As we enter the final nine months of campaigning before next year’s referendum, our latest poll for STV News will provide a boost for those arguing in favour of Scotland becoming an independent country. Among those certain to vote in next year’s referendum, 34% would vote ‘Yes’ if the referendum were held now (up by three percentage points from September 2013), while 57% would vote ‘No’ (down two points) and 10% are undecided.
Interviewing for the poll took place after the publication of the Scottish Government’s White Paper, ‘Scotland’s Future’ which set out its vision and priorities in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote next year, published on November 26th. These results show support for independence at the highest we have measured since February 2013 when the same proportion of voters told us they would vote ‘Yes’ in an immediate referendum.
As well as closing the gap in support among those certain to vote, a closer look at the data reveals that, among committed voters who have also definitely decided how they will vote, there has been a four-point swing in favour of ‘Yes’. Among this group, the ‘No’ vote leads by 26-points (63% v 37%) compared to a lead of 34-points in September (67% v 33%). However, among undecided voters, just around a quarter (27%) are inclined to vote ‘Yes’ while 34% are inclined to vote ‘No’.
Our STV News poll also hints at a high turnout in the referendum. Eight-in-ten voters (79%) say that they would be ‘absolutely certain’ to vote in an immediate referendum (up by six percentage points from September), including increased likelihood to vote among both sexes and all age groups.
Support for independence in Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods (47%) now exceeds support for remaining in the UK (45%) although in the most affluent neighbourhoods the ‘No’ vote lead by 68% to 26%.And men remain significantly more supportive of independence (41% v 27%) while women are more likely to vote ‘No’ (61% v 52%) though these differences are smaller than in our previous September poll.
The White Paper itself appears to have had a marginal effect on voters’ views. Around one in five (18%) told us it would make them more inclined to vote ‘Yes’ while 20% said they were more likely to vote ‘No’ while half (51%) said that it would make no difference. However, it is noticeable that among a key constituency, those who may change their minds between now and September next year,22% said that the White Paper made them more inclined to vote ‘Yes’ compared to 13% who are more inclined to vote ‘No’.
Mark Diffley, Director at Ipsos MORI Scotland said:
“Our latest poll for STV News will provide some encouragement for ‘Yes Scotland’ as we enter the most crucial part of the referendum campaign, as it is the first time we have recorded an increase in support for independence in nearly a year. However, it should be noted that the ‘No’ campaign retains a healthy lead and would be likely to win the referendum by a significant margin if it were held now. Time will tell whether this represents a short-term spike in support for independence in the aftermath of the White Paper or if we are seeing a more significant shift in attitudes."
- This presents the topline results from Scotland • Results are based on a survey of 1,006 respondents (adults aged 16+) conducted by telephone
- Fieldwork dates: 29th November – 5th December 2013
- Data are weighted by: age, sex and working status using census data; tenure using SHS 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 (1,006) unless otherwise stated