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

EDINBURGH – 18th December 2013 
– The Scottish government’s white paper on independence has had little impact on voting intentions in the September 2014 referendum, according to a new survey, but the majority held by those intending to vote No has narrowed significantly in the last three months.

A TNS BMRB poll of 1055 adults in Scotland aged 16 and over found that two thirds (68%) were aware of the Scotland’s Future white paper, setting out the SNP government’s vision for an independent Scotland.  Awareness was lowest among the 16-34 age group, at 45%, while 81% of over-55s had heard about the document.

But 68% of those who were aware of the document said it has had no influence on their vote, while a further 19% said it has had very little influence: just 14% said it had influenced them.

The poll also shows that opinion on the referendum issue has hardly changed since before the November 26th publication of the white paper, with 27% intending to vote Yes (26% in November), 41% planning to vote No (42%) and 33% don’t know (32%).

However, the small month-by-month changes in opinion have reduced the lead of the No vote by 5 percentage points since September, and by 7 percentage points among those certain to vote.

In September, 25% said they would vote Yes and 44% backed a No vote, giving an anti-independence lead of 19 percentage points, against 14 points in the latest poll.

Among those certain to vote, the majority in favour of a No vote was 22 points in September (50% vs 28%) compared with 15 points in the latest poll (45% vs 30%).

Tom Costley, Head of TNS in Scotland, said: “The narrowing of the gap represents a drift in both the Yes and the No votes, rather than any strong movement on either side.

“It underlines the importance for both Yes and No campaigners of engaging with the one third of the electorate who remain undecided. Two thirds of adults in Scotland say they are certain to vote, and many of them have not yet decided which way to go. There is still all to play for.”


Download the graphical summary of polling results here.

Notes to editors:

1. A sample of 1,055 adults aged 16+ was interviewed in 68 constituencies across Scotland over the period 3rd - 10th December 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

Detailed tables for this survey can be found here.


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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