ALEX Salmond has said support for independence ought to be over 60 per cent because of Boris Johnson and Brexit, suggesting his successor is failing to make the most of them.

On the fifth anniversary of the 2014 referendum, the former First Minister tweeted a series of comments about what might have been if he had been able to read the future.

He said that if he had known five years ago that Boris Johnson and Brexit were coming, he would have delayed the independence referendum to help shift voter opinion.

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With hours of Scotland voting 55% for No, Mr Salmond announced his resignation and Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister two months later.

Despite the upheaval over Brexit, most polls show support for independence has risen only slightly in the last five years, as previously No supporting Remain voters moe to Yes.

Ms Sturgeon has faced growing dissent within the Yes movement in recent months for failing to capitalise on the current turmoil at Westminster.

Mr Salmond wrote: "If I had but known 5 years ago that BorisJohnson would become Prime Minister and Britain would be poised on the brink of a hard #Brexit then I would have delayed the Scottish referendum and now looked forward to a 60% plus Yes vote.

"In reality, it is probably the case that Scotland had to experience the fundamental shift of opinion in our first referendum before acting decisively to seize the day next time around.

"Therefore on this fifth anniversary, we should focus not on what might have been but on the opportunity still to come."

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Pamela Nash, chief executive of the anti-independence Scotland in Union group, said: "Alex Salmond’s comments show there is no positive case for independence. He wants to rely on chaos and division in society.

"His plan to break up the world’s most successful union was rejected five years ago and is today opposed by even more Scots.

"He misled voters in 2014 with bogus claims such as a threat to our NHS and neglected public services while focussing on dividing our communities, so a period of silence from him would be welcome."

Last December, Mr Salmond questioned Ms Sturgeon’s resolve to hold Indyref2, suggesting the SNP was “unsure as to when, or even whither, to launch their Caledonian lifeboat”.

Ms Sturgeon subsequently announced plans to hold Indyref2 in the latter half of 2020, but the UK Government has so far refused to grant Holyrood the powers required for a new vote.

Ms Sturgeon is spending the fifth anniversary of the referendum in Berlin.