On September 18th 2014, the Scottish people will express their opinions though the ballot box on whether they wish Scotland to remain within the Union which has existed for over 300 years or whether the future lies with Scotland being an independent country.

It is fair to say that the next 12 months will be a very interesting period with the ‘referendum issue’ dominating the headlines and also, increased focus on Scotland from elsewhere as people discuss the possible implications of a vote supporting independence.

As the leading supplier of opinion polls within Scotland for over 30 years, Kantar Public intends to play a central role in the political and media debate. Starting from 4th September 2013 we will be publishing regular polling, using the exact wording which will feature on the ballot paper for the referendum vote. This will provide an accurate barometer of the movements between the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ votes and critically, will identify the changes in the sizeable minority who remain ‘undecided’ about their vote.

Kantar Public has been polling views on Scottish independence since August 2007. As shown in the table below, whilst the results of our last poll (March 2013) varied little from our first with half opposed to independence, there have been significant fluctuations in public opinion in the intervening 6 years. Indeed, on two occasions – in March 2008 and August 2011 – support and opposition were neck and neck.

  Aug 2007 [1] Mar 2008 Nov 2009 Aug 2011 Oct 2012 Mar 2013 [2]
Agree / Yes 35 41 31 39 28 30
Disagree / No 50 40 46 38 53 51
Don’t Know 15 19 23 23 19 19

Both Yes Scotland and Better Together will take heart from the variations recorded in our polls which suggest that all is still to play for. Much can happen over the course of a year, with campaigning within Scotland and external influences such as the economic performance of the UK all likely to impact on public opinion, which we will continue to monitor.


[1] Aug 2007 – Oct 2012: Adults aged 18+ in Scotland were asked: The SNP are outlining their plans for a possible referendum on Scottish independence in the future. If such a referendum were to be held tomorrow, how would you vote?

I AGREE that the Scottish Government should negotiate a settlement with the Government of the United Kingdom so that Scotland becomes an independent state
I DO NOT AGREE that the Scottish Government should negotiate a settlement with the Government of the United Kingdom so that Scotland becomes an independent state
Don’t know

[2] Mar 2013: Adults aged 16+ in Scotland were asked: There will be a referendum on Scottish Independence in the autumn of 2014. If this referendum were to be held tomorrow, how would you vote in response to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Yes
No
Don’t know