The latest Scottish opinion poll puts the unionist camp ahead by 52 points to 48 – still way too close to call given the statistical margin for error.
The last two polls have given the “No” campaign clinging to a narrow lead following a dramatic narrowing of the gap and one survey giving the separatists a lead. So has the “Yes” momentum stalled? If you chart the numbers over the past two weeks you might think so but if you did so over the past two months you would say emphatically not.
YouGov, purveyors of the latest poll, noted that on their figures the “No” camp has gained ground for the first time since early August. The last two surveys were the first to have been conducted since it became clear that the nationalist vote was on the charge. Has that concentrated minds? Who knows.
Scottish Nationalist leader Alex Salmond is taking no chances and will conduct a whistle-stop tour of seven cities today. Some have argued that the debate for and against has already been played out but that looks wrongheaded. There is everything to play for in the last week with those yet to make up their mind amounting to 10 percent or more of the electorate and some who thought they had decided maybe thinking again.
Bill Clinton’s maxim of campaigning was that when he said something for the 100th time and was so sick of it he could barely get the words out, that was the moment that it resonated with the public for the first time.
So no one can judge whether the repeated warnings about banks moving south, Scots not having the pound etc etc will only really hit home now. So far, Salmond’s counter that London is trying to bully Scots into voting no and orchestrating a scaremongering campaign has got traction.