THE majority of Scots want a straight choice between independence and the Union in a future referendum, a new poll suggests.

More than half of respondents said they do not want a three-option referendum on the constitution, but 26% were in favour of the most likely additional choice.

The study by Savanta ComRes for Scotland on Sunday found that 55% of the 1004 people who responded wanted to limit the scope of another referendum to staying in or leaving the UK.

A potential third option – devo-max, which was proposed numerous times in the independence debate – would see Scotland take control of every area of governance, including full taxation powers, but not defence and foreign policy.

Of the 26% of people in the poll who backed the devo-max option, just 4% said they strongly support it.

The National:

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Labour supporters were most likely to back the idea, with 37%, while 48% said they were opposed.

Some 32% of SNP voters also supported the idea.

When asked if they believed devo-max was a good or bad compromise, 39% of all people polled believed it was negative, while 32% believed the option to be positive.

However, high ranking SNP figures described the idea as “idiotic” when it was raised by former policy chief Chris Hanlon.

In a piece in the National earlier this month, Hanlon said: “Devo-max isn’t my preference and maybe, given the changed circumstances, it might not be the choice of the majority of the people of Scotland.

“But part of me remains of the opinion that excluding it from the ballot paper is just plain wrong. The people must have the option of choosing the path the largest percentage of them favour.”

The idea was quickly rebuked by MSPs, with mental health minister Kevin Stewart describing it as “idiotic, foolish, nonsensical”, while Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin branded the third option “a con”.