ANOTHER Tory victory at the next General Election with minimal support in Scotland could lead to a second Scottish independence referendum, Alex Salmond, the former First Minister, has asserted.

While David Cameron now has a working majority at Westminster, the Conservatives have had minimal Scottish representation in the Commons since the Labour landslide of 1997. Since then, when they returned no Scottish MPs, having previously had 11, they have managed to win only a single Scottish seat at each of the subsequent elections.

The MP for Gordon has already pointed to possible triggers for a second referendum such as the EU vote and Trident but he has also now suggested that the outcome of the 2020 election could spark another poll, leading to independence, which he regards as a matter of when not if.

Saying “a Tory victory in the next election,” was one possible trigger, Mr Salmond explained: “There’s only so long - and this of course is part of the genesis of why we are in a devolved parliament - a party can govern another country with one seat or no seats in some cases.

“It’s not a tenable democratic position and a lot of people have understood that. So whether this happens by’s inevitable, in so far as anything can be inevitable with politics,” he told The Sunday Times.

While SNP MPs appear divided on whether Nicola Sturgeon should call a second poll before 2020 or after 2020, some believe the optimum moment could be just after the next General Election if the Tories win again but with just one or a small number of Scottish MPs.

One Nationalist backbencher pointed out that by 2020 the Conservatives would have a new leader whose attraction to Scottish voters would be even less than David Cameron’s given the prospective candidates appear to be George Osborne, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

“A September 2020 referendum might be our best chance if the Tories romp home again but there’s only David Mundell still standing in Scotland,” said one MP.

Mr Salmond added: “There’s a very valid debate about timescale but the end destination is inevitable.”