The majority of Scots would back independence according to a new poll.

When undecided voters are removed, the survey by FindOutNow for Alex Salmond's Alba Party puts Yes on 52%, with No on 48%.

Including the don't knows, support for independence sits at 48.6% against No on 45.2%.

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The poll showed Yes with a substantial lead among voters aged between 18 and 44, while voters over the age of 65 backed No by 68.9%.

And the research found that among 2014 No voters, 12.1% said they would now back independence, with 5.5% undecided.

A significant minority of Scottish Labour voters also support independence, with 28% of those who have made their minds up backing Yes.

Mr Salmond said: “Independence support is riding high while backing for the SNP is deep in the doldrums.

“Worse than that, as their political problems escalate the SNP are devoid of strategy.

"They are completely clueless on how to achieve independence while the proposed election theme of just ‘Stop the Tories’ takes the national movement back forty years.”

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He added: “Now that the SNP have rejected a ‘Scotland united’ approach to the election, we will be fielding candidates calling for an election mandate for independence and backing Ash Regan MSP’s bill for a referendum on the powers of the Parliament to include independence.

“It is these initiatives which can take Scotland’s future back into Scotland’s hands and will be the Alba independence strategy right through to the Scottish elections in 2026. As the SNP support continues to fall then Alba’s star will rise."

FindOutNow interviewed 5313 adults between January 11 and 24 for the poll. From those, a representative sample of Scotland of 842 respondents was used to calculate the final results.

An SNP spokesperson said: “As the largest political party – and pro-independence party – in Scotland, the SNP will continue delivering for people across the country and make the case for a stronger Scotland with independence.  

“In the face of a broken Brexit Britain, voting SNP at the next General Election is a chance for people in Scotland to make their voice heard - which is why page 1, line 1 of the SNP manifesto will read 'vote SNP for Scotland to become an independent country'."