In Depth

Scottish independence final result: No voters keep Scotland in the UK

Alex Salmond concedes defeat as Scotland rejects independence by 55 per cent to 45 per cent

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Scottish independence polls show slim lead for No vote

With just one more day of campaigning left before the Scottish independence referendum, the latest polls suggest a narrow lead for the No camp.

Three new polls, published last night, show that support for independence has increased. However, when undecided voters are excluded, all three polls suggest a lead for the pro-unionists of 52 per cent to 48 per cent. The three polls gave differing estimates for the proportion of voters still undecided, ranging from six to 14 per cent.

Telegraph/Opinium (1,156 polled)

No 49%Yes 45%Undecided 6%

Excluding undecided: No 52% Yes 48%

Scotsman/ICM (1,000+ polled)

No 45%Yes 41%Undecided 14%

Excluding undecided: No 52% Yes 48%

Survation/Daily Mail (1,000 polled)

No 48%Yes 44%Undecided 8%

Excluding undecided: No 52% Yes 48%

Denise Roland in the Daily Telegraph notes that the polls might be neck and neck but the "money men" have pinned the odds firmly on the No vote. By Tuesday, punters on Betfair's exchange had placed a total of £8.8m on the outcome of the Scottish referendum, with the public reportedly putting their cash on the status quo.

Financial markets analysts say traders are also pricing in only a small chance of a Yes vote. Valentin Marinov, strategist at Citigroup, told the Financial Times: "Not a single one of our clients is preparing for a Scottish exit."

Nevertheless, the newspaper says that the three latest polls suggest the referendum "remains too close to call".

The Mole: Scotland on the brink

Meanwhile, another poll of more than 2,000 British adults, conducted by ComRes for ITV News, found that nearly one in three people think David Cameron should resign as Prime Minister if Scotland becomes independent, compared to nearly half who think he should not.

One Conservative MP told the FT that Cameron would "definitely face a vote of no-confidence" from Tory backbenchers if Scotland leaves the UK. "Our whole campaign has been a shambles," they said.

Scottish independence: latest polls too close to call

15 September

With just three days to go before the Scottish independence referendum, the latest polls range between an eight-point lead for the Yes camp and an eight-point lead for the No camp.

Four different polls were published yesterday, the final Sunday of the campaign. "At stake is not just the future of Scotland, but that of the United Kingdom, forged by the union with England 307 years ago," says Reuters. But the polls failed to paint a clear picture of how Scots might vote on Thursday.

A poll for the Sunday Telegraph gave First Minister Alex Salmond and his Yes Scotland campaign 54 per cent of the votes, putting the campaign for independence eight points ahead. Yet a poll for the Better Together campaign saw a similar divide, but in favour of a No vote. Two other polls for The Observer and the Sunday Times published results somewhere in between.

In depth: the pros and cons of Scottish independence

A rough average of all four polls suggests the two sides are almost neck and neck, with just a small lead for the No camp.

However, these figures do not include undecided voters, who account for between six and ten per cent of the electorate, according to the latest surveys.

This is where the focus now lies for both sides, says the Financial Times. More than 4.29 million Scots have signed up to vote on Thursday, equivalent to 97 per cent of the population, the largest electorate the country has ever known for any election or referendum. With up to a tenth still undecided, "campaigners for and against independence will now try to prise them from the fence in the last few days ahead of Thursday's historic referendum", says the FT.

Here are the results of the last four polls, which were carried out between 9 and 12 September:

Observer/Opinium (1,055 polled)

No 49%Yes 45%Undecided 6%

Excluding undecided: No 47% Yes 53% 

Sunday Times/Panelbase (1,014 polled)

No 47%Yes 46%Undecided 7%

Excluding undecided: No 51% Yes 49%

Sunday Telegraph/ICM (705 polled)

No 42%Yes 48%Undecided 10%

Excluding undecided: No 46% Yes 54%

Better Together/Survation (1,044 polled)

No 49%Yes 42%Undecided 9%

Excluding undecided: No 54% Yes 46%

 For a balanced, in-depth discussion of the historical context of the current debate about Scottish independence, read The Week's ebook, Independence for Scotland?, available now from Amazon.  

 

Scottish independence: latest poll puts Yes vote ahead

8 September

Scottish independence seems a step closer today after the latest opinion poll, published yesterday, showed the Yes camp in the lead.

The pro-union Better Together campaign has enjoyed a consistent lead throughout the campaign, although the gap between the two sides has been narrowing in recent weeks. Last week polling suggested that No voters were six points ahead.

Both that opinion poll and the one published yesterday by The Sunday Times were carried out by YouGov. A rival poll, conducted by Panelbase and also published over the weekend, suggested that the No campaign would win by 58 per cent to 42 - a result unchanged since its last poll a month ago.

Writing for TheWeek.co.uk, polls expert Don Brind says that referendum polling is notoriously difficult, as "there's no previous vote with which to make a comparison".

"Only one thing is certain right now," he says, "and that's that there will be a bad-tempered scrap between the polling companies in the aftermath of the 18 September referendum."

The pros and cons of Scottish independence

Latest Scottish independence poll boosts Yes vote

2 September

Scottish independence is "within touching distance", according to the latest poll conducted on behalf of The Times, which shows that the Yes campaign needs a swing of just three points to secure victory.

A YouGov poll found that, excluding "don't knows", 47 per cent of voters now intend to vote Yes in 16 days' time, against 53 per cent who will vote to remain part of the UK.

Support for Scottish independence has grown since official campaigning began earlier in the summer. A YouGov poll at the beginning of August put the Yes vote at 41 per cent. Two weeks later, support had risen to 43 per cent.

Now, the rise of the Yes vote to 47 per cent in the latest poll – and the shrinking of the gap to six points – indicates that "the momentum is firmly with the nationalists," The Times says.

Adding to the Yes campaign's growing momentum is the assessment from YouGov that undecided voters are twice as likely to vote for independence on polling day.

Blair Jenkins, the chief executive of Yes Scotland, said: "This breakthrough poll shows that Yes has the big momentum – it's an all-time high for yes support in a YouGov survey so far, and an eight-point swing from no to yes in just three weeks. We only need another three-point swing to achieve a yes for Scotland on 18 September.

The poll, questioned 1,063 respondents between 28 August and 1 September.

The Better Together campaign director, Blair McDougall, said: "The nationalists talk as if they are winning but the truth is this is yet another poll showing the campaign for Scotland to stay in the UK in the lead. We speak for the majority of Scots, but this poll confirms that if people want Scotland to stay in the UK then they need to vote for it."

The results of the YouGov poll reinforce the results of a Survation poll for the Daily Mail last week which found that excluding undecided voters, 53 per cent intend to vote no, and 47 per cent will vote yes.

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