Salmond ‘would push third of Scots towards No’

First Minister Alex Salmiond. Picture: Jane Barlow
First Minister Alex Salmiond. Picture: Jane Barlow
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MORE than a third of Scots would be more likely to vote No in the referendum if Alex Salmond was to become Prime Minister of an independent Scotland, a poll has found.

The SNP said their leader “is a tremendous asset for the Yes campaign”, in response to the Survation poll of 1,003 people for the Daily Record.

Overall support for independence is trailing 10 points behind the No campaign at almost 37%, with nearly 17% of Scots still undecided on how they will vote, the poll conducted between May 9 and 12 found.

However, when asked how “the thought of Alex Salmond being the first prime minister of an independent Scotland” would affect their intentions, some 36% said it would make them more likely to vote No against 12% who said it would push them towards Yes. Some 46% said it would make no difference and 6% said they did not know.

SNP business convener Derek Mackay said: “This is an encouraging poll, putting Yes well within reach of the winning post in September.

“Only with independence can the people of Scotland get the governments we vote for every time - under the Westminster system, Scotland gets landed with David Cameron and the Tories, even though we reject them time and again.

“Alex Salmond is a tremendous asset for the Yes campaign - unlike Alistair Darling’s dismal leadership of the No campaign, which has seen him sidelined in favour of David Cameron and other Tories.

“The fact is that those who back independence intend to vote Yes whoever leads an independent Scotland - and a whopping 58% say the idea of Alex as First Minister would make no difference to how they vote in the referendum or make them even more likely to vote Yes.”

Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said: “Support for Yes has already reached 44% excluding ‘don’t knows’ - and we know from our own research, as well as a succession of polls over the past six months, that more and more people are moving to Yes because they understand that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and that by taking our own future into our own hands we can use that wealth better and more fairly.”

Meanwhile, over half of people in Tayside, Fife and Forth Valley intend to vote No in the referendum, a Courier newspaper survey of 1,029 people has found.

Some 52% intend to vote No against 37% who intend to vote Yes with 11% still undecided, according to the survey which was not conducted by a registered polling agency.

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