Momentum still with Yes as latest poll shows gap continuing to close


  By a Newsnet reporter
The latest survey on Scottish independence has shown support for Yes continuing to grow as the campaign enters its final 200 days.
Results of a new poll carried out by Yougov puts support for Yes up one point with support for No down by the same amount.

The latest study, carried out between Feb 24th and 28th, found 53% of those surveyed opposed independence with 35% of people in favour.  The remaining 12% were undecided.

A earlier survey also conducted in February by the same firm resulted in 52% for No and 34% for Yes.  In January support for No stood at 52% and with Yes on 33%.

Stripping out don’t knows from the latest survey puts support for independence on 40%(+1) and support for the Union at 60%(-1) compared with the previous survey.

The latest poll, which shows Yes continuing to close the gap on its rivals, will be deeply disappointing for the No campaign which has launched several high profile attacks on independence in recent weeks. 

Last month saw UK Chancellor George Osborne threaten to block a currency union with an independence Scotland.  Mr Osborne was backed by his Labour and Lib Dem counterparts Ed Balls and Danny Alexander.

The survey also followed a high profile media attack on independence, spearheaded by the BBC, following confirmation from Standard Life of contingency plans to re-locate to England from Scotland in the event of a Yes vote.

The No campaign also seized on comments from EC President Jose Manuel Barroso who appeared to suggest that a newly independent Scotland would find it all but impossible to renegotiate its EU membership.

Commenting, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay MSP said:

“This is a welcome poll, which confirms the progress that is being made towards securing a Yes vote in September.

“This is the first time that YouGov have put support for a Yes vote above 40% since the start of the referendum campaign.

“Just as with other recent polls, the direction of travel is firmly in favour of a Yes vote, and this is the sixth poll in a row to put Yes support in the 40s.

“The polls show that people are contrasting the positive, detailed vision for an independent Scotland that we set out in Scotland’s Future, with the dismal scare tactics of the No campaign – and giving their backing to Yes as a result.

“There is a long way to go until 18 September, but the direction of travel in the polls is clear – Yes going up and No going down. And we will be working extremely hard to build on the momentum for Yes, and win the referendum so that Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands.”

Speaking to the Herald newspaper, Better Together leader Alistair Darling said the poll showed that First Minister Alex Salmond’s “refusal to tell us what currency we would use if we left the UK is taking its toll” on the Yes campaign.

The Labour MP added: “While it is great that we speak for the majority of people in Scotland, we know that the only poll that matters is the one that takes place in September this year. We will fight for every vote.”

Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said: “All recent polls have shown that Yes support is going up while No is on the way down.

“Compared to last August, Yes is up seven points and No is down seven. Our positive message that Scotland is a rich and prosperous nation and has got what it takes to be a successful and fairer country, too, is convincing more and more people than we can and should and, indeed, must be an independent country.”

He added: “With more than six months to go until the vote, we are confident that with continued hard work we can persuade a majority that Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands is the right thing to do.”

[Edit – This article has been corrected. The one per cent rise in Yes support to 40% and one per cent drop in No support to 60% was after don’t knows had been stripped out and NOT, as we previously reported, with don’t knows included.]