THE SNP could be on course to take another seat in the European elections this week, according to polls.
But Alex Salmond’s party looks likely to be in close competition with Nigel Farage’s Ukip for the final available place.
A Survation poll in the Daily Record newspaper puts the SNP in front on 37 per cent, followed by Labour on 26 per cent.
Ukip is within touching distance of snatching its first seat in Scotland, with 10 per cent support.
The Tories are on 13 per cent, followed by the Greens and Liberal Democrats on 6 per cent.
An separate ICM poll in the The Scotsman newspaper was broadly in line with the findings, putting the SNP on 36 per cent, Labour on 27 per cent, Tories on 13 per cent, Ukip on 9 per cent and the Greens and Lib Dems on 7 per cent.
Despite increased support for the anti-European Union (EU) Ukip, which is not yet represented at any levels in Scotland, people appear relatively happy with European membership.
The ICM poll shows 41 per cent of Scottish voters think the UK has benefited from being in the EU compared with 29 per cent who believe it has not benefitted.
SNP leader Alex Salmond said voters have a choice between candidate Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and Ukip.
“The intolerant message that Ukip is peddling has no place in Scotland and the way to keep Ukip’s agenda out of Scottish politics is by voting SNP,” he said.
“In our candidate Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, we have the antithesis of everything Ukip stand for.
“She represents the choice in this election between the new Scotland we want to build and the miserable, anti-European agenda of Ukip and the Westminster parties.”
Scotland is currently represented by six MEPs - two SNP, two Labour, one Tory and one Lib Dem.
Poll expert Professor John Curtice said the SNP looks on course for its best-ever performance in a European election.
Ukip’s fortunes are very different north and south of the border, he points out.
“If Ukip do indeed manage to come first across Britain as a whole, but fail to pick up a seat in Scotland, the Yes campaign can be expected that this shows how very different the values of Scotland from those held by voters south of the border - and thus illustrates why Scotland should seek to govern itself,” he wrote on the What Scotland Thinks website.