Home Somerset business A ‘marginal swing’ one way or the other could determine the outcome of the independence referendum

A ‘marginal swing’ one way or the other could determine the outcome of the independence referendum

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A marginal wobble for either side in the proposed Scottish independence referendum could decide the outcome ‘because the polls are so tight’, one pundit has said.

Mark Diffley said support for Scotland remaining in the UK was “absolutely deadlocked” with support for independence.

And he said that was unlikely to change until a referendum campaign began.

The polling expert told BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show: “It will all depend on the campaign – how good these campaigns are, how they speak to people, whether they are positive or negative, etc.

“That’s what will really count.

“Because the polls are so tight right now, if we go into a campaign, a marginal swing either way will make the difference.”

His comments came after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled plans to hold a second independence referendum on October 19, 2023.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson unlikely to agree to such a vote, the case has now been referred to the UK Supreme Court, to decide whether Holyrood can hold a referendum without Westminster’s consent.

Ms Sturgeon has previously said that if she is prevented from holding such a poll she will make the next UK general election – due to be held before the end of 2024 – a “de facto referendum” on the issue.

A new poll, meanwhile, showed that 44% of Scots oppose another referendum, with 43% in favour.

Panelbase research for the Sunday Times also indicated that 48% would vote for independence, with 47% against, while 5% were undecided.

Ms Sturgeon hailed the survey results as “very encouraging”.

She tweeted that as well as Yes being in the lead, there had been a ‘rise in support’ for Scots to have the choice of independence in 2023, and also said the SNP was ‘within reach. majority vote hand in GE if it becomes de facto #Indyref (which we hope is not necessary).

Mr Diffley, who founded research firm Diffley Partnership, said: ‘This poll puts support for independence slightly ahead of support for the Union. A poll during the week puts support for the Union slightly ahead of support for independence.

“In my world, the world of statistics, what we have is a statistical dead end. We have both sides 50/50 on this, the country is absolutely deadlocked and split down the middle.

He added that this situation would probably not change before the start of a referendum campaign, saying: “I suspect that until we have a campaign, it probably will not move in a significant way.”