SUPPORT for Scottish independence remains at record-breaking levels, a new poll has confirmed.

Savanta ComRes research for the Scotsman puts backing for Yes at 57% once don’t knows are removed. That’s compared to 43% of Scots who said they would vote No if a referendum was held tomorrow.

Even when undecideds are included, 51% of respondents said they would vote Yes, compared to 38% No.

It is the 18th consecutive poll to show majority support for independence. 

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The survey also shows the SNP are on track for a landslide victory in May’s election, with pro-independence Greens on track to secure a record number of MSPs. 

Some 40% of those asked want a second independence referendum within two years, with the majority (52%) believing it should happen before the 2026 Holyrood election.

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Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the pandemic is credited with driving up support for independence and the SNP.

The latest Holyrood constituency voting intention shows more than half of likely voters will choose the SNP (53%) in May, with 19% opting for the Tories and 18% for Labour.

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Data on the regional list voting shows Labour (18%) moving ahead of the Conservatives (16%) into second place, with the SNP comfortable in the lead on 44%.

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Pollsters interviewed 1016 Scottish adults aged 16 or over online between January 8 and 13 for the survey.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown welcomed the results.

He said: “An 18th poll in a row showing support for Scotland’s right to choose its future underlines that it is becoming the settled will of the people of Scotland.

“The SNP will take nothing for granted and will continue to work every day to defend and promote the interests of Scotland.

“People in Scotland have the right to decide their own future instead of a Boris Johnson led Tory government which has imposed a disastrous hard Brexit in the middle of a pandemic.

“The Westminster system is broken, and Boris Johnson cannot continue with his Trump-style denial of the right to people in Scotland to choose a better future. Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands – not those of Boris Johnson.” 

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater was equally encouraged.

The National: Scottish Green co-leader Lorna SlaterScottish Green co-leader Lorna Slater

She commented: “This welcome poll is the latest in a long line that suggests the Scottish Greens can return a record number of MSPs in May.

"It’s clear that the public appreciate the constructive approach to opposition adopted by the Green MSPs, which has seen us punch well above our weight in Parliament and deliver bold and transformative policies. We’ll continue to work constructively, pushing the government to build a fairer, greener Scotland.”

She added: “Eighteen consecutive opinion polls have demonstrated majorities in favour of independence.

"Whether it’s the botched handling of the coronavirus crisis, the Brexit catastrophe or just the heartlessness of Tory governments we haven’t voted for, it’s clear that the UK isn’t working for Scotland.

"Scottish Greens will go into May’s election with a clear commitment to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands, allowing the people of Scotland to have their say.”