The National:

IF anyone was in any doubt that the Tories feel threatened by rise in Scottish independence, just look at the latest Spectator cover. 

The right-wing magazine, which Boris Johnson once edited, has depicted Nicola Sturgeon as Jack Nicolson's crazed killer in The Shining.

Johnson is portrayed as Shelley Alexis Duvall's character, Wendy Torrance, who is hiding as her husband peers through a hole in a door he has just created with an axe.

The headline is "Here's Nicola", a reference to Nicolson's character saying "Here's Johnny as he threatens to kill his wife.

The cover story is titled "Can Boris Johnson stop independence?" and was written by Alex Massie, the Scotland editor of The Spectator.

It is unclear what the message is supposed to be. The FM is murdering the Union? Her quest for Scotland to have a say on its future is deranged?

It comes as a new poll puts the SNP on course for an unprecedented majority at next year's Holyrood elections and support for independence at 53%.

Such a result for the party would secure a fresh mandate for a second referendum and heap considerable pressure on Johnson to agree to a new vote.

READ MORE: Yes support soars as SNP set for record Holyrood majority

Another poll put the First Minister’s net approval rating at +50 while the Prime Minister lagged behind at -50.

Tories are clearly feeling the pressure.