Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Undecided voters 'making up minds'

Vote: Scots are evenly split

The No campaign's lead in the Scottish independence referendum has narrowed amid signs undecided voters are making up their minds, according to a new poll.

The latest TNS research found that with two calendar months to September's vote, 41% of all adults back No, while 32% support Yes and 27% are yet to decide.

Among those who say they are certain to vote, 46% back the Union, while 37% support independence and 18% "don't know".

It is the first time in several months that the No lead has fallen below double-digits to 9% in a TNS poll.

The research company said the pro-Union lead had dropped by 10 points overall since its polling series began last September.

Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: "We have consistently found a significant number of undecided voters among those who say they are certain to vote.

"This month that proportion of the certain-to-votes has fallen from 22% to 18% - evidence that people are now beginning to form an opinion as the polling date nears."

Of those uncertain voters, 13% said they are inclined to vote Yes and 12% to vote No, with the remainder unsure.

Mr Costley said: "If we strip out all those who are committed to or at least sympathetic to one side or another, there are now relatively few people who say they are certain to vote but are completely undecided.

"We are finding that only 13% of certain-to-votes are expressing no inclination towards either side of the debate.

"Of course, that represents around one in 10 of all eligible adults, so their decisions on how to vote could have a strong influence on the final result."

TNS questioned 995 adults aged 16-plus between June 25 and July 9.

A Better Together spokesman said: "This is yet another poll confirming that the majority of Scots want us to stay in the UK.

"The closer we get to the vote itself the more people are thinking seriously about the consequences of separation for our pound, pensions and public services.

"It's no surprise that the majority of Scots are saying no thanks to independence.

"We will be campaigning every single day between now and 18 September to get across our positive message that we can have the best of both worlds for Scotland.

"We can have a strong Scottish Parliament, with the guarantee of more powers for Scotland, backed up by the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. Only separation puts that at risk."

Yes Scotland highlighted that when undecided voters in the poll are excluded, Yes support is 45% among those certain to vote while 55% back No.

Chief executive Blair Jenkins said: " This is an extremely encouraging poll - it's the highest level of support for Yes so far in a TNS referendum poll, and the No lead has more than halved since last September.

"Among these who are certain to vote, 45% already plan to vote Yes, and we are confident of winning a majority in September. The poll also shows that undecided voters are more likely to make up their mind in favour of Yes than No.

"This confirms that the Yes message is getting through - that Scotland is an exceptionally wealthy country, more prosperous per head than the UK, France and Japan - and that only with independence can we make our wealth of Scotland work for all the people.

"The poll also highlights the strong appeal of the guarantee that Scotland always gets the government we vote for only with independence, instead of being stuck with Tory governments under the Westminster system."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz