By Martin Kelly
The independence referendum has been blown wide open with a new poll showing support for Yes now just five points behind that of No.
The poll, conducted by Panelbase, has revealed that support for independence is now sitting at 40%, its highest mark since campaigning began in earnest, with those against sitting at 45% and Undecided on 15%.

The latest survey, which was commissioned by Newsnet Scotland, surveyed 1036 people between 7-14 March. 

The survey asked – “There will be a referendum on an independent Scotland on the 18th of September.  How do you intend to vote in response to the question: Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The findings mean Yes is up three points since the last Panelbase survey, with No down two.  The number of Don’t Knows was also down one point.  The swing to Yes means the No campaign’s lead has halved compared with the previous Panelbase survey in February.

When Don’t Knows are stripped out, Yes is on 47% with No on 53%, meaning Yes needs a swing of around three points in order to overtake its rival.

Commenting on the poll findings, Yes Scotland Chief Executive Blair Jenkins said:

“This is an extremely encouraging poll – putting Yes support at its highest level and No at its lowest since last summer.  Excluding ‘don’t knows’, Yes support has now reached 47 per cent to 53 per cent for No – meaning that a swing of only some 3 per cent is needed to put Yes ahead in September, which we are confident of achieving.  It continues the trend we have seen this year of a steady and significant narrowing of the gap.”

The latest survey will be a blow to the No campaign, and follows several weeks of sustained attack with claims that businesses would flee an independent Scotland.  It will also call into question the wisdom of UK Chancellor George Osborne’s visit to Scotland and threats over currency.

Mr Jenkins added: “The scaremongering of the No campaign is backfiring, because people understand that as the 14th wealthiest country in the international league table – compared to the UK’s 18th place – Scotland has got what it takes to be an independent country.

“Scotland can, should and must vote Yes – so that we gain the powers needed to build a fair society and prosperous economy, where the wealth of Scotland works for all the people.”

The survey showed that Yes is up in every demographic except those aged 55 and over.

Other key areas of interest include:

  • Among 35-54 year olds, Yes gained 12% (from 36% to 48%) – Yes took 1% from No and 11% from Undecideds.
  • Among Labour voters, Yes gained 9% (from 17% to 26%) – Yes took 3% from No and 6% from Undecideds.

Commenting on this latest poll from Panelbase, its MD Ivor Knox said: “It’s unusual for us to report a Yes lead among both 18-34 and 35-54 age groups and it is also notable that this is the first poll we have conducted showing support for independence rising above a quarter of people who voted for Labour in 2011.”


Will C
2014-03-20 00:08

Swing to YES growing each day. Confirms what YES activists have been hearing on the streets and doorsteps of Scotland. Tide is now becoming rapid. Thanks to newsnetscotland for everything.
2014-03-20 00:13

2014-03-20 00:14

Fantastic ,and especially after everything they have thrown at us.
Now we must consolidate and work even harder.
2014-03-20 00:23

The grassroots campaign and pictures of people out every week spreading the word is coming through in the polls. YES will mobilise the disenfranchised who don’t usually vote or feature in most polls and we will achieve a result which puts the will of the majority beyond dispute. Well done to all those giving up precious family time to make this possible and keep up the hard graft which will carry our great country into a period of renewal and change as Scotland becomes a beacon of possibility for peace and equality.
2014-03-20 00:37

YAAAS! We have brought you to the ring, now dance as best you can… game on!
The Tree of Liberty
2014-03-20 00:49

Could this be the start of something big?
call me dave
2014-03-20 00:55

That is a good result considering the onslaught by the Westminster mob aided and abetted by the MSM during that time.

As long as the trend continues in a few more polls. Once parity is achieved YES will race away as the notion of voting for independence becomes normalised.
2014-03-20 01:02

I think this is winnable now.

Especially after voters start to understand that labour’s plans for devolution are pathetic.


Only with independence can we take control and empower ourselves as a nation.
2014-03-20 11:09

Devolution was just a fancy word cooked up by the British Labour party to obscure what it was really about,namely stop Scottish independence.
No threat of independence,no “devolution”.
I think,especiall  y after Lamont’s recent announcements,t  hat even British Labour stallwarts can see that this is the case and that the only possibility for a revival of left of centre politics in Scotland is by voting Yes.

2014-03-20 01:31

Now I feel confident but let’s not slack on the campaigning. Keep knocking doors, handing out leaflets and persuading the not sures. Freedom is within our grasp.
2014-03-20 05:32

Excellent poll result, and it shows things are moving in the right direction: the momentum is still well and truly with the yes campaign.

Congratulations on commissioning this, Newsnet. Let’s hope it gets the media coverage it deserves and that should send some new readers your way.
2014-03-20 07:32

Great news.However,we mustn’t get complacent and start thinking things will naturally swing to us.Get the conversations going.Thats what will win it.People hearing the message from folk they know and trust.
2014-03-20 08:06

Great news. But no time to be complacent. Project fear is ramping the scares the closer we get (aided by an ever loyal non questioning media). Remember. The ultimate scare will left for last. Do not under estimate project fear as we know Tory,labour and lib dem have these scares all planned out between them.
2014-03-20 08:12

If the TV and other media reported in a balanced and fair way, we would now have a comfortable Yes lead.
The breakdown of how well informed people say they are show better informed vote Yes.
2014-03-20 08:28

With the Survation figures which show Yes supporters are significantly more determined to vote than No supporters this gap disappears completely on referendum day.

But that just gives us parity, we need to win and win big, so no complacency and redoubling efforts are still required. Especially since previous experience shows BT will now throw everything at us. We must not waver.
2014-03-20 09:05

Knife edge? Separatism is still well behind. The SNP is still unable to tell us what currency would replace the pound if Scotland left Britain. One of the world’s biggest banks concluded that this was ‘astonishing’. The Governor of the Bank of England suggested a separate Scotland may be forced to sign up to the Euro. Major employers from Dundee to Dumbarton warn that leaving Britain risks losing jobs.
The SNP’s new figures showed a 44 per cent fall in revenues from North Sea Oil in just one year. If Scotland had left Britain, that would have taken £4.4 billion out of vital services like schools and hospitals. In a united Britain, the money for schools and the NHS isn’t gambled on world oil prices or the declining revenues and reserves of the North Sea. Salmond even told us that it was good news that Scotland’s deficit had increased. He really will say anything to get Scots to vote for separation.
2014-03-20 09:41

Quoting Mona Lott, ITMA:

It’s being so cheerful as keeps me going

Will, what a joy it must be always to look on the bright side of life!

2014-03-20 09:50

It’s not working Will..every day the gap is closing and now we’re at the point of parity in the Polls.

You’ve thrown everything at this campaign now at least twice, your fact picking and manipulation gets worse day by day.

You can’t escape the utter logic that even if things were as bad as your manipulated diatribe tells us, that the growing support for Independence proves that what’s on offer by Westminster and you unionists must be worse.

Support is moving to Yes, Slowly but surely Scotland has woken up to this miserable vision unionists have given us and they’re fed up with it.

You can’t lie anymore, people don’t believe you.
2014-03-20 09:52

1. The Fiscal Commission Working group set out the currency options months ago.

2. That we will be ‘forced’ to join the Euro has been debunked.

3. Organised scaremongering by unionist companies over spun by the media.

4. North Sea revenues fell because two years ago Osborne hit them with big tax rises. New investment is now hitting highs and normal service has been resumed.

5. The deficit increased partly because of the artificially induced NS slowdown and partly because the Scottish Government are investing in infrastructure. As is sensible while interest rates are low.
2014-03-20 10:11

Will, I think you’ll find it’s Independence that we are voting for. Fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself 🙂

With regard to being influenced by what any banker says – no thanks.

As to being forced into the Euro, we know that’s not going to happen. And by the time they get around to closing the ERM loophole, we’ll be a major EU member with a veto.

There were a lot of “major employers” who said Devolution would cost jobs – it didn’t.

NS tax revenues have fallen due, in part, to significant investments that have been made by the oil companies. This will preserve revenues for the foreseeable future.

Oh I almost forgot about the currency. Who cares? If rUK are stupid enough to play hardball over a currency union, we’ll just use the pound as a stop-gap to give us time to setup our own currency.
2014-03-20 10:12

Separate, is the lonely kid who elects to eat his lunch sitting in the corner all by himself with nobody to speak to.
Independent, is the kid with the confidence and self assurance to think for himself, break with convention, and sit down beside him and say hello because it’s the right thing to do.

We are advocates of Independence. Talk about separation, and you’re clearly not talking to me.
2014-03-20 17:48

Back at secondary school in Auckland, NZ I noticed a kid with a skull-cap on sitting eating his lunch all by himself so I induced the two friends I habitually had lunch with to got keep him company. Turned out he was Orthodox Jewish. The only one in a large mixed race ‘comprehensive’ of 1500 kids.

He was initially very reticent, afraid we were there to mock him. But an interchange of culture, religion and cuisine ensued. We learned what Matzo meal tastes like and the meanings of Passover and Hannukah. He discovered not all of his fellow NZers thought him too strange to talk to.

If you are out there David, Peter, the tall skinny one says Hi.

2014-03-20 10:43

Will the Scottish Government have repeatedly told the electorate what currency will be used, Sterling.It is not in the remit of the Governor of the Bank of England to refuse it.It is possible that the Tories, in a fit of pique, would refuse to sign up to a mutual currency arrangement but Sterling is a fully transferable currency so we would still use it and, in return, subtract a portion of our repayment of the GB debt. The reason that oil revenue fell is because of the tax breaks companies were given as a result of their massive new investment in the industry, an investment worth billions to a future economy.
It’s a good thing to hold a view and to argue it in a polite fashion but I would strongly suggest you read some unbiased assessments before firing off with Better Together propaganda because you just end up looking silly.
2014-03-20 10:57

Yawn.. I’m sure your real name is “Won’t” !
2014-03-20 11:23

Quite so, but as Lehrer’s N Apostrophe T taught us in the ’70s, grouches can be won over…….

derick fae Yell
2014-03-20 11:04


That would be the pound. The currency that Scotland started using in 1412, 295 years before the Union.
2014-03-20 12:25

[quote name=”Will”]. In a united Britain, the money for schools and the NHS isn’t gambled on world oil prices or the declining revenues and reserves of the North Sea. Salmond even told us that it was good news that Scotland’s deficit had increased. quote]
No, in a “united” Britain, the money that should be for schools and the NHS is gambled on City spivs’ and speculators’ bonuses and making the rich richer, as well as maintaining a pretence of global power by squandering it on illegal foreign wars and weapons of mass destruction.
From The Suburbs
2014-03-20 13:13

Indy Scotland will be using the pound
Osborne creates uncertainty by saying UK won’t allow Scotland to use the pound despite this being the worst financial scenario for Bankrupt Britain. Added bonus by politicising the UK Civil Service and then rope in Labour’s little helpers.
Project Fear phone round Tory business people to get them to complain about “uncertainty”. Find one which has the added bonus of a compliant Lord George Robertson on the Board (Ignore fact that Standard Life has a large presence in Ireland and operates in Austria, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, China and India) and is prepared to blackmail its staff and customers on a political issue.
2014-03-20 13:28

Will…there is obviously no point in trying to persuade you to vote Yes.
On the oil revenues, this is a bonus also the previous Lab and Tory oil taxes that put a damper on the industry for investment hence less oil out of the ground.
I was at a recent oil gathering in Aberdeen the other week..there are 15 fields coming on line by 2015 therefore increasing the bbls per day from the North sea reversing the trend that will has bottomed out
The existing North sea is the mature area and the western Scottish sea is the new area and this will just be as large as the mature North sea…another boom era on the way
The vote for yes more about protecting what we have and enhancing what we need to develope into a nation that we can be proud of

2014-03-20 09:12

One word – MOMENTUM

Despite the fear-bombing campaign of the last few weeks Scots are realising the greater benefits of independence.
call me dave
2014-03-20 09:42

Among many articles in Business for Scotland. Worth a read…/

In addition there are taxes going directly to Westminster that will accrue to Scotland when independent not in GERS figures which is only a guestimate.

There is only a whisker of a difference between GDP in Scotland and rUK.

PFI used mainly by labour to build schools etc will waste more money over a 40 year pay back time, and will still not belong to the community that is more of a concern.

I’m away to check my stocks and shares and see how to get more from my ISA’s unfortunately most of the folk who work in the UK are one pay day away from financial disaster. Why should they not vote YES they have nothing to lose.
2014-03-20 09:57

Congrats Newsnet. These polls are expensive so I hope it gets spread far and wide bringing you new readers. Well deserved.

With Labour’s unveiling of Devo Nano I think that many Labour voters who were devo max supporters and who were expecting more from their party will now have seen the light. They will now know that no unionist party will be giving Scotland anything remotely close to Devo Max. If they still want Scotland to have the powers they demand for it then they have only one option now. When that reality crystalises in the minds of the Labour Devo Maxers then we can expect to see YES surge ahead in the coming weeks and months.

And with YES expected to get around 3% more of its vote out on the day, this reduces NO to 42% (excluding D/K). All to play for.

2014-03-20 10:02

Westminster..give em enough rope and they will hang themselves

2014-03-20 10:13

This momentum is down to the hard work and energy of Yes campaigners delivering leaflets and talking to people.

I have nothing but admiration for these people.
2014-03-20 10:17


Ordinary people couldn’t care a toss which currency they use because they already have a currency in their pockets and it can’;t be taken away from them.

As regards all the other nonsense Scots look arounthem and find that every country in North Western Europe is among the top twenty wealthiest in the World. They all have a welfare state, a market economy, a functioning democracy, state education. Some are members of the EU; some are not; some use the Euro some do not. Regardless of their currency they all share the essentials for a successful state. Scotland sits right in the middle of this platform of wealth. The Scots know that they are part of this platform of sophisticated wealthy nations. The challenge is to use that platform to make our society wealthy as well.
2014-03-20 11:24

Will, or is it William, I think you are a bit lost. You have stumbled on a nest of Yes voters, you know those of us with confidence to run our own country. You know the sort of thing some of those folk in other parts of the world do day by day. Would you claim that the folk in Australia, New Zealand are separatists or those daft folk across the Channel who have over the centuries fought to keep those nice folk ower the border from invading and taking their country are as well.
Get some confidence laddy, yer cringe is showing.
2014-03-20 11:40

It’s great news and well done everyone.
However, no sitting on laurels until the votes are counted and we’re an independent nation once again.
2014-03-20 12:04

I’ve always felt (since last September) that if the YES vote reaches 40% by April 2014 then we’ve bagged it. Although we should never be complacent, this is great news. There is no doubt now that the YES vote is continually creeping up while the NO vote remains soft. People drift from their immediate NO sensibilities to Don’t Know (when they want to be informed) then move to YES when information and debate is presented them.

Because if this, it’s the tactic of NO campaign to either not inform or misinform the public while shirking any meaningful debate.
2014-03-20 12:50

Dcanmore, re shirking any meaningful debate I suspect that the Hattersley approach will become increasingly necessary –

2014-03-20 13:53

The tables are now available at…/polls.html
2014-03-20 14:25

Very encouraging indeed. Still a lot of work to be done to get the Yes up to 50% + 1. Staff at BT HQ must be tearing their hair out considering their media pals recent coverage.
2014-03-20 14:56

Tartanfever writes of my ‘fact picking and manipulation’, ‘miserable vision’ and lies. If name-calling won arguments …
GuitarBoy claims that current investment will “preserve revenues for the foreseeable future”.I hope he’s right, but oil and gas production (not just revenues) peaked in 1999 and halved by 2009. See Scotland’s choices: the referendum and what happens afterwards, by Iain McLean et al:
“with oil revenues at their 2009-10 level, an independent Scotland would have either to raise taxes or cut services, or both.” P. 142.
GuitarBoy urges using “the pound as a stop-gap to give us time to setup our own currency.” The markets would attack the pound, pouncing on its avowedly temporary nature: so we would all lose out – except the speculators.
2014-03-20 23:34

Oh I certainly don’t “urge” a short-term sterlingisation solution. It may be the route we have to go down if the rUK are determined to play hardball over the currency union. I think that there will be an agreement of some sort in place on currency. Once the Yes vote is delivered, and reality sets in, the rUK will come to accept that the currency union is in our mutual best interests. They’ll be in serious trouble without it and that’s not in anyone’s interest.

2014-03-20 15:55

This is starting to get exciting. When I first became actively involved in the yes campaign it was for me one of those situations where you think “we’re almost certainly going to lose here, but this is the right thing to do and a cause worth fighting regardless”.

I’ve done a bit of door-to-door canvassing as a yes volunteer over the last few weeks in an affluent part of Edinburgh which many of us at the start assumed would be a No stronghold. Actually the definite yeses and noes have been about equal, but the undecideds were an even bigger surprise: overwhelmingly receptive, very much up for chat and asking really sensible questions.

There is everything to play for!
2014-03-20 15:56

Well done Newsnet

Amazed at the coverage this Poll shift to YES is getting on the BBC and STV today.

Seem to be falling over themselves to get this info out to voters.
2014-03-20 16:18

A bit off topic, but yet another Project Fear scare story debunked:…/…
call me dave
2014-03-20 16:23

Only to be replaced by another scare story.

BBC Radio Scotland. & London Evening News

BAE Systems fires warning shot over vote on Scotland
2014-03-20 17:05

The link you provide doesn’t work. Try:

The same source also has a page on this poll:

2014-03-20 21:03

Just to add my thanks to Newsnet for commissioning this excellent poll. Salute!
2014-03-20 21:55

Could be just my imagination but are BT being scrutinised just a bit more? Brewer fair mangled Lamont over her Devo plans . Mind you a 5 year auld bairn kens ye have tae dae yer hamewark! And her an ex teacher tae. It minded me o Jack McConnels “explanation” of local finance Labour style before they lost the last election. Hopefully the same result this time too.
2014-03-21 00:00

You know, I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing, with respect to the BBC (I don’t read newspapers so can’t comment there). It may be my imagination too but I could swear I’ve noticed a bit more balance creeping in since Ken McQuarrie et. al. appeared in front of the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee. Could make for interesting times ahead if it’s the case.

2014-03-20 23:27


Most unionist arguments re: an independent Scotland’s economy are based on the premise that Scotland will have the existing overheads, spending and follow the UK neoliberal economic model. An independent Scotland will not. We will have an immediate saving of not paying for trident, Westminster, House of Lords, HS2 rail line and other London centric projects. You have to ask yourself who has commissioned the reports and to what end?…/…
Will Mcewan
2014-03-21 00:02

Better understand you are talking to well informed people here
1. The Governor of the Bank of England at no point suggested that Scotland would be forced to join the Euro.
2. Every body has been aware for some time that oil revenues would show a drop. This was due to a ill advised tax raid on it by Osborne which inhibited extraction (now reversed) plus a very large investment into infrastucure. Production will now quickly rise again. We have just seen the biggest ever investment in the North Sea.
3. The price of oil will continue to rise. Expert analysis expects it to reach $250 in the next 15 years and the UK MOD suggests it will be worth $500 per barrel by 2040. Do yourself a favour and look it up.
4. Standard and Poor, the world’s premier rating agency, have pointed out that WITHOUT OIL REVENUES Scotland has a stronger economy than the UK and would have the highest rating. The oil is a huge bonus.
2014-03-24 11:46

When Mr Carney spoke to the Commons Treasury select committee he said, “That application, as for any new application to join the European Union, would include a commitment to join the euro in the fullness of time.”
It’s not just oil revenues that have fallen. Oil and gas production has fallen too, peaking in 1999 and halving by 2009. This is a longterm trend.
I trust trends more than I trust forecasts – and it’s amusing to see you relying on an MoD forecast.
2014-03-24 11:56…/

Eurozone myth busted for 1000th time
2014-03-24 14:12

Brace yourself Will.

UK’s Oil and gas production is expected to fall some 96% in a single day.

But don’t dwell on it, because it won’t really matter, not compared to the hike in interest rates on the rUK’s £1.4trillion overdraft. Dwell on that instead.
2014-03-24 15:38

The quantity of gas and oil recoverables may or may not be in decline but if we are sensible,we can extend the value for future generations to enjoy.
The Westminstwer parties have blown North sea oil/gas revenues on who knows what,unlike Norway who sensibly invested the income.
The UK has nothing to show for it except massive debt which is gross mismanagement by any standards.
Given a choice between the Norwegian and Westminster methods of resource management,whic  h would most Scots pick?

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