Speaking in Perth, Nicola Sturgeon said if the SNP wins the most seats in Scotland then “continued Tory attempts” to block an independence referendum would be “democratically unsustainable”.
Asked if losing seats would weaken her case, Ms Sturgeon said: “Maybe I’m old fashioned. But the party that gets the most votes and more seats than any other wins the election. That’s democracy.”
Tory Prime Minister Theresa May has blocked the SNP’s plan to hold another referendum on Scottish independence after most Scots voted to remain in the EU during the referendum last year.
“We know that decisions taken at Westminster in the years ahead will shape our country,” Ms Sturgeon said. “So now, more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland.”
The SNP looks almost certain to win the most seats in Scotland in the general election on June 8 after virtually wiping out Labour in Scotland in the last election in 2015.
Labour clung on to just one seat in Scotland and lost a total of 40 seats, while the SNP won 56 seats in a remarkable landslide victory. The Lib Dems and Tories have one seat each.
A recent poll of 2,000 Scottish voters has found that SNP support has fallen below 40 per cent for the first time since 2014 due to a Tory surge in Scotland.
The SNP were at 39 per cent, the Tories at 29 per cent, Labour at 25 per cent and Lib Dems at four per cent, according to the SurveyMonkey poll for the Scottish Sun on Sunday.
But a YouGov poll, published in late May, put the SNP at 42 per cent, the Conservatives at 29 per cent, Labour at 19 per cent and the Liberal Democrats at nine per cent.
Professor John Curtice, who runs the What Scotland Thinks blog, said that the YouGov poll represented a one-point increase for the SNP, Tories and Labour since the end of April.
“But while this poll might indicate that little has changed during the course of this election campaign, it confirms that this election is currently heading towards a…