Nicola Sturgeon has said she could win over Boris Johnson and 'absolutely' hold a second Scottish independence referendum this year.

The First Minister spoke exclusively to The Sunday Times Magazine, where she reaffirmed her plans to hold indyref2 before the end of 2020.

Her plans have previously been met with backlash by the Prime Minister, however Sturgeon has now said a vote this year is entirely possible.

“A referendum can absolutely happen this year,” she told The Sunday Times. “Let’s see what happens over the next few weeks.”

The SNP leader also hinted that an unsanctioned 'wildcat' referendum would be a last resort, and that Brexit could cause an 'acceleration' of support for independence, which she describes as 'something of a tipping point'.

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However, she admitted that an independent Scotland would not always be simple or straightforward.

"I have self-doubt about things every day," she said. "I would hate to be somebody who had such absolute certainty that I didn't entertain the idea that I might be wrong about things.

"So, of course I think about it. I don't believe that it will always mean plain sailing for Scotland.

"I just think it's right to be independent to have the best chance."

She claimed that Boris Johnson's opposition to independence was aiding her goal of building support for the cause.

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She said of the prime minister: "He is a democracy denier. And while I can be impatient, I know that how he is behaving will ultimately drive people towards the independence cause.

"Boris Johnson is one of the biggest recruiting sergeants for independence there is at the moment."

And she says that England will have 'masses' to gain from losing Scotland.

"England gains a neighbour that is best friends and a constructive partener," she explained.