Will the last person to leave Scotland please turn out the lights

17 per cent of adults say they would consider leaving Scotland if it opted for independence.

17 per cent of adults say they would consider leaving Scotland if it opted for independence

New polling conducted by Panelbase for the Sunday Times and Heart Radio in Scotland has found that 17 per cent of adults would think about leaving the country should it opt for independence.

In contrast, 5 per cent of voters said they would consider emigrating in the event of the country rejecting independence, with 73 per cent saying they plan to stay regardless of the outcome.

The survey data also put support for independence at 41 per cent, up 1 per cent since Panelbases’ last poll for the Sunday Times and Heart Radio published in May. The No vote was also up 1 per cent to 48 per cent, with 11 per cent still undecided how they will vote.

Excluding undecided voters, those supporting independence are on 46 per cent while 54 per cent reject it.

Responding, campaign director for the Better Together Campaign Blair McDougall dubbed the poll a ‘blow’ to the First Minister. He explained:

“This poll is a blow to Alex Salmond’s faltering campaign and makes clear that the momentum is with those of us saying no thanks to separation.

“The closer we get to the referendum the more people are thinking seriously about the consequences of independence for the pound, pensions and our public services.”

In contrast, the Yes Scotland Campaign used the poll to argue that the country is now within touching distance of independence. It’s chief executive, Blair Jenkins commented:

“Support for Yes is solid and as we move into the final eight weeks of the campaign we will be working hard to continue the flow of undecided voters to our side.

“What this poll confirms is that, in spite of a renewed barrage of scaremongering and relentless negativity from the ‘no’ camp and Westminster government, we are in touching distance of success on September 18. We need just over a four-point swing to put us in front.”

But Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University concluded that the findings were bad news for those wanting independence. Writing for the ‘What Scotland Thinks’ website, he wrote:

“The opinion polls may of course all be wrong. But if Scotland is to vote in favour of independence on 18 September then one would expect at least a few polls to put Yes ahead at some point before polling day. And no poll would seem more likely to record a Yes lead than Panelbase, who have consistently produced the most optimistic polling numbers for the Yes side and which last month (in a poll for the Yes campaign itself) put Yes on the cusp of being ahead with a 48 per cent vote (once the Don’t Knows are excluded).

“But any hopes that Yes might have had that, following its last poll, Panelbase would next time around finally record a breakthrough for the pro-independence side are dashed in the company’s poll for today’s Sunday Times.”

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