ENCOURAGING, heartening, terrific and highly significant – just a few of the responses from SNP politicians to Lord Ashcroft’s bombshell poll.

All took it as confirmation of what people had been telling them on the doorsteps and most attributed it to the perfect storm of Brexit; the “Boris effect”; and the way Scotland had been ignored by the Westminster government.

Other said it epitomised the UK’s “broken” political system.

“There’s clearly an appetite for the referendum and for independence,” said Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie.

“At the last two or three street stalls many people have been asking, ‘when are we having this referendum?’ confirming that they want this yesterday.

“The broad formulation – we need to know what the terms of Brexit will be but Scotland needs to be able to make a choice which may be different to the rest of the UK before it is too late to take a different course of action. That formulation remains absolutely unchanged. It’s the correct one and the two-year timescale is absolutely correct.

“It’s Brexit, it’s the Boris effect, but more importantly it’s the way Scotland has been ignored over the past three years since the Brexit referendum where our view – the nation’s view that we should remain in the EU – has counted for nothing, where the rather sensible compromise put forward by the Scottish Government was dismissed out of hand.

“And it’s the great fear that we’ll not just have any old Brexit but an incredibly dangerous no-deal Brexit.”

READ MORE: Scottish Independence support is growing before starting gun

Mhairi Black, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, said people were fed up with the UK Government, and added: “Brexit has been a complete farce and if you add this to a decade of austerity that has been inflicted on the people of Scotland along with shocking policies like Universal Credit, the rape clause and the plight of the WASPI women who have been robbed of their pensions, you start to get the picture that independence is a no brainer.

“This poll is an exciting development that shows the hard work of pro-independence activists is paying off. We must keep taking the case to the people to make sure independence is delivered.”

The National:

Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard said the poll was “hard evidence” of what he was hearing anecdotally: “Opinion is on the move. We’ve got people who voted no in 2014 who are now reconsidering independence, many of them finding it a more attractive proposition that staying in a Johnson led union.”

“It’s one poll, but it’s a significant gap.”

Sheppard warned that there were still “many moving parts” on Brexit and “aspects of the endgame that need to come fruition before people will want to consider the proposition again, but I say that we are now talking a year, not many years”.

He said he thought it likely the Johnson government would collapse and there would be a general election called.

“My guess, and it’s only a guess, that process [of tabling a motion of no confidence in the government] will start at the beginning of September. If Downing Street suspect that Parliament is likely to block a no-deal they will call an election.”

Airdrie and Shotts MSP Alex Neil said Nicola Sturgeon should again write to Johnson seeking a Section 30 order to hold a referendum, but he was not optimistic it would be granted.

The National:

“If they refuse to give a commitment for a referendum, then clearly we’ve got to think about using the 2021 election and make it the referendum,” he said. “If we get a majority in that it would be a mandate to negotiate independence rather than just hold a referendum on it.

“That would be the consequence of the Tories refusing to give a commitment that they would respect the democratic decision of the Scottish people. In those circumstances our rights under the UN charter would kick in – the right to self-determination.

“What the last three years has demonstrated is that Westminster is no longer fit for purpose; that England is at the end of its days of empire – it can barely run itself – Scotland will be the last country in the empire to go and both remainers and Brexiteers in Scotland are sick to death of the shambles in London.”

READ MORE: This summer we will win Scottish Independence

Neil said it was the Westminster shambles that has led people – many of whom voted No in the last indyref – to now recognise that the only hope was for Scotland to become independent and run our own country.

Joanna Cherry QC, MP for Edinburgh South West described the poll as “significant”, and added: “It continues a trend of recent polls showing increasing support for independence and holding a second referendum on the First Minister’s timetable before 2021.

“This poll is another blow for Ruth Davidson and her credibility. Boris Johnson’s desire for a no-deal Brexit against the express wish of both Westminster and the Scottish Parliament shows yet again how irretrievably broken the politics of the UK are.

“The Yes movement should be buoyed by these results, time to polish the campaign boots!”

The National:

Glenrothes MP Peter Grant said one significant factor was that people wanted an early referendum: “I think the fact that so many people say they want it to happen soon is very significant, because previously they said there should be a referendum in five or 10 years or whatever. To see the increase in the number of people saying they want it within the next couple of years it’s the kind of timescale the Scottish Government are looking at anyway. To me that indicates that people who support independence are becoming much firmer in their support.

The fact that so many are in favour of a relatively early referendum probably means they are more definite about how they’d vote in it than they were.”

Grant said we had to learn the lessons of 2014, when Yes were confident they were going to win. And he cautioned: “I think some of our supporters sometimes forget that the UK Government can call an election any time they want and they are capable of doing that just to spite a referendum.

“I was delighted when the First Minister confirmed a wee while ago it would be within the time of this Parliament and I’m expecting it in autumn next year.”

Drew Hendry, the MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, said the poll made a mockery of Tory attempts “to deny the democratic right of the Scottish people to have a vote on independence”.

The National: SNP MP Drew Hendry

He added: “This is a poll taken outside of an independence campaign and we’ve seen the direction of travel increasingly taking us towards independence. It is just one poll, there’s a lot of work to be done to convince people of the arguments but it’s clear that argument is gaining traction and majority support now.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP, Angus MacNeil said: “When incompetents scare about independence it rebounds on the incompetents. If people with a bad reputation tell you that x and y is a bad thing then people will think maybe x and y isn’t so bad.” However, he added that we would not be in a position to choose a time for indyref2: “Even if the polls said 100% for independence the Scottish Government are not in a position to do anything about it. They’ve had three years of not acting on this until April.

“Surely after the announcement of four months ago the Scottish Government has to get itself where the campaign begins.

“I’m not being unreasonable in wanting that kind of stuff.”