By Martin Kelly
The gap between those in favour of independence and those against has narrowed to just ten points according to a new survey.
Published in the Sunday Times, the new poll by Panelbase shows support for Yes at 36%, No at 46%, and ‘don’t knows’ at 18% – the narrowest gap in the campaign so far.

The survey result would mean a swing of just 5% would see Scotland voting Yes in the referendum to be held in 2014.  Excluding the ‘don’t knows’ the poll shows that 44% would back a Yes vote while 56% would vote No.

The results show the Yes campaign up 2% since a previous Panelbase poll in January, the No support dropping 1% and don’t knows also down 1%.  The survey is in keeping with other polls which suggest a slow erosion of the No vote.

The poll comes just days after it was announced that the referendum on an independent Scotland would take place on 18 September 2014.

The poll shows an interesting gender break up with 47% of men backing Yes against 40% saying No.  Amongst women, support for independence is 25% with 52% saying No.  The don’t knows amongst women now stands at 23%, while only 13% of men are unsure.

Last July, the poll found that 44% of men backed independence and 42% opposed it, while 29% of women supported it and 47% were against.

The poll has also demonstrated the huge levels of trust people across Scotland continue to place in the SNP, with the party enjoying a 20-point lead on Labour in the regional vote for the Scottish Parliament.

The poll shows 47% of people would back the SNP in the constituency vote for Holyrood – up two points from the May 20011 landslide election result – compared to 30% for Labour, who have fallen two points since the same election.  12% of respondents would back the Tories and just 5% said they would vote for the Lib Dems.

Commenting, SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing who sits on the Referendum Bill Committee said:

“This poll shows that it is game-on for the independence referendum – this is the narrowest gap in the campaign so far.  Yes can win, and I believe Yes will win.

“It shows that there is everything to play for, and that the momentum is now firmly with the Yes campaign – with more and more people preparing to vote for an independent Scotland in September 2014.

“With the date of the referendum having now been set, this poll shows that people in Scotland increasingly believe that decisions about Scotland should be made by people in Scotland, and that only a Yes vote will secure that opportunity. 

“The poll shows that more work needs to be done, and the First Minister setting out the ‘why of independence’ at our conference – including the social and economic transformation we can achieve in childcare provision in an independent Scotland – will help to further boost the Yes vote.

“And almost two years on from the huge landslide support that the people of Scotland gave us, this poll also shows backing for the SNP has actually increased even further on those extraordinary levels.

“With the Scottish Government standing up for people in Scotland in the face of Westminster’s cuts agenda, people are continuing to place their trust in the SNP in overwhelming numbers – while Labour have slipped even further back under Johann Lamont’s leadership.

“This poll is a fantastic vote of confidence, and gives us a rock solid platform on which to build support for a Yes vote in next September’s vote.”

“The gender gap appears to be greater than ever, particularly among younger voters,” said Ivor Knox, MD of Panelbase, to the Sunday Times.

“While an absolute majority (51%) of males under 55 favour independence, men over 55 and women of all ages remain opposed.”

The Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times/Real Radio surveyed 885 adults in Scotland between 18-22 March, and found:

Should Scotland be an independent country?
Yes: 36%
No: 46%
Undecided: 18%

When undecided voters are removed, the findings are:
Yes: 44%
No: 56%

Scottish Parliament Constituency vote (change on 2011 result in brackets):
SNP: 47% (+2%)
Labour: 30% (-2%)
Conservatives: 12% (-2%)
LibDems: 5% (-3%)

Scottish Parliament Regional vote (change on 2011 result in brackets):
SNP: 45% (+1%)
Labour: 25% (-1%)
Conservatives: 12% (n/c)
LibDems: 5% (n/c)
Greens: 8% (+4%)


2013-03-24 13:13

Hence the reason the unionists are keen to argue the referendum should be brought forward.

40% Yes by year end would be nice but 51% next year is the important figure.
caithness warbler
2013-03-24 13:17

Hmmmm, the gender gap is still rather puzzling. The majority of MEN are saying YES in greater numbers, but the majority of WOMEN are saying NO in greater numbers. Why is this? Any ideas?
2013-03-24 14:08

Women are more cautious than men and are likely to employ the “better the devil you know” attitude.
2013-03-24 14:15

I think women are naturally more cautious, and will need all of the facts before making a choice. And maybe are also more against the idea of “separation”.
2013-03-24 16:29

Im unaware if its relevant to this poll, but previous polls show that women make up the vast majority of dont knows. If they eventually opt for yes there wont be too much gender differences in the final result.

2013-03-24 13:26

Excellent & encouraging news.

So how do we address the gender difference?

I think we have to take a look at advertising aimed at women, and the magazines aimed at women.

Without wanting to sound condescending, these media concentrate on feelings and emotions. There’s no logic or real facts involved in how this youth serum makes you feel and look younger. The logical conclusion is it can’t and won’t make you younger. It doesn’t stop these products jumping off the shelves.

Perhaps this is why the negative scare stories from bittertogether are more successful with many women. They portray strong negative emotions which perhaps are more tuned in to many women.

My dad has as long as I can remember been for independence, and my mother has always been more cautious. However, recently she described the idea as “exciting her”.

We need to work on this; fast. If we can get similar percentages to the men, then we will make it!
2013-03-24 19:09

Independence. Makes Scotland your home.

Will C
2013-03-24 13:29

This poll confirms a very welcome trend of increasing support for the YES vote. It also confirms my own thoughts that a) the NO vote is very soft b) more and more ‘don’t knows’ are becoming YES voters. I was talking to three of my sons friends last night who have gone from being NO voters to confirmed YES voters simply because my son and I answered some of their worries. I am convinced that the negativity of the unionists coupled with more and more YES information becoming available is starting to have an effect.
2013-03-24 13:29

From my social circle, I have yet to meet a baby boomer aged person that’s supportive of YES. I can’t figure it out, whether my sample is stastically skewed or whether baby boomers realise they’ve had it so good, eg (rock solid pensions, full employment etc) – the generation behind have no pension guarantees, no job security and therefore are probably more willing to try something new…

(Child of baby boomers)
2013-03-24 18:40

Yes, many of them are very conservative in outlook and set in their ways and to a certain extent ‘I’m all right Jack’ types, but here’s one who isn’t. I can’t wait to register my YES vote. Meanwhile, I am working on a few of my mates and will do my damnedest to persuade them of the virtue of voting YES. I always say that the importance of regaining our independence is not for us but for our children and grand-children.
2013-03-24 19:44

agreed BillCo, Iam not quite of the baby boomers yet but like you I am working on colleagues and almost everyone I can for a YES vote, I am also female and have never had a problem with the idea of independence at any time, as you say it is for the younger generation and I have 2 16 year olds who will certainly be voting YES since they will be elegible to vote.

2013-03-24 19:36

Rapid, I’m a baby boomer and most of my friends and acquaintances are yes voters. I know a few people who intend voting no, but they are few and far between. those who intend to vote no are remarkably ignorant and seem to have taken in the mainstream media keech hook line and sinker. The same negative soundbites keep coming up but they can’t back them up with facts. I think the yes/no split is to a large extent a split between the intelligent and the stupid.
2013-03-30 15:27

What a staggeringly condescending statement. It’s people like you who will put people off joining the Yes campaign.
2013-03-30 22:54

Actually he’s right, people who are intelligent enough to see the truth through the mire of propaganda and disinformation (aka lies) will, no matter what their politics, vote YES. The facts when examined by anyone remotely intelligent speak for themselves. Because there is absolutely no logical argument for staying within an imbalanced and imperfect ‘union’ where the wishes and desires of 70% of the people of Scotland for Holyrood to make all decisions on Welfare and Taxation are ignored by Westminster.

2013-03-25 19:21

Well rapid I was born 1947 and my Husband 1953 so I think we both qualify as baby boomers. We both support Independence and we always have. I think you will also discern I am a woman as well.
2013-03-25 20:25

As a boomer, and a life long Nationalist, with a circle of friends who are nationalist I find it weird that you think that way.
Have you actually met and talked to any “Baby Boomers”?

Big Eye
2013-03-24 13:32

Getting the yes vote into the majority will be a big job BUT there are signs we are making progress and I believe from recent days that the message is being effectively honed to bring the desired result.

I thought the recent PPB was excellent and Alex Salmond’s speech and tone was the right message. The SNP have already made huge advances on childcare but more requires to be done.
2013-03-24 13:37

Here are the trends in the opinion polls analyses for the final weeks and months of the Devolution Referendum of 1997.

Note the up-tick to the final result.…/…
2013-03-24 15:02

I would find it interesting if someone could explain how the majority of polling organisations choose who to question. Are people chosen completely at random, or do they hold a database of people who have previously responded to a survey? The reason I ask is that it seems to me that the referendum will be unlike any other vote in recent history, in that I expect people who would not normally vote to turn out for this one. Are these people being picked up in the survey results?
caithness warbler
2013-03-24 16:04

I’m wondering whether the key to the low YES percentage for women lies in the “don’t knows”, which number almost twice as many as those of the men. I don’t believe the ladies are inherently more unionist; apart from the reasons given above, it’s perhaps that they’re not yet engaged with the debate and have other priorities; they’re more pragmatic, knowing that there is still 18 months to go. I trust the default NO position will begin to shift as we near the referendum and the arguments take centre stage.
2013-03-24 17:52

Scottish Skier would be able to go into this in greater depth and with more than just gut feeling to back it up, but I see those numbers as a tipping point due to the relative strength/weakness of votes.
In my opinion, anyone who answers ‘yes’ in a poll is a pretty committed voter; you can virtually guarantee they will make it to the polling booth on the day, no matter what (personally, I’d trudge through 6ft drifts of snow in a howling blizzard).
Can the same be said of those who answer ‘no’? Certainly, some of them are passionate about retaining the UK, but how many?
I suspect the no camp is padded out by a good number of respondents who are simply giving an unthinking knee-jerk answer: they haven’t really considered the issues but worry about independence due to various ‘uncertainties’ played up in the media.
For argument’s sake, if we get a 90% of yes to show, 70% from no voters and assume the don’t knows stay home, we get a 64.6% turnout splitting 32.4Y:32.2N
From The Suburbs
2013-03-24 17:52

The YES campaign is not helped by lack of media coverage for Labour’s refusal to change Tory policies at Westminster.

Labour’s biggest donor, the Unite trade union, has delivered a thinly veiled warning that the party risks losing funding unless it opposes government sanctions against benefit claimants.

The warning came from Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, which has donated more than £10m to Labour since 2010. It will increase tensions in the party following a decision to abstain last Tuesday in a Commons vote on jobseekers benefits.

Labour has also refused to scrap Bedroom Tax. So what is point of Labour supporters voting NO in 2014 if they want to change Tory policies at Westminster.
2013-03-24 18:34

O/T Can any one tell me the numbers attending the Spring conference. I can’t seem to find a report. thanks
2013-03-24 19:32

It was always on the cards that the NO” campaign’s appalling attacks on the self-confidence of Scots would backfire spectacularly on them which will leave them with nothing because they have nothing to justify Scotland remaining within the Union.

The Unionists lied before and they are lying again this time. For example there was an Alba TV programme on recently on events in Scotland in 1979 where there was video of Donald Dewar giving a speech before the 1979 referendum where he roared to the crowd that North Sea Oil would not last long and would not be worth much anyway!
2013-03-24 20:57

Hi Marian,

With regard to your first paragraph above, I’ve been wondering what the Aw Naw’s next moves will be since the scare tactics seem to be having diminishing returns for them.

I think they probably now realise that not permitting a “devo” question on the ballot paper was a tremendous mistake on their part and I fully expect that before too long we will begin to hear much more about further devolution being granted on condition that we vote “No”.

Hell mend us if we fall for that one again!


call me dave
2013-03-24 20:06

A friendly encounter in the paper shop about the weather turned sour when the woman blamed AS personally for the loss of supplies to Arran. In a Glasgow accent (lots came to Glenrothes new town) stating that Scotland did not produce enough electricity. I explained it was weather related and equipment failure, not a shortage etc. But when I said that AS was the best thing to happen to Scotland and a few more gentle home truths it was too much for her to bear. Others though were more receptive and I went home with my papers wondering are they all like this.

I see our women curlers are W Champions! Well done
2013-03-24 22:05

I watched the Ken Clark interview and we really should be more grateful for that extra English money that is on its way.. This video could win us the referendum by its self.. Don’t have a link, but it is a must see..
2013-03-25 16:09

Agreed – it was a jaw dropping moment. The Yes Campaign should make sure that the Clark interview get’s a prominent position in their publicity drive. Regular and prominent airings are a must on the run up to Referendum Day.

2013-03-24 22:53

Nice story and well done for speaking up.

However, you really must stop buying those papers. The newsagent only makes a few pence profit on the papers anyway, so if you are worried about his livelyhood, buy a greeting card from him instead every couple of weeks.

He’ll make the same profit, the unionist media will have a little less life blood, and one of your friends will get a nice surprise through the post. Everyone’s a winner!
2013-03-24 23:18

Every time you go to the chemist to collect your prescription just say in a stage whisper: thank God for Nicola Sturgeon. In England they are now paying over £7 per prescription. Works a treat!
2013-03-24 23:38

Per item MacS?

2013-03-24 23:27

Great news.

I’ trying to tackle the gender issue by email.

I send emails with links to articles I think my female friends will be interested in. I try to pick short articles if I can from various sources.
I don’t send too many, every few weeks with about 5 links which won’t take too long to read because it appears time is an issue.

My next one will include a link regarding Labour’s secret deal with Ian Duncan Smith on benefit sanctions.

How about Newsnet News Letters?
2013-03-25 00:04

Despite the entire MSM supporting the NO campaign,and daily propaganda,only a minority of people say they’ll vote NO.
2013-03-25 18:02

Quoting mealer:

Despite the entire MSM supporting the NO campaign,and daily propaganda,only a minority of people say they’ll vote NO.

It looks like the councilor for the Western Isles is creating mischief with the notion of an independent Islands group tied to the rUK.I wish Mr Campbell would get on with the job he was elected to do. I wonder who paid his air fare.


2013-03-25 01:26

To encourage a NO vote, I expect the unionist parties will commit themselves to think about the possibility of considering an option to set up a Commission to think about the possibility of evaluating the chance that there would be any benefit to them of agreeing to consider . . . .
2013-03-25 02:59

Good news indeed. Not sure I’d want to go through that 50% mark until nearer I-Day though.
2013-03-25 10:55

The higher the YESpoll ratings go,the more “jam tomorrow” we’ll be offered.
2013-03-25 13:07

Opinion polls only give a very rough guide, much depending on who is actually polled on a very random basis. However, I seem to recall that just before these opinion polls had to stop by electoral law prior to the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary election, they were all predicting a Labour victory. Also, if my memory serves me right, the claimed gap between Labour and the SNP was around the 10% mark. As others have commented, the only poll that matters will be the one on 18th September 2014.
2013-03-25 13:37

We MUST get Margo MacDonald back on board and into an active roll on the YES campaign.
We need a big TV personality with a strong voice and there is no-one who fits the bill better than Margo.
2013-03-25 14:00

to everyone on this site please read this it is absolutely shocking. please copy this and paste it to all other sites and friends.

Michael Meacher MP
By Michael Meacher March 23rd, 2013

It now emerges that Labour did a secret deal with the DWP that the latter would set up an independent inquiry into the use of sanctions against job-seekers in return for Labour supporting emergency legislation – the Jobseekers (Back-to-Work Schemes) Bill which passed all its stages in the Commons last Tuesday – which established the government’s right to re-impose mandatory work activity (forcing someone to work for no pay on pain of otherwise having their benefits withdrawn) which had been struck down in the High Court a few weeks earlier.
2013-03-25 15:08

John, we knew already that Labour were backing this and would be expecting a ‘favour’ in return – that was reported last week fairly widely in the press.
I suppose it depends on what this ‘inquiry’ comes up with – what is it’s purpose and so on. Without that knowledge it’s all guess work.

Of course, the fact that Labour backed the Workfare legislation, favouring to side with the government against not only hundreds of thousands of poor people but three senior law judges in the court of appeal should be shouted from the roof tops.
2013-03-25 15:49

Vote YES for Scotland in 2014 and leave this sad excuse for a democracy in the Wastemonster bin.

2013-03-25 14:56

Kenneth Clarke “English money” @ 52.30

BBC Politics show Scotland @ 40.00

The First Minister Interview @ 44.00

This was a really good interview, very informative & well conducted by Andy Kerr. I was astonished at the BBC actually showing the clip of the Campbell interview with Kenneth Clarke. The first reaction by the First Minister was to commend Glenn Campbell for picking up on Clarke’s use of the term “English” money to describe a loan given to the Scottish Government, which had been depicted by some as “extra” money announced by Osborne in the budget.

Lamont was on the Daily Politics Show at lunch time today. I don’t know why she was down in London? Humza Yousaf was on video link.It will be on Iplayer later about 45mins


Re Michael Meacher MP see link above
2013-03-25 17:14

Willow, I presume that she was down in London for a shadow cabinet meeting.

Remember, that was her ‘buy off’ for last year’s ‘something for nothing’ speech at the party conference – Milliband allows her to head south and sit in on these meetings.

call me dave
2013-03-25 17:41

Hi all
I do feel sorry for those in all parts of the UK suffering loss of electricity and water supplies and hope that these services are restored asap.

BBC Scotland have today interviewed about everyone they can with a view to give us the latest bad news.
I am heartened that the Arran community is getting on with it and so far has not pointed the finger at anyone.
I get the feeling that the BBC is hovering about with a tail (tale) to pin on some unfortunate donkey as soon as it can find an excuse.

PS: Turned down by the Mori Ipso lot for surveys and so on in the future. Wrong job and age profile! Ach well…@:{
2013-03-25 19:02

Interesting post from one of the Yes Campaign Directors, Stephen Noon.…/…
2013-03-25 20:23

Even more defence spending stripped from Scotland. They are happy to put their nukes here but impoverish our air defences.…/…

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