A CLEAR majority of Scots reject the idea of using the next Westminster election as a “de facto referendum” on independence, new polling has suggested.

The latest survey, released on Monday, found two-thirds of people in Scotland (67%) do not think a General Election should be used as a de facto vote on independence.

They agreed with the view that we “cannot assume that every vote for the SNP or the Greens is a vote for Scottish independence”.

Just 21% of people said a Westminster election should be used as a de facto independence referendum.

READ MORE: In-depth poll reveals Scots' views on de facto, EU, and independence referendums

The split is more even among SNP voters, but the de facto referendum idea remains opposed by the plurality (48% to 44%). Among those who voted Yes in 2014, 41% back the idea of a de facto vote while 49% oppose it.

The in-depth polling of 2105 Scots aged 16 or over also suggested that the pro-independence side would be likely to lose such a de facto General Election vote.

It found that while the SNP would emerge as the largest party, they would win 40% of the vote. Even with the combined support of the other Yes parties (the Greens polled at 5% and Alba at 2%) they would fall three points short of the 50% threshold.

The polling suggested Labour would win 25% of the vote in a General Election, the Tories 18%, and the LibDems 6%.

Reform UK, the Nigel Farage-founded party which is seeing a surge in the polls south of the Border as the Conservatives languish, is not seeing the same success in Scotland. It polled at just 3%, compared to highs of 9% in UK-wide polling.

The survey, conducted by Lord Ashcroft Polling, further suggested that No would have a clear lead over Yes if a second independence referendum were held tomorrow.

It found that 37% of people would vote Yes, compared to 48% who would vote No. A total of 12% of people said they did not know how they would vote, while 3% said they would not vote.

With these two final groups excluded, the polling suggested No would win a fresh independence referendum by 56% to 44%.

The polling comes ahead of the SNP’s Special Democracy Conference, which will be held in Edinburgh on March 19.

The conference will see the party debate the route forward for the Yes movement, and decide whether to treat the next General Election as a de facto referendum.

Other ideas proposed are for the next Westminster election to be used to win an explicit mandate for indyref2, or for Holyrood to be dissolved, forcing an early vote which can be used as its own de facto referendum.

The full data tables for the Ashcroft poll, which was conducted from January 26 to February 3, can be found here.