Independence takes lead in new opinion poll

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by a Newsnet reporter

An opinion poll published by today’s Herald newspaper reveals that more Scots support independence than support retaining the Union.  The poll carried out by TNS-BMRB poll on behalf of the newspaper reports that 39% Scots say they would vote Yes for independence, compared to 38% who would vote No.  The percentage saying they would vote No is the lowest since this series of polls began.  In the previous poll in the series, the No vote enjoyed a substantial lead of 8%.  In earlier polls the No vote had enjoyed leads of 15%.

With this lead now being overturned and a small majority reporting that they will vote in favour of independence, the momentum is clearly in favour of the pro-independence campaign.  

However a large number of Scots, 23%, say that they still do not know which way they will vote in the referendum on independence due for the second half of the SNP administration’s term in office.  Both sides in the debate will feel that there is still all to play for in determining the outcome.

The series of polls, of which this is the tenth, ask members of the Scottish electorate a simple yes or no to the question:  “that the Scottish Government should negotiate a settlement with the Government of the United Kingdom so that Scotland becomes an independent state”.    

Sampling for the poll took place at the end of August.  1007 Scottish voters across the country participated.  

Speaking to the Herald, Chris Eynon of TNS-BMRB said: “It does provide a stark measure of how attitudes towards independence per se have moved since the SNP first came to power in 2007.  The decline in opposition is reflected more in a shift to ‘undecided’ than to ‘support’, which is perhaps not surprising.  It would be a major change to move from opposing to supporting independence over a short period.

“What this does suggest is that resistance is being challenged and more people are being encouraged to reconsider their opposition to independence.”

Publication of the poll comes shortly after a poll by Ipsos-Mori which revealed that the SNP enjoy a large majority over their nearest rivals the Labour party, and have increased that lead since the May election.

As news of today’s poll emerged First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond said:

“We welcome this poll showing a majority for independence and showing a growing number of people in Scotland are determined that this country should aspire to a better future, taking responsibility for our own affairs.”