Every week political commentators pore over the entrails of the latest independence referendum opinion polls, and analyse the voting intentions of committed “aye” voters, committed “nae” voters and the “don’t know yets” who sit between.
And it is those in this last category, most pundits tell us, who be the key to winning or losing the referendum vote.
I think the pundits are wrong, and it is two other groups of voter who hold the keys to the kingdom.
They are the voters who tell their pals they’ll vote Yes (because they feel they’ll let their class/pals/country down if they don’t), but will bottle it and vote No – and those under peer pressure who say they’ll vote No, but will actually vote Yes (ironically with the same “my country right or wrong” reasoning) but not tell anyone, because they are secretly embarrassed to admit their patriotism.
I suspect that the former outnumber the latter by a factor maybe as large as five or six, and that it is in the battle to stiffen their spines that the referendum will be won or lost.