SUPPORT for Scottish independence has fallen by just one point since Nicola Sturgeon's resignation, a new poll has found.

The research, commissioned by Sky News and carried out by YouGov ahead of the broadcaster’s SNP leadership debate on Monday night, put Yes support on 46% with backing for the Union at 54% with don’t knows removed – similar to the result from the 2014 referendum, and just one point down from the 47% recorded by the firm last month.

Elsewhere in the poll, a majority (52%) of respondents felt that Scotland would still be part of the Union in 10 years.

READ MORE: Scottish independence support in the lead in latest poll

The National:

Scots were split on the performance of the Scottish Government, as 44% said they’d done a good job and 46% rating the performance negatively.

However 62% said they felt the SNP hadn’t handled the NHS well.

Ahead of the Sky News debate between the leadership candidates, the poll also asked about respondents’ views on Nicola Sturgeon’s potential successors.

The National: Ash Regan, Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf

A little over a quarter (27%) felt Kate Forbes would be a good first minister, while just under a quarter (22%) said the same about Humza Yousaf. For Ash Regan, 14% said the equivalent.

However 44% said Yousaf would be a bad leader, while 39% said the same about Regan and 36% didn’t rate Forbes.

Some 1002 people were polled online by YouGov over the weekend.

For Westminster voting intention, there was little change from the mid-February polling – suggesting the SNP leadership contest had little impact on the electorate so far.

READ MORE: Kate Forbes: MSPs would face 'wrath' of Scots if they refused to appoint FM

The SNP were on 39% (+1), Labour on 29% (-), the Tories down three points and the Greens up two points.

For Holyrood’s constituency vote, the SNP were again up one point to 43%, while Labour were down one point to 26%, Tories were on 15% (-3) and the Greens were up two points to 4%.

Meanwhile on the regional vote, there was no change for the SNP (35%), both Tories and Labour were down two points each to 15% and 25% respectively, Greens up two points on 11% and Alba on 2%.

Michael Russell, the SNP president, said the poll showed why the UK is "running scared of a referendum" on independence. 

"Removing 'don't knows', as most headline figures do, Yes support sits at 46% - a rock solid starting point ahead of any future campaign.

The National: Michael Russell, the former SNP MSP and Scottish government minister pictured in Argyll.

  Photograph by Colin Mearns
3 July 2021

"The opposition know that a referendum is on them to lose - and their arguments of stability under Westminster control are crumbling.

"This poll shows increasing support for the SNP at Holyrood and Westminster - an achievement after 16 years in government that our opponents could only dream of.

"Westminster cannot continue to hide from democracy. While the SNP continues to bring our positive vision of an independent Scotland to the people who live here, that support will only continue to grow."

The National: Alex Salmond

Alba welcomed the results, which showed the party on 6% in the north-east – which could be enough to see the party’s leader Alex Salmond (above) elected to Holyrood under the list system.

"Restoring Scotland’s independence is an immediate priority is the focus of Alba Party so this poll must act as a wake up call to the independence movement," general secretary Chris McEleny claimed. 

"However, as we see from the north east, Alba’s support has now increased to a level that would result in Alba Party representation in the Scottish Parliament.This level of support will only rise, and be replicated across Scotland, as Alba Party continues to campaign for the priorities of the people of Scotland.”