James Forsyth

New poll puts No ahead in the Scottish referendum campaign

New poll puts No ahead in the Scottish referendum campaign
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Tonight brings the first morale boost for the No campaign in a wee while, a Daily Record poll has them 53-47 ahead. Including don’t knows, the numbers are No 47.6%, Yes 42.4% and don’t know 9.9%.

A while back, a 53-47 poll would have been regarded as alarming by the No camp. But a week is a long time in politics and tonight’s numbers will be seen as a reassuring sign that a Salmond victory is not inevitable and that independence doesn’t have unstoppable momentum. Particularly reassuring for the No side is that the number of Labour voters backing independence has fallen, which suggests that the bleeding on that front has been staunched.

We’ll have to see what the polling effect, if any, is of the visit from the three UK party leaders is. There’s also the question of whether more business leaders coming out against independence will have any impact.

Tonight is just one poll and the referendum remains far too close to call. But I suspect that the No camp, the Prime Minister, the Labour leader and all who want the Union to survive will sleep a little easier tonight.