Referendum poll boost shows narrowest gap so far

Voters are steadily moving towards saying Yes in next year’s referendum, according to a new opinion poll published in The Sunday Times this morning.

The Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times and Real Radio has shown a dramatic narrowing in the polls for the referendum on an independent Scotland, with a swing of only just over 5% now required to secure a Yes vote in the September 2014 vote. The poll shows support for Yes at 36%, No at 46%, and 'don't knows' at 18% - the narrowest gap in the campaign so far. Excluding the 'don't knows' shows that 44% would back a Yes vote while 56% would vote No.

The poll has also demonstrated the huge levels of trust people across Scotland continue to place in the SNP, with the party enjoying a 20-point lead on Labour in the regional vote for the Scottish Parliament.

The poll shows 47% of people would back the SNP in the constituency vote for Holyrood - up two points from the May 20011 landslide election result - compared to 30% for Labour, who have fallen two points since the same election, 12% who would back the Tories and just 5% who would vote for the LibDems. The poll comes just days after it was announced that the referendum on an independent Scotland would take place on 18 September 2014.

Commenting, SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing who sits on the Referendum Bill Committee said:

“This poll shows that it is game-on for the independence referendum - this is the narrowest gap in the campaign so far. Yes can win, and I believe Yes will win.

"It shows that there is everything to play for, and that the momentum is now firmly with the Yes campaign - with more and more people preparing to vote for an independent Scotland in September 2014.

“With the date of the referendum having now been set, this poll shows that people in Scotland increasingly believe that decisions about Scotland should be made by people in Scotland, and that only a Yes vote will secure that opportunity. The poll shows that more work needs to be done, and the First Minister setting out the 'why of independence' at our conference - including the social and economic transformation we can achieve in childcare provision in an independent Scotland - will help to further boost the Yes vote.

“And almost two years on from the huge landslide support that the people of Scotland gave us, this poll also shows backing for the SNP has actually increased even further on those extraordinary levels.

“With the Scottish Government standing up for people in Scotland in the face of Westminster’s cuts agenda, people are continuing to place their trust in the SNP in overwhelming numbers - while Labour have slipped even further back under Johann Lamont's leadership.

“This poll is a fantastic vote of confidence, and gives us a rock solid platform on which to build support for a Yes vote in next September’s vote.”

The Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times/Real Radio surveyed 885 adults in Scotland between 18-22 March, and found:

Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes: 36%
No: 46%
Undecided: 18%

When undecided voters are removed, the findings are:
Yes: 44%
No: 56%

Scottish Parliament Constituency vote (change on 2011 result in brackets):
SNP: 47% (+2%)
Labour: 30% (-2%)
Conservatives: 12% (-2%)
LibDems: 5% (-3%)

Scottish Parliament Regional vote (change on 2011 result in brackets):
SNP: 45% (+1%)
Labour: 25% (-1%)
Conservatives: 12% (n/c)
LibDems: 5% (n/c)
Greens: 8% (+4%)