There is no easy route or 'Plan B' to gain independence for Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned.

She said the only way for Scots to win independence was through a legal referendum, and rejected calls for an unofficial or indicative poll.

"I have campaigned for independence all of my life. If there was an easy or shortcut route I would have taken it by now", Ms Sturgeon told the BBC. 

Speaking to journalist Brian  Taylor, ahead of the SNPs autumn conference which opens in Aberdeen on Sunday, she also dismissed the suggestion that a strong performance in a general election might be enough for the SNP to insist on independence.

Only a full  referendum would give the process the necessary credibility within the UK and beyond, she said. But she insisted that prospect was getting closer all the time.

Read more: Blackford - SNP will work with Labour but only in return for power to hold Indyref2

Ms Sturgeon's demands for a seconnd referendum on independnece to be heard next year have fallen  on deaf ears with the UK Government. As a result some party activists and MPs have called for a different rapproach.

Angus MacNeil MP is among those who have suggested that if the SNP wins the majority of Scottish parliamentary seats at a General Eelection that should be seen a mandate to kick start independence negotiations. 

However Ms Sturgeon said: "We have to demonstrate majority support for independence in a process that is legal and legitimate and that crucially - not just domestically in the UK but internationally and in Europe in particular - will be accepted. That is the right way to go."

Ms Sturgeon said a general election couldd give Scottish voters a chance to show support for aa referendum and independence. But she said the SNP had preeviously won a majority of Scottish seats in a general election without triggering an independence process. 

Should she claim such a result was a mandate for independence: "nobody in Europe would listen to me in terms of the legitimacy of that", she said.

Read more: Boris Johnson attacks SNP record and says 'no' to indyref2

The SNP leader added: "I am absolutely confident we will win independence sooner rather than later, but the only way to do that is to clearly demonstrate that the majority of people in Scotland want it.

"Wwe're closer to that than we've ever been before and we should stick with that course, because it's the right one and ultimately it will be the successful one"