Another independence referendum could be held within 15 years if Scots vote No next year, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
First Minister Alex Salmond had previously said a No vote next year would put an end to the independence question “for a generation”.
The Yes side still trails heavily in the polls, with a survey today putting them on 26 per cent, with 42 per cent against and 2 per cent undecided.
An SNP spokeswoman played down Ms Sturgeon’s remarks, made in a Q&A session in Dundee this week.
The spokeswoman said: “We are very confident of achieving a Yes vote next September, and therefore there will be only one referendum. Nicola was simply noting the approximate time between the 1979 and 1997 devolution referendums.”
But Labour’s constitution spokesman Drew Smith said Ms Sturgeon’s comments proved that, “for the SNP, No won’t mean no”.
He claimed: “It won’t matter how many Scots vote No, the SNP will keep coming back to ask the same question.
“The answer in the referendum should be definitive. If Scotland votes No, then the SNP should listen to what Scots have said.
“Nicola Sturgeon says if Scotland votes Yes, the pro-UK parties should work with her to negotiate a separate Scotland.
“The flip-side seems to be that if Scotland rejects nationalism, the SNP will just carry on talking down the UK and devolution.”
Scottish Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw added: “This is more evidence that the SNP is only interested in its narrow focus on independence, and not the wider interests of the Scottish people.”