Support for independence has dropped back to the lowest level since devolution, according to a survey.
More than a decade after the Scottish Parliament was created, and in the second term of an SNP Government, just 23% want Scotland to leave the UK, the annual Scottish Social Attitudes survey suggested.
Confusingly, a higher proportion (35%) want Holyrood to "make all the decisions for Scotland", and more than half want MSPs to set taxes and welfare benefits. The varied results in the wide-ranging survey allowed both sides of the referendum debate to see positives.
Rachel Ormston, director of ScotCen Social Research, an independent not-for-profit group which produced the survey, said: "The 'yes' campaign still needs to convince a much wider section of the public that independence will bring real benefits, especially for Scotland's economy.
"But while independence does not appear to be the favoured option of most Scots at present, unionists need to recognise there is a substantial gap between the public's perceptions of Holyrood's current powers and their preference for it to be responsible for most of Scotland's domestic affairs."
The survey of 1,229 adults was conducted between July and November last year. It showed support for independence had dropped from a high of 35% in 2005 to 23%, the same level as the previous low point in 2010.
Support for devolution within the UK was 61%, also equal to the 2010 result. About two-thirds (63%) said the Scottish Parliament ought to have the most influence over the way the country is run - down from 73% in 2011.
More than half want Holyrood to set taxes (56%) while almost two-thirds (64%) said MSPs should set welfare benefits. Just 6% would want to return all decision-making powers to London.
Blair Jenkins, chief executive of pro-independence group Yes Scotland, suggested the survey may have been overtaken by events. He said: "Importantly, since the poll was conducted from July to November last year, we have had the Westminster welfare changes, making one million Scots families worse off, and the UK Government threatening to take us out of Europe, our largest trading market.
"We have also had the Westminster coalition's admission that, as a worst-case scenario, independence would make every man, woman and child in Scotland only £1 a year worse off."