Unionists have reason to be cheery

Alex Salmond’s dream of an independent Scotland could be slipping through his fingers.

Support for independence has fallen to 37 per cent

Supporters of Scotland remaining within the United Kingdom will be cheering at news in the Financial Times that Alex Salmond’s dream of becoming the leader of an independent Scotland could be slipping through his fingers.

Ahead of September’s referendum, the FT has published data on a new poll of polls.

The figures, calculated on a rolling average of the past seven opinion polls, excluding the maximum and minimum values, shows that 37 per cent of people in Scotland support independence, which the FT says is “a percentage point or two higher than it was at the start of the month but several points lower than at the start of April”.

By contrast however, at 49 per cent support for Scotland staying within the UK is at its highest level since February, when all three of the main UK parties ruled out Scotland being able to remain within a currency union with the rest of the UK.

The real worry for Alex Salmond and the SNP, however, will come from the FT’s analysis which shows that much of the no campaign’s increased support appears to be from the ‘don’t knows’ who, the FT notes “analysts had thought would split fairly evenly”. Undecided voters accounted for the remaining 13 per cent in the FT’s figures.

Outlining the headaches now facing the Yes campaign, professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University said:

“The crucial headline is that there isn’t any clear evidence of any significant progress for the Yes camp since the back end of March. They need to make progress soon if they want to stand a chance of victory.”

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