LORNA Slater has expressed her confidence that support for Scottish independence could be driven “well over 50%” once a second referendum campaign begins.

In an interview with journalist Ben O’Hara-Byrne for Canadian radio discussing the Scottish Government’s recent announcement of a second independence referendum in October next year, the Canadian-born Scottish Green minister reflected on the 2014 vote and said: “When that referendum was called, when it was announced, support for independence was only at 27%. During that campaign… the campaigners drove that support to 45% - that’s a huge increase.

“Now since that time, support for independence has drifted up by itself, without anybody campaigning for it, to around 50%, which is where it sits today. But I am confident that we can campaign and drive that support well over 50%.”

Describing the energy around the 2014 vote as “electric”, Slater said: “It feels like a job left unfinished, and since that time the Scottish people have continually elected pro-independence majorities, both down to Westminster and into the Scottish Parliament. There is a continuing appetite for Scottish independence, and the disaster that is Brexit, the disaster that is Boris Johnson, only drives further support for that.”

Slater also condemned the UK Government’s continuing resistance to a second plebiscite, saying: “I think it’s really telling that the Westminster government was willing to grant a referendum when support for Scottish independence was only 27%, but now that support for Scottish independence is lurking around 50%, they know full well that they stand a very good chance of losing this referendum.”

Slater described the UK Government’s intransigence as an “undemocratic position” and accused it of lacking the courage of its convictions: “So they need to decide; is this a democracy or not?”

Regarding the wording of the question in a potential second referendum, Slater expressed her view that “we should ask exactly the same question that we asked in 2014”, adding: “The question is the same – what’s changed is the circumstances.”

In response to comparisons drawn between the Scottish constitutional situation and accusations of a “neverendum” frequently made against the Quebec sovereignty movement in Canada, Slater said: “Democracy is a process of achieving consent between [the] governed and the people who govern. Democracy is not a one-off event. The people have voted for this. We stood on a mandate to hold this referendum, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Slater added that she hoped a “national conversation” over the coming months would allow the Scottish people to see the opportunities of independence such as a written constitution, saying: “Like all Canadian children, I learned about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms when I was growing up. We don’t have something equivalent here – the UK does not have a written constitution.

“We have the opportunity in the next few years, if we become independent, to write a constitution for Scotland, to capture what those rights and freedoms might look like for the people of Scotland, and those would be captured in perpetuity.”