Scottish Voters Backing Independence Remain at 25% in TNS Survey

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Support for turning Scotland into Europe’s newest sovereign state remained unchanged for a second month, the latest poll showed.

The TNS BMRB survey found 25 percent of 1,010 respondents in Scotland said they intended to vote “yes” in next year’s referendum on independence from the U.K., while those in favor of keeping the status quo amounted to 43 percent, down one percentage point from September. Undecided voters totaled 32 percent, up by a percentage point on the month.

The semi-autonomous Scottish government in Edinburgh is scheduled to publish a policy paper on Nov. 26 outlining its vision for an independent country 306 years after forming the U.K. by uniting with England. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and his Scottish National Party say Scotland would be better off with full control over its economy and North Sea oil. The three main parties in the U.K. Parliament in London oppose Scottish independence.

A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research published today said that the Scottish economy will expand at a faster rate this year and next, in line with the rest of the U.K. The pace of growth next year in Scotland will be the quickest since 2007, it said.

Thirty-seven percent of those polled by TNS BMRB said they wanted to know more about post-independence pensions and benefits, while the second most-important issue was taxation, at 31 percent.

Turnout probably will be higher than in the most recent elections for the Scottish or U.K. parliaments. Two-thirds of adults, 66 percent, said they are certain to vote, with 14 percent saying they are very likely to vote, TNS BMRB said. The poll was conducted on Oct. 23-30. No margin of error was given.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net