Scottish independence: ‘No’ lead down in new poll

The No camp's lead has fallen in the latest TNS research. Picture: TSPL
The No camp's lead has fallen in the latest TNS research. Picture: TSPL
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THE ‘No’ campaign’s lead in the Scottish independence referendum has narrowed amid signs undecided voters are making up their minds, according to a new poll.

• Yes 32%, No 41%, Don’t Know 27% in new TNS poll

• Lowest poll result for ‘No’ camp since last September

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The latest TNS research found that with two calendar months to September’s vote, 41 per cent of all adults back No, while 32 per cent support Yes and 27 per cent are yet to decide.

Among those who say they are certain to vote, 46 per cent back the Union, while 37 per cent support independence and 18 per cent “don’t know”.

It is the first time in several months that the No lead has fallen below double-digits to 9 per cent in a TNS poll.

The research company said the pro-Union lead had dropped by 10 points overall since its polling series began last September.

Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: “We have consistently found a significant number of undecided voters among those who say they are certain to vote.

“This month that proportion of the certain-to-votes has fallen from 22 per cent to 18 per cent - evidence that people are now beginning to form an opinion as the polling date nears.”

Of those uncertain voters, 13 per cent said they are inclined to vote Yes and 12 per cent to vote No, with the remainder unsure.

Mr Costley said: “If we strip out all those who are committed to or at least sympathetic to one side or another, there are now relatively few people who say they are certain to vote but are completely undecided.

“We are finding that only 13 per cent of certain-to-votes are expressing no inclination towards either side of the debate.

“Of course, that represents around one in 10 of all eligible adults, so their decisions on how to vote could have a strong influence on the final result.”

TNS questioned 995 adults aged 16-plus between June 25 and July 9.

Camps give reaction

A Better Together spokesman said: “This is yet another poll confirming that the majority of Scots want us to stay in the UK.

“The closer we get to the vote itself the more people are thinking seriously about the consequences of separation for our pound, pensions and public services.

“It’s no surprise that the majority of Scots are saying no thanks to independence.

“We will be campaigning every single day between now and 18 September to get across our positive message that we can have the best of both worlds for Scotland.

“We can have a strong Scottish Parliament, with the guarantee of more powers for Scotland, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. Only separation puts that at risk.”

Yes Scotland highlighted that when undecided voters in the poll are excluded, Yes support is 45 per cent among those certain to vote while 55 per cent back No.

Chief executive Blair Jenkins said: “This is an extremely encouraging poll - it’s the highest level of support for Yes so far in a TNS referendum poll, and the No lead has more than halved since last September.

“Among these who are certain to vote, 45 per cent already plan to vote Yes, and we are confident of winning a majority in September. The poll also shows that undecided voters are more likely to make up their mind in favour of Yes than No.

“This confirms that the Yes message is getting through - that Scotland is an exceptionally wealthy country, more prosperous per head than the UK, France and Japan - and that only with independence can we make our wealth of Scotland work for all the people.

“The poll also highlights the strong appeal of the guarantee that Scotland always gets the government we vote for only with independence, instead of being stuck with Tory governments under the Westminster system.