Scottish independence: Pro-UK win claim ‘dangerous’

The referendum takes place in 13 months' time. Picture: Jane Barlow

The referendum takes place in 13 months' time. Picture: Jane Barlow

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A CLAIM by a leading US pollster that the pro-UK side is almost certain to win the independence referendum is a “dangerous mistake”, the head of the Better Together campaign has declared.

In an effort to dampen complacency among pro-UK supporters, Blair MacDougall said that “hundreds of thousands” of voters in Scotland had still to make up their minds, and would likely make the difference between a Yes and a No vote next autumn.

He was speaking after Nate Silver, the US statistician who predicted the exact outcome of the American presidential elections in 2012, declared that the pro-independence side had “virtually no chance” of winning next year.

His claims sparked a major online row yesterday, with pro-independence figures insisting that more recent polling had suggested the outcome was still in the balance. With more than a year to go until referendum day, they insist that the more people learn about independence, the more they are likely to swing their way.

But it was pro-UK supporters yesterday who also took issue with Mr Silver. It comes amid fears that voters who back the UK might stay at home next year, having assumed that independence is not going to win.

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