The SNP says it will set out a timetable for a second independence referendum

The timetable will be included in the party's Holyrood manifesto

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The SNP will set out a timetable for a possible second Scottish independence referendum in its 2016 Holyrood manifesto, Nicola Sturgeon has revealed.

The Scottish First Minister said the decision would be driven by the people of Scotland and that the proposal would not be final.

“Our manifesto will set out what we consider are the circumstances and the timescale on which a second referendum might be appropriate, but we can only propose,” she said.

“It's then for people in Scotland, whether it is in this election or in future elections, to decide whether they want to vote for our manifesto and then if there is in the future another independence referendum, whether that's in five years or 10 years or whenever, it will be down to the people of Scotland to decide whether they want to vote for independence or not.

The 2014 referendum saw Scotland vote no to independence

“So at every single stage this is something that is driven by and decided by the people of Scotland, not by politicians.”

A recent poll for the STV news channel found that 53 per cent of Scots would vote for independence in the even of another vote. Another poll conducted in the same week showed a similar result.

The surveys suggested for the first time since the Yes campaign’s defeat in the referendum that Scots would vote for independence.

Ms Sturgeon previously warned that changes at Westminster such as “English Votes for English Laws” could trigger another independence referendum, as could forced Scottish withdrawal from the European Union.

Yesterday she said that if Labour was unable to win a general election at Westminster independence could be the only solution to Scotland's problems.

Former first minister Alex Salmond this summer described as second independence referendum  “inevitable”.

In July David Cameron said he would not allow Scots to vote in another independence referendum. “I do not see the need for another,” he said.

The Scottish government disputes whether it would need the permission of Westminster to vote a second vote, however.