AS a new poll revealed 53% of Scots believe independence would be better for the country than remaining in the UK after Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon said it might also be the only way to avoid living in a Boris Johnson-led Brexit “Narnia”.

The First Minister’s comments came as it emerged that friends of Johnson have started comparing the Tory Brexiteer to Aslan, the Jesus-like Lion from CS Lewis’s famous children’s books.

One MP told The Telegraph that Johnson was like the one true king of Narnia, who, with the help of the Pevensie children saves the world from the White Witch’s eternal winter. The MP said: “The era of the ice queen is over. The thaw is coming.”

That prompted Sturgeon to tweet “It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry. These idiots are actually revelling in the idea that they’re characters in a fantasy world.

Scotland, we don’t have to stay in Narnia with them – we can opt to stay in the real world with independence.”

The Panelbase survey of 1028 voters suggested rising enthusiasm for staying “in the real world with independence.”

Among those questioned, 59% believed independence would be better for Scotland than being out of the EU with no deal, while 53% would take leaving the UK over the agreement secured by Theresa May. The poll, carried out for The Sunday Times and LBC, also showed support for independence at a two-year high of 47%, although 53% of voters want Scotland to remain in the UK.

Some 51% of Scots would support the calling of a General Election if, as expected, May is defeated in Parliament tomorrow, while 54% believe she should resign. Only 29% were in favour of her staying.

There was a boost for the SNP, with 37% of voters saying they would back Sturgeon’s party at the next Westminster election.

The Tories and Labour were on 26%, with the LibDems on 6%, and Ukip and the Greens both on 2%.

According to Sir John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, that would see the SNP gain four Westminster seats, taking them to 39, while Labour would lose three, and the Tories would lose one of their MPs.

“Although this poll suggests that support for independence may have edged up a bit, as things stand the nationalist movement still finds itself tantalisingly short of the support it needs to win a second independence referendum,” said Curtice.

“However, over half of those who voted No in 2014 still want Britain to remain part of the EU. Some of them at least find the choice between a UK that is leaving the EU and Scottish independence a tough one — and especially so, should the UK leave without a deal.

“In those circumstances over one in three 2014 No voters find it impossible to say which is preferable, while, even if there is a deal, one in five still finds themselves in that predicament.”

Responding to the Sunday Times poll, the SNP’s depute leader Keith Brown said:“The simple fact is that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and is having its wishes ignored by Westminster.”

He added: “No wonder support for independence is at historically high levels.

“But a better future is possible for Scotland. We can choose to take matters into our own hands.”