Comment: Women hold key to the indy poll result

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Examination of this weekend’s opinion polls shows that Thursday’s vote is too close to call with any certainty.

Perhaps the most revealing statistic of all is that there remains around half a million people in Scotland – ten per cent of the population – who have yet to make up their minds on the independence question. And most of these undecided voters are women.

It looks as though this is where the referendum will be won and lost.

Women have traditionally been more sceptical of Yes campaign claims that everything will be “all right on the night”. Women are also less positive about Alex Salmond and less likely to fall into the “ah, who cares, let’s just go for it” brigade.

And so, perhaps shouting louder over the last few days might not be the best tactic for either camp. It is unlikely that those who care deeply about the fate of their own family will simple throw caution to the wind because of incessant prompts on social media or indeed what any newspaper says.

Instead, detailed answers to key questions are far more likely to persuade.

More worryingly, we must ensure that the debate continues to be good natured and civilised.

This weekend, hundreds of protesters descended on the BBC, accusing the corporation of bias, despite barely a shred of evidence. In Dalkeith, a No-supporting MSP was intimidated with chants of “P45” as they went about their daily business.

As the late Margo MacDonald said before she passed away, we must remember that whatever the result, we need to come together as a nation on September 19, accept the result and work together for a better Scotland, whether this is under devo max or independence. Trading insults as a daily currency is only going to make that process much harder.

We should all remember Margo as we go about our daily business this week.