Almost half of Scottish voters will support the SNP in next month’s General Election as Labour’s share collapses, according to a new poll.
It is the largest lead given to the SNP in any Scottish survey since the campaign proper began.
The SNP’s share of the vote would increase from the 36.9% it secured in 2017, when it won 35 of the 59 Scottish seats up for grabs, to 44%.
Support for Labour has slumped in Scotland to just 16% of the vote.
While the party secured 27.1% of the ballots cast in the 2017 election, when it won seven Scottish constituencies, research by Ipsos MORI for STV will raise fears the party will suffer losses in two weeks’ time.
Just over a quarter (26%) of Scots are backing Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party next month, according to the poll, with this down slightly from the 28.6% support his predecessor Theresa May won in 2017.
The 13 Tories MPs that were returned then were crucial to keeping her in Downing Street.
Meanwhile, support for the Liberal Democrats, led by Jo Swinson, has increased from 6.8% in 2017 to 11% in the poll – which also put support for the Greens on 2%, while the Brexit Party polled less than 1%.
According to the poll, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was the only political leader to avoid a negative approval rating.
Mr Johnson achieved a net rating of -52, with 74% of people dissatisfied with his performance as PM, compared to 22% who were satisfied.
Ms Sturgeon had a net-zero rating – with 48% of Scots satisfied with her performance and the same amount dissatisfied.
On the key issue of Scottish independence, the poll showed Scots were split 50/50 on whether the country should remain in the UK or not.
Half of Scots were opposed to a second referendum on the issue next year – as Ms Sturgeon wants – with 42% in favour of this.
Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said: “The SNP have most reason to be pleased with the findings from our poll.
“The party looks set to make gains at the general election and Nicola Sturgeon’s personal ratings remain the highest of any of the party leaders.
“Looking beyond the election, the timing of a second independence referendum remains a difficult balancing act for Nicola Sturgeon since more of the Scottish public oppose a second referendum being held in the next year than support it.”
She added: “While the Conservatives’ share of the vote looks likely to be a little lower than it was at the 2017 General Election, the poll has major warning signs for Scottish Labour.
“Richard Leonard has the lowest satisfaction ratings of any of the Scottish leaders of the four largest parties and most of the seats the party gained in 2017 look at risk of turning from red to yellow on December 12.”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “It’s increasingly clear that this election is a two-horse race in Scotland.
“Only the SNP can beat the Tories and deprive Boris Johnson of the majority he craves.
“And with support for independence now at 50%, it is completely unsustainable for any Westminster politician to try to block Scotland’s right to choose.”
Luke Graham, the Conservative candidate in Ochil and South Perthshire, said the poll shows “just how unpopular” SNP plans for an independence vote in 2020 are.
He said: “When asked to choose, more people say they strongly oppose another referendum next year than any other option. It shows that Nicola Sturgeon is completely out of touch with mainstream Scottish opinion.”