THE majority of Scots believe the power to hold a second independence referendum should be held by Holyrood over Westminster, according to a poll.

A sample of 1019 respondents across the country took part in the survey, which was conducted by Survation for polling and pro-independence think tank Progress Scotland from between January 20 and 22.

It found 61% of those who expressed an opinion believe the Scottish Parliament should ultimately decide on the holding of a future independence referendum while 39% believe it should be Westminster.

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Progress Scotland managing director Angus Robertson said: “There is a strong majority amongst voters in Scotland that it should be the Scottish Parliament that decides on the future holding of an independence referendum.

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“Last week UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined the request from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for Holyrood to have the powers over such a vote.

“Scottish public opinion appears to be on the side of the Scottish Government and Parliament which has voted in favour of such a move.

“Not only is there strong support from SNP and Yes voters, but also from a significant minority of Labour and No voters.

“Progress Scotland will be doing further polling and research in 2020 on the views of open-minded and undecided voters on Scottish independence.

“This is particularly relevant given the Scottish Government mandate to hold a referendum and the approaching UK Brexit date, given that the biggest single factor that has been changing people’s minds on Scottish independence has been Brexit.”

A similar majority was found in a second question about whether Holyrood should have the power to decide when a future referendum is held if a pro-independence majority is elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2021.

Amongst respondents expressing an opinion, 58% believe MSPs should have the power while 42% believe Westminster should.

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Progress Scotland’s independent polling adviser Mark Diffley added that the survey found that 90% of those who voted for the SNP at the General Election in December and 82% of those who voted Yes in 2014 were in favour of power transferring to Holyrood.

He added: “However, it is noticeable that 40% of Labour voters from 2019 and 28% of No voters from 2014 also support Holyrood having the power to decide on a referendum.”

He continued: “Similar results are apparent when voters are asked about the power to hold a referendum in the scenario that the Scottish Parliament returns a pro-independence majority after next year’s Holyrood election.

“In this situation, 50% think the Scottish Parliament should have the power to decide when an independence referendum is held, while 36% do not think so and 14% have no opinion. Among those with an opinion, this amounts to a 58%-42% majority in favour of Holyrood having that power.

“Again, Yes voters and SNP supporters overwhelmingly back Holyrood having this power, though it is noticeable that 39% of Labour voters and 27% of No voters back this proposition.”

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in December requesting the permanent transfer of powers from Westminster to Holyrood in order to hold a new independence referendum this year. However, Johnson rejected her request saying the 2014 referendum was a “once in a generation” event.

The First Minister will make her response and set out her next steps on Wednesday.