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22 December 2014, 08:13
A new poll has put support for the SNP in the UK general election in May at a record high.
The Survation poll of 1,001 people for the Daily Record found that 48% of people would vote for the party in a Westminster election, with Labour trailing on 24%.
Support for the Conservatives was at 16%, 5% backed the Lib Dems while 4% would vote for Ukip and 1% for the Greens.
The SNP also continues to dominate Holyrood voting intentions, with the party's Scottish Parliament constituency vote rising to 51%, more than double Labour's 25% support.
The poll was the first in the series to be carried out after the election of Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader.
Survation found that for 14% of those questioned Mr Murphy's leadership made them more likely to vote Labour, while 18% said they were less likely to do so and 57% said it made no difference.
First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "This is a great early Christmas present for the SNP - our best ever Survation poll rating for a UK General Election, as well as being over 50% for the Scottish Parliament constituency vote for the first time.
"I warmly welcome this poll, but we take absolutely nothing for granted - and the hard work begins in the new year to ensure that we achieve a strong group of SNP MPs to give Scotland the strongest possible voice at Westminster.
"That way, we can use our influence to bring an end to austerity economics, make Scotland free of Trident nuclear weapons, and get the powers Scotland needs to build a fairer society and more prosperous economy.''
Angus Robertson, the party's general election campaign director, said: "The poll shows that Jim Murphy has had a 'reverse honeymoon' as leader of Labour in Scotland - with the SNP stretching our lead even further since he took up the post. On these figures, Labour would even lose Mr Murphy's seat.
"The poll shows that more people are actually less likely to vote Labour under his leadership than more likely - it indicates that Johann Lamont's admission that Labour in Scotland are just a 'branch office' of Westminster has hit home and is widely understood across Scotland.''