THE SNP is on course to win another overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, taking three more seats than the party got in its landslide victory five years ago, according to a poll.
The TNS survey shows the Nationalists on 56 per cent in the constituency vote, with Labour trailing on 19 per cent, the Tories on 15 per cent and the Lib Dems on six per cent.
But the SNP has fallen back eight points in the regional list vote, where it is on 47 per cent, Labour is on 21 per cent, the Tories 15, Greens eight and Lib Dems six.
The figures would mean the Greens overtaking the Lib Dems for the first time to become the fourth biggest party at Holyrood.
The Scotland Votes seat calculator worked out the poll findings would translate into 72 seats for the SNP – three more than at the last Holyrood election in 2011; 27 for Labour – ten down; 16 for the Tories – up one; eight for the Greens – their best ever performance; and six for the Lib Dems – one more than last time.
Another forecast by Cutbot gave Labour and the Tories an extra seat each and the Greens and Lib Dems one less.
The Cutbot projection suggested in Lothian the SNP would win all nine constituencies while the seven list seats would split three for Labour and two each for the Tories and the Greens.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon dismissed suggestions the campaign slogan “Both votes SNP” might not be resonating with voters.
She said: “I think you will struggle no matter how hard you try to make me sound in any way depressed about a poll which put us at 56 and 47 per cent respectively.
“I am very buoyed by the poll today, as I am generally by the polls. But polls are just polls. We take nothing for granted and we will be campaigning for every vote.”
The First Minister visited Mimi’s Bakehouse at the Shore to pledge she would increase health service spending in real terms in each year of the next parliament if re-elected on May 5.
She promised to pass on every penny of Barnett consequentials resulting from increases in health spending by the UK government.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m proud of much of what has been achieved over the last few years, but there is so much more to do. We have an ageing population and we need to make sure our health service is designed to meet the new challenges.
“We need to ensure our NHS is properly funded, that we do everything we can to keep people out of our emergency hospitals and in the community, and that we’re properly equipped to fight the big diseases like cancer.”
Meanwhile, Sottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie toured the Edinburgh International Science Festival at Summerhall and promised a “digital revolution” in Scotland’s classrooms, using online courses to transform learning.