SNP on course to win 73 seats in new Holyrood 2016 poll

THE SNP could win 73 of the 129 Scottish Parliament seats in May's Scottish election, according to a new poll.

The Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The poll, carried out by Panelbase for the Sunday Times newspaper, projects the SNP winning 73 seats, up four from the 69 won in 2011.

The results follow the pattern revealed in previous polls, suggesting the SNP are on course for a Holyrood landslide with an increased vote share.

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But the poll also reveals the Scottish Conservatives are gaining ground on Scottish Labour in the race to be Scotland’s second largest party, with Ruth Davidson’s party on course to win 20 seats, while Scottish Labour are projected to pick up 26 seats.

That figure for Labour is down 11 seats on the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary Election, while the Conservatives are up five seats on their 2011 total.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are projected to win seven seats while the Scottish Greens, meanwhile, are on track to win three seats - gaining one on 2011’s total of two.

In terms of approval ratings for party leaders, Nicola Sturgeon leads the way with a positive rating of +23, but Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale - on -13 - is polling worse than her predecessor Jim Murphy.

Ms Davidson is faring better than her Scottish Labour counterpart, on -9, while Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie is also marginally ahead of Ms Dugdale on -12.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile, is enjoying a better approval rating than David Cameron, with the Prime Minister on -33 to Mr Corbyn’s -23.