Scottish independence: what you need to know

As the vote draws closer, and the Yes campaign sees a boost in the polls, have a read of Standpoint's definitive articles on the subject

Anna McKie

A new poll has found that Scotland is closer than ever to independence. Last night YouGov revealed support for the Yes campaign has climbed eight points in the past month, finally closing in on the pro-union lead.

The poll for The Times put the lead for No camp at six points, down from 14 in the middle of August and 22 points early last month. This morning YouGov president, Peter Kellner, described the independence campaign as being “in touching distance of victory”.

YouGov found that, excluding ”don’t knows”, 53% of those questioned planned to vote No, while 47% would back Yes. This compares to 57% for No and 43% for Yes in mid August and 61% for No and 39% for Yes at the beginning of last month.

Although the No campaign has maintained the lead in the polls since the start, it has suffered a series of recent setbacks. Despite Alex Salmond appearing to lose the first televised debate against Alastair Darling, the SNP leader dominated the final round. And last week the Better Together campaign came under fire for a “sexist” advert aimed at undecided female voters.

Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, said the “breakthrough” in the polls means the independence campaign only needs another three-point swing to achieve a Yes for Scotland on September 18.

So with just 16 days to go until the referendum here is a round-up of Standpoint’s best writing on Scottish Independence:

Independence will do nothing for the Scots: Nigel Biggar argues a Yes vote is in no-one’s interest.

Bullying and bluff on the way to referendum: Allan Massie says both sides have peddled exaggerated arguments.

The Isles are full of big noises: Rick Jones finds the Orkney islanders are doubtful about Scottish independence.

Scottish nationalism is built on a big lie: Simon Winder fears the UK will be torn apart by SNP-stoked ethnic hatred.

Poll Facts: Last year William Norton warned that the early lead in the polls in support of the union did not mean it the No campaign would definitely win.

Pyrric victory: Alex Salmond is pinning his success on the high-risk gamble that the EU will accept an independent Scotland as a full member. It won’t.

Burns bridges: Patrick Heren wonders whether Robert Burns would have supported Scottish independence.

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