RESEARCHERS have found that most Scots believe there is a mandate for a second independence referendum.

This comes after Nicola Sturgeon kickstarted the campaign for a second vote with the first in a series of white papers. 

The independent Scottish Election Survey found that 55% of voters considered the results of the last election to be a mandate for indyref2, based on a neutral question. 

Even when asked about the SNP falling short of the overall majority, 53% of voters still felt the government had a mandate to hold a second independence referendum.

The report said: “If whether a government actually has a mandate depends on whether they do in the eye of the public – and not in the eye of the politicians arguing their position in the media – then it would seem that, on balance, the SNP Government can have some confidence that a mandate existed following the 2021 elections.

READ MORE: Scottish independence referendum to be held in October 2023, Angus Robertson says

“Of course, given that it was just over a majority of the public that was positively disposed to say the SNP Government held a mandate after the election, what we don’t know is to what extent the SNP has held and can hold on to their mandate.”

As well as this, some voters were asked a question which reminded them that pro-independence parties hold the majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament. 

This resulted in 61% of people saying they felt the government had a mandate. 

The University of Glasgow's Professor Chris Carman, who penned the blog, added: "Across the board we see that following the 2021 election, majorities in all conditions thought there was a mandate for a second referendum, whether they received the neutral prompt (55%), the SNP fell short prompt (53%) and the pro-independence parties won a majority prompt (61%)."

He went on: “Not surprisingly, people who said they would vote Yes in a second independence referendum resoundingly believed there was a clear mandate. 

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

“Perhaps the group to be most interested in, though, are those people who might be up for grabs in a future referendum campaign – those who say they don’t know how they would vote. 

“Whilst not as emphatic as Yes supporters, the Don’t Knows also clearly supported the idea of there being a mandate for a second independence referendum.

"Under the three conditions, 62% (neutral), 63% (SNP fell short) and 69% (pro-indy majority) affirmed that a mandate exists for a second independence referendum."

Commenting on Twitter, Professor Rob Johns wrote: "Across a range of wordings, 20-25% of those who oppose independence nonetheless believe there is a mandate for #indyref2 (and 5-10% of those who back independence say there's no mandate). 

"So not all of the mandate debate is purely political and self-serving. (Just most of it.)"

The news comes after Tory MSP Sharon Dowey questioned whether there was a mandate to pursue a second independence vote, claiming "Unionist parties have won every election in Scotland, year in year out".