By a Newsnet reporter
A new survey on independence has revealed the Yes campaign has closed the gap on its No rivals.
Conducted by Ipsos-MORI on behalf of STV, the poll shows support for Yes up by four points with those backing No down three since the company’s last survey for the broadcaster.
A survey carried out by the same polling company in March put Yes on 32% and No on 57%, a gap of 25%. The latest survey puts Yes on 36% with No on 54%, a gap of 18%.
Stripping out the undecided voters, it puts No on 60% with Yes on 40%. Ipsos-MORI polled 1003 Scots over the age of 16 between May 26 and June 1.
The survey confirms a trend to Yes from No which has been ongoing since the end of last year, however the No campaign will find comfort in the fact that they still enjoy a clear lead over their rivals.
In contrast to similar polls, Ipsos-MORI found more undecided voters tending towards No than Yes. When pressed on which way they were leaning, 32% said No with 23% saying Yes.
However Yes will be encouraged at the continued increase in support for Yes. In September last year Ipsos-MORI found support for No almost twice that of its rivals. Backing for Yes stood at 31% with support for No at 59%.
Responding to the latest poll, Yes Scotland said: “The four point increase in support for Yes – accompanied by a four point fall in support for No – is extremely welcome. It takes Yes to the highest level yet in this series of polls.
“It is particularly encouraging that Yes has reached 40 per cent in this poll (when the undecideds are excluded), given that other pollsters have put support for independence higher than Ipsos MORI.”
However, Ipsos-MORI Scotland’s director Mark Diffley said: “The Yes campaign has made some significant progress in persuading the public in recent months. With just over 100 days to go until the referendum they will hope that this represents momentum that will see support continue to grow up to September 18.
“However, it is clear that the No campaign retains a healthy lead and, with the referendum fast approaching, there would need to be significant change in opinions if Yes is going to win.”
Ipsos-MORI found itself at the centre of a row last month after it emerged it had been commissioned by the UK Government to carry out a survey on independence. However controversy surrounded the Westminster coalition’s decision not to release results amid rumours it showed a rise in support for Yes.