By a Newsnet reporter
A newly published poll has indicated that the number of Scots who believe they will be worse off if independent is lower than those who believe it will be better or the same.
The poll, carried out by Angus Reid on behalf of the Mail on Sunday, asked respondents whether they felt Scottish independence would leave them “better off, make no difference, or leave you worse off”.

According to the survey, only 38% believed that they would be worse off.  The poll of 1,003 people found that 41% believed independence would make them better off or make no difference.

The poll, conducted between the 30-31st of January asked: “thinking of your own financial position, do you think independence will leave you better off, make no difference, or leave you worse off?”

Better off - 14%
No difference - 27%
Worse off - 38%
Not sure - 21%

According to the same poll, the gap between those supporting independence and those against has narrowed slightly and now stands at 15 points – Yes on 32%, No on 47% with don't knows on 20% and 1% saying they will not vote.

The poll was the first survey since the wording of the question was effectively settled, the poll asked: "Should Scotland be an independent country?".

The result is broadly in line with recent polls suggesting the No vote slipping slightly and falling below fifty per cent, with the Yes support solid on a third.  However when compared to a recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey which claimed to show support for Yes on 23%, this new poll indicates the trend is currently towards the Yes vote.

Meanwhile two of Scotland’s most successful businessmen have spoken out in favour of independence.

Jim McColl and Sir Tom Hunter highlighted the need for Scotland to be able to shape its own economic policy, with Sir Tom subjecting the anti-independence campaign to scathing criticism warning that the “No campaigners are digging themselves one enormous hole if they believe that a dual ‘status quo’ and ‘scare them to death about independence’ message will work”.

Mr McColl, CEO of Clyde Blowers highlighted the fact that “the only credible way to secure the normal financial powers [is] through a Yes vote for independence”.  The entrepreneur also made clear that “on a simple balance sheet calculation, Scotland can afford to be independent if we so choose.”

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP said:

“The anti-independence campaign has been determined to scaremonger and whip up uncertainty over Scotland’s economy, but today’s events have blown a major hole in their efforts.

“Sir Tom Hunter has rightly warned them that they are simply ‘digging themselves into a hole’, while Jim McColl has made a positive and compelling case for Scotland to gain the powers we need over our own economy.

“As if these heavyweight interventions weren’t bad enough for the No campaign, an opinion poll today has shown that their scaremongering is simply failing to register with people.

“Clearly the No campaign’s argument that an independent Scotland will cost everyone the grand sum of £1 is doing little to turn people against the idea.

“The fact is that with the powers of an independent Scotland we will gain the tools we need to make Scotland a more prosperous, fairer country and no amount of negativity from the No campaign will change that fact.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the anti-independence side is losing the economic argument as more and more people recognise the opportunities that a Yes vote in next year’s referendum offers Scotland.

“On the economy as on a host of other issues, it is people in Scotland who are best placed to make decisions over the direction Scotland takes and only a Yes vote will give us the opportunity to shape policies that always put the needs of people living here first.”


# cuckooshoe 2013-02-03 17:28
Will this poll be reported as widely as the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey?
# fynesider 2013-02-03 23:04
Doubt it cuckooshoe

As do you...
# clootie 2013-02-03 17:41
The unionists in the NO camp have been caught telling lies. It will be harder for them to convince people now they are proven liars.

Keep telling the big lie only works when the truth can be kept hidden - thanks to the internet and sources such as Newsnet the old tactics don't work.
# Silverytay 2013-02-03 18:19
clootie I have been saying for a while that the tactics used in the 70s by the unionists will no longer work due to the internet . The problem we still have is how to get the message out to people who do not have access to the internet . One of the reasons that the unionists and media are so hostile to the so called cybernats is because we are able to destroy their lies and scare stories online . If it ever gets to the stage where the unionists try to shut down facebook , twitter or sites like newsnet and w.o.s then I will take it that we are winning big time .
# Leswil 2013-02-03 18:46
What I don't get is just why do supporters of Independence keep harping on about the negativity the NO campaign.Telling them their mistakes, why would you want to do that.
Surely if they are doing something to hurt their Unionist Conspiracy, then let their them be hurt.
Why, would anyone wish to advise their opponent against their selves??
# Shamloki 2013-02-03 20:51
i agree

the media bias is the Achilles heal of the unionist campaign but we still need to highlight it
# Kinloch 2013-02-04 10:57
Good point Leswil, this quote was posted elsewhere today "if your enemy is making a mistake, don't interrupt them" - Napoleon
# Dee 2013-02-03 18:47
We will need to inform bbc Scotland of the latest opinion poll..15% gain in one week towards voting YES in the independence referendum. From 23% to 32% ..Also can bbc radio Scotland never get anyone from the pro independence side to come into their studio at weekends, every guest they invite on to their shows is anti independence, again unashamed bbc bias. VOTE YES..........
# Zed 2013-02-03 18:56
A couple of weeks ago most media outlets proclaimed very widely the poll showing the Yes vote at 23%.
Now the Yes vote jumps to 32% and silence. Think there was another poll that showed 34% to the Yes vote.
You would imagine a jump of around 10% to the Yes vote would be the story as i's quite a jump. But no, doesn't seem to be, and they say the media isn't biased...
# Glenbuchat 2013-02-03 19:56
Another, perfectly legitimate, way of interpreting the poll is that 65% think that they would either be worse off or no better off under independence. It will be an uphill struggle to persuade that 65% to opt for all the upheaval consequent upon a YES vote.
# proudscot 2013-02-03 21:10
Quoting Glenbuchat:
Another, perfectly legitimate, way of interpreting the poll is that 65% think that they would either be worse off or no better off under independence. It will be an uphill struggle to persuade that 65% to opt for all the upheaval consequent upon a YES vote.

Yes Glenbuchat, I like your use of the negative *upheaval* consequent on a YES vote. If they ever do a remake of Dad's Army, now that the excellent John Laurie is no longer with us, they'll find a ready made replacement in you, to play the part of the lugubrious, disaster-predicting Private Fraser, "Doomed! We're a' doomed Ah tell ye ... doomed!"
# John Souter 2013-02-03 20:23
Whatever the polls indicate I believe there is one crucial factor between the yes and no camps that is neither acknowledged nor taken into account.

That factor is the strength of commitment held by the supporter of the Yes or No camps. It's my belief the commitment of the Yes camp is far greater to their cause than those of the No's.

Which means while the No's must fight just to keep the waverers in line the 30% plus of the yes camp only need to convert one other to their cause and independence becomes a fact.

In effect, ignore the hyperbole of media propaganda and bias; let them rave and let them tally, just concentrate on converting the one.
# weegie38 2013-02-04 00:01
The one unbelievable figure in the poll is the 1% saying they will not vote. There's absolutely no way that the turnout will be 99%!

Turnout is of course an interesting facet, because I would think the average Yes voter will be far more motivated than the average No voter. Especially if the No campaign aren't going to offer anything other than "No change" in the middle of austerity.
# Macart 2013-02-04 07:21

Agreed. Average voting turnout appears to be in the high 50 to low 60s%. Now when it comes to the day its about who can motivate enough of their support to get out the front door. Who can get enough feet on the ground to canvas and who can be most engaging within their argument. The (now official) NO campaign are trying desperately to kill the vote, even the desire to vote with relentless waves of negative argument, personal attacks and misdirection. They'll fail in that.

Even if the the independence core vote of 34-36% all turned out in that scenario, (and there's a good chance they would), then we'd have a good chance of edging it even now. Time is on our side to convince even more to vote YES.
# mealer 2013-02-03 21:57
Only 14% of people believe they will be better off in an independent oil rich Scotland.Why? well,we know the answer to that one.Its because they've been told all their lives that the Scots are too wee,too poor and too stupid too make a success of anything without someone else being in charge.But 38% believe they will be no worse off.Thats a big shift from where we were a few years ago.The message is getting through.It just needs a lot of reinforcing before it translates into YES votes.We just have to keep at it.Bypass the media and take our positive message about a better future straight to the people.In the workplace.On the bus.In the pub.At the match.On line.On the phone.Anywhere and every where.We dont need to badger people and bore people this far away from referendum day.Softly softly.A little bit at a time.
# davemsc 2013-02-05 15:48
You've conflated the broader economy with the subject of the question: respondents' personal economic circumstances.

The fact that the nation will be better off is, I think, beyond question. One of the great unknowns is whether or not that translates down to the ordinary person in the street having more in their pocket. It's not necessarily the same thing.
# thinkingscottish 2013-02-04 02:00
Interesting that the hysterical daily attacks by the mainstream media don't seem to be working, and the no vote is actually falling and the don't knows are rising....
# call me dave 2013-02-04 04:23
How timely is this?

The cost of cleaning up the Sellafield nuclear waste site has reached £67.5bn with no sign of when the cost will stop rising, according to a report.

The Public Accounts Committee's report said deadlines to clean the Cumbria site had been missed, leaving crucial decommissioning projects over budget.

It suggested successive governments have failed to "get to grips" with the hoards of waste stored at the site.
# Jim Johnston 2013-02-04 08:42
The most telling %ge in the poll has to be "1% saying they will not vote."

We can expect a 99% turnout ????

Polls are as reliable a guide as blind Pew and RLS's treasure map.
# call me dave 2013-02-05 07:32
Well the should set the cat among the pigeons
A time table for independence. Blether with B sounded flustered as he obviously was caught by surprise at bold and far reaching plan.
The SG have been busy behind the scenes. Lamont and co will be moaning and sucking their thumbs wondering what tae do now!
# UpSpake 2013-02-05 09:21
Inured as Scots are to many decades of lies and obfuscation by Westminster and the British Establishment it is no small wonder that so many Scots cannot understand just how much better off we would all be unshackled from the devastating effects of over taxation levied on us all by uber greedy Westminster.
The savings to Scots, each and every one of us will be collosal. Rather than enriching a new Scots Treasury, an independent Scots government may choose to lessen the tax burden by such a margin that everyone will see just how screwed they have been by being part of this con called the Union.
# bringiton 2013-02-05 14:17
I have a theory as to why Scottish unionists are so against independence.
With independence,th ey would be wholly accountable to the Scottish electorate for money spent.
They know that they are not up to that job and wish to continue hiding behind decisions made by Westminster.
They are second or third rate politicians and they know it.
# call me dave 2013-02-05 15:36
I agree with you but many political pundits express a view that the Labour party is so weak in Scotland because all the 'big beasts' enter parliament at the first opportunity.

Anyhoo! AS and the SG have taken another step forward towards the winning post.
The SNP, using the cover given to them by the Electoral Commission recommendations , will stage by stage set out their stall for all to see while the NO's are dragged screaming into the light forced to explain why we are better together and tantalising us with various types of jam.

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