Three-quarters of those chatting about independence online plan to vote Yes, but not because of the SNP, a new analysis of millions of internet sources shows.

Research by social media monitoring firm Branchwatch found most supporters were keen to distance themselves from politicians.

Gareth Ham, head of political analysis at the company, said: "Campaigners in favour of independence are quick to note that their decision to vote for independence is in spite of the SNP or that the SNP is irrelevant to their choice."

Yes Scotland, the pro-independence campaign group, reflected the need being seen online for a "non-party political campaign", he said.

Brandwatch, which also monitored the online conversations during the last US presidential election said its research could not predict how people would vote but could reveal what was being discussed online.