Why is Nicola Sturgeon making indyref2 plans?

Nicola Sturgeon Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Sturgeon met members of a youth cafe in Edinburgh on Wednesday morning as she promoted the Referendums (Scotland) Bill

Nicola Sturgeon has no intention of going ahead with an independence referendum that has not been authorised by Westminster.

It may be very frustrating to her that the UK government need to give their consent to another vote, but she does accept that it is the reality.

The first minister also knows that it is extremely unlikely that any incoming prime minister would give their approval for another indyref.

We may not know who the next Tory leader is going to be - but you can be sure that any candidate who wants to secure the votes of Conservative members in Scotland will need to firmly rule out allowing a second referendum anytime soon.

So why is Ms Sturgeon going ahead with preparations for a referendum that seems unlikely to happen within her preferred timescale of the second half of next year?

She says that the UK government is currently in such chaos it is not possible to predict what their future policy on anything might be.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Independence supporters have held regular marches in Scottish towns and cities calling for a second referendum

And she warns that denying Scottish voters the right to make a choice about whether they want to live in an independent country is not only undemocratic but also politically unsustainable

And that is the argument you will keep hearing from the SNP. That to deny a vote exposes what they describe as the "democratic deficit" facing Scotland.

They hope to stir frustration and anger amongst voters, even those who don't currently support independence, that they should not be told what they can and cannot do by a prime minister in London.

Amongst those who do passionately support independence there is impatience to get on with it.

Huge marches demanding another referendum are a reasonably frequent occurrence in Scottish towns and cities and Nicola Sturgeon needs to give some hope to her most enthusiastic foot soldiers that another vote is coming. Or at least that she is doing everything she can to hasten the day that they will get to have their say.

The risk is that while she may be able to gradually build the case that Westminster should not be allowed to block another independence vote, she may not be able to do so quickly enough to satisfy many of her grassroots.

And she may not be able to do so before the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2021.