Latest poll results issued by TNS BMRB and its new Scottish Opinion Monitor

EDINBURGH – 5th December 2013 
Scottish opinion on independence remained steady in November, ahead of the Scottish Government’s White Paper on the issue, a new survey has shown.

The latest poll from TNS BMRB, mostly conducted before the November 26th publication of the White Paper, shows little change from the previous two months. TNS BMRB interviewed 1004 adults aged over 16 between November 20th and 27th.

Support for independence, at 26%, is only 1% point up on the September and October polls. Backing for a No vote, at 42% is 1% point down on October and 2% down on September, while around a third (32%) remain undecided.

In spite of the high percentage of undecided voters, there remains a strong intention to vote: 78% say they are certain or very likely to vote, around the same level as the last two months. Among those who say they are certain to vote, 31% say they will vote Yes and 46% intend to vote No.

“It’s almost as if opinion in Scotland was marking time before the publication of the White Paper,” said Tom Costley, head of TNS Scotland.

“Once we get into 2014, we can expect the debate to gather pace ahead of the September referendum, and we may begin to see some shifts in opinion, especially with so many people clearly waiting to be convinced one way or another. The examination of the White Paper will be an important part of that debate.”

With previous TNS BMRB polls highlighting that many felt they were lacking information about the debate, the latest survey found that people would prefer to receive information about the issues surrounding independence from the main media channels, with 63% looking to TV, 27% to newspapers and magazines and 21% to radio.

More than a quarter (28%) want to get information through the internet, mainly via news and articles (21%) though 10% have a preference for search and 5% for blogs and forums. It would appear that there is also a role for social media in the debate, with 11% of those surveyed expressing interest in these channels. While 16% would welcome information through letters and leaflets delivered to their home, only 3% want to talk to canvassers.


Download the graphical summary of polling results here.

Notes to editors:

1. A sample of 1,004 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 71 constituencies across Scotland over the period 20th – 27th November 2013

2. To ensure the sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland, it was weighted to match population profile estimates in the analysis. Data was also weighted to match turnout and share of constituency vote from the 2011 Holyrood election, as recorded in SPICe Briefing 11-29 2011 Scottish Parliament Election Results

3. Respondents were asked: There will be a referendum on Scottish Independence on the 18th of September 2014. How do you intend to vote in response to the question: Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes, No, Don’t know

4. All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling

Full data tables are available here.

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About TNS BMRB: 
TNS BMRB is a leading provider of specialist social research, offering insight into public policy to government and not-for-profit clients. Delivering a range of approaches including bespoke proprietary research and consultancy, random probability survey capabilities, as well as social marketing and polling, our work informs policy makers across national and local Government at the highest level. TNS BMRB forms part of the Kantar group of companies. For more information please visit us on our website

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