence during the next Holyrood term, warning this will hinder the country’s recovery – though she has insisted such a referendum will not take place until the immediate health crisis has passed.

However, trust in the SNP proved to be high, with more than half of those surveyed for The Times YouGov survey (55%) saying they had either a lot or a fair amount of confidence in the party to make the right decisions on the health service.

Both health and the economy appear to be top of voters’ priorities for the next five years, judging by the poll.

A total of 50 per cent of those surveyed said they would be confident in the decisions that will be made by finance secretary Kate Forbes and economy secretary Fiona Hyslop, presuming they both remain in those roles.

HeraldScotland: Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop,

However, forty-one per cent said they were not confident in the Scottish government’s abilities, leaving it with an overall score of plus 9.

The SNP is certain to emerge again as the largest party in the Scottish Parliament after the election, but it wants to win an overall majority of MSPs as it pushes for a second independence referendum.

It comes after research by the University of Bristol and King’s College London found that Scottish people are most likely to think the coronavirus pandemic has been dealt with badly and find Prime Minister Boris Johnson untrustworthy on Covid-19 issues.

A majority of Scots (55%) believe the pandemic has been mishandled by the UK Government.

Dr Siobhan McAndrew, senior lecturer in quantitative social science at the University of Bristol, said: “The Scottish public are most likely to trust their own Government a great deal, as well as having the highest proportion saying their trust in the UK Government has fallen because of the pandemic.

“Perceptions of performance in relation to the pandemic appear to relate to political identification and trust as much as to appraisal of specific successes and failures.”