James Forsyth James Forsyth

Unionists must prepare for a second vote on Scottish independence

Tonight will bring another YouGov poll on the Scottish referendum and this may change the mood again. But right now, the pro-Union side is in far better cheer than it was. It feels that it has not only held the line in the last few days but begun to turn the tables on Salmond.

There is a sense in the No camp that they have disrupted Alex Salmond’s momentum and prevented him from turning the final week of the campaign into a procession towards independence. They feel that the economic warnings from various business mean that the consequences of the choice are becoming more apparent. While the promise of a quick move towards further devolution has shown that the choice isn’t between things staying as they are and independence. There is also a view that Scotland wanted to wake Westminster and the rest of Britain up to what was going on and so the three party leaders racing north of the border has helped to show that Scotland’s concerns are being taken seriously.

But, as I say in the Spectator this week, the vote will almost certainly be close enough that the Nationalists will try and come back for another go. If the Union is to win a second vote, they’ll be a need not only to create a new constitutional settlement but also to foster a renewed sense of British patriotism right across the UK. ​

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