With less than two weeks to go until Scotland’s referendum due to take place on 18 September, the results from the latest polls suggest a marked increase in those favoring independence from the United Kingdom. One survey has for the first time put the “yes” vote ahead of the referendum in response to a simple yes/no question: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ A YouGov survey conducted with 1084 voters for The Sunday Times and released last Sunday came as a shock to many around the United Kingdom for a simple reason: the “yes” vote stood at 51 percent while “no” at 49 percent. Casting a “yes” vote would mean that Scotland will separate from the rest of the United Kingdom comprising England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In response to the latest development, and against a backdrop of growing nervousness in London, activists on both sides are stepping up their efforts as the historic referendum approaches, while the shares in some firms with Scottish links have fallen and also value of the pound has slumped by about 1.3 percent against the U.S. dollar to a ten-month low of $1.61. Meanwhile, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had announced in the aftermath of the Sunday poll that a “plan of action” would be launched in the next few days to give, in his words, “more powers to Scotland; more tax powers, more spending powers, more powers over the welfare state”. However, the nationalist and pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) has dismissed the promise by the Chancellor to unveil a timetable for further devolution if voters reject independence as a last-minute “bribe” that will not divert Scotland from its path towards full independence.