The majority of people in the UK believe Boris Johnson should agree to a second independence referendum if the Scottish National Party win a majority in May's Hollyrood election, a new poll suggests.

The Ipsos MORI study found that 51 per cent of respondents believe Downing Street should allow a referndum in the next five years if the SNP secure a landslide victory, while 40 per cent were opposed.

A majority of people in Wales (51 per cent) believe the SNP should be able to hold a second vote, while support is highest in Northern Ireland (66 per cent) and Scotland (56 per cent).

Perhaps most surprisingly, a majority of people in England (51 per cent) also support Scotland's right to a second vote. 

Most people in the UK believe a landslide for Nicola Sturgeon's party would represent a mandate for indyref2

Half of the UK public would prefer Scotland to vote against becoming an independent country if another referendum was held, while 17 per cent would prefer them to vote Yes.

Opinion remians split in Scotland with 46 per cent backing 'Yes' and 45 per cent backing 'No'. 

More than half of people polled also expect the UK not to exist in its current form in ten years’ time.

Most people in the UK believe a landslide for Nicola Sturgeon's party would represent a mandate for indyref2

Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland, said the Holyrood election will be a “critical” moment in the Union’s history.

“Should the Scottish National Party win a majority of seats, as looks likely if current levels of support hold, it will be much more difficult for the UK Government to refuse a second referendum on independence,” she explained.

“And these figures suggest that on balance, the UK public are on board with that course of action – more believe that the UK Government should allow a second referendum in the event of a SNP majority than say it should not.”

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Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 8,558 people over the age of 16 in the UK. Interviews were conducted online between April 1 and April 7.