SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the UK Government would be picking a fight with voters if unionists “stand in the way” of another referendum.
The first minister set a course for another row with Boris Johnson as the final balance of the next Holyrood parliament became clear on Saturday.
The SNP held on to more target seats but fell short of the gains needed for an outright majority.
A Tory win in Aberdeenshire West effectively ended that part of the SNP’s campaign.
But Ms Sturgeon’s party is still by far the largest and has a pro-independence majority with support in Holyrood from Green MSPs.
‘Commitment to the people’
Earlier, Mr Johnson said his impression was voters had moved away from the “idea of a referendum”.
He said there was “no case” for a legal process, known as a section 30 order, to allow an agreed referendum in 2014.
As the final seats were declared, the SNP leader said: “By any normal standard of democracy that majority should have the commitment it made to the people of Scotland honoured.
“For any Westminster politician who tries to stand in the way of that I’d say two things. Firstly, you’re not picking a fight with the SNP you’re picking a fight with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people.
“Secondly, you will not succeed. The only people who can decided the future of Scotland are the Scottish people. And no Westminster politician can, or should, stand in the way of that.”
She said the timing of a referendum is for parliament to decide but has already promised to wait until the pandemic crisis is over.
Transfer of power
“If Boris Johnson, or whoever is prime minister at the time, has any respect for Scottish democracy, they will come together with the Scottish Government – as happened in the run up to 2014 – and agree that transfer of power,” she added.
“If they refuse to do that, they will have to take the decision to legally challenge the ability of the Scottish Parliament to deliver on what the people of Scotland voted for.
“The absurdity and outrageous nature of that. A Westminster government potentially going to court to overturn Scottish democracy. I can’t think of a more powerful argument for Scottish independence than that one.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross was returned on Saturday evening on the Highlands and Islands list. He will be joined by returning Tory MSPs Edward Mountain, Jamie Halcro Johnston and Donald Cameron.
The Tories increased their share of MSPs on the list, taking a seat from the Labour Party, with only Rhoda Grant returning to Holyrood for the party.