Belfast Telegraph

Shift towards Yes camp up by 38% as campaigns neck-and-neck according to TNS Scotland survey

By Katrine Bussey

The rival Yes and No campaigns are neck and neck with the result far too close to call ahead of next week's Scottish referendum, the latest poll has suggested.

Among those who said they were certain to vote on September 18, support for independence and staying in the UK was tied on 41%, according to new research from TNS.

That means backing for Yes is up from 38% last month while support for the Union is down from 46%.

Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: "This poll reveals a remarkable shift in voting intentions but the signs were evident in our last couple of polls which indicated a narrowing of the No lead, especially amongst those who told us that they were certain to vote."

There could be some 600,000 voters who have still to make up their minds, with 18% saying they are certain to vote in the referendum but are still unsure how they will cast their ballot.

It comes after research by YouGov at the weekend put support for Yes ahead for the first time in the campaign, with 51% backing independence and 49% preferring to remain part of the UK, when undecided voters were excluded.

Among the 990 people polled by TNS, support for No had dropped from 45% a month ago to 39% while the Yes vote increased from 32% to 38%.

The number of women backing independence also appears to be rising, going from 27% to 35%, while female support for No has dropped from 49% to 41% over the period.

According to TNS, the only group where No has a strong majority is among Scots aged 55 and above, with 49% stating they want Scotland to stay in the UK compared to the 31% who back leaving.

Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins described it as a "breakthrough poll which confirms that Yes has the momentum".

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