BORIS Johnson is planning another “round of visits” to Scotland in an effort to combat rising polls which have put the Yes vote in the “mid to high fifties”, it has been reported.

UK Government sources told the Express that the rise in support for Scottish independence was “quite concerning” and that the Prime Minister was being forced to consider how to hold the Union together.

The source said the secret polling presented to the Cabinet put the support for independence in the “mid to high fifties”.

That polling was recently presented to politicians by Mark McInnes, the director of the Scottish Conservatives, and gathered by James Kanagasooriam, from London-based political insight company Hanbury Strategy.

It was reported earlier this year that Kanagasooriam had been handed a government contract worth up to £1 million to conduct the research.

READ MORE: Scottish independence: 53% back Yes, Survation poll finds

Hanbury Strategy told The National earlier in the week that they are “unable to discuss any confidential client work”, but did not deny having conducted the polls for the Government.

As The National reported on Monday, one of the polls the Cabinet were briefed on had support for Yes on 56%.

A Government insider said the result of the polling “has concerned” Johnson and his Cabinet.

They also stressed that it was “a priority” to address the rising support for independence ahead of next year’s Holyrood elections.

The source said: "Another round of visits North of the Border are on the table very soon."

Johnson has visited Scotland twice in the last two months. Once in a quick political visit in July and again on a personal holiday in August.

The Prime Minister’s presence in Scotland seems to have done little to stem the rising tide of support for a Yes vote.

The SNP's depute leader Keith Brown (above) said: “Panicked visits to Scotland to take part in cheap photo opportunities - at the same time as refusing to publish polling findings - is hardly the approach of a leader confident in the strength of his party’s arguments. 

"No wonder more and more Scots believe Scotland’s future is best served as an independent country.”

READ MORE: BBC boss urged to explain decision to ditch Scottish Covid-19 briefings

Earlier in the week the SNP called for the Government to publish the data, saying: "If the UK Government has been secretly polling on support for Scottish independence using taxpayers' money then they need to publish that polling data immediately.

"Downing Street has been caught out before secretly polling Scottish voters on independence – proof that the Tories are running scared of the rising support for independence."

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard added: “It speaks volumes that the Tories are so desperate to hide the findings.”

Meanwhile, a Survation poll released today became the latest in a long line showing majority support for independence.

The poll of 1018 Scots voters, conducted between September 2 and 7, 2020, found 53% of them would vote Yes in an independence referendum.