A THIRD of Scots say victory for a Yes alliance at the next General Election would be a mandate to begin independence talks with the UK Government, a new poll has found.

The plans, cooked up by the Alba Party, would see just one pro-independence candidate put forward in each Scottish constituency.

Polling commissioned by the party asked voters whether they would consider “an election victory by the Scotland United for independence candidates” on a commitment to deliver independence a mandate to begin break-up negotiations.

Some 33.7% of voters said it would be a mandate, with 30.3% saying it should not be considered a mandate for the beginning of the process of Scotland quitting the Union.

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There were no results for “don’t know” and 36% of those asked said they would “prefer not to say”.

Of those who gave a preference, 52.7% said victory for a “Scotland United” ticket would be a mandate for independence.

The idea has little sympathy within the SNP, but Alex Salmond has said the party should back it for “self-preservation” reasons in light of one recent poll which put Humza Yousaf on course to lose 23 of his MPs at the next General Election.

While Alba’s poll put forward the idea of them, the SNP and Greens uniting under the “Scotland United” banner – the idea has effectively been vetoed in that form because the Scottish Greens have ruled out sharing any platform with Salmond’s party.

But Alba have said the poll showed independence parties should work together at the upcoming General Election.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, chair of the party, said: “These results reinforce the Alba Party proposal of a Scotland United pro-independence pact at the next General Election to ensure that independence doesn’t suffer a setback because of the current trials and tribulations of the SNP.

“All participating parties in this proposed Yes alliance would stand under a prime manifesto commitment of seeking a popular mandate to begin independence negotiations with Westminster.

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“To win the election for Scotland we need to be campaigning on the principle of independence for our country, not on party politics. 

“The latest poll on independence showed that 52.5% of Scots want independence. At the General Election, we need to ensure that Scots are given the opportunity to vote for independence at the ballot box.

“Alba’s Scotland United plan not only does that, it also has the backing of a majority of Scots to use a successful mandate to enter into independence negotiations with the UK Government.”

The poll was carried out by Find Out Now and surveyed 1029 Scottish adults. The results are based on a representative sample of 558 responses.