THE SNP is losing the backing of independence supporters, according to a new poll. 

The survey, carried out by Survation for strategic advisory firm True North and shared on the Holyrood Sources podcast, also found that less than half of the party's voters think favourably of Humza Yousaf. 

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When asked how they would vote in the next general election, the SNP was on 38 per cent, down two points on the firm’s last poll in early April. 

Labour was down one point at 31%, while the Tories were up one at 18% and the Lib Dems had jumped two points to 9%.

On the Holyrood constituency vote, the SNP were down three at 39%, while Labour remained at 30%. The Tories were up one at 19%, while the Lib Dems again saw support rise by two points, taking them to 9%.

The pollster also showed a drop in SNP support on the list vote. 

Mr Yousaf’s party were down three points to 32%, while Labour dropped one taking them to 26%. Both the Tories and the Greens saw their vote jump one point taking them to 19% and 10% respectively, while the Lib Dems remained at 7%. 

Alex Salmond’s Alba party won the backing of 3% of voters. It is the first time they have won enough support for it to be picked up on a Survation poll. The party said their share of the vote was as high as 6% in Glasgow.

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Asked about independence, 52% of Scots said they would vote No, down one point on last month, while 48% would back Yes.

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Professor Curtice told the podcast: “The truth is that we are looking at a situation where a political institution is in trouble, even though the cause for which it's in favour isn't in trouble. 

“Whereas in the middle of January, 76% of those people who voted for yes in 2014 were saying they'd vote for the SNP, that figure is now down to slightly below two thirds. 

“The SNP are losing the support of those who still believe in independence.”

“Whatever was Nicola Sturgeon's intention in resigning as leader she has created a sequence of events whereby support for the SNP has gone down,” he added.

The Herald: Professor John Curtice

The Strathclyde University psephologist said Mr Yousaf’s victory in the leadership contest had “created political difficulties” for the party. 

“For good or ill Mr Yousaf is not popular, not just within the wider Scottish public but with supporters. Only 45% of 2019 SNP voters say they think favourably of him and this echoed what the opinion polls were saying during the course of the leadership contest itself. ”

However, Sir John said the recent chaos engulfing the SNP - including the arrest of former chief executive Peter Murrell and the search of the home he shares with wife Nicola Sturgeon - had not had a major impact on the party’s support and had not resulted in a boost for Labour.

He said: “Despite what were some pretty horrendous pictures of the police outside the home of Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell, which you might have thought would have done serious damage to the SNP's standing in the opinion polls, the message, at least so far as Westminster is concerned - perhaps a bit more debate about Holyrood - is that it hasn't. 

“This is the second poll to be conducted since the arrest of Mr Murrell and the associated events, by a company that also polled immediately after the election of Humza Yousaf as leader. 

“Support for the SNP is down by a couple of points but that's it. Equally, Labour support is down by a point. All of this is frankly potentially within the norms of sampling error. All the polling is that Labour support in the wake of the Murrell arrest is pretty much flatlining.”

Nevertheless, Professor Curtice said Labour had been “incredibly lucky" thanks to Partygate, Liz Truss's brief tenure in No 10 and the bitter SNP leadership contest. 

“In other words, the Labour Party north of the border is profiting from a sequence of mistakes by their opponents," he said,

“By sitting still and not messing up and at least having both a UK wide and a Scottish leader who people at least regard as being respectable if not necessarily something they have a great deal of enthusiasm about, the apples have been falling into Labour's lap, frankly on both sides of the border.”

The poll also asked voters to what extent they thought favourably or unfavourably towards Scottish political leaders.

Mr Yousaf was on - 12, while Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross was on -20. Green co-convenors Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater were both on -16, while Alex Cole-Hamilton was on -7. Only Labour’s Anas Sarwar scored a positive rating, on +5.

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In response to the survey results, Geoff Aberdein, former chief of staff to first minister Alex Salmond, and a Managing Partner at True North, and the co-host of the Holyrood Sources podcast, said: “This is a bad poll for the SNP. 

“It's not as bad as it could have been, but the trend is against them. And when you're matching poll on poll from the same polling company, it doesn't make great reading. It's only going one way. So that is problematic. 

“Also for the SNP, if we delve into the figures and the tables, almost a third of SNP supporters are particularly sceptical about the Green arrangement and the coalition. 

“Humza Yousaf needs to show a bit of teeth and a bit of determination and robustness in the face of the Greens and that perception about how influential the Greens are.

“ I do think Labour will be looking at this going: ‘Yep, we'll take that, it's our strong second, we're ready to pounce,’ but privately: ‘Hmm, after what we've seen in England, why are we not seeing us advance a little bit more?’ 

“Alex Salmond will be quite pleased with 3%. But of course, making sure that materialises on election day three years from now is a different matter. But I think that would give them maybe one or two seats.”

The Herald:

Alba party chair, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh said the poll was the third in a month to show the party on course to win seats at the next Holyrood election. She said it would give the party - due to hold their conference in Inverness on Saturday - a "real spring in our step."

The former MP said: "The survey places us at 3% across the country but at a breakthrough 6% in the Yes city of Glasgow where independence support is now measured at almost 60%.

"That is a great boost in the wake of the mighty All Under One Banner rally at Glasgow Green last Saturday."

She added: "The Survation poll shows yet again that while the SNP may be in trouble, support for independence is strong and rising.

"The ALBA party calls for the independence movement to take leadership of the campaign, independent from any political party, and for the independence parties to unite under one banner at next year’s Westminster elections are gathering strength and will get a full airing at our conference in the Highland capital.”