By Martin Kelly
Results of a newly published survey have revealed that the gap between those backing Scottish independence and those againts is just seven points.
The Populas poll, carried out on behalf of the Financial Times, asked people whether they wanted Scotland to remain part of the UK or leave and become independent.
Respondents were asked to choose between the following options:
- “I hope that Scotland votes to remain part of the UK.”
- “I hope that Scotland votes to leave the UK and become an independent country.”
- “I don’t have a strong view either way.”
Forty seven per cent backed remaining part of the UK, forty per cent opted to leave and become independent and thirteen per cent did not know.
When those who didn’t know were stripped out, the survey showed support for independence on 46% with those against on 54%.
Welcoming the result, SNP Business Convener Derek MacKay said:
“This is a very welcome poll which puts support for becoming an independent country at 46 per cent, excluding ‘don’t knows’ – a Yes vote is well within Scotland’s grasp.
“Today and every day between now and 18th September, Yes will be speaking to people on doorsteps and high streets about the gains off independence – the momentum is with Yes.”
The survey was carried out between 28th May – 6th and had a sample size 548 people. Whilst the numbers are statistically smaller than the optimum 1000, the Yes campaign will take further heart from the unusual formatting of the questions which included the phrases “Scotland votes to remain part of the UK” and “Scotland votes to leave the UK”.
The inclusion of such phrases is widely recognised as having an influence on the results of polls, in this case possibly inflating support for No whilst simultaneously reducing support for Yes.