Small lead for No, but referendum result still looks extremely close

Ipsos's final Scottish referendum poll for the London Evening Standard shows the `No' campaign with a very narrow lead, in line with other polls in recent days.

Ipsos’s final Scottish referendum poll shows the No campaign with a very narrow lead, in line with other polls in recent days. Among those certain to vote, 50% say they will vote No, with 45% saying they will vote Yes and 4% still undecided. Excluding those undecided, 53% of certain voters say they intend to vote No, with 47% to vote Yes.

Some 95% of Scots say they are certain to vote today, including 90% of those aged 16-24.Both sides, though, include supporters for whom this is their first time registered to vote: 13% of Yes supporters and 10% of No voters.


Just under half (46%) of Scottish voters believe the Better Together campaign will win the referendum, compared with 30% who think the Yes campaign will win – while a quarter (24%) say they don’t know.

Claims of negativity regarding the No campaign are reflected in the reasons behind voters’ choices. Just under six in ten (58%) of No voters say fear for the future if the No side loses was more important in deciding their vote than hope if their side wins (at 36%). This compares with 80% of Yes voters who said they voted because they were hopeful for the future if their side wins; just 16% of Yes voters did so more out of fear than hope. Overall, 57% of Scots based their votes on hope more than fear, with 38% basing their vote on fear if they lose more than hope if they win.

In contrast, majorities on both sides say they based their vote more on practical consequences than feelings of national identity. Seven in ten (70%) of Yes supporters based their vote more on practical consequences, with 78% saying the same from the No campaign. Meanwhile, a quarter (24%) of Yes supporters based their vote more on national identity, compared with 15% of No voters. Overall, 74% said they based their vote on practical consequences, with 19% basing theirs more on national identity.


Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos, said:

‘These results confirm the picture from other polls before polling day – the referendum looks extremely close, and although No seems to have a small lead much will depend on turnout on the day. Meanwhile there is a clear difference in the motivations for voters on the two camps – Yes voters saying they are motivated more by hope for the future if their side wins, while No voters say fear for the future if the No side loses has been more important to their vote.’

Technical note

  • This presents the topline results from Scotland
  • Results are based on a survey of 991 respondents (adults aged 16+) conducted by telephone, including 980 who said they were registered to vote
  • Fieldwork dates: 16th September to 17th September 2014
  • Data are weighted by: age, sex and working status using census data; tenure using Scottish Household Survey data; and public-private sector employment using Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Employment series data
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories
  • Results are based on all respondents registered to vote (980) unless otherwise stated

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