YES would win if indyref2 was held tomorrow, a former Tory MSP has admitted.

Adam Tomkins, who represented Glasgow between 2016 and 2021, said the Unionist case would “fall on deaf ears” in the event of another vote.

Writing in The Herald, Tomkins (below) – a professor of public law at Glasgow University – said young people would tip the scales in a future vote and would see Scots “condemning the perceived failures of the United Kingdom”.

The National:

He added: “By a narrow majority, the voters of Scotland would be punishing Britain for Brexit, for Covid mismanagement, for failing to reform and adapt itself, for callous disregard and corruption in government, and for the man who (to them) embodies all of these failures – Prime Minister Boris Johnson.”

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The former Tory MSP claimed there would be “heavy prices to pay for national independence” but said young Scots would be prepared to pay “if that is what it takes, to get us out of here”.

But he added he thought it unlikely another referendum would be held soon and claimed it was impossible for it to be held before the SNP’s self-imposed deadline of 2024.

His comments show he is "more alive to the mood of the people of Scotland than the Tory colleagues he left behind in the Scottish Parliament" according to the SNP. 

Falkirk East MSP Michelle Thomson said: "People across Scotland have overwhelmingly voted for an independence referendum and it is undeniable that as they continue to be forced to live with the cuts, corruption and cruelty of Westminster control, they know that a better future is possible as an independent country - and will vote for it when they have the chance.

"As has been long suspected, a fear of the result of an independence referendum is the most likely reason why the Tory party continue to stand in the way of one taking place in a Trump-like denial of democracy." 

He wrote: “The 2014 referendum relied on Westminster giving its consent. It was this consent which underpinned the legality of the 2014 referendum and, this time around, it is perfectly plain that such consent is going to be withheld.

“Everybody knows this. The First Minister knows it. Her government know it. Holyrood knows it. You know it.

“And yet the pretence goes on that there is somehow, nonetheless, going to be a second independence referendum on the First Minister’s preferred timetable of a date to be confirmed in 2023.”

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And Tomkins claimed that independence – while likely to win a second referendum – would be a “disaster” for Scotland.

“The Scottish economy is so far from being ready for independence that it would crash and burn spectacularly,” he wrote.

“This, for me, is the greatest puzzle of the SNP. In their many years of government they have done nothing – nothing at all – to prepare the economy for independence.”

In an interview with US media yesterday while on a visit to the States, the First Minister insisted a second referendum would be held by the end of 2023.