NEARLY half of Scots would support the SNP at the next General Election, according to a new survey from polling firm Panelbase.

Some 47% of likely voters told the pollsters that they would vote SNP, a two-point increase on their 2019 result.

According to polling expert Professor John Curtice that would give Nicola Sturgeon’s party 53 seats in the House of Commons, an increase of five on their current total and their highest number since their breakthrough 56 seats in the post-referendum 2015 vote.

READ MORE: SNP conference LIVE: Nicola Sturgeon gives major speech on event's final day

The news is a boost for SNP leader Sturgeon as she prepares to give her closing conference speech this morning.

It also comes after the latest Opinium poll put support for Scottish independence at 51%, the first poll since the end of April to put Yes in the lead.

In today’s conference speech the First Minister will tell members that “democracy will prevail” in Scotland’s journey to independence.

She is expected to take aim at Boris Johnson’s government and its rejection of a new referendum on Scotland’s future.

In May, her party won a record fourth term in government – standing on the promise to offer indyref2 in this parliamentary term, given the Covid crisis is passed. Yesterday at conference SNP members backed this proposal overwhelmingly during discussion of the draft referendum bill.

“The United Kingdom is after all a voluntary union of nations,” the SNP leader is set to state.

“Until recently no-one seriously challenged the right of the people in Scotland to choose whether or not they wished to become independent.

“Frankly it is not up to a Westminster government which has just six MPs in Scotland to decide our future without the consent of the people who live here.”

Here’s how to watch today’s speech online.