Referendum countdown: Small ‘No’ lead in new latest poll

Campaigners are making a final push for votes
Campaigners are making a final push for votes

Scotland’s future is hanging in the balance, as a poll shows a gap of only two percentage points ­between the Yes and No camps.

A total of 51 per cent said they would reject independence, while 49 per cent planned to vote Yes in next week’s referendum.

The same survey predicted a turnout of about 88 per cent.

The results of the latest ICM/Guardian poll, which excluded “don’t knows”, came a day after YouGov gave No a lead of 52 per cent to 48 per cent. Last week, a YouGov survey put the Yes camp in the lead for the first time.

Yes campaigners acknowledged that the vote was “on a knife edge”, but said they remained confident of victory.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We’re seeing changes in the polls but it’s all within the margin of error, so we’ve got work to do. It’s very close. I ­believe things are moving in the direction of Yes but the only poll that ­really matters is the one next week. With every day that passes, polls become less ­important and the focus on the actual poll ­becomes more important.”

Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall said the “fight for the future of Scotland” would “go right down to the wire”.

He said: “The interventions of the last few days from the likes of Standard Life, Asda and Tesco Bank brought home the huge risks of separation.

“There is no room for a protest vote in the referendum. The jobs and pensions of millions of Scots are at risk. The money we have to spend on our NHS is at risk, and it’s clear that prices would have to rise if we go it alone. That’s not our ­campaign saying these things – it’s the experts and employers at some of Scotland’s biggest ­companies.”