MOST Scots believe a second independence referendum should remain on the table, according to a new poll.

The survey found 52 per cent back a fresh vote being an option in light of Brexit, in contrast to 48 per cent who think it should be scrapped.

The findings will be a blow to the Conservatives, Scottish Labour and the Liberal Democrats who have campaigned over the past months for it to be removed.

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Yesterday’s online poll was carried out by ScotPulse for STV News and found that of those who support a second independence referendum remaining an option, 17 per cent said there should be a new vote after the Brexit terms are known, 13 per cent beforehand, and 22 per cent said it should depend on what happens with Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon has set out plans for a second referendum to he held after the Brexit terms are known but before the UK leaves the UK. Those developments are expected to take place between Autumn 2018 and the end of March 2019. However, the timescale could change if there are delays in the talks.

As well as facing pressure from the Unionist parties, Sturgeon has been called on by some in her party to withdraw the plans until after the next Holyrood election.

She is reflecting on the General Election result, won by the SNP north of the Border with 31 seats, but with a loss of 21 of the 56 seats it won in 2015. She is expected to set out her position on a new plebiscite before Holyrood breaks for the summer recess at the end of next week.

One senior government colleague has predicted his boss would push ahead with the plans.

Writing in The National last Saturday, Brexit minister Mike Russell said the “proposal [to hold] an independence referendum at some stage after the conclusion of the Brexit talks is a commitment about Brexit”.

He added: “How Scotland chooses its future in such circumstances is as urgent a question today as it was [on 8 June]. The First Minister in reflecting on the means to allow that to happen is doing what she always does – seeking the best for Scotland and everyone who lives here – but doing so in a very difficult and unstable political situation. “Let’s not forget that that situation was created by the very people who are now demanding that the people of Scotland loses even their basic democratic right to choose their own future.

“Knowing Nicola, I am sure she will not be deflected from her vital task by the diversionary antics of one trick, spinning, ponies.”

The results come exactly one year on from the EU referendum, in which 52 per cent of voters across the UK opted for Brexit. In Scotland the vote was in favour of EU membership by a margin of 62 per cent to 38 per cent on June 23 last year.

The online survey of 1006 Scottish people, which was weighted by gender and age to reflect the population, and was carried out between 19 and 21 June.

SNP spokeswoman said: “This poll shows that people across Scotland firmly reject Theresa May’s extreme hard Brexit. That means we must look to secure our future in the single market, which is so crucial for jobs, investment and living standards.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Maurice Golden said: “The results of this month’s General Election showed that indyref2 is dead in the water.

“Scots are fed up with the SNP constantly trying to push for yet more division and uncertainty, and want them instead to concentrate on improving education, health and our economy.

“No matter what the result of Brexit, Scotland will always be stronger as part of the United Kingdom, and it’s time Nicola Sturgeon took the threat of another referendum off the table altogether.”

Scottish Labour’s business manager James Kelly MSP said: “This poll shows only 30 per cent of Scots want another independence referendum. That is no surprise to anyone who spent the election knocking on doors and listening to voters. “