A RENOWNED political polling expert has suggested that the next General Election could be used as an effective independence referendum if the UK Government continues to ignore calls for a second vote.

Professor John Curtice has warned that if Boris Johnson continues to reject calls from the Scottish Government for a second referendum on independence, it could lead to a “game of chicken” between the two governments.

SNP activists have long-called on Nicola Sturgeon to draw up an alternative plan if her pleas for a second referendum continue to be blocked by the UK Government.

The SNP is on course to secure a majority at next year’s Holyrood election and will campaign with a manifesto commitment of a second referendum.

But Sir John believes the 2024 General Election could see a stance adopted that a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster could ne justification for independence – a move back to the party’s pre-devolution perspective.

Speaking to The Courier, he said: “If the SNP get an overall majority at Holyrood on their own next year, which I think is the condition they will have to satisfy, and by one means or another the UK Government says no, then you have to ask what position they will adopt in response.

“One possibility would be to say that if the UK Government is not willing to accept a referendum, then they would regard forthcoming elections as indeed a vote on independence.”

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson was asked by SNP MP, Angus Macneil whether he will ever agree to a section 30 order, required for a second independence referendum to take place.

Mr Johnson said: “The Scottish Nationalist Party fought the referendum in 2014 very clearly on the understanding that it was a once in a generation event.

“It was something that I believe both Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond said at the time in persuading people to cast their votes.

“They voted very substantially to stay in the union. I believe the union is a great and beautiful thing. Yes, I think we should keep it and I don’t think a generation has elapsed since 2014, from my understanding of human biology.”