SUPPORT for leaving the Union is in the lead in the latest round of polling from Ipsos MORI released this afternoon.

The polling firm found 52% of Scots would vote for independence, while 48% would back No if a referendum were held tomorrow.

The survey also found the SNP are on course to achieve a majority at the Scottish Parliament election next month, while the Greens look set for a big boost with a predicted 11 MSPs.

This would create a large pro-independence majority in the Parliament. Meanwhile, the poll carried out between March 29 and April 4 put support for Alba on 3%, but did not account for how support for Alex Salmond’s party may vary region to region.

READ MORE: Scottish election: SNP on track to win majority in latest Ipsos MORI poll

Ipsos MORI polled 1032 voters on their views on independence, trust in the parties and their approval of party leaders.

Nicola Sturgeon was the most popular party leader with a net approval of +29, down three points, while Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross fell by 11 points to -23.

It was Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar’s first time to appear on the favourability rankings, and he entered with +26.

Meanwhile Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie was on +14, an increase of two points, and Willie Rennie was on +7, an increase of one point.

Alba leader Salmond also had his first outing on the favourability poll and was placed at -55.

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The SNP remain the most trusted party among the Scottish public, with people backing them to deal with a range of issues facing Scotland.

However trust in the SNP to stand up for Scotland’s interests, manage education and tackle inequality has slipped since November 2020 – falling 5, 4 and 4 points. Despite this 70% say they trust the party to stand up for the country’s interests, 61% trust them to deal with inequality and 55% back them on managing education.

Scottish Labour saw a boost to its trust ratings, with 42% saying they trust them to tackle inequality, up 12 points, and 46% saying they trust them to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, also up 12 points.

Despite the new leader's positive polling and increase in trust the poll puts Scottish Labour on track for 19 MSPs, keeping them in third place at Holyrood.

Emily Gray, Ipsos MORI Scotland managing director, commented: “Our latest poll results suggest the SNP are on course to win a majority of seats at Holyrood in May. Independence remains the top issue for Scotland’s voters and an independence ‘supermajority’ at Holyrood looks within the realms of possibility. However, our poll indicates that this may come from an uplift in support for the Scottish Greens on the regional vote rather than for the Alba Party.

“The Alba Party’s main impact to date may have been to remind pro-independence voters of how to use their regional vote tactically.”

READ MORE: The new Scottish Tory election leaflet is not going down well with voters

Salmond commented on the poll this afternoon, arguing Alba will “gain further ground” in the polls as the campaign continues.

"There have been three polls thus far since Alba’s launch just twelve days ago,” he said. "Each of them shows identifiable support for Alba.

"We now have 32 first class candidates in the field the length and breadth of the country, more MPs than the Labour Party and more members than the Liberal Democrats.

“As Alba's name recognition gets across we will gain further ground. The opportunity is there to build the supermajority for independence at Holyrood.  Alba's aim is to be part of that process.”