Is time running out for the yes to independence campaign?

Time is running out for the nationalists to realise their dreams of an independent Scotland, according to the leading pollster John Curtice.

Time is running out for nationalists to realise their dreams of an independent Scotland, according to the leading pollster John Curtice.

Curtice’s comments came in response to polling published yesterday by the Sunday Mail (not to be confused with the Mail on Sunday) and carried out by Progressive Partnership.

Asked if Scotland should be an independent country, 54 per cent said no compared to 34 per cent who said yes. 12 per cent said they did not know.

Meanwhile half (50 per cent) of those who responded felt that Scotland would be worse off if it left the UK compared to 31 per cent who believed it would be better off; 10 per cent felt it would make no difference and 9 per cent said they did not know.

In analysing the results, whilst admitting that the polls had undoubtedly narrowed, John Curtice argued that the nationalists should nevertheless be worried. Writing for the Sunday Mail yesterday, he expanded:

“The one thing all the pollsters can agree on is that the referendum race has narrowed, and today’s poll confirms that message.

“That, though, still leaves the Yes side with reason to worry.

“They have been keen to trumpet those polls which suggest the referendum race is now very narrow indeed.

“They have kept much quieter about those, including today’s, which suggest No are still well ahead. But there is no guarantee that their preferred pollsters are the ones that are right.

“The nationalists could still have a long way to go to realise their dream – and time is beginning to run out.”

Commenting on the results, chief executive of the ‘yes’ campaign Blair Jenkins sought to highlight the improvements the pro-independence campaign has seen in recent polls:

“Looking across all polls, average support for Yes has risen in every month since last November while average support for No has fallen in every one of those months, clearly demonstrating that momentum is very much with Yes.

“As polling expert Professor John Curtice points out, one thing the polling companies can agree on is that the referendum race is narrowing, and this poll confirms that.”

For the ‘no’ campaign, however, the leader of Better Together Alistair Darling used the poll to reiterate the case against independence. Whilst arguing that he was not surprised by the latest polling, he urged caution against complacency:

“I passionately believe that Scotland – my country and its people – are better off staying in the UK. We can have the best of both worlds, with a strong Scottish Parliament with more powers, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being a partner in something bigger – the UK.

“Separation risks our future. For what? Alex Salmond refuses to tell us what would replace the Pound, and can’t tell us how pensions would be paid. It is realistic, not scaremongering, to expect answers to hard-headed questions of those who want to break up the UK.”

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