NICOLA Sturgeon has been told to “keep the monarchy” if she wants to win a second Scottish independence referendum.

Professor John Curtice said that if retaining the royals as head of state is not an option then the first minister will struggle to return a majority Yes vote.

The top pollster was quizzed on the likelihood of an independent Scotland becoming a Republic, with an elected head of state instead, or keeping the monarch in place.

But the Strathclyde University politics professor said that the SNP and Yes supporters need to appeal to the “broadest possible constituency” to secure a win, and that may include keeping the royal family.

It comes after the Scottish Greens walked out of a debate on the Jubilee on Wednesday - as they do not support an unelected head of state.

Curtice explained that those who would rather have a republic and scrap the monarchy are more likely to vote for Yes, and that the First Minister needs to widen the appeal of independence. He told BBC Good Morning Scotland that to win the FM will have to appeal to “the broadest possible constituency”.

He added: “It is clear that the monarchy amongst Scots in general is more popular at the moment than is a republic - albeit that is not true about Yes supporters.

The National Wales: Curtice also said support for the monarchy was lower amongst younger people across the UK Curtice also said support for the monarchy was lower amongst younger people across the UK

“Of course Nicola Sturgeon’s job, given that the polls suggest that probably at the moment slightly less than 50% of people in Scotland are in favour of independence, she needs to grow that number and she's not going to necessarily make her life any easier by saying that one of the consequences of independence would be that the monarchy would go.

“She needs to go for as broad a constituency as possible. Her job with respect to this issue is not simply to appeal to her base.

“The truth is that those people who not only want independence but would like to get rid of the monarchy are frankly probably going to vote Yes anyway.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson BOOED by royal supporters as he attends Jubilee service

“That's not the group that Nicola Sturgeon has to focus on - she has to focus on those who are uncertain, unclear, not sure what the consequences would be, but equally are not entirely happy about the state of the UK.

“That's a group of people who for the most part would probably still want Scotland to be retaining the monarchy.”

Curtice also pointed out that younger Scots are much less likely to be supportive of the Windsors, and that this is similar in England too.

The National Wales: The Platinum Jubilee is dominating headlines this weekendThe Platinum Jubilee is dominating headlines this weekend

He said: “Support for independence is much higher amongst those who are younger but the truth is actually even south of the border, although it's not as marked, again you discover that younger people are less keen on the monarchy than are older people.

"And actually it has been amongst all younger people in particular, that the modest decline in support for the monarchy, south of the border has been most noticeable.

“So there is an issue here for the monarchy with the younger generations but actually is evident across the UK as a whole.”

MORE NEWS:

BBC reporter Martin Geissler later remarked to Curtice that the Jubilee has been “difficult to avoid”.

Curtice responded: “Excuse me for saying so Martin but people can turn off their radio and turn off their television.”

A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, The National in Scotland

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.