TWO-THIRDS of Scots want a second independence referendum within a decade, according a new poll that will put Nicola Sturgeon under pressure to promise a fresh vote if the SNP returns to power with a majority in 2016.

The Ipsos-MORI poll for STV News showed 66 per cent wanted another referendum within 10 years regardless of circumstances.

Almost as many - 58 per cent - want a re-run within five years.

The findings will heap pressure on SNP leader and First-Minister-in-waiting Ms Sturgeon from within her party to promise a referendum in its next election manifesto.

She has refused to reveal her strategy since emerging as the SNP's next leader, saying a fresh referendum would take place "when the Scottish people decide the time is right".

A move this week to link a second independence poll to the possible referendum on Britain's EU membership in 2017 suggests she believes special circumstances are needed to make a re-run acceptable to the public so soon after September's No vote.

But Ipsos MORI found high levels of support when they ­questioned 1,029 people in Scotland for the new survey between October 22 and 29.

More than half - 53 per cent - said they supported having another referendum if the Conservatives won a majority in next year's General Election.

A similar number said a referendum should be held if the Tories failed to win a seat in Scotland.

Meanwhile, 55 per cent of those polled were in favour of a second independence referendum if the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2017, the scenario highlighted by Ms Sturgeon.

Mark Diffley, research director at Ipsos MORI, said: "As 45 per cent of people voted Yes, you would imagine all of them would want another referendum.

"In terms of No voters, they could want another referendum for a variety of reasons.

"They are maybe somewhat disappointed with what has happened since in terms of extra powers and there may be people who were tempted to vote Yes but didn't go through with it who would like the opportunity to have the debate again."

He added: "People are still in referendum mode, thinking about it, talking about it, and in some cases extremely disappointed by its outcome and what has happened since in terms of additional devolved powers.

"This is a snapshot of opinion at a time when politics and the referendum are very high-profile. What the feeling is in another year is another matter."

Membership of the SNP has soared from 25,000 to more than 83,000 since the referendum as independence supporters excited by the campaign rushed to join the party.

Ms Sturgeon has embarked on a speaking tour in which she will address thousands of new party recruits.

The exercise is aimed partly at gauging the strength of feeling in favour of a swift re-run of the referendum.

Meanwhile one of the ­candidates for the SNP deputy leadership announced plans for her first 100 days in office if she wins the election later this month.

Angela Constance has ­ promised activists she would use the role to prepare for a second referendum.

She has now revealed plans to take the SNP "from a party of mass membership to a party of mass participation".

She added: "My first initiative will be to ask for each member's view of the referendum campaign so the party truly understands, from a grassroots perspective, what worked and what could have been done better."