NICOLA Sturgeon has pinned her hopes on young voters to deliver independence as she marked the fifth anniversary of the first referendum.

Ms Sturgeon said she was confident the next generation would “overwhelmingly vote Yes” in Indyref2, and that another SNP election win would "wash away” Westminster resistance to a new vote.

The Scottish Tories said Scotland was still suffering from “the longest hangover in history”.

Recent polls suggest independence is supported by most Scots under 50, with support for the Union strongest among the elderly.

After years of ignoring the anniversary of the No result, the SNP, buoyed by recent polls showing support for Yes rising, will mark the day with an event in Glasgow city centre.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford will hold a rally of young independence supporters.

A new poll commissioned by the anti-independence Scotland in Union campaign last night found 59 per cent of decided voters said they wanted to stay in the UK.

Controversially, the poll asked if people wanted to Remain or Leave in the UK, rather than the Yes or No to independence format usually asked.

Even using this method, support for the Union was down from 61% in April.

The First Minister, who will today meet business and political leaders in Berlin to promote Scotland’s position in Europe, said: “So much has changed in the past five years.

“Scotland is being ripped out the EU against its will by the most dangerous Tory government in modern history.

“It is worth remembering that nobody born this century had a say in 2014, or indeed a say in the UK’s ill-fated EU referendum.

“But young people from every town and community in Scotland will have their say in a fresh independence referendum – and I am confident that they will overwhelmingly vote Yes.

“No Westminster government, of any party, has the right to stand in the way of the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future.

“A win for the SNP in any upcoming election will simply reinforce that – the Westminster wall of opposition to an independence referendum is already crumbling, and another election win for the SNP will wash it away.”

Gavin Lundy, Convener of the Young Scots for Independence, added: “Five years is a long time in politics and it is important that we use today to look forward positively, as well as remembering the past.

“It is our generation that will be most adversely impacted by Brexit; we didn't vote for this and we’re not going to stand for it.

“Independence empowers young people in Scotland – this is our future and we aim to grasp

it with both hands.”

The Scotland in Union Survey, conducted by Survation last weekend, found only 27% of people backed Ms Sturgeon’s plan for Indyref2 by the 2021 election, and more than half thought a second referendum would make Scottish society more divided.

Scotland in Union chief executive Pamela Nash said: “Just five years on from the referendum that Nicola Sturgeon promised said was a ‘once-in-a-generation’ contest, this landmark poll shows that 59% of people in Scotland want to remain in the UK.

“More than half a million Scots who voted ‘Yes’ in 2014 have now switched to supporting Scotland’s future in the UK to protect vital public services like the NHS and schools from the SNP’s drastic cuts.

"People are seeing the chaos that Brexit has brought, and know that Scotland leaving the UK would be much worse.

“Barely a quarter of people support the First Minister’s plan for a second referendum within 18 months, and she should now drop her reckless and deeply unpopular proposal.

“Over half of people think another referendum would make Scottish society more divided at a time when the country is already deeply divided.

“We are stronger together as part of the UK. It’s time to put the independence referendum divisions behind us and work towards a better future for Scotland as part of the UK, protecting public services and growing our economy, and building on our shared history and culture.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the survey was “desperate stuff” from scared Unionists.

He said: “Not only are they trying to gerrymander the threshold for a majority in Indyref2, they are now trying to rig the question too, in a deliberate bid to confuse independence with Brexit in the minds of voters.

“Yet even this panicked attempt to skew things their way has backfired spectacularly - with this poll showing almost two-thirds of people are now in favour of another independence referendum.”

Acting Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said the SNP had wasted years “completely distracted” by independence while public services suffered despite rising taxes.

He said: “Five long years after the referendum, the SNP is unable to understand that Scotland clearly voted No to independence. “Instead of focusing on the day job, Nicola Sturgeon has focused to the exclusion of all else on the only thing that matters to her and her party: how to overturn the people’s verdict and run it all over again.

“It has been the longest hangover in political history - and it is Scotland that has suffered.

“A promise to guarantee waiting times: broken. A promise to deliver a radical new Education Bill: broken. A promise to spare low paid workers from tax rises: broken.

“The only things the SNP hasn’t backed off from over the last five years are the things people want dumped – like the plan for every child to have a named person.

“Five years on, it’s time the SNP focused not on what might have been, but on what Scotland can be right now. We have what it takes to be the most prosperous and best-educated part of the United Kingdom.

“Nicola Sturgeon needs finally to put her defeat five years ago to one side, and deliver.”

On the SIU poll, he added: “This shows what we have spent five years telling the SNP – the people of Scotland don’t want to break up the UK, and they don’t want to have to deliver that verdict in another referendum.

“On the fifth anniversary of that referendum, this is a reaffirmation of how seriously Scots take our place at the heart of the UK.

“Perhaps after half a decade of trying to overturn the result from 2014, the nationalists should start to accept it.”

Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird said the SNP had “never accepted” its loss in 2014.

She said: “Ever since, they have been agitating for the referendum to be rerun. That is not what people in Scotland want, and for one simple reason I'm not convinced it's what Nicola Sturgeon wants - because she knows she would lose again.

"Their cuts commission is a blueprint for austerity, their currency proposals are high risk and reckless and the GERS figures lay bare the fact that an independent Scotland would have the worst economic deficit in Europe. That is not a vision that will inspire people in Scotland, and it is not a reality that the SNP should be allowed to inflict on Scotland.

“Only electing a Labour government will ensure that we get rid of the Tories and secure a radical transformative agenda across Scotland and the whole of the UK."

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie said: “It is difficult to believe that five years have passed since that campaign. We had the power in our hands and we made the right decision for the future of our country. The Nationalists gave it everything for the once in a lifetime vote but the partnership of the United Kingdom endured.

“It is disappointing that the SNP have not stood by the Edinburgh Agreement after the legal, fair and decisive vote. The country has had enough division and damage with Brexit and independence.

"It’s time to make it stop.”