By a Newsnet reporter
A new poll on Scottish independence suggests the Yes campaign has begun to regain momentum as the referendum nears.
With exactly two months to go until Scottish voters go to the polls, a survey published today by TNS puts Yes on 32% (up 2), No on 41% (down 1) and undecided on 27% (down 1).
The No lead of nine points follows several months of a consistent double-digit lead, and represents a 10-point fall in its lead over Yes since the current TNS polling series began in September.
Of those certain to vote but excluding don’t knows, the poll puts Yes on 45% and No on 55%. The result is the best TNS for Yes since the publication of the Scottish Government’s White Paper.
When compared to September 2013 the gap has closed from 28% to just 10% – meaning the swing required for Yes has fallen from 14% to just 5%.
Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said: “We have consistently found a significant number of undecided voters among those who say they are certain to vote. This month that proportion of the certain-to-votes has fallen from 22% to 18% – evidence that people are now beginning to form an opinion as the polling date nears.”
Welcoming the new survey, Yes Scotland Chief Executive Blair Jenkins said: “This is an extremely encouraging poll – it’s the highest level of support for Yes so far in a TNS referendum poll, and the No lead has more than halved since last September.
“Among these who are certain to vote, 45 per cent already plan to vote Yes, and we are confident of winning a majority in September.”
There was further good news for Yes with the survey suggesting that undecided voters, when pressed, were slightly more inclined to opt for independence. Amongst Labour supporters, including don’t-knows, it found 58 per cent backed No, 22 per cent backed Yes and 21 per cent were undecided.
Mr Jenkins added: “The poll also shows that undecided voters are more likely to make up their mind in favour of Yes than No.
“This confirms that the Yes message is getting through – that Scotland is an exceptionally wealthy country, more prosperous per head than the UK, France and Japan – and that only with independence can we make our wealth of Scotland work for all the people.
“The support for Yes of former Labour UK government minister Peter Kilfoyle illustrates the breadth of appeal for our positive message about Scotland’s future.
“The poll also highlights the strong appeal of the guarantee that Scotland always gets the government we vote for only with independence, instead of being stuck with Tory governments under the Westminster system.
“The independence guarantee is undoubtedly a major factor in persuading more and more Labour voters and members to vote Yes, and we believe that this support will continue to grow in the run-up to September 18.”
A Better Together spokesman said: “This is yet another poll confirming that the majority of Scots want us to stay in the UK. The closer we get to the vote itself, the more people are thinking seriously about the consequences of separation for our pound, pensions and public services.
“It’s no surprise that the majority of Scots are saying no thanks to independence.”
995 adults aged 16+ were interviewed in 67 constituencies across Scotland over the period 25th June – 9th July.
Respondents were asked: There will be a referendum on Scottish Independence on the 18th of September 2014. How do you intend to vote in response to the question: Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes, No, Don’t know.