THE SNP are on track to win a majority at the Scottish Parliament election next month, according to the latest poll from STV News and Ipsos MORI.

If the polling data were replicated on May 6 the SNP would win 70 of the 129 MSPs in Holyrood, while the Scottish Greens would take 11 seats – putting 81 pro-independence MSPs in the Chamber, a majority of 23.

Ipsos MORI found 53% of people intend to vote SNP in the constituency vote, but just 38% would back them on the list – a decrease of nine points since the company’s last poll in February.

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Among 49% of voters Scottish independence and devolution is the most important issue in the run-up to the election. For 28% of respondents their top priority was education, while 27% said it was healthcare, 16% said it was the economy and 15% said it was coronavirus.

The survey of 1038 adults was carried out between March 29 and April 4, in the week after Alex Salmond announced his intention to lead the Alba Party into the election.

The list-only party hopes to create a “supermajority” for independence. The first poll including Alba put their support on 3% before the Sunday Times survey doubled that to 6%.

Ipsos MORI again puts Alba on 3% in the regional vote, though the poll does not show levels of support in each region.

The polling company’s seat projection puts the SNP on course for 70 seats, an increase of nine, and the Tories for 25, a loss of five but keeping them as the second largest party.

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It projects 19 for Labour, a loss of four, 11 for the Greens, an increase of six, and four for the LibDems, a decrease of one.

Emily Gray, managing director of the polling firm in Scotland, said: “Independence remains the top issue for Scotland’s voters and an independence ‘supermajority’ at Holyrood looks well within the realms of possibility.

“However, our poll indicates that this may come from an uplift in support for the Scottish Greens on the regional vote rather than for Alba.

“Alba’s main impact to date may have been to remind pro-independence voters of how to use their regional vote tactically.”

READ MORE: Election 2021: Lorna Slater in good humour as Alex Salmond calls her 'that lady'

Lorna Slater, the Scottish Greens co-leader, commented: "This poll tells us that the Scottish Greens are set to have a record number of MSPs in Holyrood and could yet play a crucial role in securing a pro-independence majority in May. I'm also proud that if this poll turns into votes we will have eight women and three men as our Scottish Green MSPs.

"We're asking people to vote like our future depends on it, and it's clear that our plans for a green recovery and to tackle the climate emergency are connecting with voters."

The National: Keith Brown

Meanwhile the SNP's depute leader Keith Brown (above) said the poll shows there is "no room for complacency". 

“The SNP is the only party in this election putting forward a serious plan for government, with Nicola Sturgeon determined to lead Scotland through the COVID-19 pandemic and into a national recovery," he said.

"It is only by giving both votes to the SNP on May 6 that people across Scotland can guarantee an SNP Government - one which has the plans to remobilise our NHS, kickstart an economic recovery that benefits everyone, deliver action to tackle the climate emergency and - when the pandemic has passed - the opportunity for Scotland to choose a better future with independence."