If the First Minister is to be believed, not only will the future of Britain’s relationship with the EU be at stake in the forthcoming referendum on the UK’s membership, but so also will Scotland’s continued membership of the UK.

Ms Sturgeon anticipates that, if Scotland votes to stay in the EU but the UK as a whole votes to leave, the bonds that continue to tie Scotland to the Union will finally be broken. Faced with a choice between remaining in the EU or continuing to be part of the Union that is the United Kingdom, many a voter who voted No just over twelve months ago will, she thinks, opt for the former.

There is little doubt Scotland is keener than the rest of the UK on remaining in the EU. Three systematic comparisons all point in that direction.

The first comes from a large 30,000-member panel of voters being interviewed on a regular basis by the British Election Study. When these panelists were asked shortly after the General Election whether they wanted to leave or remain in the EU, no less than 58 per cent of those living in Scotland said they wanted to remain and only 28 per cent wanted to leave. In contrast, amongst those living in England 45 per cent said that they wanted to stay and 35 per cent to leave.

More recent polling conducted by Survation and YouGov in which respondents were asked the exact question that will appear on the ballot paper, that is, "Do you think the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union, or leave the European Union?" points in the same direction.

Both companies have posed the ballot paper question on polls administered across Great Britain as a whole and on polls conducted solely in Scotland.

In both cases these companies’ Britain-wide polls (conducted in September) have suggested the outcome could be very close. YouGov actually found slightly more (40 per cent) would vote to leave than to remain (38 per cent), while in Survation’s case the balance was narrowly in the other direction, with 43 per cent in favour of staying and 40 per cent remaining.

If these polls are to be believed, the overall UK-wide outcome of the referendum is on a knife-edge.

But in Scotland, the same two companies have found that those wanting to remain substantially outnumber those who wish to leave.

Survation reported as many as 51 per cent said they would vote to remain, while just 29 per cent would opt to leave. More recently in a poll published last week, YouGov have reported almost identical figures; 51 per cent backed to remain while 31 per cent said leave.

There is one key reason why Scotland is more Europhile - its profoundly different pattern of party politics. Here, "standing up for Scotland" is an objective with which above all the SNP are associated. And nowadays at least the SNP both dominates the electoral scene and is strongly pro-European. South of the border, in contrast, nationalist sentiment is expressed most strongly by the anti-European Ukip.

These very different stances are reflected in the views of their supporters. According to Survation, 50 per cent of those who voted for the SNP in May want to remain in the EU, while 33 per cent say they will vote to leave. In contrast, Ukip supporters are almost unanimous in their wish to leave, with 83 per cent telling Survation that they wish to do so, and just 10 per cent wanting to remain.

If we look at Conservative and Labour supporters, however, we find their views are much the same on both sides of the border.

English and Scottish Conservative voters reflect the deep division on Europe that exists within their party. Across Britain as a whole 41 per cent of Conservatives want to remain, 43 per cent to leave. Amongst Scots Tories the two sides are evenly matched with 39 per cent backing remain and 39 per cent leave.

Meanwhile, across Britain as a whole 55 per cent of Labour supporters wish to remain in the EU and 31 per cent to leave. In Scotland the figures are very similar, that is, 56 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

So, all in all, this means that what makes Scotland stand out on Europe are the relatively pro-European views of what nowadays is a very large group of SNP voters.

This potentially has important implications for the suggestion many a No voter would switch to Yes following a UK-wide vote to leave the EU. Less susceptible to persuasion by the SNP, such voters may in fact prove less Euro-enthusiastic than those who are already in the independence camp. If so, then perhaps Brexit would not automatically lead to "indyef2" after all.

John Curtice is Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University.