THE YES CAMPAIGN is ahead in the Scottish referendum battle for the first time, according to a poll, amid signs of infighting among senior figures backing the union.
The YouGov research for the Sunday Times found 51% supported independence, compared to 49% who wanted to remain in the UK.
The results are the latest evidence of a dramatic surge for the Yes Scotland campaign, which has seen the gap between the sides – once regularly in double digits – vanish in a matter of months.
The YouGov poll showed the Yes vote increasing by four points, while No dropped by the same number.
The headline figures exclude those who would not vote or are undecided. With those groups included independence was backed by 47% and staying in the UK 45%.
The two point gap is within the margin of error for such polls, meaning the contest, which climaxes on September 18, is effectively too close to call. . .
Scotland has a population of about 5.2 million people in an area of 78,387 km². Its GDP last year was estimated to be $US245.267 billion.
To give some perspective, New Zealand has 4.5 million people spread over 268,021 km². Its GDP last year was estimated to be $US1.81.1 billion.
One argument used by those in favour of independence is that Scotland would be better off keeping all the royalties from oil rather than sharing them with the rest of the United Kingdom.
Whether or not that would leave the country better after shouldering its share of the costs which are currently shared by the rest of the UK is debatable.
However, economics is only one consideration. Nationalism is another and that is based on a lot of emotion which usually trumps reason and that could be why more Scots polled are saying aye rather than nooo.