SNP in poll position

By Hannah Brenton

The Scottish National party has surged ahead in the race for control of Holyrood.

A new poll by Ipsos Mori for the Times and the Scottish Sun shows the party in a double-digit lead over Labour.

In the constituency vote the SNP were ahead with 45%, with Labour on 34%. The Tories and Liberal Democrats trailed on ten per cent and nine per cent respectively.

In the regional vote the SNP received 42% while Labour were on 32%, the Tories on ten per cent, Lib Dems on eight percent and the Greens on six per cent.

If those numbers hold until May 5th, the SNP would not only win a second term but increase its seats in the Scottish parliament by 14 to a total of 61.

The Greens would also benefit – doubling their seats from two to four – but all the other parties would lose out.

The poll marks a significant change in fortune for the SNP and leader Alex Salmond, after the party started the electoral campaign as the underdog behind Labour who consistently polled ahead of the nationalists in the weeks leading up to the dissolution of the Scottish parliament.

The SNP first overtook Labour in the polls on Sunday, but the gap was only three per cent in the constituency vote and two per cent in the regional vote in a YouGov poll for Scotland on Sunday.