POLITICS

Scottish Independence: No Campaign Clings To Narrowest Of Leads In New Poll

12/09/2014 13:35 BST | Updated 12/09/2014 13:59 BST
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Yes supporters crash a Labour Better Together rally on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, as the campaign ahead of the Scottish independence referendum intensifies.

The referendum on Scottish independence is on a knife-edge just six days ahead of the vote, with No enjoying the slimmest possible lead, according to a new poll.

The ICM survey for The Guardian found support for No at 51% and Yes on 49%, once "don't knows" were excluded.

And the poll - conducted between Tuesday and Thursday - suggested that everything remains to play for, with some 17% of voters saying they have still not made up their minds. If undecided voters are included, rounded figures leave No on 42% and Yes on 40%.

The telephone survey followed a YouGov poll for The Times and The Sun, released earlier today, which also gave No a narrow lead of 52% to 48%.

Interviews for the new poll were conducted after a survey last weekend galvanised the independence debate by giving Yes a lead for the first time in the campaign. Opinions were gathered against the backdrop of hastily-arranged campaign visits to Scotland by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, which were denounced by the Yes camp as a panicked response by "Team Westminster" to the appearance that victory was slipping out of their grasp.

Some 87% of those questioned by ICM said they were "absolutely certain to vote", including 82% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 87% of 25-34s.

Support for independence was strongest among 25-34s, who said they would vote Yes by a margin of 57% to 43%, while those aged 65-plus backed No by 61% to 39%. Scottish women wanted to remain in the UK by 55% to 45%, while men favoured independence by 52% to 48%.

Asked "how risky" they think independence is, just over a quarter of Scots (26%) described it as "a huge risk", 13% as "no risk at all" and 56% as somewhere in between.

:: ICM Research questioned 1,000 people in Scotland by telephone for The Guardian between September 9 and 11.

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