Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP has extended its lead over Labour despite facing sustained criticism on devolved issues including the closure of the Forth Road Bridge.
A TNS poll of 1,035 over-16s found support for the First Minister’s party in the regional list section for next year’s Holyrood election was up two points at 54 per cent, with Labour down five points at 20 per cent.
The Scottish Conservatives were up one point to 12 per cent, the Liberal Democrats down one to 4 per cent and the Greens up four to 9 per cent.
The survey was carried out between 16 November and 14 December, straddling the announcement that the bridge would remain closed until 2016, therefore suggesting SNP popularity has been unaffected by the controversy.
In the constituency section of the vote, SNP support held steady at 58 per cent among those who expressed a party preference.
Labour fell by three percentage points to 21 per cent while Conservative and Lib Dem support held at 12 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
One interesting feature of the poll is that the number of those who say they are certain to vote in 2016 has been declining and now stands at 58%, down from 64% as recently as the TNS poll in September.Tom Costley
Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: “The past month has seen the political agenda return to devolved issues such as healthcare and transport, with opposition politicians attacking the SNP government’s record on hospital provision and on maintenance of the Forth bridge.
“The criticism appears to have had little or no effect on support for the SNP.
SNP business convener and transport minister Derek Mackay MSP said: “People in Scotland are continuing to back the SNP’s positive and progressive vision for Scotland’s future – and putting their trust in the party to build on our record of delivery and success in government for a historic third term.”