With September 18th, the day of Scotland’s seminal vote approaching fast, one of the major UK polling companies YouGov, has put the ‘Yes’ campaign ahead for the first time.
This sudden news has panicked the major party leaders enough that the three of them abandoned Prime Minister’s Questions to encourage the ‘No’ vote. They needn’t have bothered. The vote will go the way of the Union without their influence, but it will be close.
The ‘Yes’ campaign is certainly winning the ground war but it will not be enough. The actions of the leaders are receiving high amount of media attention, but this is a false indicator as to what is going on in Scotland. The door to door, every day, personal campaigning that the ‘Yes’ campaign has put in place has already made a significant difference
The reason it will not be enough, however, the real thing that will truly keep the United Kingdom together is the fact that, in times of great political change, people tend towards the status quo at the last minute.
Referenda like this have either a phenomenal tendency towards the positive, as shown by the recent unofficial Venetian 90% ‘Yes’ vote, or it is a close negative response, as in Quebec in 1995, where the motion was defeated by a 60:40 ratio. This race is too close, too late and the undecided voters will carry the day. It will be a no, but it will be close.