Support for independence 'rising'

This Is Lancashire: A poll has indicated rising support for Scottish independence. A poll has indicated rising support for Scottish independence.

Support for Scottish independence has reached its highest level for more than six months, according to a new opinion poll.

The survey found 39.3% said they would be voting Yes in September's independence referendum, compared to 47.6% who said they wanted Scotland to remain part of the UK.

The remaining 13.1% of those who were questioned were undecided, according to the survey, which was carried out by polling firm Survation for the Daily Record newspaper and the Five Million Questions project at Dundee University.

It is the highest support for independence since August last year, when a poll by Panelbase found 44% of people backed Scotland leaving the UK.

Survation questioned 1,002 people aged 16 and over between March 6 and March 7 for the research, which also looked at how Scots could vote in the next Holyrood election.

That put the SNP ahead of Labour, with 44.6% of people saying they would vote for Alex Salmond's party in the constituency section of the ballot and 34% planning on supporting Johann Lamont's party.

Meanwhile the Tories had the backing of 13% of those questioned, with 5% saying they would be voting for the Liberal Democrats and 3.3% planning on voting for other parties.

Michael Marra, director of the Five Million Questions project, told the Daily Record that it would be an "astonishing achievement" if the Yes campaign won the referendum.

He said: "The hill for the Yes campaign to climb remains considerable. Everyone who is currently undecided has to make the leap to independence."

Mr Marra added: "Winning from here for Alex Salmond would be an astonishing achievement."

Blair Jenkins, the chief executive of the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign said: "Today's poll puts us in an excellent position with six months to go to the referendum, showing the highest level of support for Yes since last summer - and Yes at 45% to 55% for No once 'don't knows' are excluded."

He added: " What this poll clearly indicates is that 'Project Fear' is failing and that increasing numbers of people are realising that Yes promises a better future for themselves, their families and for Scotland.

"An independent Scotland would be in the top 20 most prosperous countries in the world - ahead of the UK - and people know that we've got what it takes to be a successful self-governing nation.

"This poll shows support for Yes has increased to the highest level since last summer despite all the recent scaremongering over the pound and business.

"The fact is that the No campaign have played what they believe are their ace cards and have utterly failed to trump Yes."

But Blair McDougall, campaign director for Better Together, said: " Most people in Scotland remain unconvinced by Alex Salmond's obsession with independence."

He added: "The interventions from some of Scotland's largest employers, like Standard Life and RBS, and even the SNP's own figures yesterday, show that leaving the UK would be a big risk that we simply don't need to take.

"It is great to see support for remaining in the UK up, but there can be absolutely no complacency from those of us who support Scotland remaining in the UK. We will be working hard every day to talk to people about why a Scottish Parliament with more powers is a better choice for Scotland than losing jobs and losing the pound by walking away from the United Kingdom."

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