David Cameron and Alex Salmond: Better apart?

Anything but Dave: Scots back independence under Cameron

Anything but Dave: Scots back independence under Cameron

Scots will vote to leave the UK if they believe David Cameron is set to remain as prime minister next year, a striking new poll has found.

Most Scots are currently in favour of remaining in the union.

Thirty-nine per cent said they planned to vote yes in the referendum, with 44% voting no, according to the Survation poll for the Daily Record

However, asked how they would vote if they could be certain David Cameron would remain PM,  a majority of voters said they would opt to leave the UK instead.

Fifty-four per cent of all decided voters said they would opt for independence rather than face the prospect of another Cameron-led government, as opposed to 46% who would prefer to say.

The switch appears to be largely due to Labour supporters worried about the prospect of five more years of Conservative rule.

Recent polls have shown Labour's national poll lead shrinking, with some even showing the Tories ahead.

The findings suggest that Cameron's presence on the No campaign could be toxic to their chances.

Polling experts said more voters could be persuaded to back independence, if the prospect of another Cameron-led government increases.

"This should act as a warning sign to the No side that they can take nothing for granted about the result," John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde said.

"One of the things to watch over the summer is that a rise in the polls for the Tories as far as the Westminster general election is concerned could mean some Scots reconsidering their referendum vote."

The findings also suggest that the Scottish independence race could be much closer than previously thought.

When Survation last polled on the issue before the European elections, Yes had a 10 point lead, half what it is now.

The Yes campaign said the poll showed they were winning the argument.

"The poll highlights the strong appeal of the guarantee that Scotland always gets the government we vote for only with independence – instead of being inflicted with Tory governments," Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkin said.

"This independence guarantee is undoubtedly a major factor in persuading more and more Labour voters and members to vote Yes."

The No campaign dismissed the findings.

"This is yet another poll showing the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK ahead," Better Together chief Blair McDougall said.