NEARLY half of Yes voters said they would either definitely or probably vote for a party led by Alex Salmond, a new poll has revealed.

The poll, published on the pro-independence Wings Over Scotland blog, found 26% of Scottish voters would either definitely or probably give their list vote to a Salmond-led list party.

The research, conducted last week by Panelbase, found 45% of those who voted Yes in 2014 said they would either definitely or probably vote for Salmond’s party, with another 33% not prepared to rule it out, and 11% of No voters agreed.

The question is purely hypothetical as Salmond has not said he is setting up his own party.

A massive 40% of SNP voters say they’d definitely or probably vote for a Salmond party, and surprisingly 31% of 2019 Labour voters who would too (along with 9% of Tories and 7% of LibDems).

"It’s logical," Stuart Campbell, who runs Wings Over Scotland, said. "A very large minority of Scottish Labour voters – polls consistently suggest anywhere between 30% and 40% – want independence, but their party is an irrelevant joke with no hope of any kind of power and it keeps doubling and tripling down on its total intransigence on the constitution." 

"Any Yes supporters still voting for it at this point must be pretty implacably hostile to the SNP, but they might well view a party fronted by Salmond as a welcome thorn in its side as well as a positive force for indy. (And they’d likely be right.)"

There was no noticeable difference in the level of his definite-or-probable support among Remain and Leave voters, coming in at 27% and 26% respectively.

And despite Salmond being accused of sexually assaulting nine women, there wasn't much of a gap between men and women, with 29% and 24% respectively.

Support for the former First Minister was highest among the youngest age groups, with 33% of 16-34 voters saying they would definitely or probably back his party if he created one, and 28% of those from 35 to 54. Only Salmond’s contemporaries in the oldest age group – those most likely to be Unionist – bucked the trend, scoring just 18%.

While 28% of native Scots and 23% of those from beyond the UK were supportive, only 12% of those respondents resident in Scotland but born in England (around 9% of the sample) said they’d vote for Salmond's party.

Campbell said the poll proves that if Salmond did set up his own party then the SNP "would be under unprecedented pressure to actually get moving and do something about independence".

He added: "If [Salmond] did re-enter the fray, it seems very clear from these findings that the 'both votes SNP' strategy that wasted close to a million votes in 2016 would be blown clean out of the water.

"Holyrood would have a vast pro-indy majority, dozens of Unionist seatwarmers would be out on their ears, and – and here’s where the scenario differs from the SNP/indy majority currently being suggested by Holyrood opinion polling – the SNP would be under unprecedented pressure to actually get moving and do something about independence."