Sunday, 17 August 2014

New poll shows referendum is on a knife edge - YES Vote rises in two polls

PROTECTION OF NHS GALVANISES YES VOTE - AHEAD AMONG MEN AND WOMEN

SALMOND & STURGEON STRONG POSITIVE RATINGS - CAMERON & DARLING NEGATIVE

YES Scotland today [Sun] welcomed the findings of a new opinion poll - which puts the referendum result on a knife edge.

The Panelbase poll, commissioned by the YES campaign, puts support for YES at 48% and No at 52%, once undecided voters are excluded. A Panelbase/Sunday Times poll published on July 27 put YES on 46% and NO on 54%.

The new poll shows a big majority for the proposition that Scotland could be a successful independent country.

And it reveals that YES is moving ahead among men and women in terms of likely voting intentions on the scenario of protecting Scotland's health service from the adverse impact of NHS privatisation south of the border.

An ICM poll for Scotland on Sunday published today also shows growing momentum for the pro-independence campaign, putting YES on 45% (up 2% on the paper's ICM poll last month) and NO down two percentage points on 55%.

Both polls show a two point rise in the YES vote.

The Panelbase survey also shows strong positive approval ratings for Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon on standing up for Scotland - and negative ratings for key figures on the No side such as David Cameron and Alistair Darling.

The Panelbase findings are as follows:

* (The first question 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?
YES
42%
NO
46%
Undecided
12%

Excluding undecided voters
YES
48%
NO
52%

Among Labour voters, 37 per cent intend to vote YES - which equates to more than 230,000 Labour voters, in terms of their constituency vote in the 2011 Holyrood election.

Men are 52 per cent YES and 48 per cent NO; women 43 per cent YES and 57 per cent NO. This 9-point gap in YES support between men and women represents a significant narrowing of the gender gap compared to previous Panelbase polls - in July it was 14 points and in January 18 points.

* Do you agree that Scotland could be a successful independent country?
YES
42%
NO
31%
Undecided
15%

All gender and age groups agree with this proposition. And among Labour voters in the 2011 election, 43 per cent say YES and 41 per cent NO.

* Does the prospect of an increased role of the private sector in the NHS in England having an adverse effect on the Scottish budget which funds NHS Scotland make you likely or unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland in the referendum?
Very likely to vote for an independent Scotland: 37%
Quite likely to vote for an independent Scotland: 9%
TOTAL LIKELY: 46%
Quite unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 9%
Very unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 26%
TOTAL UNLIKELY: 35%
Don't know: 18%

Excluding 'don't know' would give these figures:
Likely to vote Yes: 57%
Unlikely to vote Yes: 43%

COMPARED TO THE HEADLINE FIGURES, THE NHS ARGUMENT GENERATES A 9-POINT SWING IN FAVOUR OF YES.

Among WOMEN, the findings are:
Very likely to vote for an independent Scotland: 33%
Quite likely to vote for an independent Scotland: 9%
TOTAL LIKELY: 42%
Quite unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 12%
Very unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 26%
TOTAL UNLIKELY: 38%
Don't know: 20%

Excluding 'don't know' would give these figures for WOMEN:
Likely to vote Yes: 52%
Unlikely to vote Yes: 48%

Among MEN, the findings are:
Very likely to vote for an independent Scotland: 42%
Quite likely to vote for an independent Scotland: 9%
TOTAL LIKELY: 51%
Quite unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 6%
Very unlikely to vote for an independent Scotland: 26%
TOTAL UNLIKELY: 32%
Don't know: 17%

Excluding 'don't know' would give these figures for MEN:
Likely to vote Yes: 61%
Unlikely to vote Yes: 39%

* Do you trust ALEX SALMOND, First Minister, to stand up for Scotland's interests?
Yes
52%
No
37%
Don't Know
12%
Net rating
+15

* Do you trust NICOLA STURGEON, Deputy First Minister, to stand up for Scotland's interests?
Yes
53%
No
33%
Don't Know
14%
Net rating
+20

* Do you trust DENNIS CANAVAN, Chairman of the YES campaign, to stand up for Scotland's interests?
Yes
41%
No
33%
Don't Know
26%
Net rating
+8

* Do you trust DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, to stand up for Scotland's interests?
Yes
19%
No
66%
Don't Know
14%
Net rating
-47

* Do you trust ALISTAIR DARLING, Chairman of the No campaign, to stand up for Scotland's interests?
Yes
32%
No
50%
Don't Know
18%
Net rating
-18

* Do you trust JOHANN LAMONT, leader of Scottish Labour, to stand up for Scotland's interests?
Yes
30%
No
40%
Don't Know
30%
Net rating
-10

Note: only 40 per cent of Labour voters trust Alistair Darling to stand up for Scotland, compared to 42 per cent who do not.

Deputy First Minister and YES Scotland Advisory Board member Nicola Sturgeon said:

'These are extremely encouraging findings, showing rising support for Yes and putting the referendum on a knife edge. We have a lot of work to do, but the polls show a two point rise in support for Yes in the last couple of weeks and Yes only needs a two per cent swing to move ahead - I am confident that we can and will achieve this in the month ahead. Already, more than 230,000 Labour voters intend to vote Yes on these figures, and I believe that this trend will also continue to grow.

'A Yes vote is our one opportunity to protect Scotland's NHS from the damaging impact of privatisation south of the border. I believe that the rising female support for Yes among in this poll reflects the importance that women in particular attach to protecting the NHS - which requires the full powers of an independent Scotland.'

Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of YES Scotland, said of the Panelbase poll and the ICM poll in Scotland on Sunday:

‘With a month to go until the vote, these are very encouraging polls demonstrating real momentum.

‘Yes is up two points in both polls - we are continuing to gain ground and success on September 18 is within Scotland's reach. The ICM poll shows that those who were undecided last month - and have now made up their minds - have come to Yes by a margin of two to one.

'As well as having the right message for Scotland, we also have trusted leaders to deliver it. By contrast, the approval ratings of No campaign leaders are all negative - and not even Labour voters trust Alistair Darling to stand up for Scotland.'

Mr Jenkins added:

'Our tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers can take great heart from the fact that all their hard work is paying off. Our genuine grassroots campaign, and the millions of conversations that are taking place in communities and on doorsteps the length and breadth of the country, show that the Yes message is far more appealing to increasing numbers of people than the relentless negativity of the No campaign.

‘We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and more and more people are agreeing with us that only with the powers of independence can we make that enormous wealth work better for all the people who live and work here.’
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