THE SNP are on track to again achieve a majority at next year’s Holyrood election, according to an “astonishing” YouGov poll released last night.

The survey of 1095 Scots found 54% intend to give their first vote to the party next spring, while 45% would pick them for the regional vote – both increases of 8%.

According to a projection from Ballot Box Scotland, that would result in the party taking 68 seats, an increase of five from the previous election.

A predicted increase of four seats for the Scottish Greens would mean 78 of the Parliament’s 129 MSPs would be pro-independence – currently there are 69 MSPs from pro-independence parties.

The YouGov poll also found that, if there was a General Election tomorrow, 51% of Scots would vote for an SNP candidate to represent them at Westminster – an increase on the 45% the party achieved at the December election, where it secured 48 seats.

The longest serving SNP MP, Pete Wishart, welcomed the projection, which comes after 13 years of SNP governance in Scotland.

He tweeted: “Simply astonishing. And we’re on 54% for Holyrood. Often see people on here saying we’re finished or they’re leaving the party. The Scottish people seem to like what we’re doing.”

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Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald echoed those comments, while acknowledging campaigning was on pause amid the coronavirus crisis. He posted: “The latest polling is utterly astonishing. Party politics has rightly been put to one side for the time being, but this shows a strong sense of confidence in @NicolaSturgeon and our party. Our values in action will build the coalition needed to deliver independence in Europe.”

YouGov’s own analysis of the figures suggested that the SNP had seen its support rise in Scotland for similar reasons the Tories have seen support rise south of the Border – because of the Covid-19 crisis. The researchers called the boost “rallying to the flag” amid a time of crisis.

Last month First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to independence supporters to let them know campaigning was to be suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision has polarised Yessers, with some supporting the decision to call it off and others, like SNP MP Angus MacNeil, saying other politicians would use the crisis to their advantage.

He accused Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw of using the pandemic to make the case for the Union, and called on the SNP to restart its campaigning.

Meanwhile, the poll found a small decrease in support for Carlaw’s party at Holyrood, with 23% stating they intend to back the Scottish Tories next year in both the constituency and list vote.

According to Ballot Box Scotland that would mean a loss of three seats for the Conservatives.

Labour dropped further back, with just 12% of Scots indicating they intend to support the party next year, a decrease of 2%, and the LibDems also saw their support lower by about 3%.

The SNP last achieved a majority in 2011, when they won a total of 69 seats after operating as a minority government with support from the Greens since 2007.

Holyrood operates under the additional member system, a voting system originally designed to prevent majority governments forming.