Scottish Referendum Year-to-Go Campaigns Add to Voter IndecisionPeter Woodifield
A campaign push one year before the referendum on Scottish independence added to the number of voters who say they are undecided at the expense of those who want to remain in the U.K., the latest poll showed.
Support for breaking away from the U.K. was unchanged from a month earlier at 25 percent, the TNS BMRB survey found. Support among those wanting to maintain the status quo fell by three percentage points to 44 percent, while the proportion of undecided voters rose by the same amount to 31 percent.
First Minister Alex Salmond and his Scottish National Party need to convert the undecideds into supporters for their flagship policy of independence to prevail in the Sept. 18 vote. Support for separation from the U.K. is still at its lowest this year, TNS said.
Among those certain to cast a ballot next year, the lead for staying part of the U.K. rose to 22 percentage points from 21 points a month ago. No margin of error was given for the poll, which surveyed 1,004 people between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2.
The findings were mirrored in England and Wales, TNS said. That separate survey found 22 percent supporting Scottish independence and 53 percent opposed.
The 19 percentage-point gap among all voters in favor of Scotland remaining part of the U.K. was the same as TNS reported in February and follows a YouGov Plc poll released on Aug. 31 that showed a 30-point difference. The YouGov survey indicated only 10 percent of voters are still undecided.
The gap that Salmond and the SNP need to close is narrowest in the 25-34 age group, where the Better Together campaign led by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is just one percentage point ahead.
Voters over 55 will vote to stay in the U.K. by a margin of five-to-two. People aged 16 to 24 favor remaining part of the U.K. by a margin of almost three-to-two, TNS said.
Maintaining the status quo is equally popular among men and women, while fewer women than men favor independence, with a higher proportion of women among the undecided voters.