Scottish Independence: Yes support increases

Scottish Government's St Andrew's House headquarters was lit up last night. Picture: Greg Macvean
Scottish Government's St Andrew's House headquarters was lit up last night. Picture: Greg Macvean
Have your say

A NEW poll today showed support for independence increasing with exactly one month to go to the referendum.

The YouGov survey still gave a clear lead to the No campaign, but it recorded the highest number of Yes voters since it started asking the referendum question.

The poll put Yes on 43 per cent with No on 57 per cent, a gap of 14 points, compared with a 22-point lead for No in the two previous similar YouGov polls.

First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling are due to face each other again in a second TV debate next Monday. Mr Salmond – who was judged to have lost the first debate - has admitted he should have been “clearer” about the currency question.

But today’s poll showed 44 per cent believe the Westminster parties were bluffing when they said an independent Scotland could not be part of a monetary union.

Meanwhile, leading historian Sir Tom Devine has revealed he will be voting Yes in the referendum.

The author of dozens of publications on Scottish history, Professor Devine, who is stepping down from his role as director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at Edinburgh University this summer, refused to reveal his preference when he appeared in a public conversation with former prime minister Gordon Brown to mark his retirement.

But now the 69-year-old has said he was a No voter at the outset of the campaign and favoured a “devo-max” arrangement with further powers devolved to Holyrood.

“This has been quite a long journey for me and I’ve only come to a Yes conclusion over the last fortnight,” he said.

“The Scottish Parliament has demonstrated competent government and it represents a Scottish people who are wedded to a social democratic agenda and the kind of political values which sustained and were embedded in the welfare state of the late 1940s and 1950s.

“It is the Scots who have succeeded most in preserving the British idea of fairness and compassion in terms of state support and intervention. Ironically, it is England, since the 1980s, which has embarked on a separate journey.”

He added: “The union of England and Scotland was not a marriage based on love. It was a marriage of convenience. It was pragmatic.

“From the 1750s down to the 1980s there was stability in the relationship. Now, all the primary foundations of that stability have gone or been massively diluted.”

Another poll at the weekend showed 38 per cent for Yes, up four points from its poll last month, with No on 47 per cent, up two points. When undecided voters are factored out of the ICM survey the split at 55 per cent for No and 45 per cent for Yes.