First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the demand for a second referendum on Scottish independence will become “irresistible” if the SNP “wins” the General Election.

The SNP leader said that she would want an independence referendum in 2020 and that resistance to allowing Scottish voters to choose for themselves would “crumble” in the face of the SNP winning the most seats in Scotland

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“If we win this election the demand becomes irresistible,” she said.

"If we are in a situation where the SNP and therefore Scotland effectively hold the balance of power I would want to make sure that we protect Scotland’s interests."

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the First Minister said that any politician wanting the party's support "needs to accept that it's up to Scottish people and Scottish parliament to decide if and when" to hold another independence referendum.

Speaking on the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum, she said: “It is my intention to have a referendum next year.

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“On this question of will Westminster allow it or not, we are the start of an election campaign – this is an opportunity for the people in Scotland to have their say and make their views known.

“If the SNP wins this election, I think that demand becomes irresistible.

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“This idea that for self-interest reasons Westminster politicians can stand in the way of people in Scotland choosing their own future, we already see that start to crumble.”

Ms Sturgeon said Labour were already “pretty much conceding” it could not stand in the way of a second independence vote and added: “I suspect it won’t be too much longer until we see the Tories struggle to maintain that argument as well.”

The First Minister has previously said she feels “confident” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would grant another independence referendum if he is elected prime minister.

Mr Corbyn has said his party does not support independence for Scotland and does not believe a referendum is either “desirable or necessary” – although senior figures within Labour have indicated the party would not stand in the way of a second ballot on the issue.