Edinburgh, 9 September – The Yes and No campaigns in the Scottish Independence referendum are running neck-and-neck after a dramatic swing towards Yes over the past month, according to a new poll from TNS.

The poll of 990 people in Scotland aged 16+ also found:

  • A surge in the number of those who say they are certain to vote
  • A strong move towards Yes among women
  • An increased likelihood to vote Yes amongst those under 55

Among all adults aged 16+, 39% said they would vote No (down from 45% a month ago) and 38% backed a Yes vote (up from 32% a month ago). While there has been evidence to suggest that women were more reticent about voting Yes, this appears to be changing and the gender gap narrowing. 41% of women surveyed in this latest poll intend to vote No, but this figure was 49% a month ago, and the proportion of women who intend to vote Yes has increased from 27% to 35% (compared to the proportion of men who intend to vote Yes increasing from 38% to 41%).

Older people aged 55+ are now the only age group where No voters are in the majority – 49% say they intend to vote No compared to 31% voting Yes. Amongst those aged under 55 years, the Yes vote has achieved a significant upturn in the last month – from being 8 percentage points behind the No vote, this position has been reversed and Yes now have a 9 percentage point advantage over the No vote.

TNS surveys over the past six months have consistently shown that 70%-75% said they were certain to vote. This has leapt to 84% in the latest poll. This increase is evident across the population, but is especially pronounced among women and those aged 16-34 years.

Among those who say they are certain to vote, No and Yes are tied on 41%, compared with 46% and 38% respectively in the previous month. With the increase in the numbers intending to vote, the proportion of “Don’t knows” has risen from 16% to 18%, implying that around 600,000 people are determined to vote but have not yet made a decision.

Leaving to one side the questions about how people would vote, we also asked who they thought would win the referendum. Interestingly, 45% of all voters said No would win and 31% backed Yes. Among No voters, 70% thought their side would win, while 56% of Yes voters thought that they would prevail.

Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland, said: “This poll reveals a remarkable shift in voting intentions, but the signs were evident in our last couple of polls which indicated a narrowing of the No lead, especially amongst those who told us that they were certain to vote. It is too close to call and both sides will now be energised to make the most of the last few days of the campaign and try and persuade the undecided voters of the merits of their respective campaigns.”

Notes to editors:

  • A sample of 990 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 55 constituencies across Scotland over the period 27 August – 4 September 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.

Detailed tables for this survey can be found 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.

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

About Kantar
Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 27,000 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. For further information, please visit us at www.kantar.com.

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