A NEW poll has put support for independence on 43% – and shows Labour losing ground to the SNP.

The latest Scottish politics tracker by pollsters Redfield and Wilton Strategies shows No in the lead by seven points – down two points to 50% from their last survey.

Support for having a referendum in the next year is also up five points from the last survey and stands at 42%, while 40% said indyref2 should not take place in the next year.

And the report also found Labour have dropped four points when voters were asked who they would back at the next election.

The SNP enjoyed the support of 37% of people, with Keir Starmer’s party on 28%. The Conservatives were up two points with 20%. There was no change in support for the LibDems or the Greens who stood at 9% and 3%, respectively.

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But Labour enjoys the highest “net favourability” rating in Scotland with 9% of voters overall saying they held a “favourable” view of the party. The SNP were the only other party with a favourability rating in positive numbers at 2%.

Humza Yousaf remains the favourite among Scots for the job of First Minister – 41% prefer him over Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, who is backed by 27% of voters.

Against the Scottish Labour leader, Yousaf fares slightly worse but is still in the lead with 36% saying they would prefer him over Anas Sarwar, who gets the backing of 29% of those polled.

But against Starmer, Yousaf is rated less favourably. Starmer has a net favourability rating of minus 3% versus the FM’s minus 5%.

The Scottish Government comes in for a bruising in the poll with 42% saying it is incompetent against 30% of people who say it is competent.

It has double-digit negative ratings for its handling of issues such as gender recognition reform (21%), drug policy (-20%), housing (-16%), crime/policing (-13%), the economy (-12%), and the NHS (-12%).

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The poll – conducted between June 3 – 5, before the Scottish Government announced it was delaying the introduction of its flagship recycling scheme – shows Scots are broadly in favour of the deposit return scheme.

Some 47% of voters back it while only 28% say they are opposed to it. In a blow for the UK Government’s stance, 47% of those polled said the scheme should include glass.

In light of comments made by retiring Chief Constable Iain Livingstone last month, voters were asked whether they agreed with his statement that Police Scotland was institutionally racist and discriminatory.

His comments were met with a net agreement rating of 38%. This figure was higher among 2019 Labour voters (53%) than those who backed the SNP at the last election (46%).