NEW polling has shown that the SNP are on course to remain as the largest party at Holyrood after the next Scottish election.

Polling conducted by Norstat for The Sunday Times suggested the SNP could return 40 MSPs, meaning it would still be difficult for them to form a government.

Norstat interviewed 1050 people in Scotland aged 16 and older between June 11 and 14 with data showing Labour hold a four-point lead over the SNP when it comes to Westminster voting intention.

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It was also bad news for the Scottish Tories as data showed the party is on course for its lowest share of the vote at a General Election.

However, voting intentions at Holyrood showed the SNP at 34%, two points ahead of Labour in constituencies.

The Scottish Tories meanwhile would pick up 16% of the vote, the LibDems 8%, Greens 6% and the remaining 5% going to other parties.

On the more proportional regional list vote, Scottish Labour and the SNP were tied on 25% while the Tories would pick up15% of regional votes, the Greens 8%, LibDems 7%, Reform UK 6% and Alba 4%.

According to analysis from John Curtice, this would result in the SNP having 40 MSPs while Labour would pick up 37.

The Scottish Tories would pick up 21 seats meanwhile and the LibDems would have 10.

The Greens would have 10 MSPs and there would be breakthroughs for Reform, with eight MSPs, and Alba with three.

Although the SNP remain the largest party, this could make it difficult to form a government.

When it came to Scottish independence, 51% were opposed while 49% were in favour once don’t knows were excluded.

Approval ratings

When it came to approval ratings, Anas Sarwar (below) was the most popular with a score of -7, which was a point better than SNP leader John Swinney.

(Image: PA)

Douglas Ross meanwhile scored -45 while Rishi Sunak returned -53 and Keir Starmer -15.

Ross has already said he will quit Holyrood should he win his seat at Westminster in Aberdeenshire North & Moray East.

Norstat found that 61% of people thought politicians should be barred from being MPs and MSPs at the same time while only 22% said it should be allowed.