New Scottish polls suggest slight lead for 'No' camp

14th September 2014, Comments 0 comments

The campaign for Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom has taken the lead, according to two new opinion polls published Saturday, although a third has the pro-independence camp maintaining its shock lead.

A Survation poll commissioned by the "Better Together" pro-union campaign gave them 47 percent support against 40.8 percent for the nationalists, with nine percent undecided and 3.2 percent refusing to say.

Excluding undecideds, the "No" to independence camp has 54 percent and the "Yes" campaign 46 percent.

With just five days until voters go to the polls, 93 percent of 1,004 respondents questioned by telephone between Wednesday and Friday said they were certain to vote.

"This poll suggests that 'No' are in the lead but that the race is far from over," said Blair McDougall, campaign director of the "Better Together" campaign.

"No one can afford a protest vote. Any one of us could cast the vote that makes the difference between the UK staying together or breaking apart."

A spokesman for "Yes Scotland" added: "There is everything to play for, and this will spur on everybody who wants and is working hard for a Yes to redouble their efforts."

Separately, an Opinium survey for the Observer newspaper placed the "No" camp on 47.7 percent and "Yes" on 42.3 percent, with two percent saying they would not vote and eight percent unsure if they would.

The new polls suggest that the "No" camp has reversed the momentum after a YouGov survey last week put the "Yes" team ahead for the first time in the campaign.

But an ICM poll conducted for the Sunday Telegraph found that the pro-independence campaign was still ahead, and had in fact widened its lead, but a respected pollster issued a "health warning" about its reliability.

According to the poll, "Yes" are on 49 percent while "No" are on 42 percent. Once the nine percent of "Don't Knows" are taken away, "Yes" are on 54 percent, a lead of nine points -- its largest ever share.

Blair Jenkins, chief executive of "Yes Scotland", called the result "hugely encouraging," but poll expert John Curtice warned that the small sample size of 705 should be taken into account.

"Given the methodological caveats, the finding, while not wholly disregarded, should clearly be viewed with caution," he wrote on his "What Scotland Thinks" blog.

© 2014 AFP

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