Scottish independence: Warnings over pound ‘swaying undecided voters’ as poll shows strong lead for 'No' vote

Support grows for unionist cause after attacks on plans for EU and pound by Barroso and Osborne

Whitehall Editor

A cross-party warning from Westminster that an independent Scotland would not be able to keep the pound appeared Sunday to have boosted the unionist cause.

A new poll, conducted after George Osborne's intervention and a separate warning by the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, that an independent Scotland would not automatically be able to join the EU, seems to have had an effect on undecided voters.

Support for a "no" vote has climbed 5 points to 49 per cent in the space of a month and now enjoys a 12-point gap over the pro-independence side, which is unchanged on 37 per cent. It suggests a significant number of undecideds have shifted to the "no" camp.

Two-thirds of people said they thought it would be in Scotland's best interests to keep the pound after independence, while 12 per cent say the country should have its own currency. However, the poll for Scotland on Sunday found that most Scots believed the country would secure EU membership, despite warnings from the Commission that this could prove "impossible".

The poll comes ahead of a UK Cabinet meeting in Aberdeen on Monday, just seven miles from where the First Minister, Alex Salmond, is holding his weekly meeting in Portleven. It will be only the second time in more than 90 years that the full UK Cabinet will have met in Scotland.

Mr Cameron hopes to use the event to highlight the importance of the North Sea oil and gas industry which, he will argue, is more secure as part of the larger UK economy. The meeting will coincide with the formal publication of a report by Sir Ian Wood into maximising the potential of the industry, which could be worth £200 billion to Britain over the next 20 years.

Mr Cameron will accept all the main recommendations of Sir Ian's review, including the creation of a new regulator to increase collaboration between companies to explore and develop new wells.

The Treasury points out that tax revenues from oil and gas in 2012-13 were £4.7 billion or more than 40 per cent lower than the year before. It argues that while the UK's diverse economy is able to absorb this volatility, this equates to more than a third of Scotland's health budget or two thirds of its spending on education. 

"For many years the UK has supported the North Sea oil and gas industry and we have worked together to make this an economic success the whole country can be proud of," Mr Cameron said. "I promise we will continue to use the UK's broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race."

Yesterday's poll found that 46 per cent of Scots believe a "yes" vote would bad for the economy, while just 35 per cent believe it would be good. Just over half (51 per cent) say inequality levels will remain unchanged or even get worse after a "yes" vote.

Blair McDougall, of the Better Together Campaign, said he was pleased by the poll results. "It is encouraging that undecideds, the group of Scots who are key to this referendum, are overwhelmingly moving in favour of Scotland remaining a strong and proud part of the UK," he said.

But Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins claimed the ICM poll indicated that the "yes" campaign is still gaining political momentum. "The ‘no'  campaign's continued negativity, especially from its leaders in George Osborne and David Cameron, shows that when they say Scotland can't, increasing numbers of Scots are saying, ‘Yes we can'."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Neil Warnock
football'New' manager for Crystal Palace
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal after signing for Manchester United
Arts and Entertainment
BBC series 'Sherlock' scooped a hat-trick of awards on the night. Benedict Cumberbatch received the award for Actor, Miniseries or Movie ('Sherlock: His Last Vow') while Martin Freeman won the award for Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie. Neither actor was present to collect their awards
Life and Style
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Oracle DBA (Database Administrator, 10g, 11g, PL/SQL)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + £5k shift allowance, 12% bonus, benefits: Clearwat...

Cover Supervisor

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Cover Sup...

IT Teacher September strt with view to permanent post

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: IT...

Qualified Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Crawley: This independent Nursery is looking fo...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis