Voters in Scotland could play a decisive role in the General Election result as the polls narrow with just seven days to go, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
A fresh opinion poll indicates the Conservatives’ lead over Labour has been reduced to just three points.
While the SNP leader said Theresa May is still on course to win on June 8, she suggested the size of the Prime Minister’s majority could come down to the outcome in Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon’s party won 56 out of 59 Scottish seats in the 2015 election, with the Tories targeting a number of those in next week’s ballot.
With the Scottish Conservatives now polling second in Scotland behind the SNP, both parties have framed the election as a two-horse race north of the border.
A new UK-wide YouGov poll for The Times puts the Tories on 42%, down one point since the end of last week, with Labour up three on 39% and the Liberal Democrats down two on 7%, level with Ukip.
The latest Scottish poll, conducted by Ipsos Mori for STV, puts the SNP on 43%, the Tories and Labour on 25% each, and the Lib Dems on 5%.
All the parties are set to ramp up their efforts to win votes as campaigning enters the final week.
Ms Sturgeon will visit 30 constituencies across Scotland before the June 8 ballot.
Campaigning in Edinburgh on Thursday, she said: “The Tories have been completely exposed in this election campaign, with a weak and evasive Prime Minister who is unable to answer basic questions on the impact her policies will have on people across the country - from the dementia tax, to the removal of the winter fuel allowance, cuts to public services and social security and the consequences for jobs of an extreme Brexit, the Tories have been found completely wanting.
“What is clear is that it will be ordinary people who pay the price of their plans.
“As the polls narrow across the rest of the UK, whether or not the Tories can increase their majority could come down to the outcome in Scotland.
“So while they may still be on track to win the election in the rest of the UK, Scotland now has the opportunity to hold the Tories firmly in check.
“We know that Tory MPs will be a rubber stamp for whatever Theresa May wants to do.”
The Scottish Conservatives say that they are the only party able to stop the SNP from holding a second referendum.
More to follow.