Nicola Sturgeon’s threat to hold a second independence referendum without Westminster consent is opposed by most Scots, according to a new poll.

The survey for the Politico website by Redfield and Wilton Strategies found a narrow majority of voters thought the UK Government should have the final say on the matter.

Of the 1000 people questioned, 43 per cent agreed that Scotland should only hold Indyref2 if the UK Government agreed to it, while 38% disagreed.

Excluding 'don’t knows', 53 per cent said it should be up to Westminster.

The First Minister has said she wants Indyref2 by the end of 2023, Covid permitting.

However, Boris Johnson has refused to grant Holyrood the power to hold a legally watertight vote, saying the focus should be on recovery from the pandemic.

Ms Sturgeon has said that if the PM continues to block Indyref2, the SNP-Green majority at Holyrood will pass a Referendum Bill regardless.

Experts believe the UK Government would challenge the legislation in the UK Supreme Court, and most probably succeed in having it struck down as ultra vires.

The new poll also suggested the recent SNP conference has not moved opinion on Indyref2.

Respondents backed remaining in the UK by 47 per cent to 44 per cent, with 9 per cent undecided, the same result the pollsters found at the start of August.

Redfield and Wilton also found voters largely opposed to Indyref2 in the next year, with 34 per cent supportive and 50 per cent against, but evenly split when asked about Indyref2 during the next five years, with 41 per cent supportive and 42 per cent against among decided voters.

Most respondents agreed with the recent suggestion by Scottish secretary Alister Jack that consistent 60 per cent support for Indyref2 could be the trigger for it, with only 25 per cent disagreeing.

Most polls since the May election have put Yes behind, although an Opinium poll early this month broke the trend with 51 per cent backing Independence, and 49 per cent against.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of the anti-independence group Scotland in Union, said: “This is yet another poll which shows that a majority of people in Scotland oppose the SNP’s negative vision for our future.

“The very last thing our country needs right now is more division and uncertainty, which is why the SNP should drop its obsession with the constitution and focus on what matters to people – the NHS, jobs and the climate emergency.

“The positive vision for Scotland’s future is as part of the UK, pooling and sharing resources and keeping the pound so that we can invest in our schools and hospitals and build a recovery for everyone.”

SNP Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald said: "There is a cast-iron democratic mandate for an independence referendum in the current Holyrood term and there is no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson or any UK Prime Minister to try and block that mandate.

“In the election in May, pro-independence parties won a clear majority, with the SNP winning the highest number of votes and share of the vote in the history of the Scottish Parliament.  

“As set out in the Programme for Government, the Scottish Government intends to hold a referendum, once the Covid crisis has passed, before the end of 2023.”

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