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No change in Scottish referendum voting intention

Ipsos MORI Scotland: Scottish Public Opinion Monitor

Published:18 September 2013
Fieldwork:9 - 15 September 2013
Keywords:Referendum, Scotland, Scottish Independence, Scottish Parliament
(Click on keywords to find related Research)
With one year to go until polling stations open on referendum day, our latest poll for STV News finds no change in voting intention since May. Among those certain to vote in the referendum, 31% would vote Yes if the referendum was held now compared with 59% who would vote No and 10% who are undecided.

A closer look at the data also reveals that, among those who are certain to vote and have definitely decided how they will vote, the ‘No’ vote continues to lead the ‘Yes’ vote by two to one (67% v 33%). Among undecided voters, around a third are inclined to vote Yes (35%), while a similar proportion are inclined to vote No (31%).

In line with previous waves of the regular Ipsos MORI Scottish Public Opinion Monitor, there are clear differences by gender and levels of affluence. Men are considerably more likely than women to vote Yes (40% compared to 24%), while women are more likely to vote No (64% compared to 54%). Women are also more likely than men to be undecided (12% compared to 7%). In terms of affluence, those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland are almost twice as likely as those living in the most affluent areas to vote Yes (42% compared to 22%), while those living in the most affluent areas are more likely to vote No (69% compared to 45%).

Attitudes towards independence tend to follow broad party lines. Over two thirds of SNP supporters (68%) intend to vote Yes, while three quarters of Labour supporters (75%), four in five Liberal Democrat supporters (80%) and almost all Conservative supporters (98%) intend to vote No. However, a closer look at voting intention trends suggests that the proportion of SNP supporters intending to vote Yes has declined (76% in June 2012 to 68% in September 2013), while the proportion of Labour voters intending to vote Yes has increased (8% in June 2012 to 16% in September 2013).

Christopher McLean, Senior Researcher at Ipsos MORI Scotland said:

“As the referendum campaign reaches the year to go stage, our latest poll suggests that neither side is currently able to shift public opinion. It is clear that the Scots who remain undecided will become increasingly important as we enter the final year. On the one hand, although the No vote retains a healthy lead, the Better Together campaign will need to do more to win over undecided voters if it is to win convincingly. On the other hand, with the Yes vote sticking around its historical average, Yes Scotland will need to do more to win over undecided voters if it is to gain the momentum needed to secure independence.”


Technical note

  • This presents the topline results from Scotland
  • Results are based on a survey of 1,000 respondents (adults aged 16+) conducted by telephone
  • Fieldwork dates: 9th – 15th September 2013
  • Data are weight by: age, sex and working status using census data; tenure using SHS data; and public-private sector employment using Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Employment series data
  • Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of “don’t know” categories
  • Results are based on all respondents (1,000) unless otherwise stated

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Christopher McLean
Christopher McLean

Senior Research Executive

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Mark Diffley

Research Director

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