Alex Salmond believes he will get a second chance to hold an independence referendum and next time he thinks he will win, the former First Minister said.
An English vote to take the UK out of the European Union if Scots vote to stay could be the “tipping point” that brings about another poll, he told The Times.
Mr Salmond has previously said independence was a “once in a generation opportunity”, but the 59-year-old MSP now believes he will see independence within his lifetime.
Unionists’ “quasi-religious vow” of further devolution was the decisive factor in securing the No vote as it offered “power without risk”, according to Mr Salmond, but he said the final offering in the Smith Commission is “a betrayal”.
Mr Salmond also revealed the Queen was not “best pleased” with David Cameron when he was overheard boasting that she “purred” down the phone when the Prime Minister told her Scots had rejected independence.
Mr Salmond said: “A taxi driver said to me that he had voted No to independence but he would do it differently next time. I think we would win if there was another referendum.”
He added: “Luckily in life, as in politics, people sometimes get a second chance.”
Commenting on the proposed in/out referendum on the EU, Mr Salmond said: “If you believe there are four equal nations, partners in this United Kingdom, then it seems reasonable that no one country should be dragged out of the European firmament against its will.”
Unionists “made an offer which sounded big but will be small” in their stylised countersigned “vow” of more devolution on the front page of the Daily Record, Mr Salmond said.
“It’s ironic that the thing that really did for us was the poll showing we were ahead,” he said.
“It prompted the ‘vow’ and that was the tipping point. For the swing voters, being offered power without risk was all it required.
“Putting a promise into a medieval manuscript and calling it a vow to give it a quasi-religious flavour shouldn’t be important but it was.
Alex Salmond believes he will get a second chance to hold an independence referendum © Provided by Press Association Alex Salmond believes he will get a second chance to hold an independence referendum
“It was betrayal. It’s presentation, not reality. It’s still only 30% of tax revenues.”
Mr Salmond had an audience with the Queen the day after Mr Cameron was caught on camera discussing her post-referendum reaction with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Mr Salmond said: “I wouldn’t say she was best pleased. That was just dreadful.
“Cameron’s a schoolboy. This is a guy showing off because he’s with a billionaire. It’s pathetic. In fact it’s worse than pathetic, it’s demeaning.”