By Martin Kelly
The latest survey on Scottish independence shows the gap between Yes and No sitting at just five points.
The Panelbase survey, carried out on behalf of online site Wings Over Scotland, has revealed support for Yes is 41%, No 46% and Don’t Knows on 14%.

The result confirms a recent Newsnet Scotland poll which found exactly the same five point gap between both sides.  Stripping out the Don’t Knows leaves Yes on 47% and No on 53%, again confirming the result of the Newsnet Scotland poll.

The Newsnet Scotland survey had been conducted prior to the three Unionist party conferences.  However the result of this latest study, conducted between March 28th and April 4th, is a blow to the No campaign given that it follows Scottish party conferences from Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

There may be some consolation for opponents of independence that the gap between Yes and No appears not to have decreased further despite last week’s comments from a senior coalition minister that a currency union will be agreed after a Yes vote.

Commenting on the latest survey results, Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said: "What this poll clearly indicates is that 'Project Fear' is failing and that increasing numbers of people are realising that Yes promises a better future for themselves, their loved ones and for Scotland.

"With just over five months still to go to the referendum, this poll shows support for Yes has increased to 41%, the highest yet in the campaign - despite all the recent scaremongering and bluffing from the No campaign. The fact is the No camp has played what it believed to be its ace card on currency - which was comprehensively debunked by a Westminster minister last weekend."

Welcoming the poll, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"I am delighted to see support for a Yes vote continuing to rise - this very encouraging poll shows that it is now virtually neck and neck between Yes and No, with Yes now reaching 47 per cent. We take absolutely nothing for granted, but Yes now needs a swing of only three per cent to win, and we are confident of achieving a Yes vote in September.

"Alistair Darling and the No campaign have serious questions to answer about their bluff over the pound, but he seems to be burying his head in the sand and incapable of shifting from what is a deeply negative campaign.

"As more and more people across the country hear the case for Yes, they are realising that Scotland can, should and must be independent. With the full powers that only independence can bring, we can build a fairer, more prosperous Scotland that is no longer held back by a Westminster system that isn't working."

However, polling expert Professor John Curtice cautioned against suggestions that recent polls were evidence of a Yes bandwagon.

Writing on his blog, What Scotland Thinks, he said: "Once the Don’t Knows (14%, down one point) are excluded the Yes vote stands at 47%, the same as in Panelbase’s previous poll for Newsnet. The poll thus cannot be cited as evidence that there is now a nationalist bandwagon moving continuously and relentlessly towards the 50% mark.

"We should remember that all of the polls Panelbase conducted last year already put the Yes tally at 44% or 45%.The two to three point increase in Yes support since then is simply in line with the trend that has already been evident in more or less all the polls for some two or three months.

"On the other hand, the No side's continuing efforts at persuading Scots of the risk of independence - together with three weekends of unionist Scottish party conferences - are still evidently failing to bear any fruit. The argument that the No campaign is too relentlessly negative will doubtless continue to be heard.

"Better Together will certainly be hoping the persistently relatively high Yes vote in Panelbase's polls is an overestimate of the level of support for independence, though of that there is far from being any guarantee."


# proudscot 2014-04-06 12:31
I continually see on my own Twitter site and the obviously popular Wings site, evidence of well attended pro-YES meetings and well supported pro-YES canvassing across Scotland. So I wonder exactly who these polling organisations are canvassing?

To use the WWI/WWII analogies so popular with the unionists, it seems to me that the YES campaign are winning the "ground war" with lots of foot soldiers. In contrast, the NO campaign are relying on their self-proclaimed "Dambusters" strategy of dispatching squadrons of cabinet ministers and celeb luvvies up north to carpet bomb us with negativity and false concern.
# cuckooshoe 2014-04-06 13:29
"However, polling expert Professor John Curtice cautioned against suggestions that recent polls were evidence of a Yes bandwagon."

But, Professor John Curtice did say in his last blog of the 26th March 2014 (about the You Gov poll)

"On average these (the last ten polls) have put the Yes side on 43%, up two points on the equivalent statistic for all those polls conducted between the beginning of January and the currency intervention.

Between them they represent the best sequence of results for the Yes side yet."
# call me dave 2014-04-06 14:58
Moving along nicely with the accelerator ready to go in about a months time.

The YES generation + more woman starting to focus on the vote as well as more natural labour supporters moving over should see YES over the line on 18th September.

From down South... comments are worth a look too.

and another on Darling's performance tv.
# WRH2 2014-04-06 15:59
I think the move in the polls could be because the date of the poll is getting ever nearer. People are beginning to think about it and given that there is increased voter registration, they are now starting to make a decision. The continual positive message is more likely to influence people than the negative and especially since the scare stories are being shown for the most part, to be lies. In fact, I would say its not even negative scaremongering now but sheer desperation. And people are not daft no matter what the No campaign thinks.
# tartanpigsy 2014-04-06 18:55
Great to see us closing the gap!
Remember folks, we still need to push it home - momentum needs to be driven.
Please support our 10000 flags campaign supported by Newsnet- so that we'll be able to distribute thousands of YES Saltires to every corner of Scotland.

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