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14 July 2015, 11:04
Support for the SNP has increased again since the party's landslide general election victory in Scotland but backing for independence remains in the minority, according to a new poll.
The party are on course to win 56% of constituency votes in next year's Scottish Parliament election, up from the 45% it won in the last Holyrood vote in 2011, it found.
The SNP won 50% of Scottish votes in the general election earlier this year to secure an unprecedented 56 of Scotland's 59 Westminster seats, but the Survation poll for the Scottish Daily Mail found support for Scottish independence is at 43%, with 47% opposed and 10% undecided.
The poll of more than 1,000 people also showed constituency support has increased for the Scottish Conservatives to 14% and Lib Dems to 7% but has fallen for Labour to 20% and could lead to the loss of all its constituency seats.
The SNP would win 71 Holyrood seats if the poll is replicated across the country next year, while the proportional representation system would see Labour hold on to 24 of its current 37 seats while the Scottish Greens would have 12 seats from its 11% regional vote and Ukip would win Scottish representation with 5% of the regional share.
The SNP welcomed the poll and said support for independence has grown when undecided voters are removed.
The party's business convener Derek Mackay said: "This is an encouraging poll, highlighting the SNP's extraordinary positive ratings after eight years in government - and it is also a vote of confidence in the strong start that the new team of SNP MPs has made in standing up for Scotland's interests at Westminster.
"But we take absolutely nothing for granted, and will work hard every day between now and next year's Holyrood election to retain the trust of people right across Scotland.
"Since coming to office in 2007, we have frozen council tax, protected free higher education, scrapped introduced prescription charges, protected free personal care, maintained the concessionary travel scheme, increased Scotland's health budget to record levels, and protected those hardest hit by unfair Tory welfare cuts. All this has been in the face of massive Westminster cuts to our budget.
"The SNP also introduced the living wage - which at £7.85 per hour is higher than the con-trick national living wage proposed by George Osborne - for public sector workers covered by Scottish Government pay policy.
"There is still more to do and if re-elected in 2016, the SNP will build on our strong record and deliver further improvements.
"As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already outlined, by 2020 we will deliver 30 hours of free childcare - almost doubling the current provision of 16 hours - and continue to protect our NHS. We will also continue to use the powers we have to strengthen and grow the Scottish economy - and push the case at Westminster for the powers we need to make more progress.''