Edinburgh, 18 July – The lead for the No side in the Scottish independence referendum has narrowed amid signs that more undecided voters are making up their minds as the September 18th poll approaches, according to new research by TNS.
In the latest survey of 995 adults aged 16+ in Scotland, 41% say they intend to vote No (down 1% on the previous month) while 32% back a Yes vote (up 2%), with 27% undecided (down 1%).
The No lead of 9% points follows several months of a consistent double-digit lead, and whilst month-on-month changes have mostly been within the margin of error, over time these changes nonetheless represent a 10-point fall in the No lead since the current TNS polling series began in September.
The polls continue to indicate that turnout is likely to be high, with the number saying they are certain to vote steady at 74%. Among this group, the No lead is also 9% points: 46% say they will vote No (up 2% points on the previous month) with 37% backing Yes (up 3% points).
Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said: “We have consistently found a significant number of undecided voters among those who say they are certain to vote. This month that proportion of the certain-to-votes has fallen from 22% to 18% – evidence that people are now beginning to form an opinion as the polling date nears.”
When the Don’t Knows in this group were questioned further, 13% said they were inclined to vote Yes and 12% to vote No, with the remainder not ready to express a view.
The survey also found that the overwhelming majority of the support for both camps appears to be solidly committed to their respective causes. Among No voters who were certain to vote, 84% said they were certain to vote No, 9% very likely to vote No and 6% inclined to vote No.
Among Yes voters the corresponding figures were 86%, 9% and 6% respectively.
“If we strip out all those who are committed to or at least sympathetic to one side or another, there are now relatively few people who say they are certain to vote but are completely undecided,” said Tom Costley. “We are finding that only 13% of certain-to-votes are expressing no inclination towards either side of the debate.
“Of course, that represents around one in ten of all eligible adults, so their decisions on how to vote could have a strong influence on the final result.”
Notes to editors:
TNS began its current series of monthly polling on voting intention in the independence referendum last September, and further polling will be published in early August and early September. TNS has also carried out more wide ranging surveys into attitudes towards independence and the referendum debate commissioned by the Hunter Foundation.
A sample of 995 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 67 constituencies across Scotland over the period 25 June – 9 July 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 the 18th of 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.
Full data tables are available here.
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