RUTH Davidson has effectively opened the door for a second independence referendum - but only if the SNP get an absolute majority.

Conservatives have repeatedly make it clear they would not let Nicola Sturgeon hold a so-called Indyref2 - despite her arguing she has a mandate to do so in this Scottish Parliamentary term.

Their Scottish leader, however, has now suggested that the First Minister could get permission for a repeat poll if she had a mandate for one at the ballot box in 2021.

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Speaking to the BBC, Ms Davidson said she did not believe Ms Sturgeon could repeat the historic 2011 victory at Holyrood which pave the way for th Edinburgh Agreement with Westminster and the 2014  referendum.

She said: "The last time the SNP went to form the Scottish government, they had their majority taken away from them. They then asked for a second referendum, and lost half a million votes at a snap general election and lost 21 seats across the country.

"They're currently polling about 37%, that's what they got at the European election. Don't get me wrong, that's a good result for any party, but it's not a majority. And Nicola Sturgeon herself has said she only has the right to hold another referendum if a majority of Scots want it."

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She clarified that only "another majority in a Holyrood election" would deliver a mandate.

The SNP currency govern as a minority administration. There is, however, a pro-independence majoruty in parliament.  Yes climbed to 49% in a YouGov poll in April of this year but has rarely topped 50% in any survey. The SNP has been polling above 40% but rarely reaches the figure of 45% that secured its 2011 absolute majority.

Ms Davidson, speaking of Ms Sturgeon, said: "If she puts it in a manifesto that she's going to hold another referendum and she wins a majority outright, then she can negotiate with the UK government in the same way as happened last time.

"But she doesn't get to just, in the middle of a parliament where she's lost her majority, get to stick her hand up and say I'm going to re-run this referendum again and again until I get the result I want."