The pro-UK campaign has maintained its lead over its rival Yes camp in the run up to next week's independence referendum, according to a new poll. When undecided voters are factored out, 53% of Scots plan to vote No on September 18, with 47% saying they will vote for independence, according to a Survation poll for the Daily Record.
That is the same level of support that the polling firm recorded for either side in a survey published at the end of last month. A total of 1,000 Scots were questioned for the latest research, with 47.6% giving their backing to the Union, while 42.4% said they favoured independence and the remaining 10% still to make up their minds.
Independence campaigners welcomed the study, saying it was the highest ever recorded of level of support for a Yes vote in a Survation poll. Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins claimed that with just over a week to go they were now "in touching distance of success next Thursday".
A poll by YouGov this weekend had put the Yes campaign ahead for the first time in the run up to the referendum, with 51% support when undecided voters were excluded. The Survation research found that amongst men, support for Yes and No was almost neck and neck, with 46.4% backing independence and 46.8% favouring the union.
But amongst women 48.5% said they would be voting for Scotland to stay in the UK, compared to 38.6% who are supporting independence. Mr Jenkins welcomed the findings, saying: "This puts Yes support at its highest yet in a Survation poll when those still undecided are included, and at 47% excluding don't knows - which confirms we are in touching distance of success next Thursday, and will galvanise all those who are wanting and working for a Yes to redouble their efforts."
He added: "As we say in response to all the polls, we are working flat out to ensure that we achieve a Yes vote, because it's the biggest opportunity the people of Scotland will ever have to build a fairer society and more prosperous economy. It is now abundantly clear that the No campaign parties are offering nothing new in terms of more powers, which fall far short of what Scotland needs. A Yes vote is Scotland's one opportunity to achieve job-creating powers and protect our NHS from the damaging effects of Westminster privatisation and cuts."
Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall said: "This fight for Scotland's future will go right down to the wire, but it's one we will win. Alex Salmond wants us to take so many huge risks - over our pound, pensions and NHS. The last few days have shown that these risks are real. Separation would cost jobs and push up costs for families in Scotland. This is too important for a protest vote. There would be no going back.
"We don't need to take on all these risks. There is a better way for Scotland. We can have more powers for Scotland over tax and welfare, and keep the strength, security and stability of being part of the larger UK. For the sake of future generations we should say No Thanks to separation next week."