The study by pollster Lord Ashcroft has provided the first evidence that Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister has driven up support for breaking up the UK.
It puts support for independence at 46 per cent for and 43 per cent against. When don’t knows are removed it would give a referendum result of 52% Yes 48% No.
The No side won the September 2014 referendum by 55% to 45%.
Meanwhile, almost half of Scots now say there should be a second independence referendum before 2021 – the timetable set out by Sturgeon.
The poll findings are a disaster for Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who has based her political career on campaigning against indyref2.
Sturgeon welcomed the findings of the “phenomenal poll”.
The First Minister said: “This is a phenomenal poll for the independence movement – showing that more and more people think it’s time that Scotland took our own decisions and shaped our own future as a fair, prosperous, outward looking nation.
“Independence means getting governments people in Scotland vote for and that will act in our interests.
“That stands in stark contrast to recent experience of UK governments incapable or unwilling to act with those interests in mind.
“Meanwhile, the case for independence grows stronger by the day.
“A broken Westminster system means Scotland is being dragged towards a No Deal Brexit, regardless of the heavy price we’ll pay for lost jobs and lower living standards.
“That project is being led by Boris Johnson – a Prime Minister Scotland didn’t elect and who has no mandate to tear Scotland out of Europe with all the damage that will entail.
“The Scottish Government, by contrast, has a very clear mandate from the people of Scotland – to give them the choice of a better future with independence.
“It would be a democratic outrage for any Tory government to deny that, and this poll shows such an anti-democratic position is completely unsustainable.”
The Scottish Government has legislation gong through Holyrood which would pave the way the for a second referendum on leaving the UK.
Sturgeon has said she wants to hold the ballot by 2021 if the country is taken out of the EU.
But she has confirmed she would need the agreement of the UK Government before actually holding a referendum.
Downing Street has previously said it will not grant a new Section 30 order, which underpinned the 2014 referendum.
Nationalists have repeatedly predicted Johnson becoming PM and pursuing a No Deal Brexit would convince Scots to split with the UK.
A total of 1019 Scots were interviewed online for the poll between July 30 and August 2.