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Tory win 'influences Scottish vote'

More than half of Scots would be likely to vote for independence if they believed the Tories would be returned to power in Westminster at the next general election, a new poll has found.

The Panelbase poll for The Sunday Times and Real Radio Scotland found 37% of Scots agreed the country should be independent, with 45% opposed.

When it asked voters what they would do if they felt the 2015 UK general election would result in either a majority Conservative government at Westminster or another Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition, 52% said this would make them likely to vote in favour of Scotland leaving the UK.

Under the same circumstances, 40% of those questioned said they would be unlikely to vote for independence, while 8% said they did not know how they would cast their ballot.

A total of 972 voters north of the border were questioned for the survey, which comes less than a week after Prime Minister David Cameron signed a deal on the independence referendum with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

Mr Salmond launched a fierce attack on Westminster as he addressed the Scottish National Party's annual conference in Perth.

He branded the UK Government an "incompetent bunch of Lord Snootys" as he declared: "Now is the time for Scotland to choose, to seize a different future."

Scots are due to vote on independence in the autumn of 2014, just months before the 2015 general election.

Ivor Knox, managing director of Panelbase, said: "The UK political landscape in 2014 could be a factor, with a Westminster election due only months after the independence vote.

"Among people who are undecided about independence, over 60% say that the prospect of another Tory-led government would make them likely to vote in favour, with only 13% saying they would be unlikely."

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