Another day, another Scottish opinion poll and this time a different message, but only slightly.
A Survation survey last night showed 53 percent of Scots would vote to remain in the UK, 47 for independence. Ten percent of the electorate remain undecided. That counters three recent polls which have shown a dead heat or slight lead for the Yes campaign. Given the margin for error – three points either way – they all suggest next Thursday’s vote is too close to call although hitherto, Survation has consistently put support for independence higher than other pollsters.
There is a chance that the dramatic narrowing of the polls – with one giving a lead for the Yes camp – has come too early for the nationalists as it makes all Scots realize that their votes count and concentrates minds. It is easy to vote for independence if you don’t think it’s going to happen and there is a week still to weigh up the consequences.
There is mounting evidence of the economic pain that could be inflicted north of the border. Lloyds Banking Group confirmed our recent scoop last night, saying it would set up legal entities in England i.e. relocate south. And Royal Bank of Scotland said it would base itself in London in the event of a Yes vote.
Scottish banks are increasingly concerned about worried customers looking to move funds out of the region because of fears over the impact of independence.
Adding to that, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said a currency union as sought by Alex Salmond was incompatible with sovereignty and that Scotland would need its own central bank with currency reserves worth at least 25 percent of GDP, something in the order of $50 billion – money that would have to be stumped up by Scots.