A PRO-INDEPENDENCE majority in Holyrood can "absolutely" still be prevented, the UK leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.

Sir Ed Davey insisted there had been a "mood change" ahead of the Scottish Parliament election on May 6. 

He said voters are turning away from independence and rejecting the Scottish Conservatives under Douglas Ross. 

READ MORE: John Curtice: Polls show SNP and independence support slipping

Sir Ed said the Lib Dems have a "spring in our steps" and are "excited about possibly making some gains" at the election. 

The party currently has five MSPs in Holyrood but is seeking to pick up more seats on the regional list. 

It is also targeting Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, where the SNP had a majority of 3,913 in 2016.

Speaking to journalists ahead of a visit to Scotland next week, Sir Ed insisted Mr Ross has "gone down very badly". 

He added: "He's been quite a dark figure. I think his overall tone has put Conservatives off. He's not a patch on Ruth Davidson. 

"He's Boris Johnson's person. He was a minister in his government. He continues to vote with Boris Johnson."

He pointed to the scandals engulfing Mr Johnson and insisted the Tories are "the old nasty party". 

Sir Ed added: "I think Douglas Ross is very similar, to be honest – two peas in a pod, Douglas Ross and Boris Johnson."

Asked if a pro-independence majority could still be prevented, he said: "Of course it can still be prevented, absolutely."

READ MORE: Sturgeon indicates SNP would vote down Alba bid to begin Indyref2 talks

He said there is a "mood change" against independence and against the Scottish Tories, and argued the Lib Dems offer a progressive alternative. 

Sir Ed added: "It's up to the Scottish people. The power is in their hands. 

"Next Thursday they can vote to make sure that Scotland does put recovery first and that it rejects the idea of [five] more years of SNP division."

He said Nicola Sturgeon is "probably worried about support slipping away from the SNP, and the increasing chance that there can be a majority in Holyrood after May 6 against a second independence referendum".