SUPPORT for Scottish independence has risen for the first time in nearly a year, according to a new poll published last night, offering evidence that the contest is getting closer in the run-up to next autumn’s historic vote.
The Ipsos-Mori poll registered a rise in support of three percentage points, with a total of 34 per cent of those who are certain to vote choosing the Yes side.
Backing for Scotland remaining in the UK was still the most popular option, but support had dropped two points since September to 57 per cent. A further 10 per cent of those certain to vote had yet to decide.
The poll – the first since the Scottish Government launched its white paper on independence two weeks ago – finds that, for the first time, there are more people in the most deprived parts of Scotland who support independence than there are who oppose it. Some 45 per cent back leaving the UK, with 42 per cent supporting the status quo.
That is in marked contrast to the country’s better-off areas, where the No side is ahead by
68 per cent to 26 per cent.
However, the poll found that just over half of all voters said the white paper would make no difference to their vote. While 18 per cent said it would make them more likely to vote Yes, 20 per cent said they were now more likely to vote No.
The poll also found that while the gender gap is still wide, it is narrowing. Among women, 61 per cent said they would vote No, against 64 per cent in September’s Ipsos-Mori poll. And
52 per cent of men said they would be voting No, down from 54 per cent in September.
A spokesman for the pro-independence campaign, Yes Scotland said: “This poll, like a number of others, shows an increase in those intending to vote Yes. But from our own ongoing research, we believe that the polls in general have yet to catch up with the campaign.”
Blair McDougall, of the Better Together campaign, said: “It is astonishing that, according to this poll, the SNP white paper has put-off more voters than it has attracted.”