Year-to-go publicity fails to shift Scottish opinion on independence. Meanwhile, half of those south of the border say they want Scotland to stay

Extensive publicity for the ‘one year to go’ countdown to the Scottish independence referendum has made little difference to Scottish opinion on the issue, with 25% backing a Yes vote, 44% intending to vote No and 31% undecided, according to new polling by Kantar Public.

And a separate poll in England and Wales has found that support for Scotland leaving the union is similar north and south of the border, with 22% in favour of Scotland leaving the UK and a quarter thinking that the UK would be better off without Scotland. But more than half of those surveyed (53%) want Scotland to vote No.

Scotland’s view on the referendum – highlights from our Scottish poll:

The Scottish survey among 1,004 adults in September and early October suggests that neither the Yes or No camp made significant headway with their step-up in activity marking one year to until the September 2014 referendum.

Other key findings:

  • The overall proportion of ‘don’t knows’ remains very high, edging up to 31%
  • Among those who claim they are ‘certain to vote’, 28% intend to vote Yes, 50% intend to vote No and 22% are ‘don’t knows’
  • Only 14% of all adults in Scotland say they have ‘all the information they need’ to decide how they will vote. 44% indicate that they feel poorly informed (giving a rating of 1 to 4 on a scale of 1 to 10) and 31% feel better informed (scoring between 7 and 10).

SOM October

Tom Costley, Head of TNS in Scotland, said: “The lack of information is particularly evident among the ‘don’t know’ group, of whom 60% indicated that they were very much lacking the information they need compared to around 4 in 10 of the ‘No’ voters and around 3 in 10 of the ‘Yes’ voters.

“While we recognise that not all those in the ‘don’t know’ group are engaged in the debate, just under half (47%) say they are certain to vote. Both camps need to be more convincing in their communications to this important constituency in order to make progress.”

England and Wales view on Scottish Independence – highlights from our England/Wales poll:

The poll of 1,132 adults in England and Wales found opinion to be fairly evenly divided on the impact that Scottish independence would have on the rest of the UK: 23% think the UK would be better off without Scotland, while 26% say it would be worse off, while 37% think it would make no difference.

Other key findings

  • A third (34%) of those polled think that Scotland has too much influence in the government of the UK, while 42% think it has not
  • 25% responded as ‘don’t knows’ to the question: Do you personally think that Scotland should become an independent country?
  • Most people in England and Wales (59%) do not think that Scottish independence would have an impact on the UK’s influence in the world
  • There appears to be no clear view on what should happen to the UK’s nuclear deterrent should the UK’s nuclear base at Faslane become part of an independent Scotland. Asked whether a new site should be found south of the border, 37% think it should, 29% do not think so and 34% do not know
  • There is likely to be little impact on tourism to Scotland if it became a foreign country: 77% say it would make no difference to how likely they would be to visit for a holiday or short break, 10% say they would be less likely to visit and 5% more likely

POM October

Notes to editors:

Scottish poll:

TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,004 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 71 constituencies across Scotland over the period 25th September to 2nd October 2013

All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling

The data is 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

To come into line with other polling organisations, from this point forward TNS will additionally weight the Scottish polling data according to past voting behaviour – when this weighting is applied to our previous poll published in September there is no significant change in 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

England and Wales survey:

TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,132 adults 18+ living in England and Wales between 29th August and 2nd September 2013

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

Respondents were asked: In September 2014, the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum to decide on whether or not Scotland should be independent from the rest of the United Kingdom. Do you personally think that Scotland should become an independent country?

Both surveys:

Full data tables are available for both the Scottish poll and the English and Wales survey below. Please treat with caution those figures where the sample size – the unweighted base – is less than 50.

About Kantar Public

Kantar Public is a leading provider of specialist social research, offering insight into public policy to government and not-for-profit clients. Delivering a range of approaches including bespoke proprietary research and consultancy, random probability survey capabilities, as well as social marketing and polling, our work informs policy makers across national and local Government at the highest level. Kantar Public forms part of the Kantar group of companies.

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