Welcoming the publication of a poll from IPSOS/MORI in the Times and Sun putting support for independence at 35 per cent – up two points since the last poll published at the end of May – Scottish National Party Campaign Director Angus Robertson said:
"Compared to the poll commissioned by Alistair Darling on the eve of the Yes campaign launch, support for independence is up by two points to 35 per cent and opposition is down two points – and a MORI poll last December had independence at 29 per cent, or six points less than in this poll.
"Things are moving in the right direction, and we are very confident of achieving a Yes vote for an independent Scotland in the autumn 2014 referendum.
"When people are asked if they want Scotland’s Parliament to have job-creating economic powers and control of welfare policy – so that we can build prosperity and social justice in place of Tory cuts and recession – or whether they believe that Holyrood should have the powers to get rid of Trident from Scottish waters, the answer is a resounding Yes.
"And we believe that the positive case for an independent Scotland will overcome the negativity of the Tory-led anti-independence campaign.
"As the campaign moves forward, we will reach out to every community in Scotland with the message that it is fundamentally better for all of us if decisions affecting Scotland are taken by the people who care about Scotland most – that is, the people of Scotland.”
The survey follows relentless media attention around the Queen's Diamond Jubillee and the arrival of the Olympic torch to Scotland.
The poll showed Mr Salmond's approval rating still the best of all party leaders, however the gap between those who think he is doing a good job and those who don’t has dropped nine points to plus 13, just ahead of the Greens' Patrick Harvie on plus 12 points.
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont’s support has seen a surprising lift since January, and now sits on plus nine points, up 15.
Although Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie saw his approval rating increase by seven points, he is still below zero at minus four. However the worst of all is Ruth Davidson of the Scottish Conservatives who scored minus six.
On the leadership rating figures, Mr Robertson said:
"These are fantastic leadership ratings for Alex Salmond – any political leader in the western world would give their eye teeth to have such strongly positive ratings after more than five years in office – and they confirm that he is far and away the most popular political leader in Scotland and the UK. The First Minister’s net approval ratings are double now what they were two years ago."