YouGov, polling for The Times, found that just 44 percent of respondents would vote yes in a future referendum on leaving the UK. The survey, which excludes people who responded ‘I don’t know’, shows a movement of voters towards No returning to similar levels as during the 2014 referendum. It marks a significant change from the last time YouGov carried out the survey for the The Times, which found that 49 percent of respondents said they would vote in favour of independence while 51 percent would no.
However despite this marked fall in support for the cause, the same poll did still indicate that the SNP are on course to gain 11 MPs additional when Scots took to the polls next week.
If we follow the projections by polling expert Sir John Curtice, the SNP now sit on 44 percent in Scotland while the Tories are up 8 on 28 percent and the Liberal Democrats see no change at at 12 percent.
The survey in another blow to the SNP found the number of Scottish voters supporting an independence referendum in the next five years had fallen.
The percentage of those in favour of such a close turnaround was down from 45 percent to a less confident 42 percent.
The poll surveyed 1,002 Scottish adults from December 3 to December 6.
The slip in Scottish support comes as BBC host Jo Coburn erupted at the SNP’s Kirsty Blackman during a live interview, demanding that the party’s deputy Westminster leader answer her questions and “face reality”.
The BBC presenter became frustrated after the senior ally of Nicola Sturgeon continually dodged her questions.
During an appearance on BBC’s Politics Live on Friday, Ms Blackman refused to accept the findings of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and even the SNP’s own Growth Commission.
Jo Coburn confronted the leading SNP figure with the findings that the SNP manifesto would impose ten years of austerity on Scotland.
The findings also suggested that independence could dangerously cripple the Scottish economy so badly that the EU would refuse to accept them into the bloc.
The BBC’s Jo Coburn said: “The IFS claim your manifesto would lead to austerity for at least five, maybe ten years if you become an independent Scotland.”
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When Ms Blackman denied that the IFS said this, Coburn immediately rebuked: “They did. They absolutely did.”
Scotland’s current budget deficit is seven percent of its GDP - seven times higher than the rest of the UK.
Countries are unable to be accepted into the EU if they operate with a deficit higher than three percent of their GDP.
Ms Blackman blamed the current economic troubles in Scotland on the fact that Westminster “had all the levers”.
Coburn said: “I know you want to grow the economy but you want to do it by cutting taxes and spending more.
“How is that possible without massive amounts of borrowing?"
Ms Blackman said: “We want to increase borrowing and increase productivity.”
Coburn hit back: “You haven’t been able to do that yet - what makes you think you could boost it with an independent Scotland?"
The SNP have unveiled a raft of spending pledges, including huge sums for the NHS and free TV licenses.