A poll ahead of Scotland’s upcoming referendum has found the majority of voters to be in favour of Scottish Independence.
The YouGov research for the Sunday Times has found 51% of people support independence, compared to 49% who want to remain in the UK.
The results are the latest evidence of a dramatic surge for the ‘yes’ campaign led by First Minister Alex Salmond, which has seen the gap between the sides decrease in a matter of months.
The two point gap is within the margin of error for such polls, meaning a genuine majority won’t be known until polling day, 18 September.
YouGov has charted a remarkable turnaround for the pro-independence side, which has seen them recover from a 22 point deficit in just one month.
Writing in the Sunday Mirror, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown acknowledged that the referendum battle was proving tougher than some had expected, and said it was the fault of the Tory party.
“Why has it been difficult to win Scottish votes in support of this principle of sharing that most Scots hold dear?” the Labour MP wrote.
“Many are angry that the Bedroom Tax was imposed upon Scots against their will while at the same time the very wealthy received tax cuts.
“The SNP also claim that the ramifications of any Tory privatisation of the NHS in England will cut budgets in Scotland.
“But English and Welsh people have already given an answer to the SNP claims.
“The answer is that 90% of English people want to keep the NHS public and retain it free at the point of need.
“And the vast majority across the whole UK dislike the Bedroom Tax and would even consider more taxes to make our NHS better.”
He added: “Our union is not out of date or an anachronism or a museum piece but a unique, unparalleled, multinational living partnership that Europe and America cannot match or mirror.
“And what our ancestors built up, no nationalist should be allowed to split asunder.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband raised the prospect of manned border posts being introduced if Scotland votes to go independent.
In an interview with the Scottish Mail on Sunday, he insisted: ‘If you don’t want borders, vote to stay in the United Kingdom.”
A spokesman for Mr Miliband added: “the last time I looked there were two sides to the border – and we would be in charge of one of them.
It would be up to us, not Mr Salmond, to secure our northern border.”
Second poll favours ‘No Vote’
A second poll, carried out by Panelbase for ‘Yes Scotland’ found a no vote to be leading with 52% to 48% when undecided voters are excluded.
The poll, conducted between 2 September and 6 September, also found that 47% of women support independence, which ‘Yes Scotland’ says is a 13 point increase in six months.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “these are exceptionally positive and encouraging figures – and the Panelbase poll shows record support for independence among women.
“Yes still has a lot of work to do to win on the 18th, we remain the underdogs, but we approach the final 10 days with huge enthusiasm and confidence.
‘Yes Scotland’ chief executive Blair Jenkins said the YouGov poll showed that the independence campaign has the momentum.
“While this poll puts us marginally ahead, other polls show that we still have more progress to make if we are to win,” Mr Jenkins said.