Scottish independence – the year in numbers

Left Foot Forward assesses the movement of the Scottish independence polls over the last year.

With the SNP gathered in Perth for their final conference before next year’s historic referendum on Scotland’s future, the party’s deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon has declared that the party can turn the polls around and get the backing they have long dreamt off for Scotland to become an independent country.

With the polling the way it is however, the Alex Salmond et al have a mountain the size of Everest to climb if they are to achieve victory next year.

One year since the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement paving the way for the independence vote, one wonders what the SNP can do that they haven’t already.

Left Foot Forward assesses the state of the polls over the last year.


In October 2012, Ipsos Mori published polling for the Times just ahead of Alex Salmond’s conference speech. The figures showed that of those certain to vote in the referendum, 30 per cent supported independence, 58 per cent opposed it and 12 per cent remained undecided.

Fast forward to today and with both camps having increased there support the gap between the two sides has remained the same. Ipsos Mori’s polling for STV published just last month has shown 31 per cent supporting the idea of Scotland going it alone, 59 per cent rejecting it and 10 per cent undecided.

You Gov

A striking feature of You Gov’s polling on independence has been the significant rise in those who do not know how they are going to vote, reiterating the importance of persuading this group ahead of the referendum.

In October 2012, You Gov produced data for the Better Together campaign showing support for independence at 31 per cent, with 56 per cent rejecting the idea and 4 per cent who did not know.

By last month, however, its findings for the Times showed support for the Yes campaign increase by 1 per cent to 32 per cent, support for the No’s fall to 52 per cent with a dramatic 9 per cent increase in those who did not know how they would vote, up to 13 per cent.


The increase in the ‘don’t knows’ has been a feature also of TNS BMRB’s polling.

Last October, it found that 28 per cent of Scots supporting independence compared to 52 per cent who rejected it and 19 per cent who did not know.

Earlier this month however, its latest polling has seen 31 per cent of people being undecided, with 25 per cent supporting independence and 44 per cent rejecting it.

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