Scots believe the Chancellor George Osborne is "bluffing" by ruling out a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, dealing a blow to the forthcoming referendum's "no" campaign.

According to research from YouGov, which was commissioned by The Times, four in ten (40%) of the respondents said that Osborne was being sincere when he warned that an independent Scotland could not share sterling.

But almost half (45%) of the respondents said they thought the Conservative MP and other Westminster politicians are deploying the warning as an empty threat, designed to win support for the "no" campaign.

"This is a very welcome finding, which shows that people are not buying the Tory-led attempts to bully and scare Scotland," John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary, told The Times.

"The pound is as much Scotland's currency as it is the rest of the UK's."

The research, which comes ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in September, also found that a staggering 48% of young people (25-39 year olds) think that Osborne is bluffing.

In addition, the study revealed that men are least likely to believe the Chancellor as 48% said the move was a bluff – against 42% of women.

A spokesperson for The Treasury said: "We have set out detailed analysis supported by numerous independent voices as to why a currency union is not in the interests of an independent Scotland or the remaining UK.

"Less than six months from the referendum the Scottish government still have no plan for what currency they would use."