The latest Ipsos MORI/STV News poll provides 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.
RefFlags1WebInterviewing 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 26 November.
These results show support for independence at the highest MORI has measured since February 2013 when the same proportion of voters said 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’.
 
High Turnout Indicated
The Ipsos MORI/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%.
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.

White Paper Impact
The White Paper itself appears to have had a marginal effect on voters’ views. Around one in five (18%) maintained it would make them more inclined to vote ‘Yes’ while 20% said they were more likely to vote ‘No’ and 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.”

For local voices on the issue see:

http://www.gocscotland.org.uk/general-news-main/the-referendum-issue-6

 

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