Latest poll results issued by TNS UK and its Scottish Opinion Monitor

EDINBURGH – 11th June 2014 – The No side in the Scottish referendum campaign has maintained its 12-point lead in the latest TNS opinion poll, while another TNS poll shows opposition to Scottish independence growing in the rest of Great Britain.

The latest TNS survey of 1011 adults (aged 16 and over) in Scotland found support for a No vote at 42%, with 30% backing Yes and 28% saying they don’t know. These figures are unchanged from the previous month.

Voting intentions among the 72% who say they are certain to vote show little change, with 44% saying No, the same as last month, 34% Yes (35% last month) and 22% don’t know (20%).

Polling was mostly completed before 28 May when the Yes and No campaigns announced rival claims about the economic benefits of their respective positions, and before the 2 June announcement of the Conservatives’ plans for more devolution in the event of a No vote.

In a separate TNS poll, among 1090 adults (aged 18 and over) in England and Wales, 61% say that Scotland should not be a separate country, up eight percentage points since August. Support for Scottish independence has slipped from 22% to 18%.

Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said “It seems that, while opinion in Scotland has shown little change over the last few months as the debate has continued, there is growing opposition in England and Wales to the idea of Scotland breaking away. It may be that, as people in the rest of the UK are exposed to the debate about Scotland’s future to a much greater extent than before, they are thinking more about the impact of independence.”

Scottish poll highlights

  • Previous TNS polls have highlighted the significant group of voters who are undecided about how they intend to vote. This month, TNS asked those who are certain to vote but undecided about which side to back (22% of those who say they are certain to vote), how they thought they were most likely to vote. Despite this additional prompting, only a third made a choice, with 19% saying they would be likely to vote Yes and 15% No. The remaining two thirds (67%) continued to say they did not know how they would vote.
  • The Scottish poll also revealed a continuing high level of engagement with the campaign: 73% of adults in Scotland say they have participated in some activity, chiefly talking about the referendum to friends and family (60%) and watching special TV programmes about the referendum (42%). In addition, 16% also claim to have read at least part of the Scottish Government’s white paper.
  • The level of engagement with all these activities was higher among those who say they are certain to vote, and also among Yes voters. The online presence of Yes voters was also evident, with 15% claiming to have contributed to online discussions compared to 5% of No voters.

England and Wales poll highlights

  • One fifth (20%) of the England and Wales population regularly speak to friends and family who live in Scotland, and of this group over half (56%) have spoken to them about the referendum. However, despite requests from unionist politicians that people in the rest of the UK ‘pick up the phone’ to convince Scotland to stay in the Union, support for Independence is higher among those who have talked about the issue than not – 28% compared to 16% among those with contacts who have not discussed the vote.
  • Nearly a third (31%) in England and Wales think the rest of Britain would be worse off without Scotland, up from 26% in August 2013, while 21% say it would be better off, little changed from August (23%). The proportion of those who think an independent Scotland would leave the rest of the UK with less influence in the world has moved up from 17% to 22%, though 55% believe there would be no impact (down from 59%).
  • Nearly half (47%) think that, given the SNP’s stance against nuclear weapons, a new site would have to be found for the Trident nuclear weapons system south of the border. This is 10 percentage points more than in August.
  • A third (34%) think Scotland has too much influence in the government of the UK, with 44% disagreeing. There has been little change on this question since August.

Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said “With only 100 days to go to the referendum, while many have already made up their minds and are engaged in the debate, it is evident that many people who are keen to cast their votes have not yet made up their minds. There is no doubt that both campaigns have the opportunity of securing additional support, depending on the messages which they communicate to these undecided voters before they have to make a decision on September 18.”

Notes to editors:

Scottish survey

  • A sample of 1,011 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 68 constituencies across Scotland over the period 21 – 28 May 2014.
  • To ensure the sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland, it was weighted to match population profile estimates in the analysis. Data was also weighted to match turnout and share of constituency vote from the 2011 Holyrood election, as recorded in SPICe Briefing 11-29 2011 Scottish Parliament Election Results.
  • Respondents were asked: There will be a referendum on Scottish Independence on 18 September 2014. How do you intend to vote in response to the question: Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes, No, Don’t know.
  • All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling.

England and Wales survey

  • TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,090 adults in England and Wales between 29th May and 2nd June 2014.
  • All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting patterns and region.

Both surveys

  • The regular TNS series of polls in Scotland ahead of the referendum surveys adults aged 16 and over, as all those aged 16 and over in Scotland have the right to vote in the referendum. For UK-wide polling, the general voting age of 18 is used to select the sample.
  • Full data tables for the Scottish survey are available here.
  • Data tables for the England and Wales survey are also available here.

About TNS

TNS UK advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit www.tnsglobal.com/uk for more information.

TNS UK was awarded the Market Research Society’s (MRS) Agency of the Year 2013.

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