White Paper launch gives Yes vote boost

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A NEW poll today showed a slight increase in support for independence following publication of the SNP’s White Paper.

The survey by TNS BMRB found 26 per cent back a Yes vote, up one point on polls from September and October, while backing for a No vote, at 42 per cent, is one point down on October and two points down on September. Around one-third remain undecided.

The poll of more than 1000 people was conducted in the days around the launch of the White Paper on independence last week.

Among those who say they are certain to vote, the results change to show 31 per cent support for independence and 46 per cent against.

Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland, said: “It’s almost as if opinion in Scotland was marking time before the publication of the White Paper.

“Once we get into 2014, we can expect the debate to gather pace ahead of the September referendum, and we may begin to see some shifts in opinion, especially with so many people clearly waiting to be convinced one way or another. The examination of the White Paper will be an important part of that debate.”

The results come days after another poll, by Progressive Scottish Opinion, put support for a Yes vote at 27 per cent and support for a No vote at 56 per cent.

Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said the latest figures meant a swing of less than eight per cent would put his campaign in front. He said: “The No campaign has lost almost one-fifth of its supporters over the last year, which is not surprising given the ‘can’t do’ negativity of a campaign that describes itself as ‘Project Fear’.

“It is now clear what a Yes vote will mean for Scotland, with important gains and guarantees for people across the country. The big question marks are over the costs of a No and that is why their support is in freefall.”

A Better Together spokesman said: “The fact that support for Scotland going it alone remains below historic levels shows that people are increasingly rejecting Alex Salmond’s politics of division and grievance. Although this poll is encouraging, there is no room for complacency. The Nationalists only need to win once and by one vote to break up the UK forever.

“We will be campaigning every day to make our strong positive case to people who have yet to make up their mind.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com