NEW polling puts support for Scottish independence four points ahead of support for the Union, The National can reveal.

A survey by FindOutNow for the Alba Party put Yes on 52%, with No trailing behind on 48%, excluding "don’t knows”.

Including the undecided voters, support for independence sits at 48.6% against No on 45.2%.

The poll also gave Yes a substantial lead among younger voters, with all age groups between 18 and 44 showing majority support for independence.

Older generations were less likely to be in favour of independence, with voters over the age of 65 backing No by 68.9% including those undecided.

Support for independence is strongest in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, according to subsamples from the research.

READ MORE: SNP minister 'backs Alba plan for referendum on Holyrood's powers'

The survey showed 68.5% of voters in Scotland’s largest city were in favour of independence even with undecided voters accounted for.

The Unionist vote is strongest in north east Scotland according to the poll, with 74.1% against independence.

And the research found that among 2014 No voters, 12.1% said they would now back independence, with 5.5% undecided.

A significant minority of Scottish Labour voters also support independence, with 28% of those who have made their minds up backing Yes.

The National: Ash Regan

Alba welcomed the results and argued they bolstered Ash Regan’s (above) bid to pass an indyref2 bill in Parliament.

She said: “It is clear that an overwhelming majority of the Scottish public would back the Parliament having these powers so I would be confident we would secure a Yes vote in a referendum.

READ MORE: Majority back Scottish Parliament having independence powers

“Humza Yousaf and the Scottish Government should now embrace the proposal to hold a referendum on the powers of the Parliament.

“I have set the plan out for them, showed them that it has the backing of the people of Scotland, and they should now help deliver the referendum by giving it their backing.”

Alba have announced they will hold a “Yes event” in Edinburgh on Saturday and said they would now challenge the SNP at the upcoming General Election after Alex Salmond’s “Scotland united” deal was rejected.

Salmond said: “Independence support is riding high while backing for the SNP is deep in the doldrums.

“Worse than that, as their political problems escalate the SNP are devoid of strategy. They are completely clueless on how to achieve independence while the proposed election theme of just ‘Stop the Tories’ takes the national movement back forty years.”

He added: “Now that the SNP have rejected a ‘Scotland united’ approach to the election, we will be fielding candidates calling for an election mandate for independence and backing Ash Regan MSP’s bill for a referendum on the powers of the Parliament to include independence.

“It is these initiatives which can take Scotland’s future back into Scotland’s hands and will be the Alba independence strategy right through to the Scottish elections in 2026. As the SNP support continues to fall then Alba’s star will rise."

FindOutNow interviewed 5313 adults between January 11 and 24 for the poll. From those, a representative sample of Scotland of 842 respondents was used to calculate the final results.