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Support For Scottish Independence Grows In Polls

Things are starting to look better for those hoping for an independent Scotland, but the "no" campaign still holds a slim lead.
Posted at 9:31 PM, Sep 01, 2014

Scotland's vote on independence is set for later this month, and over the past few weeks, the "yes" side has made some impressive gains in the polls.

With both sides of the issue campaigning at full steam, the pro-independence camp has seen opinion polls swing in its favor by around 14 points.

A Daily Mail poll last week showed 41.6 percent of Scots surveyed planned to vote "yes" for independence and 47.6 percent planned to vote "no," keeping Scotland in the United Kingdom. But that's not much of a margin.

And it's a rapid shift from a few short weeks ago. A mid-August poll had the "yes" side at just 35 percent, compared to a 55 percent majority for the "no"s.

Many are attributing that slide, at least in part, to the debate on the BBC between Scotland's pro-independence First Minister Alex Salmond and "Better Together" campaign leader Alistair Darling. The BBC reports almost three quarters of viewers agreed Salmond came out on top in that one.

Before that setback the "Better Together" campaign had been winning over the Scottish with a campaign leaning heavily on star power.

But there was also this ad“My Paul is worse than the telly these days. He will not leave off about the referendum! He started again first thing this morning; ‘Have you made a decision yet?’ I was like, ‘It’s too early to be discussing politics, you eat your cereal.'”

The ad was widely viewed as talking down to the voters, and inspired hundreds to mock the Better Together campaign under the hashtag #PatronisingBTLady.

After the debate gone wrong and the advertising misstep, all the pro-independence camp needs is a three-point swing at the polls to come out on top.

An editorial in The Guardian says a charged voter turnout could make that happen. "When political enthusiasm reaches the relatively apolitical world of the council estate, the pub, the nightclub and energises people, turnout can do weird things to poll predictions."

Scots will decide whether to leave the United Kingdom Sept. 18.

This video includes an image from Getty Images / Jeff J Mitchell.