Support for Scottish independence inches up

February 21, 2014 - 6:08:24 am
LONDON: The first opinion poll since Britain’s rulers warned Scots they would lose the pound if they voted to leave the United Kingdom showed a slight increase in support for independence ahead of a referendum on the issue scheduled

for September 18.

Politicians in London have tried to undermine the case for independence by cautioning that breaking the 307-year-old union with England would make Scots poorer. Scottish nationalists said that such tactics had provoked a backlash among Scots, though opinion polls continue to show that Scots would vote to stay in the United Kingdom.

A Survation/Scottish Daily Mail poll carried out on February 17 and 18 of 1,005 people found 37.7 percent support independence, which it said could be compared to 36.9 percent recorded in a PanelBase/Sunday Times poll carried out on January 29-February 6. The Survation poll showed 46.6 percent would vote ‘no’ to independence, a decline from 48.5 percent in the PanelBase/Sunday Times poll.

The gap between those who would vote against and for independence narrowed to 8.9 percentage points from 11.6 percentage points in the earlier poll. Survation said its results were best compared to the PanelBase/Sunday Times poll of 1,012 people rather than its own earlier surveys because it had changed its methodology to bring it into line with other major pollsters.

With seven months to go for the vote, pollsters say it would only take a small section of the 4 million electorate to change their minds for the result to change.

Scottish nationalists have promised Scots that independence will allow them to forge their own prosperity: keeping the pound, the queen and using North Sea oil revenues to bankroll the new state. 

REUTERS
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