A NEW poll has suggested support for a Scottish independence referendum has risen to 55% as Nicola Sturgeon looks set to make a fresh push to leave the UK. 

The SNP secured their 11th election win in a row on Friday and the First Minister is preparing to publish a referendum bill and a series of papers making the case for independence.  

And the latest Panelbase survey of 1009 voters for The Sunday Times suggests she has more than enough backing for a vote.

It found almost a quarter of those polled (24%) favour one within the next 12 months – up five points from 19% last November.

Meanwhile, 31% backed a referendum within the next two to five years, while 45% of those polled said that a fresh vote should not be held in the next few years.

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The poll has support for independence itself unchanged since November at 49% among those likely to vote and when undecideds are excluded.

Taking undecideds into account, 47% of those polled were likely to back independence, 49% were opposed and 5% did not know.

Sturgeon is still pushing for indeyref2 by the end of next year although few consider that possible with the UK Government standing firm in its opposition.

According to The Times, sources say the referendum bill needs to be published soon if the timetable for a vote by the end of 2023 is to be met. 

Senior SNP figures say the case for independence made in 2014 is now out-of-date. There are still questions around what currency an independent Scotland would adopt, defence policy, and the time it could take to rejoin the EU among others.

The independence policy papers to try and strengthen the case will be published in stages over the coming months.

The SNP won 453 seats in the local elections, up 22 from 2017 and miles ahead of Labour which finished second with 282 councillors, up 20 from five years ago.

Labour overtook the Conservatives who had a difficult day losing 62 elected members which leader Douglas Ross blamed on partygate despite U-turning on his calls for the Prime Minister to step down because of the scandal.

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Over the next week or so, party groups across the country will discuss whether to form partnerships or minority administrations where no overall majority was secured, which was the case in all but a handful of areas.

The SNP took a majority in Dundee while Labour secured a majority in West Dunbartonshire

Visiting Dundee this weekend, Sturgeon said she was open to replicating her SNP/Greens power-sharing agreement at Holyrood in council chambers but would leave decisions to local leaders. 

There is also speculation Labour could strike a deal with the Greens in Glasgow after they came within one seat of catching the SNP, but Anas Sarwar has already said he is against coalitions.