With just over two weeks to go before the referendum vote, YouGov’s latest poll for The Sun newspaper shows support for the pro-independence campaign surging.
With the survey showing the Yes vote only 6% adrift of the No camp, financial markets are now taking the prospect of an independent Scotland seriously. The pound fell over 0.5% against the dollar, according to Bloomberg, and U.K. 10-year government bond yields crept up by 5 basis points.
Why is the poll such a shock? Most analysts were expecting the spread between the two sides to narrow as the vote approached, but much of this was expected to come from undecided voters. Instead, the Yes camp appears to be drawing voters away from the Labour Party support base of the pro-union “Better Together” campaign .
Ahead of this evening’s live TV debate (following pro-union Alistair Darling’s largely underwhelming showing last time around) the pressure is undoubtedly growing on a side that has seen its long-held lead come under threat at the worst possible moment. If confirmed by other polls the figures would mark the highest support for independence since the referendum on devolution, according to the polling group Ipsos MORI, suggesting that Darling and his team will have a lot of work ahead if they are to reverse the current trend.
Momentum in favour of independence comes despite the fact that key questions remain largely unanswered: What currency will an independent Scotland use? What will be the future of North Sea oil or Scottish financial services?
What will worry the Better Together campaign most, however, is that the YouGov poll revealed almost twice as many Scots believe they will be worse off rather than better off if their country becomes independent — and yet they are still supporting independence.
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