NICOLA Sturgeon could move to call a second independence referendum within the next two months, she has confirmed.

The SNP leader, in an interview with STV, said that if Scotland is dragged out of the EU against its will, then Holyrood should have the right to "propose" a second vote on independence the following day.

Ms Sturgeon was asked what her judgement would be on June 24, the day after the EU vote, if Scotland chose to remain in Europe while the UK opted to leave – even without a sustained body of evidence that a majority of Scots wanted independence.

She replied: "I think in those circumstances the Scottish Parliament should have the right to propose a second referendum.

"Whether or not I would be of the view that the Scottish Parliament should exercise that right would depend on a number of things [such as] the margin of the vote in Scotland versus the rest of the UK.

"But I think in those circumstances such would be the democratic outrage of Scotland being taken out of the European Union against our will, that I think we would pretty quickly see an overwhelming demand for a second referendum."

The SNP manifesto has already earmarked potential triggers for another vote, such as evidence that independence is the preferred option of a majority Scottish population or a "significant and material change in circumstances" from 2014.

Ms Sturgeon said the SNP could move for another referendum if polls showed support of "over 50 per cent" for independence over a "reasonable" period of time. It had previously been thought that the SNP had been keen to see consistent support for independence of at least 60 per cent over several months.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: "Nicola Sturgeon appears to be saying that she will throw Scotland's place in the United Kingdom into doubt on the back of three opinion polls showing support for independence.

"The SNP has no mandate for independence at this election – and the complete lack of clarity which Nicola Sturgeon is showing over this most vital of issues only serves to show why."