SUPPORT for Scottish independence is ahead and the SNP are four points up in the latest voting intention poll from firm Opinium.

Sky News commissioned the survey which found while views on Scottish independence continue to be on a knife-edge, Yes is slightly ahead on 51%. It is the first poll since the end of April to show a lead for independence.

There is also increased support for holding indyref2 within the next two years - increasing from 27% in May to 31% now. 

Meanwhile, in both the General Election and Scottish Parliament election voting intention sections of the poll, some 51% of respondents said they’d back the SNP.

READ MORE: Scotland in Union's latest independence poll questioned by experts

For Westminster, Tory support was down by four points to 21%, while Labour also saw a loss of support of three points at just 17%.

The LibDems saw support slip by just one point to 5%, while 6% of respondents said they’d back “others”.

On Holyrood voting intention, the SNP were up three points from May. The Tories were on 21% (-1) and Labour are on 16% (-2).

The poll was carried out among 1014 voters between September 2 and 8.

Those surveyed were also asked about their views towards the SNP's co-operation with the Greens.

By 44% to 33%, voters feel the news is "good for Scotland". SNP voters were most likely to agree with that statement, Tory voters were least likely and Labour voters were divided by 42% against to 30% for.

The National:

Commenting, Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay (above) said: “It’s clear that the public see Scottish Greens in government as a positive step for the country. That’s because our cooperation deal reflects their priorities for a green recovery from the pandemic that tackles the climate emergency head on and leaves no-one behind.

“It’s also encouraging to see another poll in favour of independence, in a week when the UK Government has announced a new regressive tax, abandoned refugees and taken climate commitments out of its grubby post-Brexit trade deals.”

Opinium asked voters how much they trust political leaders when they talk about “the current debate over Scottish independence”. Nicola Sturgeon was the most trusted with over half (55%) saying they trust her.

Alex Salmond was the least trusted, with 69% saying they do not trust him, followed by Boris Johnson on 67%.

Opinium asked respondents about attitudes to COP26 - the majority (55%) believe Nicola Sturgeon would do a better job at representing Scotland at the major climate conference, while just 16% felt Johnson would do better.

Chris Curtis, senior research manager at Opinium, commented: “While there may not be a burning appetite for another referendum on Scottish independence, the data shows why the nationalists would stand a better chance of winning second time around.

“Firstly, Brexit has muddied the economic arguments that swung the results in 2014. Back then, the median voter thought independence would damage their personal finances and damage the Scottish economy. Now, the median voter thinks that it wouldn’t make much difference to either.

“The next 'No' campaign, if there is one, is also going to find it difficult to find a messenger who can appeal to swing voters. Of the 13 Scottish politicians, we tested Nicola Sturgeon was the only one trusted by voters to talk about the date on Scottish independence. Fifty-five per cent say they trusted what she had to say, compared to just 25% who trust the Prime Minister.”

The National:

SNP MSP Neil Gray (above) welcomed the survey, saying it shows Scotland is keen to reject "another decade of Tory austerity".

“As Brexit continues to bite and the Tories continue to punish hardworking families in Scotland and plunge thousands into poverty with their plans to cut Universal Credit in the middle of a pandemic – the SNP is bringing forward progressive policies to support those in need," he said.

“The SNP recorded a resounding success in May’s election and was returned to Government with a cast iron mandate to deliver on our promise of a post-pandemic referendum. The Tories cannot continue to deny that democratic reality – if they do, it will prove unsustainable.

 “The people of Scotland delivered a cast-iron mandate for a referendum for recovery, when the COVID crisis has passed – and the people of Scotland must have the opportunity to choose their own future.”