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Scottish independence: 47% support union - poll

A new poll has shown that 47 per cent of Scots back the Union, but many are still undecided. Picture: Ian Rutherford

A new poll has shown that 47 per cent of Scots back the Union, but many are still undecided. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Support for Scotland’s continued place in the UK remains ahead in the latest opinion poll.

Among those certain to vote in the referendum next September, 29 per cent back independence and 47 per cent back the Union.

But the poll, by TNS BMRB, suggests a large number of people have still not made up their minds (24 per cent).

The results show 49 per cent of respondents want more information on the future of the economy and jobs. A total of 37 per cent want further information on pensions and benefits, 31 per cent on taxes and 22 per cent on immigration.

The future of Scotland’s currency, which has been a main focus among politicians, registers as a major issue for just 13 per cent of people in the survey.

The results suggest both sides have work to do, according to Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland.

“Having previously highlighted that many feel they are lacking information, this poll clearly shows that the financial issues are of greatest concern to the voters,” he said.

“The high number of don’t-knows suggests that both sides need to do much more to ensure that people are confident about the implications of their vote for their financial future.”

A regional breakdown of the survey suggests Glaswegians are most in need of persuasion, with 42 per cent saying they do not know which way to vote.

The results are based on responses from 1,010 adults aged over 16 at the end of last month.

Blair McDougall, campaign director of pro-Union group Better Together, said: “A year-and-a-half into the campaign, independence remains a minority view in Scotland. Indeed, this poll today has support for Scotland going it alone lower than it has generally been for decades.

“With so many people yet to make up their mind, it is clearly still all to play for. We will campaign hard every day between now and the referendum to make our positive case that we are stronger and better together.

“People rightly want more information about the consequences of separation on pensions, benefits, mortgages and savings. It isn’t good enough for Alex Salmond to tell us that everything will be all right on the night. People in Scotland deserve facts, not more baseless assertions.”

A spokesman for pro-independence group Yes Scotland said: “We know from our own research, which is far more exploratory and detailed than conventional binary polling, that the more people learn about the benefits of independence the more likely they are to vote Yes.

“We also know that most Scots want decisions over vital issues such as taxation, pensions and welfare to be taken in Scotland rather than at Westminster. That’s because they realise that Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands is a much better choice than sticking with a broken and discredited Westminster system that isn’t working for Scotland.

“As this poll and others would suggest, between a fifth and a third of voters have yet to decide how to vote and between now and the only poll that really counts next September we will be doubling our efforts to provide people with all the quality information they need to help them make a properly informed decision.”

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