Better Together holds on to wafer thin lead

Guardian/ICM poll finds support for no campaign on 51 per cent and yes on 49 per cent.

Guardian/ICM poll finds support for no campaign on 51 per cent and yes on 49 per cent

The wafer thin lead that YouGov this morning handed to the Better Together campaign has been replicated in the latest polling released by ICM for the Guardian this afternoon.

The survey, conducted over the same period as the most recent YouGov findings were collected, puts support for Scotland remaining part of the UK at 51 per cent when don’t knows are excluded, with 49 per cent supporting the idea of Scotland going it alone.

With less than a week to go, 17 per cent of all respondents still don’t know how they will vote.

This afternoon’s data also looks at what motivates those who have indicated which way they intend to vote.

Of those opting to keep the Union intact, 53 per cent are motivated by their feelings about the United Kingdom as a whole, with 37 per cent making their decision based on what they think is best for public services and pensions north of the border. 33 per cent base it on prospects for themselves and their families.

When looking at those supporting a yes vote next week, 51 per cent say they are being motivated by Westminster and the types of politicians there, 41 per cent say they are motivated by their feelings about Scotland and 40 per cent are being spurred on by hopes of a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.

However the polling contains mixed news for the Labour vote, now so crucial to determining next week’s result.

The good news is that, excluding the don’t knows at 51 per cent, voters in Labour’s Glasgow heartland intend to vote no – ahead by 2 per cent of those preferring independence in the city.

Likewise, again excluding the don’t knows, of those who voted Labour in the 2011 elections to the Scottish Parliament29 per cent intend to vote yes, compared to 71 per cent who will have rejected independence.

However, when looking at those who voted for Labour in the 2010 General Election when the party was under the leadership of Gordon Brown, so credited this week for getting the Better Together campaign back on track, 42 per cent intend to vote yes against 58 per cent saying no.

The poll confirms what all others have pointed to, namely a very large turnout, with 87 per cent of respondents telling ICM that they are certain to vote next week.

Ed Jacobs is a Left Foot Forward contributing editor

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