The Scottish Government’s White Paper on independence appears to have had little impact on voting intentions in the 2014 referendum, according to a new opinion poll.
The latest TNS BMRB survey recorded a 1% rise in support for a Yes vote compared with its last poll, which was conducted before the publication of the White Paper on November 26.
The poll also found that the majority held by those intending to vote No has narrowed in the last three months.
The survey of 1,055 people, conducted between December 3 and 10, revealed that 27% intend to vote Yes, up from 26% in TNS BMRB’s November poll, 41% plan to vote No, down from 42%, and 33% don’t know - a change from 32%.
Small month-by-month changes in opinion have now reduced the lead of the No vote by five percentage points since September, and by seven percentage points among those certain to vote.
In September, 25% said they would vote Yes and 44% backed a No vote, giving an anti-independence lead of 19 percentage points, compared with just 14 points in the latest poll.
Among those certain to vote, in the latest poll 45% intend to vote No, 30% will vote Yes and 25% don’t know how they will vote, giving the No vote a 15 percentage point lead. This is compared with the September poll when 50% said No, 28% said Yes and 22% said they did not know how they would vote - a 22 point lead for No.
The latest poll also revealed that 68% of people were aware of the Scotland’s Future White Paper, setting out the SNP Government’s vision for an independent Scotland. Awareness was lowest among the 16-34 age group, at 45%, while 81% of over-55s had heard about the document.
But 68% of those who were aware of the document said it has had no influence on their vote, while a further 19% said it has had very little influence. Only 14% said it had influenced them.
Tom Costley, head of TNS in Scotland, said: “The narrowing of the gap represents a drift in both the Yes and the No votes, rather than any strong movement on either side.
“It underlines the importance for both Yes and No campaigners of engaging with the one third of the electorate who remain undecided. Two thirds of adults in Scotland say they are certain to vote, and many of them have not yet decided which way to go. There is still all to play for.”