A majority of Scots now back leaving the UK in a second independence referendum, a major new poll has found.
The survey, conducted by Lord Ashcroft in the wake of Boris Johnson’s visit to Edinburgh last week, puts support for independence at 46% and 43% against.
When undecided and non-voters are removed, support for independence rises to 52% compared to 48% against.
This is the first lead for independence in a poll since March 2017 and the biggest lead since a series of polls in June 2016, shortly after the UK voted to leave the EU.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the poll was “phenomenal”.
“It shows that more and more people think it’s time that Scotland took our own decisions and shaped our own future as a fair, prosperous, outward looking nation,” she said.
“Independence means getting governments people in Scotland vote for and that will act in our interests.
“That stands in stark contrast to recent experience of UK governments incapable or unwilling to act with those interests in mind.”
She added: “A broken Westminster system means Scotland is being dragged towards a no deal Brexit, regardless of the heavy price we’ll pay for lost jobs and lower living standards.
“That project is being led by Boris Johnson — a prime minister Scotland didn’t elect and who has no mandate to tear Scotland out of Europe with all the damage that will entail.
“The Scottish Government, by contrast, has a very clear mandate from the people of Scotland — to give them the choice of a better future with independence.
“It would be a democratic outrage for any Tory government to deny that, and this poll shows such an anti-democratic position is completely unsustainable.”
The poll of 1,019 people, conducted between July 30 and August 2, represents a major blow to Mr Johnson and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.
They have repeatedly rejected calls for another vote by arguing there is little support for a re-run.