Scottish independence - too close to call

Debating Chamber Scottish Parliament

The recent YouGov poll putting the campaigns level is not a quirk. New TNS survey confirms close race.

Saturday’s shock YouGov poll gave Yes a small lead of 51%-49%. But a TNS newly released survey confirms just how close this race is.

The new poll showed that 38% favour independence, whilst 39% are planning to vote ‘no’ - giving Better Together a narrow lead. However, of those ‘certain to vote’ both Yes and Better Together are tied with 41% of the vote each.

The survey had a sample of 990 Scottish adults (16+) and was conducted between the 27th August and the 4th September. It is becoming clear that Scotland’s future in the United Kingdom is hanging by a thin thread.

Since the previous TNS survey, published 13th August, those intending to vote ‘no’ has fallen from 45%, showing that they have lost six points. As for the other side, those intending to vote ‘yes’ increased by the same amount to 38% up from 32%.

The number of undecided voters remains unchanged at 23%, a number higher than in the likes of recent YouGov polls.

Keeping in line with such recent YouGov polls Tuesday’s TNS survey shows that it is older voters who are much more in favour of keeping Scotland in the UK, whereas younger voters are more in favour of independence. Only in the age groups of over 55s is there a majority of people pro-Union.

TNS also includes regional groups in their surveys, showing where across the country both sides are doing well. The ‘North East’ region, which includes the likes of Aberdeen, has most people favouring remaining within the union, with 49% intending to vote ‘no’. Only 28% plan to vote for independence.

In Glasgow the Yes camp are winning with 45% opting for independence compared to the 41% voting ‘no’.

The Yes campaign also dominate the ‘West’ of Scotland vote with 46% favouring independence, compared to the 22% wanting to remain in the union.

Better Together lead in the ‘Lothians’, which includes the capital Edinburgh, with 42% voting ‘no’, four points ahead of the 38% wanting Scotland to break from the United Kingdom.

In the ‘Mid and Fife’ and ‘South’ regions Better Together have the advantage, whereas in the ‘Highlands and Islands’ and ‘Central’ regions Yes are winning. Whilst such results give a good indicator it is important to note that breakdowns have smaller sample sizes than the entire survey, which can increase the margin of error.

About the new poll, Yes Scotland said on Twitter: ‘Yet another poll shows that the momentum is with Yes.’

Meanwhile the three main unionist parties are joining together to back more powers, as Gordon Brown sets out a timetable for delivery.

In less than nine days Scots will be asked: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’, the answer to which is becoming more and more uncertain as it looks like the result will be close. But no matter what happens it is becoming clear that Scotland will change forever.

The full results of the TNS survey can be found here: http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/news/scottish-opinion-monitor-swing-to-yes-makes-referendum-vote-too-close-to-ca-1