SCOTS are poised to vote Yes for independence next year, according to a poll today which puts the Nationalist side in the lead for the first time since the referendum campaign got underway.
The independence side is a point clear of the pro-union campaign - at 44 per cent to 43 per cent, with just over a year to go. Undecided voters are at 13 per cent.
But it follows a separate poll at the weekend by YouGov which gave the No side a 30-point lead - at 59 % to 29%.
The latest poll was commissioned by the Scottish National Party, and conducted by Panelbase. It was sampled between 23-28 August, among 1,043 people aged 18 and over in Scotland.
SNP Deputy Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is game on for next September’s referendum.
“With just over a year to go, this poll indicates that the positive case for Yes is capturing people’s imagination, while the No campaign’s ‘Project Fear’ is running out of steam.
“The poll also shows that a clear majority of people back the Yes campaign’s contention that Scotland could be a successful independent country - a common-sense proposition which the No campaign daily denigrate.
“These findings all underline the strength and potential of the Yes vote.”
Panelbase was the first polling organisation to show the SNP in the lead during the 2011 Holyrood election campaign.
This is the first poll to indicate Yes ahead since the question which will be asked in the referendum was finalised last year. The last poll
to show a Yes lead was a TNS poll in August 2011, which showed Yes at 39 per cent and No at 38 per cent, with Don’t Know at 23 per cent.
Ms Sturgeon added: “Polls will move up and down between now and next September as the debate over Scotland’s future gathers pace, but these very encouraging figures show that Yes can win and I believe will win. Certainly, the No campaign can no longer take the people of Scotland for granted.”
The detailed breakdown shows that 24 per cent of people who voted Labour in the Scottish Parliament constituency vote in 2011 intend to vote Yes. And among women aged 35-54, Yes leads No by 45 per cent to 41 per cent.
The poll shows that 93 per cent of Yes supporters are very likely to vote in the referendum, compared to 88 per cent of No supporters.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: “This poll shows that there can be no room for complacency in our positive campaign to build a stronger Scotland which remains within the UK.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are making the positive case for home rule in a federal UK and I am delighted that parties, think tanks and academics are also developing clear plans on more powers within the UK.
“Consistent polling has shown that the majority of people in Scotland want to continue our home rule journey. Devolution offers us the best of both worlds with a strong Scottish Parliament backed up by the strength and security of the large and diverse UK economy.”