Scottish Independence: ‘Momentum with yes’

Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: John Devlin

Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: John Devlin

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THE surge in support which swept the SNP to an overall majority in 2011 is happening again as voters shift in favour of independence, Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.

The Deputy First Minister claimed traditional Labour supporters were switching to back the Yes campaign. On a visit to Bathgate, she said: “This shift is on – the momentum is with Yes. I remember very well how that felt in 2011 when you just got the sense that something was moving in terms of opinion and I feel that now.”

A poll earlier this week showed the gap narrowing, with No on 53 per cent and Yes on 47 per cent.

UK Labour leader Ed Miliband was due to be on the referendum campaign trail in Blantyre today, having switched his visit from Aberdeen in what is seen as a bid to shore up support for the No campaign in Labour’s heartlands.

He was expected to highlight Labour’s plans to freeze energy bills, raise the minimum wage, introduce a 50p top tax rate. He was due to say: “The change we need to build a fairer country with Labour, or the change of erecting a new border which is the only ambition of nationalists.”

Meanwhile, a Tory backbencher has called on the three UK party leaders to “drop everything” to concentrate on stopping Scotland voting for independence.

Sir Edward Leigh accused them of being “complacent” and said they faced “national humiliation of catastrophic proportions” if Scotland voted Yes.

American bank Goldman Sachs said an independent Scotland would face “painful” spending cuts because of higher borrowing costs.

Punters in Britain have placed more bets on the outcome of the independence referendum than on any other political event, according to bookmakers. William Hill said the volume of betting hit a record £2 million with the placing of a £100 bet for a Yes vote in a Fife bookies.

A spokesman said: “At the moment we are seeing over 80 per cent of the bets we are taking being placed on a Yes vote.”

But Better Together chalked up a victory over the Yes team in a penalty shoot-out at Ainslie Park yesterday to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease sufferers.

The event was organised after Better Together research director Gordon Aikman was diagnosed with the disease.