SUPPORT for independence has slipped, with a narrow majority of Scots saying they are opposed to it, according to a new poll.

After two polls putting Yes ahead, a YouGov/Hanbury survey of 2500 Scots found 51 per cent of decided voters would vote No if a referendum was held today, and 49% Yes.

Most decided voters also thought Scotland was “going in the wrong direction” and there was little support for Nicola Sturgeon’s wish for a second referendum this year.

Part of the survey, which was conducted between February 7 and 14 and involved 2587 Scottish adults, was released last week by former Labour PM Gordon Brown.

That showed only 16% of people regarded Scotland as a united country and 51% thought it had “some divisions” or was deeply divided.

Of those who thought it was divided, 50% said the SNP was responsible, followed by Nicola Sturgeon (49%), and the prospect of a second independence referendum (41%).

In answer to the question “If another Scottish Independence Referendum were held today, how would you vote?’, 45% of respondents said Yes, 46% No, 6% said they would not vote and 2% said they were not registered to vote.

Once don’t knows and non-voters are removed, the figures are just over 50.5% for No and just below 49.5% for Yes.

The First Minister has said she wants Indyref2 later this year, but Boris Johnson has refused to give Holyrood the power to hold it legally.

Asked, “If there is a second independence referendum, when should it be held?” only 17% of people and just 37% of SNP supporters said immediately, and only 23% of all people (and 37% of SNP voters) said 2021 or 2022, after the next Holyrood election.

A fifth (21%) of SNP supporters and 15% of all people said within the next five years, 17% of all people said within the next 20 years, and 27%, ignoring the question, said never.

Professor Sir John Curtice of Strathclyde University and the What Scotland Thinks blog said the poll also showed Brexit had “reshaped” voting intentions on independence.

Of those who voted Yes in 2014 and the voted Leave in 2016, more than a third (34%) said they would now vote No to independence.

The SNP’s position is to rejoin the EU after independence.

Conversely, more than a quarter of voters (27%) who voted No in 2014 and Remain in 2016 have now moved towards supporting independence.

Prof Curtice noted the latter group were “far more numerous” than the former, helping nudge support up for independence.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown saidd there was "unstoppable" momentum for Indyref2, as 55% of people polled thought it should be within five years.

He said: “There is an unstoppable momentum behind a fresh independence referendum.

"Scotland has been dragged out of the EU against our will by a Tory government and Prime Minister who have no mandate here - a government, which says ‘it doesn’t matter one jot’ what Scotland’s Parliament decides. 

"Boris Johnson's contempt for Scotland knows no bounds, as he forces through a hostile approach to immigration that will devastate Scotland's health and care sector - potentially wiping out 1 in 5 small businesses in the process. 

"The Tories are running scared of democracy but their opposition to a referendum is completely unsustainable.

“The SNP won a landslide victory at the general election on a cast-iron mandate to hold an independence referendum.

"The more Boris Johnson tries to ignore Scotland’s democratic mandate to choose our own future the more support for a fresh referendum – and for independence itself – will continue to grow.”

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “No matter how hard Nicola Sturgeon tries to tear communities apart, most people don’t want to break up the UK.

“The SNP will also be dismayed that over a third of former Yes voters now want to remain in the UK.

“People do not want a repeat of the constitutional chaos they have witnessed with Brexit and know that Scotland leaving the UK will not solve any of the challenges we now face.

"It is clear that an overwhelming majority of Scots do not want a divisive second referendum this year or next.

“Rather than obsess about a referendum that people don’t want, it’s time for the SNP to focus on fixing the crises it has created in schools and hospitals. Scotland deserves better.”