SNP hails poll showing higher voter support following party conference

The SNP has welcomed an opinion poll showing support at a higher level than it achieved in last year's landslide Holyrood election win,

First Minister Alex Salmond.

The day after its annual conference, the SNP hailed an opinion poll showing support at a higher level than it achieved in last year's landslide Holyrood election win.

But the Nationalists have their sights set on a much bigger prize, and the polls show they still have a lot of work to do to persuade voters of the merits of independence.

The latest shows the SNP enjoying 45% support for both the constituency and regional votes at the Scottish Parliament, far ahead of Labour and higher even than when they won their supposedly "impossible" majority last year.

However not all of those votes are necessarily supporting independence. At the moment, that stands at 37% in favour, 45% against.

But it's not all plain sailing for the SNP, with the Liberal Democrats accusing them of being "disrepectful" by publishing the referendum public consultation results after the deal was done.

Though the leadership scraped through a victory on changing party policy about joining NATO, there remain huge divisons within the membership.

The party has momentum, but as the details of what an independent Scotland will look like begin to emerge, it may be hard to maintain that.

The chairman of the SNP, Derek Mackay, appeared in the Scotland Tonight to discuss the findings. Writer and campaigner Lesley Riddoch and political commentator and Alex Salmond biographer David Torrance also spoke about the results.

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