Survey says 53 percent of Scots to vote 'no'

New poll says its likely that voters in next week's referendum will vote against splitting away from the United Kingdom.

    Fifty-three percent of Scots intend to vote against splitting away from the United Kingdom in next week's referendum, according to a new poll.

    The survey, carried out by Survation on behalf of the Daily Record newspaper, showed 47 percent intending to vote yes to the split.

    The figures, late on Wednesday, excluded 10 percent of people who were undecided.

    The latest poll findings came on a day when British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would be heartbroken if Scots vote to tear apart the family of the nations of the United Kingdom.

    Cameron’s plea aimed at preserving the 307-year-old Anglo-Scottish union and preventing himself from going down in history as the last prime minister of Great Britain. He is likely to face pressure from his Conservative Party to step down if Scots vote to secede.

    "I would be heartbroken ... if this family of nations is torn apart," Cameron told an invited audience at the Edinburgh headquarters of the Scottish Widows insurance firm.

    While Cameron has ordered the blue-and-white Scottish flag to be flown over his office at No. 10 Downing Street until the vote, his critics noted that he did not risk speaking before an uninvited audience of Scots on the street.

    Cameron's Conservatives are deeply unpopular in Scotland, where the welfare cuts, unemployment and privatisation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's time are remembered with bitterness.

    'Desperate attempt'

    Many independence supporters cite the Cameron government's budget-slashing policies as one reason they want to leave the United Kingdom.

    Cameron insisted the vote was not about giving "the effing Tories" a kicking.

    "This is not a decision about the next five years," he said. "This is a decision about the next century."

    Cameron also cautioned that a currency union with an independent Scotland would not work and that if Scots did vote for secession, Britain would not share the pound.

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband also made an emotional appeal, telling an audience of Labour supporters near Glasgow that he supported Scotland staying with "head, heart and soul".

    Though many Scots traditionally support Labour, Miliband is widely seen as out of touch.

    The main British parties have promised to hand more powers to the devolved Scottish government, insisting that a "No" vote next week would still be a vote for change.

    They pledged new legislation by January for delivering more control over income tax and welfare spending.

    "It really will be the best of both worlds," Cameron told the event in Edinburgh, which was closed to the public.

    But Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond has dismissed the initiative as a smokescreen and said that the pleas of party leaders reeked of desperation.

    Salmond said the London-based politicians were only in Scotland because "they are panicking", and predicted their visit would help his Yes campaign.

    "If I thought they were coming by bus, I'd send the bus fare," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.