Almost half of Scots think that the three candidates running to replace Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader have failed to make a convincing case for independence, a new poll suggested.
The research, for communications agency The BIG Partnership, found 46% of those questioned thought none of the contenders vying to be the next SNP leader and Scottish first minister had achieved this.
A quarter (25%) said Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has the most convincing case – with 18% thinking this of Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and 11% saying this for former Scottish Government minister Ash Regan.
Meanwhile, seven out of 10 (71%) of No voters said none of the three would-be leaders had made a convincing case for independence.
He stated: “All three candidates have talked of their plans to grow support for independence – a key priority for the SNP.
“But our poll highlights the scale of the challenge. Almost half of the public don’t think any of the candidates have made a convincing case for independence – rising to 70% of ‘No’ voters who are crucial for the SNP to win over.”
The polling, which was conducted by Opinion Matters, saw 1,000 Scots questioned between Tuesday March 7 – after the first TV debate of the leadership contest had taken place – and Friday March 10.
When asked who would do a “good job” as first minister, Ms Forbes was the only one of the three candidates to achieve a positive net rating.
She scored plus 10 in this, compared with ratings of minus 11 and minus 13 for Mr Yousaf and Ms Regan respectively.