THE ODDS of an independent Scotland have taken a nosedive after the SNP lost their majority at Holyrood in the election, according to bookmaker Ladbrokes.
It comes despite there still being a majority of pro-independence MSPs in the the new-look Parliament with a significant tranche of seven Greens who also support Scotland leaving the UK.
The 63 SNP MSPs and six Greens could combine to pass another referendum vote at Holyrood - although control over the constitution lies with Westminster.
But Ms Sturgeon’s failure to land another majority has seen the price of a vote for separation before 2020 taking a big hit, out from 4/1 to 10/1.
On a night of constituency shocks, the biggest winner was Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who had been available at 6/1 to win her Edinburgh Central seat.
A clamour from punters to back her to be next UK Tory leader saw her odds cut from 50/1 into 33/1. The Tories had been 5/4 outsiders to beat Labour into second place overall.
The four Liberal Democrat constituency wins also proved costly for the bookies, with shrewd backers having supported them at big prices to gain Edinburgh Western and North East Fife.
Matthew Shaddick of Ladbrokes said: “A pretty bad night for Labour in Scotland, but also a costly one for those backing an SNP majority and the chances of an independent Scotland any time soon.”
The odds of a another independence referendum before 2020 are now 5/1, with 10/1 odds of Scots voting Yes in such a scenario.