Support for Scottish independence rises: Poll

Reuters , Sunday 23 Mar 2014

The number of Scots ready to vote for independence has risen according to a poll published on Sunday, adding to evidence that a referendum on Sept. 18 could be tighter than previously expected.

The poll, conducted by ICM, showed the proportion of Scots who would vote in favour of independence rose to 39 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from a similar survey conducted last month. The number of those voting against a split fell to 46 percent from 49 percent in February, according to the poll of 1,010 people.

The British government is campaigning fiercely to keep Scotland's 307-year union with England intact, arguing that both countries are better off together, while Scotland's nationalists believe a split would give them the economic freedom to prosper.

Sunday's poll is the second in the last week to show that support for Scottish nationalists has risen, after a Panelbase survey on March 20 showed a three percentage point rise in those who intended to vote for independence.

"Today's poll is best read as further evidence that the 'No' lead continues to be rather narrower than it once was, but that it would as yet be premature to claim that the 'No' lead has narrowed yet further in recent weeks," said John Curtice, a consultant at ScotCen Social Research.

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