ALMOST half of voters north of the border would back the SNP, according to a new poll.
Support for the nationalists was at 49 per cent in the latest You Gov poll for The Times, up three points on the last You Gov poll last week.
It encourages us to keep working hard to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard at WestminsterAngus Robertson
A quarter (25 per cent) of voters planned to vote Labour, down four points on the last poll.
Meanwhile support for the Conservatives was up two points at 18 per cent and backing for the Liberal Democrats was up one point at 4 per cent.
The Times reported that based on these figures the SNP would end up with 53 seats, while there would be four seats for Labour and one each for the Tories and Lib Dems.
The poll, the first since Tuesday’s Scottish leaders debate live on STV, interviewed 1056 Scots online on April 8 and 9.
More than half (56 per cent) of those questioned judged that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon won the debate, while Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson came second with 14 per cent.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was third with 13 per cent.
Among those who said they were Labour voters 44 per cent thought Mr Murphy was the winner, while of those who said they were SNP voters 88 per cent judged that Ms Sturgeon had performed best.
SNP general election campaign director Angus Robertson said: “This poll is a very welcome indication that people across Scotland are responding positively to the SNP’s message of delivering jobs and growth in place of Westminster cuts.
“It encourages us to keep working hard to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard at Westminster with a strong team of SNP MPs.
“And the resounding win the poll records for Nicola Sturgeon in this week’s two-hour STV debate adds to the momentum and energy of the SNP campaign.
“As welcome as this poll is, we take absolutely nothing for granted - we are speaking to people on the doorsteps and in communities all across Scotland to earn their trust.
“More anti-Tory MPs than Tory MPs at the election means that we can lock David Cameron out of Downing Street. And electing a strong team of SNP MPs will also ensure that Scotland has real power at Westminster to ensure that Scottish interests are served - and progressive politics delivered across the UK.”
The results were polled before the Scottish leaders’ debate on the BBC on Wednesday evening.
A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “If this poll is repeated on election day the SNP will be delighted, but David Cameron will be ecstatic.
“The Tories can’t win in Scotland so need to rely on the SNP taking seats from Labour. A vote for anyone other than Labour risks the Tories being the largest party across the UK and David Cameron sneaking back into Downing Street.
“That would be a disaster for Scotland, but it’s what will happen if people vote SNP.”
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