ALEX SALMOND has said he believes he will get a "second chance" to help deliver an independent Scotland through another referendum, and that next time the Yes side will win.

The former First Minister said that if, in the referendum promised by the Tories for 2017, England voted to take the UK out of the European Union while Scots voted to stay, it could be the "tipping point" that would bring about another poll.

Salmond, 59, also said he believed he would see independence within his lifetime.

The weekend before the referendum, Salmond said that in the event of a No vote, he did not expect a second referendum for a very long time.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "This is a once in a generation opportunity, perhaps even a once in a lifetime opportunity for Scotland."

But yesterday Salmond said: "A taxi driver said to me that he had voted No to independence but he would do it differently next time. I think we would win if there was another referendum."

He added: "Luckily in life, as in politics, people sometimes get a second chance."

Salmond also credited the Unionist parties' "quasi-religious" vow on more powers for Holyrood as the decisive factor in securing the No vote on September 18 as it offered "power without risk".

He said: "It's ironic that the thing that really did for us was the poll showing we were ahead.

"It prompted the 'vow' and that was the tipping point. For the swing voters, being offered power without risk was all it required.

"Putting a promise into a medieval manuscript and calling it a vow to give it a quasi-religious flavour shouldn't be important but it was.

"Let's forget the morality of it. Technically it was a good production."

Salmond also called the limited Smith Commission proposals on more devolution which emerged from the vow "a betrayal", given the talk of far greater powers under devo max or near federalism from Gordon Brown at the time.

Salmond revealed the Queen was not "best pleased" with David Cameron when he was overheard boasting that she had "purred" down the phone when he told her Scots had rejected independence.

He had an audience with the Queen the day after the Prime Minister was caught on camera discussing her post-referendum reaction with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Salmond said: "I wouldn't say she was best pleased. That was just dreadful. Cameron's a schoolboy. This is a guy showing off because he's with a billionaire. It's pathetic. In fact it's worse than pathetic, it's demeaning."

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie said Salmond had "broken his word to the Scottish people".

He said: "Alex Salmond said the referendum was a once in a generation opportunity.

"It beggars belief that weeks after losing the last referendum he is boasting of victory in the next one."